Tag Archives: Position Papers

Week 16… The Focus Paper

30 Nov

IMG_4064-1Your Voice..

Your Identity…

Your Intentions….

On the page.

1A, 2/5/15:

5 Feb

Today, we briefly entertain and explore the idea of ‘sentiment’, having a sentiment and sharing it in writing, as part of your position/paper.  Not to be confused with sentimentality, or being sentimental, of course…  We’ll also revisit Ms. Dickinson and some of her works, two probably, and see what we see, what sentiments are positioned in her very curt but very explosive poems.. then we’ll get into the rubric for this first longer submission, exactly what the assignment calls for:  1 – Thesis and support, examples, consistency (paragraph balance) (10pts); 2 – Voice (10pts); 3 – General Organization (10pts); 4 -Mechanics (10pts); 5 – Word Choice (10pts).  We’ll discuss each of these today but the general element to keep in mind for your first essay is just WRITE!  Use strong, convincing, and definite language, show examples from ‘Road’ to support your argument (your THESIS), and you’ll have a submittable paper.

Dickinson.  What kinds of facts have we gathered (homework)?  What is your impression of her (homework)?  What poems did you find (homework)?  Keep an open mind with Ms. Dickinson like you did Kerouac, be exploratory with her life and her fears and subject matter.  This will be, what you find on Ms. Dickinson, your first outside sources and research conducted before we venture into Ms. Plath’s Bell Jar.

Please have a fully completed draft for workshopping on Tuesday.. Thursday we have no class so final drafts will be submitted Tuesday the 10th.. “Live or die, but don’t poison everything.” -Anne Sexton

My Typed Notes for the Last 2 Sessions…..

28 Aug

8/25/14– session — “Piled” [thoughts, emotions, beliefs, urges…]

quote:  “Either move or be moved.” -Ezra Pound

word:  ethos: the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc…

LIFE, there’s nothing in the still, and I should connect the discouragement from summarizing to lifelessness, “You’re not talking,” I’l say, “the author is.  In this class.. the power’s with the reader!”

you can sense not just the shedding of convention in his writing but just as well the urgency– he needs to get this done, this manuscript and others– death is on his mind

the writer thinks

the writer suffers

the writer lives

the writer writes, and writes until all’s lit, Lit–

 Not that there’s no concern, just an adjusted concern…

Plains, something new.. this is the newness that not only writers seek but we as Human being HUNTED; need, hunger for.. die without (passion and/or cause, a cause) 

This MS demands an intimate read as the writing is intimate, confessional in nature and sequence.

We consider Kerouac differently than other novelists, as a Beat, walking and/or writing to his own Beat.. [quote, pg 9, “My aunt was all in accord…”] She wanted him to come back in one piece, but what if he doesn’t, I think as the reader.. more on that later…

There’s a sense of being lost but for a purpose, to escape and to be free, away from confines of common modalities, clock-punching and such… [pg 16: “We got bored.  I decided to spend a buck on beer…”]

-pg 41..”We’re trying to communicate with absolute honesty and absolute completeness everything on our minds.” I see this as being one of Kerouac theses in this novel.. he as a writer and his character, Sal, aim for some sort of sense of togetherness.  Many readers can only relate to that.. we aim for Equilibrium, a Collective Equilibrium that defines us and binds all that we are, to our ideas and convictions as well.  This can not be assigned by an outside body, and much any outside body would like to.  We determine WE…

Dean:  Lost?  Found?  Reckless?  Mentor?  Or destructive character?  Where will he lead Sal (do you think)?

HW:  Read to/through page 59.. note in journal…


8/27/14 — “Pulchritudinous”

def:  ‘physically beautiful’

Look for beauty in this manuscript, in the writing, in your intimate read of Kerouac’s text.. where is the actual beauty, where is the intended beauty?

Characters and what they say to each other, their “relationships”

-beauty in people, places, things…

harken:  another word for listen (49)

characterization of Dean and Carlo:  changing?  Staying the same?

What are YOU, the reader, relating to?

-metaphoric mentioning, ‘the machine’ (49)

“very amazing maniacs..” How true!

-”What gloom, what gloom…absolutely great.” (52)

“I was itching to get to SF..” (56)

“Everything seemed to be collapsing.” (56)

What are we seeing in Sal’s character?  Do we see an evolution or a devolution?  And the company he keeps, what does that do to him?  Also, what I’m curious about, your thoughts that it, is the relationship between Dean & Carlo.  Yes, you could say they’re opposites, but I offer they’re more than that.  WHAT?.. would you say…

Another prompt, possibly for a paper in the future:  How is my interpretation of ‘The Road’ and being high on ‘The Road’ holding up?  What is this book about?  What’s the point?  Why read it at all?  Where are its universal points and promises and visions and therapies? 

For me as a reader, Kerouac is yes as I said providing confessional accounts of his years of travel but as well offering appreciation, a novelization of the moments that we often disregard.. they have meaning!  He’d say, I’m sure.  They add to our collective character.  That, very much, is beauty, a piling of beauty and of ideas and of thoughts that separate and free us from any body that wishes to hold and capture us.  Who wouldn’t want to be ‘on The Road’?

HW:  60-155

mandatory blog activity.. I will be posting prompts over the next week, probably around three.. please log any observations, thoughts or reactions to characters, places, symbols, the notion of travel, anything we’ve discussed or that you’ve noticed!  Please use your journals!  They act as the tablet within which you log all your these findings..

Enjoy your day off on Monday, of course, but please keep with your reading.  We’re already approaching the halfway marker in this book and need to maintain our collective and individualized paces.

ENGLISH 100, 3/26/14 [Wednesday]

26 Mar

Today’s session will be divided into 8 portions: 1, reorientation: where we are, where we’re going, what our next assignment is; 2, the last readings: what’s the issue, the sides, what you think.. etc…; 3, groups, discuss your topics, proposals.. engage each other in discussion, and dare I say “debate”; 4, revisit, take notes…; 5, submitted proposals…..; 6, how to build an argument, balance out logic vs emotion.. useful language; 7, and we start our writing, actually putting out arguments on paper.. how do we begin? Engage the reader.. make us care in the first paragraph! NO– in the title!!! With this paper, title is most important, more so than with your other submissions!; 8, questions, comments, with what are we walking away, before we start writing?

ENGLISH 100– Topic Proposals

24 Mar

Sorry again for the brief session today. Please post your proposals for the April 7th Position Paper, below. Please also remember to include (1) the “Issue”, or topic, (2) why you’ve selected that particular one [meaning, justify your selection, and do so fiercely], and (3) why we should care. For the actual paper itself, you will be required to cite two (2) outside sources to support your position. I am not requiring you include them in the proposal of your topic, nor am I requiring you state your position. If you want to, that’s fine. But the intention behind the proposal is to simply propose your topic to us, and prepare us for the issue that will be addressed. Good luck, write well, and please be prepared for an energetic, rich, and helpful session come Wednesday.

Loyally Yours,


PS: Also keep in mind that this proposal is separate from and can not be included in the 1,000 words due Monday 4/7/14. Thank you…..