English help | English homework help


1.      Universal themes like birth, death, desire, betrayal, love, and loss appear in every culture and every time period. Likewise, certain objects and character types also seem to transcend time and place, suggesting that deep down all humans are part of one tribe. The more we know about other cultures and other eras, the more connected we can see that we are. So for this discussion, you will need to reach out in time and space to find the universals in literature.


·         Choose a culture that you know nothing about (Japanese, Samoan, Afrikaans, Cherokee, any culture).


·         Search online to find some poems and/or stories created by that culture, and read them.


·         Choose a time period in American literature Early American, Puritan, Colonial, Age of Reason, Enlightenment, Naturalism, Regionalism, Realism, Modernism, Post Modernism, Contemporary).


·         Read some poems and stories from that American time period.


·         Select one story or poem from your researched culture and one story or poem from your researched time period.


·         Find at least one universal theme, one universal symbol, or one archetype they share (The more similarities, the better).


·         Copy the literature (or the links to the literature) to a document.


·         Write a one- or two-paragraph analysis of the universal concept that the two pieces of literature share.


·         Support your analysis with quotes and examples.


·         Suggest why you think the universal themes, symbols, or characters you noticed are presented across cultural and temporal (time) differences.




2.      Do a Web search of media campaigns that encouraged positive change. Use the key words “One to One Campaign” and “CDC media campaigns.”  See what you can learn about how a shoe company and a government agency are using the media to make the world a better place to live. Then answer the question that follows.


Think about how the vision of one person can improve the lives of many. Remember that though you are one person, you can make a difference in the world. You can use media as a force for positive change.




·         Now, think about your daily life. What would you like to change about it? How  might you use media to change something in the world around you?  


·         Come up with at least two messages you want to send to the world or movements for change you would like to start.


·         Think of five different ways you might send each of those messages or start those movements. Write down brief descriptions of the five ways.




3.      You have a great idea for changing the world through media!  But you need money and resources to develop it. You could go to your rich uncle or your parents for the cash and try to make it happen on your own, or you could look for someone to fund and produce your idea for you.   So you do some research, and you find the right people to make this project a reality.  You contact them, tell them a little about your idea, and they like it. Just like that, you are invited to show them more. You will have only 5 minutes to pitch your idea to their development team.  This is your big moment, your chance to show your stuff, so here’s the windup…and the pitch. Here’s your assignment:




·         Create a PowerPoint presentation with 5 slides and a script to be delivered with each slide. [NOTE: 5 minutes of speaking is about 500 words (or 100 words or fewer per slide.)]

Slide 1: The HOOK. Tell what you are planning and why. Capture the minds and hearts of the investors with something dramatic and compelling. Preview the rest of the presentation.

Slide 2: Your first reason. Explain why they should invest in you. What is your story? Why do you want to do this project?

Slide 3: Your second reason. Explain why they should invest in the project. How is this project going to make a difference to others?

Slide 4: Your third reason. Save the best for last. Describe or show the possibilities of the project. Tell about your vision for the project and what it could do in the future.

Slide 5: The CLINCHER: End with a bang. This slide should really wow them. Review the important points of the presentation.




·         Choose an image, diagram, photo, drawing, or illustration for each slide.  Make sure that in your script you somehow connect to that image. Well-chosen images are very important. (Since this assignment will not be formally published, you do not need to cite your image sources.)




·         When you think you are done, revise your slides and script to add figurative language and transitions that will keep your audience interested and oriented. Check your language for conciseness and word choices. With only five minutes, you have no time to waste.




4.      So, you are sitting at dinner and someone says, “Did you hear about that airline crash in the Czech Republic?” Or a friend quotes a line from a movie you have never seen. At first you are lost, but in ten seconds flat, you can Google some key words and Bam!, you are up to speed. Research these days is like running: you learn to do it without even thinking before you are nine years old.


In this unit, you get to spend time writing about something that really excites you. Let’s take a few minutes to figure out what that is by researching “you.”


Answer the following:


·         What makes you tick? Write the answers to five of these questions to find out what you are most curious about.


·         What are the three things that you spend the most time thinking about? Why?


·         If you could live in another time or place, where would you live and why?


·         What are the three most interesting books, articles or magazines you have read? What about them was interesting?


·         What are your three favorite movies or TV shows? What about them interests you?


·         If you could be any person, alive or dead, who would you want to be? Why?


