File Not Found
File Not Found

Download the prompt and sources by clicking on the assignment name above. This essay will be written in class on Friday. You may prepare for it as extensively as you wish at home. You may bring notes or an annotated copy of the packet with you to class on Friday, but you may not bring a completed draft.

2. Poetry Explication

Due: Friday, October 2
Download and read the documents attached below for more information on writing an explication.

3. Timed Essay #2 (Argument)

Due: To be completed in class on Monday, October 5 Thursday, October 8
Download the file attached below for information on writing the argument essay and for sample quotes to use for practice response.

4. Rebuttal Essay

Due: Thursday, October 22 (Rough Draft); Monday, October 26 (Final Draft)
File Not Found
File Not Found

5. Timed Essay #3

Due: To be completed in class on Wednesday, October 28
This essay will be a rhetorical analysis essay. You will be require read an argument and analyze the author's use of rhetoric. All reading and writing will be done in the 45-minute class period. Your focus should be on creating a clear and meaningful analysis, not necessarily a long one. This will be a chance to directly apply the analysis skills you exercised the week prior during the group project.


1. Be Prepared for Synthesis Essay on Tuesday, Sept. 8

See "Major Essays" above for more information.

2. Complete Grammar Diagnostic

Due: Tuesday, September 8
Here are the steps for completing our grammar diagnostic:
  • Go to
  • Create an account
  • Enter class code fdx4w8c4
  • Select "Grammar Diagnostic" and complete all questions to the best of your ability
This is a completion grade only.

3. Reading Journal 1: Native American Mythology

Due: Tuesday, September 15
This will be our first of six reading journal assignments of the year. These journals will take many different forms, but they are all multi-day assignments that require you to pace yourself over multiple days and make your own decisions about time management.

For this first journal, you must write 4 separate entries:
  • Journal Entry 1: Read the essay Mythological and Archetypal Approaches and write a brief reflection (1-2 well-developed paragraphs) on the concept of archetype. You might explain how specific parts of the essay made the concept of archetype clear to you, identify archetypes present in the world around you, and/or consider how archetypal awareness can help you to better understand your world. Refer to at least three of the specific examples of archetypes described in the second section of the essay.
  • Journal Entries 2-4: Read the excerpt from The Book of the Hopi, as well as any 2 other myths or chants of your choice from the list below. For each reading, create a journal entry with two parts:
    • Reading Notes : Write your thoughts down as you read. You may make personal, analytical, or critical comments. You do not have to categorize your comments; stream-of-consciousness commentary is acceptable and even desirable. These comments might focus on elements such as…
      • Repeated items (motifs) and their possible significance
      • Storyteller’s use of literary devices, such as metaphor, personification, etc. and their significance
      • Plot development and narrative turning points
      • Author's/narrator's tone and significant tone shifts
      • Personal reactions to events and characters, including likes and dislikes
      • Unfamiliar words and terms
      • Identification of the author’s personal/cultural values
      • Final note: You should feel free to observe similarities to other stories that you already know (the Biblical creation narrative, for example), but do not make the mistake of treating similarity as sameness. Any comparison that you note should be the beginning point for a meaningful discussion of differences.
    • Reflection & Analysis: Using more formal language, compose a response of 1-2 well-developed paragraphs in which you reflect on the overall purpose and meaning of the reading selection. Comment on general themes, moral messages, or meaningful cultural beliefs and practices—really any aspects of the selection that you see as most significant. You should use material from your reading notes to illustrate your discussion, but be sure that you do not merely repeat those observations in paragraph form. You must also make at least one reference to either this essay on mythic motifs or this essay on naturalistic imagery in each reflection.


4. Syntax Analysis 1 (Corn Mother)

Assigned in class
Due: Thursday, September 17

5. Joseph Campbell on Myth and Human Life

Assigned in class
Due: Friday, September 18

Read pp. 1-4 of the essay on Campbell's work (click on the link in the title to download). Take reading notes on the content of the essay, taking special care to note the four central features of a functioning myth on page 2. Then identify a living myth in the world around you and write a brief essay in which you compare that contemporary myth against a Native American myth. You must use some specific aspect of Campbell's theory as the basis of comparison. You will turn in your reading notes and essay together in class on Friday.

