Writing Web Quest!! Ms. Davis English
Directions! • Each of you will read about the 5 types of informative writing (research papers, analytical essays, summaries, descriptive pieces, or literary analyses) so you are aware of what they are. I will then provide you with five different samples of writing and you will choose which type each piece, and write your answers on a separate sheet of paper. Then when it is time for you to write your own informative piece, you will have an idea of which type you would like to compose. Please bring me your answers when you are finished, and have fun!
Research Papers • A research paper uses your own ideas, usually arguing a side or analyzing a topic, with support from books, magazines, or other sources • To properly write a research paper: • Pick a topic and a side • Gather sources and conduct research on all sides of your topic • Organize your information into a well constructed paper • Create a works cited page, giving credit to the sources you used to gather information • To cover all sides of a complete topic, a research paper tends to be a long paper
Analytical Essays • An analytical essay analyzes another piece of writing, whether it is fiction or nonfiction • To analyze a story, novel, essay, or any other piece of literature, you need to break it down into parts • For a work of fiction: Find a use of symbolism, what message was the author trying to send? • For a nonfiction piece: What point was the author trying to make? Do you agree with them?
Summaries • A summary is a way to condense another piece of writing in your own words • When writing a summary, you must write as if the person reading it has not read the other piece of writing. That means you must have a full understanding to complete a full explanation • A summary needs to be objective instead of subjective. Do NOT put your own personal feelings into it
Descriptive Pieces • A descriptive piece of writing includes a clear and elaborate description of people, places, events, objects, etc. • Appeals to the five sense: touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell • Includes many details • Goal is to make the reader feel as if they are at the place, have met the person, have attended the event, or have seen the object you are writing about
Literary Analyses • A literary analysis makes you think about why or how a separate piece of writing was written • Analyses and explains why the author made the choices they did, what point were they trying to convey, what was the meaning of the piece of writing • Includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion
Use what you read! • Now it is time to apply what you just read about! The next five slides are sample pieces of writing. It is your job to identify what type of the five you just read about that it is. Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper. Don’t be afraid to look back to the power point if you get confused. Once you’re done, you will be able to check your work. Make sure to hand in your answers for credit and good luck!
Example 1 • Scout and Jem Finch are growing up in the tired old Alabama town of Maycomb. Their father, Atticus, is the local lawyer and as a single parent tries to raise his children with honor and respect to their individualism. With the Depression on times are hard, and there is no money to be found anywhere in town. To amuse themselves Scout, Jem, and their best friend Dill begin a relentless campaign during their summertimes to get Boo Radley, their reclusive, legendary neighbor, to come out of his house. They concoct endless schemes and even go so far as to create a play that details Boo's life. Atticus forbids them to have anything to do with Mr. Radley, urging them to let the poor man be. Atticus is a good man, and one day takes on a case that affects him personally. A black man, Tom Robinson, is accused of beating and raping a white woman, MayellaEwell. Most of the county is convinced immediately that Tom is guilty of the crime, and begin to look at Atticus in a very negative way for actually defending him and trying to do right by him. Scout and Jem begin to get tormented over their father at school, and Atticus begs them not to get riled up over the town's prejudice. As the trial begins it becomes apparent to Scout and Jem that there is no way that Tom Robinson could have beaten and raped MayellaEwell, as his left hand is crippled. Atticus proves that to the jury, and Scout and Jem are astonished when Tom is slapped with a guilty verdict anyway. They begin to realize that many people in town are very prejudiced against blacks, and their hearts are saddened by it. It is hard for them to understand how people can be so mean to each other, and they both begin to see that, even in court where things are supposed to be unbiased, men's hearts bring in their own hatreds. It isn't much longer that Tom is shot and killed for trying to escape while in prison. Jem especially takes the whole affair hard, and it takes him a long time to come to grips with the jury's decision, and Tom's death. After the trial has died down Bob Ewell, Mayella's father, begins threatening Atticus for embarrassing him in court, and resolves that he'll get him back one way or another. Atticus is convinced that he's all talk, and passes it off as such. Time crawls past, and finally Bob Ewell is good to his word and attacks the children Halloween night with a knife. He breaks Jem's arm and almost kills Scout, but Boo Radley, of all people, comes to their rescue and saves them. The sheriff, Heck Tate, hushes the whole thing over so Boo Radley will not be dragged into the spotlight, and Scout is thrilled to finally get to meet the man they for so long fantasized about. As she walks him back home, she realizes that all this time he was watching them from his front porch windows, and just for a little while she is able to stand in his shoes.