·         What are the three most memorable events of your life? What makes them memorable?


·         You can take any class at any college, what class do you sign up for? Why?


·         What are three situations that make you angry or frustrated? How could you change them?


·         What three topics of conversation must someone be able to engage in to be interesting to you?


·         Now choose three topics that are most interesting to you from #1 above. Write out a list of five questions that you are wondering about each topic. These ‘research questions’ will help you find a topic to write about that you are invested in.


Some Examples:


I’m pretty frustrated that the legal age to drive is 16. One research question might be: How did law makers come up with the legal driving age?


My favorite TV show is CSI. Some research questions might be: How many crimes are actually solved using hairs, fibers, dirt and bugs? What kind of equipment is used in a regular crime lab?


5.      You spend all summer trying to get close to your crush. You go bowling even though you hate bowling. You send emails and IM to plan the big day, and finally you are out on the date, just the two of you. Unfortunately, the conversation is forced, your date is answering text messages all through dinner, and you just want it to be over. Luckily you are just dating, not getting married!


At this point you are not married to your research topic yet either. You are in the dating stages, and if things are not going well, you can look for a new topic or give this one another chance. You are seeing if you like it and if there is enough substance to take this topic further.


Nothing is more frustrating than discovering at the eleventh hour that there is not much information about your topic, or that all the sources say the same thing, or that the topic isn’t as interesting as you thought. To avoid these pitfalls, this assignment will give you a little preview of how the project will go and give your instructor enough information to guide you toward successful discovery.


·         Complete the chart that presents your overall research question and the series of questions you will explore in relation to the main question. This chart can be found on the Writing Assignment Worksheet. Feel free to add as many additional squares as you like to the middle levels. In addition you may want to complete more than one chart if you are considering more than one topic or more than one direction in the same topic.


Writing Assignment Worksheet     Is attached below





Video Games

Main (General) Discovery Question

Does playing violent video games lead to violent behavior?

Focused Discovery Questions

Which video games are considered violent?

How do psychologists study the relationship between violent behavior and influences?

What is violent behavior?

Specific Discovery Questions

What kind of violence is portrayed in these games?

Which demographic purchases or plays this game?

What studies have been done on this subject?

How can psychologists be sure that violence they observe is actually caused by games?

Is the violent behavior anything to be concerned about, or is it minor violence?

Are the violent behaviors exhibited immediately, or are they long term?

Follow up Question

What could/should be done about this if it really is a problem?



·         Complete at least five “Research Source Cards” from your Writing Assignment Worksheet (beginning on page 3) on your chosen topic. Source cards will be used to create your Works Cited page and help you assess how successful your research will be. Create as many source cards as you like over five.




6.      Now that the discovery process is nearly over, it is time to share the wealth. If you are interested in your topic, then others are going to want to know what you discovered. You are compelled in this age of information to carry the torch of knowledge forward for the benefit of others. In other words, you need to present your knowledge in a way that is compelling and appealing. Professional researchers present their findings in these ways:


·         Submitting a written report that is published internally (to the company that paid for the research) or in professional publications.


·         Delivering the report orally at a conference of others interested in the topic. These presentations may include visual props, demonstrations, or a PowerPoint presentation.


·         Posting findings to a web forum on the topic. Postings include visual aids and concise text in compelling layout.


Now it’s your turn to take up your torch of knowledge and let it shine brightly by:


·         Selecting a professional presentation method from the list below and organizing your information into ONE of these formats:


1.      Written Report. Students follow these guidelines:


1.       Length 5-7 pages (1200-1800 words)


2.       MLA formatting


3.       Works Cited page/Parenthetical citations


4.       Embedded quotations


5.       2-dimensional enhancements (photos, charts, graphs, illustrations, maps, etc)


2.      Oral Report. Students follow these guidelines:


1.       PowerPoint slides 10-25


2.       Oral presentation length 5-7 minutes


3.       Verbal parenthetical citations


4.       Works Cited page (MLA formatting)


5.       2 or 3-dimensional enhancements (audio, video, photos, charts, graphs, illustrations, maps, etc)


3.      Web Report.
Students follow these guidelines:


1.       1-3 linked web pages with text/media layout


2.       Works Cited page (MLA formatting) –hyperlinks to Internet sources


3.       Parenthetical citations


4.       2 or 3-dimensional enhancements (audio, video, photos, charts, graphs, illustrations, maps, etc)2-dimensional enhancements (photos, charts, graphs, illustrations, maps, etc) –hyperlinked or embedded


5.       Submit the link to your web page for the assignment or attach HTML pages


·         Adding media enhancements to make your presentation interesting.