File Not Found
File Not Found

Due: Friday, September 25

Download the handout linked to the title above. Follow all directions closely. Associated texts are listed below. A warning: the De Vaca passage is notably longer than the others, so budget your time accordingly.

This file contains both of the Columbus letters (entries 1 and 2), as well as the required De Vaca passage (entry 3).

This file contains both of the texts required for comparison in entry 4.

7. Plato's Allegory of the Cave

Due: Monday, September 28
Download the file linked to the title above. Read the Allegory and answer all questions in the section labeled "Understanding the Text." Only complete assignments with well-developed responses will be considered for extra credit.

8. William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation

Due: Monday, September 28
Download the document attached to the title above. Read all required sections and answer the reading questions listed below:

Note: The document that was originally posted with this homework did not contain the full excerpt for the reading questions below. The issue has been resolved and the link above will now download the right text. If you downloaded the text before 3:15 on Sunday, you will want to delete your old copy and download the new one.

1. The Puritans wrote in what is known as the plain style, which valued simple syntax and understatement as evidence of the writer's honesty. While much of Bradford's syntax appears complex by our standards, look for evidence of the plain style. Provide two examples and discuss the rhetorical effect or significance of each.

2. According to Bradford, what specific experiences motivate the Puritans to leave England? Identify at least three.

3. How do the Puritans' experiences in Holland compare to their old lives in England? Support your answer with at least one figurative statement that Bradford uses to reinforce the comparison.

4. Identify two biblical images or allusions that Bradford employs in the excerpts from Chapters 1 and 4. What is the rhetorical effect of these items? (You may need to search the internet to check and see if a name or place that he uses is from the Bible. Make sure to cite your sources.)

6. Why does the anecdote of the profane seaman seem to receive special attention from Bradford? How is the point of this anecdote reinforced by the following anecdote about John Howland?

7. How does Bradford describe the condition of the Puritans once they arrive on shore at Cape Harbors? What challenges do they face now that the ocean voyage is behind them? How does Bradford reinforce the gravity of these hardships with biblical imagery?

8. Describe the Puritans' various encounters with the local Indian tribes. What does each encounter reveal about the Puritans' point of view? What tone does the narrative take toward the Indians, the Puritans, and the encounters as a whole?

9. Consider the variations in Bradford's tone over the course of the history: although he attempts to strike an objective stance, when does his tone shift away from objective reporting and toward a specific emotion? Provide one example and discuss its rhetorical importance.

9. Syntax Analysis 2

Due: Tuesday, September 29

10. Practice Exam

Due: Thursday, October 1
Download the answer key and use it to check your answers. Mark your paper with a percentage correct and turn it in.

11. Puritan Poetry

Due: Tuesday, September 29
Select one of the poems linked below. Print, read, and annotate a copy as thoroughly as possible. If you can not print, you may take thorough reading notes a separate sheet of paper.

12. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Due: Tuesday, October 6
Read the attached excerpt from Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Then complete a rhetorical outline of Edwards' argument.

For completion of in-class groupwork, select the appropriate link below:

13. Franklin's Autobiography

Due: Friday, October 9
Read the attached excerpt from The Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin and answer the questions in the section labeled "For Study and Discussion."

14. Essay Grading Reflection

Due: Rolling

Write an evaluation of the grade you received on the synthesis essay on education and civil rights. This evaluation should include an attempt to use the language of the rubric to evaluate the score you received. You may also disagree with your grade and provide a rationale to this effect.

15. Thomas Paine's Common Sense

Due: Monday, October 19
Read the attached excerpt from Common Sense and create a rhetorical outline like the one you made for "Sinners."

16. Rough Draft of Rebuttal Essay

Due: Thursday, October 22

17. Prep Reading for Group Project

Due: Tuesday, October 20
Check your group assignment in the menu at the top right hand corner of the home page. Read the file below that corresponds to your assigned author.

18. Small Group Discussion on Revolutionary Texts

Due: Wednesday, October 28
In class on Tuesday, we met in small groups to share the texts that we analyzed last week. If you were absent, you can make this up by meeting with two students who read a text other than the one you annotated. You should listen as they provide an overview of the texts that they annotated, take notes, and then write a brief comparison between one of those texts and the one that you annotated last week. Comparisons should be about 1-2 well-developed paragraphs. You may also feel free to supplement your peers' presentations by reading any of the texts attached above.