Example 2 Is love purely a feeling – or something more? If each person’s interpretation of love is unique, then how do we know what someone is saying when they say “I love you”? In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, we watch the romantic tragedy of the mysterious Jay Gatsby and beautiful Daisy Buchanan through the eyes of Nick, a common friend and young businessman. Their story would make anyone reconsider what love really means. Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby to show that in relationships, love or compassion does not necessarily imply a sense of commitment to a person, and vice versa. Tom Buchanan is a grown up version of your typical high school jock. He’s big and strong, but no too smart. He’s married to Daisy, but is actively having an affair with a woman named Myrtle Wilson. This relationship is filled with irony: Daisy is beautiful and charming, while Myrtle is neither. It is also ironic that Tom still feels some sort of commitment to his wife, even while with Myrtle. At a party in Manhattan, when a drunken Myrtle cries out, “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!... I’ll say it whenever I want to!” (p. 41) Tom actually gets so angry that he strikes her and breaks her nose. Even while choosing to be with Myrtle over his wife, he feels the need to protect his wife. It actually seems that he cares for both women, but does not feel committed to either. This theme against commitment is not just connected with the main characters. Fitzgerald portrays it as the common behavior for many married couples during the 1920s, when the book is set. Nick, attending one of Gatsby’s elaborate parties, notices that “most of the remaining women were now having fights with men said to be their husbands.” (p. 56) One such husband “was talking with a curious intensity to a young actress, and his wife after attempting to laugh at the situation in a dignified and indifferent way broke down entirely and resorted to flank attacks…” (p. 56) Flirtation and even pursuit of other relationships, even in the presence of one’s spouse, is common in the world Fitzgerald creates. But why would someone cheat on the person they had vowed to love for eternity? It again brings up the point that their love and commitment do not always go hand in hand, so to speak. The main affair that takes place in the book is between Daisy and Gatsby. Having been separated for years, their new time together is truly magical for both of them. Both Daisy and Tom attend a party at Gatsby’s home. Nick watches Gatsby and Daisy dance with each other: “I remembered being surprised by his graceful, conservative fox trot – I had never seen him dance before. Then they sauntered over to my house and sat on the steps for a half hour while at her request I remained watchfully in the garden…” (p. 112) Daisy leaves Tom for a long period of the evening to be with Gatsby, a man Tom doesn’t even know really anything about. Neither Gatsby nor Daisy appear to care much about the suspiciousness and bluntness of their behavior. This attitude intensifies later in the book when Gatsby is at Daisy’s, and as Tom leaves the room, “she got up and went over to Gatsby, and pulled his face down, kissing him on the mouth.” (p. 122) She is not afraid to show public affection toward Gatsby, even so close to her husband. This is because although she has vowed her commitment to her husband, she really seems to love Gatsby, and not Tom. Finally, the love triangle has it out. Daisy confesses to Tom that she loves Gatsby, not him. And for a moment, it seems that Gatsby has won. He will keep Daisy. But then Gatsby insists on hearing that she never loved Tom – that, in effect, commitment and love can be entirely separate. She was committed to Tom, but always loved Gatsby. This is where Fitzgerald gets tricky with his theme: he doesn’t let commitment and love get entirely separated. Daisy admits she had once had feelings for Tom; she’d loved them both. “You loved me too?” (p. 133) Gatsby asks, looking as if he’d been punched in the stomach. It turns out, while love and commitment are not necessarily connected, keeping them entirely separated is like going outside and not getting dirty. You can’t count on it. Later, Gatsby in the passenger seat, Daisy runs over Tom’s mistress, Myrtle, killing her. Gatsby says he’s willing to take the blame for her – “Of course I’ll say I was [driving],” he tells Nick. Yet despite a night-long vigil outside her window, he never gets so much as a thank you from her. In fact, he gets killed for his troubles, when Mr. Wilson takes his revenge – and she does not even attend his funeral. This was the man who, days earlier, she “loved.” She and Tom leave town, retreating into their “vast carelessness” and heading to “wherever rich people go to be together,” according to Nick’s bitter observations. There is such a thing as commitment. Recently, thousands of people in New Orleans waited out floodings, lootings and other hardships out of a commitment to their sense of home. Similar sacrifices have been made since time began, by parents, soldiers, lovers and “saints.” But commitment needs an object – one is committed to something; to simply “be committed” is actually a euphemism for going crazy and getting sent to a mental institution! Daisy turned out to be committed not to love, in the end, but to her own riches and comfort. If you are to fall in love with someone, Fitzgerald is suggesting with Gatsby, you should make sure your lover is committed to you. Or else you are what Gatsby turned out to be – and what Daisy once said she hoped her daughter would be, in this cruel, noncommittal world: a fool.
Example 3 The kitchen held our lives together. My mother worked in it all day long, we ate in it almost all meals except the Passover seder, I did my homework and first writing at the kitchen table, and in winter I often had a bed made up for me on three kitchen chairs near the stove. On the wall just over the table hung a long horizontal mirror that sloped to a ship's prow at each end and was lined in cherry wood. It took up the whole wall, and drew every object in the kitchen to itself. The walls were a fiercely stippled whitewash, so often rewhitened by my father in slack seasons that the paint looked as if it had been squeezed and cracked into the walls. A large electric bulb hung down the center of the kitchen at the end of a chain that had been hooked into the ceiling; the old gas ring and key still jutted out of the wall like antlers. In the corner next to the toilet was the sink at which we washed, and the square tub in which my mother did our clothes. Above it, tacked to the shelf on which were pleasantly ranged square, blue-bordered white sugar and spice jars, hung calendars from the Public National Bank on Pitkin Avenue and the Minsker Progressive Branch of the Workmen's Circle; receipts for the payment of insurance premiums, and household bills on a spindle; two little boxes engraved with Hebrew letters. One of these was for the poor, the other to buy back the Land of Israel. Each spring a bearded little man would suddenly appear in our kitchen, salute us with a hurried Hebrew blessing, empty the boxes (sometimes with a sidelong look of disdain if they were not full), hurriedly bless us again for remembering our less fortunate Jewish brothers and sisters, and so take his departure until the next spring, after vainly trying to persuade my mother to take still another box. We did occasionally remember to drop coins in the boxes, but this was usually only on the dreaded morning of "midterms" and final examinations, because my mother thought it would bring me luck.
Example 4 • Click here for link to Example 4!
Example 5 • Click here for link to Example 5!
Check your answers! • Example 1: Summary! • Example 2: Literary Analysis! • Example 3: Descriptive Piece! • Example 4: Research Paper! • Example 5: Analytical Essay! Great job everyone! Don’t forget to turn in your answers when finished!