·         Using embedded quotations with MLA citations in your presentation (A minimum of 6 quotations).


·         Using paraphrased and summarized information with MLA citations.


·         Having a Works Cited Page that uses MLA formatting (At least 3 sources – 1 must be a primary source).


7.      Imagine yourself on a cold day alone in the house, waiting for the phone to ring. The snow coming down outside is fantastic, acting like a huge magnifying glass for your emotions. There is no way to capture this moment, no way to explain these feeling except with poetry.


·         Poetry starts with an emotion, an image, an event, or an impression. Imagine the moment you want to capture as a giant block of ice. The poem is beneath the shapelessness. Your job is to use the tools of sound, structure and figurative language to make the poem take shape so others can share that moment or feeling with you. Read the following directions.


What You Have Accomplished


What You Need to Accomplish




8.      Turn on your radio, iPod, or Zune. Check out a new band, buy a CD, or open a browser window to Pandora radio. Music is all around us. We love to listen to it, sing with it, and dance to it. All our memories can be tied back to songs that we played around the time of the event, and every couple has their song. Go ahead and listen to your favorite song. Chances are it has lyrics. Go online and look up those lyrics. What do they look like on the page?


You got it? Lyrics and songs are…(wait for it)…poetry.


Poetry is not just words on the page. Poetry is also meant to be an auditory experience, a feast for the ears (and mind). Now that you have written a poem and read some the poems from your peers, it’s time to take your poetry to the next level. You get to make your words sing. For the following activity, either use the poem you wrote for the Poetic Justice Discussion or write a new one.


·    Read your poem out loud into a recording device.  Record it several different ways: use different tones of voice, experiment with the dynamics (getting louder and softer), play music behind your poem, or read at different tempos.  Be creative.


·    Find the auditory/vocal performance that best fits with the meaning of your poem.  Record it in Mp3 format.


·    Post the audio file to the Poetry in Motion Discussion.


9.      How many times have you watched American Idol? It has become one of the most popular shows in the country. Families tune in week after week to see how each of the performers evolve and improve. Imagine that you are one of the contestants, and the audio you submitted to the Poetry in Motion Discussion was your audition tape. You have been accepted as a contestant. The next performance you will do will be on the American Idol stage with millions of people tuned in. Here is your assignment:


·    Examine the reviews your peers provided in the Peer Review Discussion.


·    Revise your poem to make it stronger, more focused, more concise.  Carefully consider the structure, sound, and figurative language you have used to enhance your poem.


·    Listen to your “audition” recording to see what you did well and what you can improve.


·    Make a “performance” recording that really shows off your poem.  You can either audio or video record your performance.


·    Write a paragraph or two that describes your inspiration and why you decided to perform your poem the way you did.


10.  You are sitting at the biggest concert of the year with all your friends. This band is the music of your generation. You scan the crowd, and everyone is dressed like they shop at the same store. It is comforting to be part of a group, one of the crowd, embracing the mainstream culture. But sometimes you are sitting in the crowd, and you feel out of place. You want to be different. This too is part of the human condition. People who rebel against the mainstream culture and start their own traditions in music, art, and values, start what we call countercultures. For this activity you will enjoy discovering something about two or three countercultures that interest you. To do this:


1.      Select an author from one of the subcultures listed below (or another subculture you are aware of) and read/annotate one or more works by that author.


·         Beat generation (Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Frank O’Hara)


·         Hippies (Richard Bach, Terrence McKenna, Hunter S. Thomson, Jim Morrison, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan)


·         Feminists (Joni Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Louise Erdrich, Erica Jong, Barbara Kingsolver)


·         Generation X (Douglas Copeland, Jay McInerny, Chuck Palahniuk )


·         Hip-hop (Tupac Shakur, Sister Souljah, LL Cool Jay, Queen Latifah, Beastie Boys




2.    Select an author from a different subculture listed above (or another subculture you are aware of) and read/annotate one or more works by that other author.


3.    (Optional) Select an author from a third subculture listed above (or another subculture you are aware of) and read/annotate one or more works by that author.


