The research papers are ALMOST all in the books. What I have noticed the most:
1. Students are either not copying the MLA citation generated by the AVL database properly OR they are not typing the citation into their Works Cited page correctly. The AVL databases (save one or two) generate the correct citation for you – you just have to copy it exactly as written.
2. Students are not citing their sources in the systematic way proscribed by the MLA format. We have done this before – we practiced different instances of citations when we, as a class, wrote the Shakespeare research paper. Students could look at that paper to see examples; they also could look in their MLA Handbooks for examples on how to cite sources when it is more complicated that just author last name or article title. Also – I answered that question many times in class.
3. Following directions was also a stumbling block. Please refer to the Poet Paper Project page at the top of my website; this contains all the requirements for the paper. Source use was an issue, especially in the 3rd body paragraph, Poem Analysis – which brings me to~
4. Students did not use their time wisely. For at least 3 or 4 weeks, students were given what would equal 3 full class periods per week to work on their papers. The week before the paper was due, students were still looking up biographical information – the first paragraph! Some did not start on the poem analysis until the day before the whole paper was due. I gave soft deadlines – just benchmarks for students to hit – but did not check their work for a grade. In waiting until the last minute to finish the research or start putting the paper together, the students did not have time to polish their papers. Some could have used serious editing as some sentences did not make any sense. Some papers need basic formatting help – such as having all citations in the same font.
5. I have a few take-aways for myself from this assignment and this quarter in general. Many students still rely on getting a grade for every little step in order to complete an assignment on time – even though they are juniors and need to get beyond getting a grade for small assignments or tasks. It is a process, but I need to help guide them more on that. I also have come to the conclusion that I should not allow students to listen to their own music during research/work time because I believe many were more concerned about their music than research. I am also disappointed because, in giving students so much time to work in class, I thought that they would read their assigned novels, answer the reading questions, and be ready for class discussions; many were not. I lowered the Book Talk page requirements for this quarter – some students still did not have any pages to discuss with me the day Book Talks were due.
6. We will have at least one more, smaller, research paper for 4th quarter along with another project that will require research.
Students – for our poetry conference, you will need a printed version of your paper. You are NOT allowed to read from your computer for the presentation. I recommend printing your paper in a larger font size than 12 pt – it will make your paper easier to read. You will be asked to sign up for a presentation date – the conference will be this Thursday and Friday, but it may spill over to Monday of next week. In addition to reading your own paper, you will be asked some questions about your poet. You will also have to ask two questions of your fellow presenters, no more than one per day. Your presentation, your questions, and your behavior throughout the conference will be part of your Poetry Conference grade. This is the rubric I will use: Poetry Conference Rubric.
We will start Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton next Tuesday. You MUST have the book by then if you do not already. This novel was on your book list at the beginning of the year. ISBN: 743262174. All the page numbers I use will be from this edition.
HONORS: Here is a copy of your A Tale of Two Cities project assignment. Due date has been changed to 17 March 2015. Here is a link to Mrs. Mayer’s blog where, half-way down this page, is a tutorial on Haiku Deck done by our very own Logan Stevens.