lundi 18 mai 2015

Pretty Little Liars - Book 1

Click on the link below to read my responses to Pretty Little Liars (book 1).

Pretty Little Liars - Response

mercredi 6 mai 2015

Literary Circles

We are reading The Kite Runner in class in a literary group. Attached are the responses I have had to the four sections of the book. Please feel free to add your comments.

The Kite Runner Responses



lundi 4 mai 2015

What Makes a Good List?

Lists can be a really fun way to share some information about a topic or to oragnize thoughts or ideas according to a category. They are short and easy to read and usually either make your reader laugh along with you, nod their head in agreement or give something a bit of thought.

Be careful though because a poorly written list is usually abandoned before it is finished if the reader cannot stay interested long enough. Here are a few ideas that LIST the qualities of a great list.


Writing a Review

A review can be used to promote a book, movie, special event or even a product on the market. In class, we went over some of the characteristics of writing a review. Regardless of what you are trying to convince your public to try (or to avoid as the case may be), there are a few ways you can make the review more effective.

You do not need to necessarily use all of these, just the ones you feel will be effective or that will apply to your piece. In this list, I am focusing on the book review but many of these characteristics can equally be applied to other types of reviews. Here are some of the features we came up with during our brainstorming session.

1. Be sure to include the title and author. You may choose to include the year of publication if it is relevant to your review.

2. Talk about the characters if they are the reason the book is worth promoting. Can you relate to them? What makes them special or memorable?

3. Is there something special about the way the book is written? Does the author have a special style or a voice that makes the story come alive?

4. Ask questions. Try to involve your reader to give him or her an idea of what they might think about in this book. Try to help them imagine the circumstances they will encounter in the story. Second person narrative works well with this. Talk directly to your reader.

5. Identify the target audience. Who is the book written for? Who would it appeal to?

6. Give the book a rating. What grade does it deserve? It is not necessary to do this, but it is an option.

7. Talk about the themes from the book. Are there certain themes that may appeal to the reader? Will it appeal to teenagers because of the constant battle they face with finding their identity? Or does it delve into the mysteries of the past, teaching you about history through a fictional story?

8. Your review should be two to three paragraphs. It certainly can be longer, but this is a guideline for your first attempt at a review. The first might talk about the book and the second might focus on your response to what you have read. Be sure to break your ideas into paragraphs and to have at least two of them.

If you feel I should add more ideas to this list, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will be sure to consider them. Thanks for reading. I am looking forward to seeing what you review and which new books I will add to my "Books I Want to Read" list.

Issue Pieces

If we take the words of Austin Powers' father at face value, no one really cares about our issues. Whatever it is that is bothering you is your problem. Go cry about it alone or do something about it. I agree to a certain degree because the world is full enough of belly-achers who do nothing but complain about the state of things, but there is a difference between whining for no purpose and venting to let the facts of the issue unfold before you.

In an issue piece, you are given the chance to rant on about the issue of your choice - and let's face it, we all have them. The difference between belly-aching and venting though is that venting is the first step in processing the problem at hand. With a vent, we are essentially saying these are the conditions that apply to my issue. We need to understand what we are dealing with before we can offer possible solutions to what we feel is the required change.

Once we have done this, an issue becomes less of a complaint and more of a call to attention to something that needs to be addressed. Often, this allows us to reassess our ways and the state of things that define the world we live in. Click on the link below to read about an issue that concerns me. I hope to get feedback from some of you on this subject.

Morals? Who Needs 'Em?

Writing a Letter

This year, we have talked about three types of letters. We have reviewed the personal letter, the business letter and the imaginative letter.

A personal letter is simply a letter we write to a family member or friend to communicate with them. They usually include information such a updates (here's what's going on in your life), questions (wondering what's going on in their life), and a message (such as gratefulness for something they have done or to let them know that you miss them).

     Form: date, greeting or opening salutation (Dear ___,), body (information and messages divided into paragraphs), ending or closing salutation (Love, Sincerely, With friendship, Yours truly, etc), and then a signature.

A business letter is usually used to communicate information about a company or product. They are often in praise or in complaint of something. The information included might be the experience you have had with the company or product, the problem you may have encountered (or the positive effect of the experience), the reason this is important to you, and a request for action (what you would like them to do about it (usually when it is a complaint).

     Form: date, name and address of the company, opening salutation (Dear ___, or To whom it may concern - if you do not know the name of the person to whom you are writing), the body (divided into paragraphs based on information included - see paragraph above), closing salutation, space for signature, name typed beneath the space.

An imaginative letter is one that can be as far fetched as you would like. You can write to a person who has already passed away, to yourself in the past or the future, to an imaginary person (such as a character in a book or movie), to a famous person from history you would really like to have met, or to an animal or thing who normally does not read. It is very similar to a personal letter as they tend to be of a rather personal nature.

     Form: date, you can include a name and address of the imaginary person or place for fun but it is not necessary, opening salutation, body (divided into paragraphs), closing salutation, signature.