4.    Using this Venn graphic organizer , outline the similarities and differences between the subcultures based on what the literature tells you about them. List details of one piece of literature on the left and the other on the right. In the middle, list the details common to both pieces of literature. List at least 12 points of contrast and at least 6 points of comparison on your diagram. Consider carefully:


















•Descriptions of characters


•Plot events




·         In a paragraph or two, draw conclusions about how literature defines any culture (or in this case counterculture). What tools do authors have that make them able to portray the essence of their culture?


·         Create a Works Cited page using MLA format that lists your sources.




11.   Open your favorite magazine or web magazine: Spin, Sports Illustrated, Ebony, Rolling Stone, Us, Seventeen. Which celebrity is being interviewed in the latest issue? Turn on the television to a crime drama: CSI, Law and Order, or NCIS. See if you notice the cops or lawyers interviewing witnesses and suspects. Even the Internet offers its version of the interview with IM and Chat rooms.




Interviews are a primary source that provides a unique perspective and level of interaction that other research lacks. Conducting a good interview is not as easy as it looks, though, which is why good interviewers make a lot of money. What those people know is that the secret to a good interview is in the preparation. In this activity, you are going to go face to face with someone in your life who is part of a unique subculture. Your goal is to focus the interview so you can dig up all the dirt you can on their subculture, using all you have learned about the aspects of cultures and subcultures.




First, find someone interesting who represents a subculture.




Once you have an interview subject in mind, follow these steps for preparing an interview




·         Research the subject you will discuss and the person you will interview to get background for your interview (use your background knowledge, the Internet, the library, and your personal contacts to fill you in on your subject. What can you find out on your own about this subculture?) Keep notes and source cards so you can create a report later.


·         The name of the person and subculture (subject) of your interview.


·         A list of 10 facts (your interview subject may not agree with these) about the subculture from your research (not from the interview).


·         A list of 10 facts (your interview subject may not agree with these either) about the person you will interview.


·         A list of 10 open-ended focused interview questions in the order you plan to present them.


·         The date/time/location you will conduct your interview.






12.  Give some thought to how you will present your finished interview to an audience. You may want to have someone else video-record your presentation, or you may want to take photos for a print layout. Look as some options below to decide how you will present your interview. You will choose one of these formats for your assignment. (Click each link to see a real life example.)


·         You may choose to present your interview in a magazine format. You can choose the best parts of the interview to go with photos and add commentary before and after the interview. Example:


This article must be 750–1000 words, written in script format.  Before and after the article, you must include a paragraph or two of commentary and analysis that will spin the interview for the audience. You must also include a photo layout (2–5 pictures) that enhances the article visually.




·         You may choose a newspaper format and make the subject (the interviewee) the focus of the story, embedding direct quotes from the interview into the text of the article. Some examples:   


                       This article must be 500-750 words, written in paragraph form with                    embedded quotes. The analysis/commentary is the focus, with the interview proving your points. At least 50% of the text should be direct quotes. Include a single photo to enhance the article visually.




·         You may choose a radio talk show format. You can present an audio recording of the interview with a spoken introduction and conclusion. Some examples:


                          Audio interviews should be edited to be 3-5 minutes in length. You will be expected to include your commentary/analysis in the actual interview. Your focus and spin will be evident in the question you ask, how you respond to the answers, and how you phrase the questions. You must also include an introduction and a conclusion to the interview.




·         You may choose a late-night talk show format and video tape the interview. You can edit it and add commentary if you have the skills (Note: this is an option for those already having the video skills to complete the assignment, as the skills are not taught in this course). Some examples:


                           Videos should be edited to be 3-5 minutes in length. You will be expected to include your commentary/analysis in the actual interview. Your focus and spin will be evident in the sections you include and how you phrase the questions. You must also include an introduction and a conclusion to the interview.




13.   One of the things you will do again and again during a job search is to answer questions about yourself. You will do it in interviews and on application forms. You will do it on your résumé. If you are applying to college, you will also provide comparable information.




           It is a good idea to keep an ongoing and updated list of factual information so it is available instantly when you need it. Your list should include:


           Names and dates of the schools you attended


           Information about your academic program


           Addresses where you lived


           Jobs you have held


           The names of your supervisors


           Reasons for leaving jobs


           Honors you have received in school or at work


           After-school activities at school


           Community service activities


           Non-school related activities, such as travel sports


           Your social security number


           Special skills you have mastered on your own or in school


           Names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of at least three   references   (with their prior approval) you will use




14.   When you were a little kid, did your parents teach you that please and thank you were magic words? Turns out they were right. In the workplace, manners do matter, and they really help you stand out from the crowd.


