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Cover Letter [in place of warm-up]:. Reflect on your writing and revising process. Be informal and as honest as you can. (You can begin your letter, “Dear Laurel,”) What was it like for you? How was it similar or different from writing you’ve done in the past?

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cover letter in place of warm up
Cover Letter [in place of warm-up]:
  • Reflect on your writing and revising process. Be informal and as honest as you can. (You can begin your letter, “Dear Laurel,”)
    • What was it like for you?
    • How was it similar or different from writing you’ve done in the past?
    • Do you feel you know what it means to “close read” or to engage in “close analysis of a text”?
    • What makes for a strong body paragraph? A strong thesis statement?
    • What do you hope to work on in our next essay?
agenda for class
Agenda for Class:
  • Paragraph Activity
  • Discuss Techniques of Literature
  • Close Reading Activity
  • Looking forward to Unit 2 and Assignment 2.1
sample paragraph
Sample Paragraph
  • Edmundson chooses to open his essay with self-criticism to both establish trust with the reader and lay a foundation for what behavior should be desirable within the educational arena. First, Edmundson gains his readers' trust by demonstrating his own shortcomings, priming them to temper what could be an indignant response to his later criticisms. Edmundson admits that he has tried to use entertainment as a “lead-in to stronger stuff” (279), but “the affability and the one-liners often seem to be all that land with the students”; this essay is his attempt to reflect back on his own method. Edmundson further establishes trust through a description of his students' reviews of his teaching and his own reaction to them. He somewhat hesitantly admits, “I do not much like the image of myself that emerges from these forms... When someone says she ‘enjoyed’ the course... I feel encroaching self-dislike” (278-9). The word “encroaching” reverses the associations we have with the student’s “enjoyment,” suggesting that there is something ominous in all of this seemingly positive feedback. By further elaborating on these undesirable traits – being “interesting,” “relaxed,” and “tolerant” (278) – while implying desirable ones – honesty, self-reflection, individuality, and rigorous self-improvement – Edmundson constructs a framework for self-evaluation, hoping that this will prime his readers to respond appropriately (with self-reflection and honesty) to his criticisms of them. He thus establishes criticism itself as a necessary process of learning. This frames his later potentially-estranging critique of his students as a demonstration of his respect for those who can withstand criticism and respond to it constructively.
introduction to the short story
Introduction to the Short Story
  • What do you think of when you hear the word “literature”?
  • How is fiction different than non-fiction or argumentative essays? How do fictional texts—and the short story in particular—make meaning differently than argumentative essays? What can a short story do that the essays we’ve read thus far in our class, can’t?
some literary strategies
Some Literary “Strategies”
  • Plot or Narrative Logic
  • Character & Characterization
  • Imagery: Simile & Metaphor
  • Narrative Voice
    • Who gets to tell the story? What kind of voice is it?
    • Not to be confused with dialogue
  • Tone
from a good man is hard to find
From “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
  • The grandmother didn't want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennes- see and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey's mind. Bailey was the son she lived with, her only boy. He was sitting on the edge of his chair at the table, bent over the orange sports section of the Journal. "Now look here, Bailey," she said, "see here, read this," and she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head. "Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience if I did.”
  • Bailey didn't look up from his reading so she wheeled around then and faced the children's mother, a young woman in slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on the top like rabbit's ears. She was sitting on the sofa, feeding the baby his apricots out of a jar. "The children have been to Florida before," the old lady said. "You all ought to take them somewhere else for a change so they would see different parts of the world and be broad. They never have been to east Tennessee."
assignments for the week
Assignments for the Week
  • Read: Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People.” Also read Kate Chopin, “Story of an Hour.” For Chopin, go to: Read through all the links.
  • Write: Assignment 2.1. Choose a passage to close read from any of the three short stories.