That’s why it’s a good idea, in the week after your interview, to send a thank you note to the person who took time to talk with you. Sending a note will also help your interviewer remember you and might prompt them to give you more consideration for the position.


Sending an email or a text isn’t a good idea. Even these days, nothing impresses people more than a handwritten note. What should you say in the note? First, address the interviewer by title and name: Dear Mrs. Jamison. Remember to write in the same respectful, formal tone you used in your interview.


Say what a pleasure it was to meet the interviewer and how much you appreciated her taking the time to tell you more about her company and how you might fit into the open position. Mention something you liked about the company. Then end by saying that you’re excited about the prospect of working for the company and are available for further interviews, if needed.


End by thanking the interviewer one more time, and signing your name after a respectful closing, such as Sincerely or Yours Truly.


The language and friendly tone you use in your thank you note also gives the employer an example of the communication skills you would be able to use on the job. Writing the note doesn’t guarantee you the job, of course, but it can’t hurt.




15.   You just finished seeing a movie with a group of friends, and you are all standing in the lobby talking about the film. Some people in the group insist the film was a horror flick, and a bad one at that. Others argue that it was a thriller, and a great one, with lots of heart-pounding suspense. These people are judging the film based on the criteria of the genre they each believe the film fits into.




In this course you have analyzed literature using the criteria of several different schools of criticism or analysis including: Historical, Aesthetic, Cultural, Reader Response, and Jungian. The chart below gives a review by outlining the definition and characteristics of each of these types of criticism. In this writing assignment, you are going to analyze a single story through the lens of two different types of analysis.




16.   Every person on this planet has a unique story about his or her path or their journey so far. Expressive writing is all about expressing the self, but the audience is important too. You need to find a hook and a central image to hold your readers. You need to make your experience matter to the audience. In this unit we have analyzed examples of expressive writing that reached out to us with humor, emotion, and deep truths. Now it is your turn to share your story. So . . . tell us about yourself! To do:


·         Select a means of expression for your finished story (choose one):


·         A blog (At least five 100-word entries; submit the link to your instructor and invite your classmates).


·         A humorous monologue/essay (You may video or audio record this [minimum three minutes] or submit it as a 500 to 750-word essay.).


·         An emotional personal narrative (Submit it as a 500 to 750-word essay.).


·         A series of poems (The poems must be first person, tied together thematically, and expressing real experiences. Review the poetry unit to avoid writing poems devoid of imagery and substance.).


·         A letter (Choose someone to address the letter to, your birth mother, the grandmother you never met, your future self, your future children. 500 to 700 words).


·         A journal (At least five 100-word entries. Avoid the temptation to chronicle you daily life unless your daily life is wildly unique and exciting. You must have a focus.).


·         Decide upon a focus, central idea, theme, message, or unifying concept that tells readers about you.


·         Decide upon an organizational pattern for your story (choose one):


·         Linear plot development.


·         Spiral plot development.


·         Parallel plot development.


·         Pyramid plot development.


·         Write your story (minimum 500 words).




17.   At school, you and a dozen of your friends have been busted for a minor infraction hardly worth mentioning. The sentence comes down unjustly harsh: a week’s detention with the nastiest sub in the school district. That afternoon, you all file into detention, heads down, feet dragging. At the door you are forced to relinquish your cell phones, Gameboys, iPods, and computers. Stripped of your dignity and bereft, you are escorted to a seat miles from anyone else and handed a piece of paper and a pencil. Then a menacing voice booms from the front of the room:




“Welcome to my world! I own you for the next five days, and trust me it won’t be a vacation spa! You will not speak, look at, smell, or taste anything but the misery of guilt and regret in this room! Should you choose to assert yourselves against my authority in any way, your sentence will be automatically extended…indefinitely! But to show you that I am not without a modicum of mercy I will release one of you after one day.”




At this, heads rise from the desks and hope shimmers in sidelong glances that the prisoners pass from desk to desk.




“Like the king who kept Scheherazade, if I like your story I will spare you. You have 750 words to tell a story that will thrill me, chill me, or turn my mind inside out. I want at least one unique character with a quirk.  I want an object that serves as the controlling image or symbol.  I want humor, irony, or a twist ending.  I want a message, and make it good! Use poetic, fresh, atmospheric language and spare me the clichés, please.”






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