English 12 AutoBio Research Paper

February 19, 2013

            Senior research papers can be complicated, annoying, and hazardous to the English grade point average, but they are a necessary part of any senior English class.  The seniors are currently involved in the first topic of a two-part autobio research paper.  This means each student has selected two topics that interest him or her to research.  These topics can be an influence on his or her life, or simply a topic the student wants to learn more about.  We then have used a combination of books and subscription databases to research the topic.  No encyclopedias or web sites were allowed.  The students were required to find three resources, complete a works cited card for each resource, and then read the article, dividing the article into parts or pieces called chunks.  Each chunk has a key word or phrase, and then the student began taking notes over the resource.   Sometimes when we can write in fragments and phrases, students revert to complete sentence form.  The best note forms are fragments and phrases to avoid plagiarism, organize information, and review what has been read.  Our next step begins this week as we create a working outline of our first topic.  The outline follows the Warriner's outline structure, and again, we are using a topic outline with key words or phrases from our note cards.  The writing process will begin later this week, as we take the outline and begin to write the first of our three-page papers.

            Topics of interest to this year's seniors range from adoption to diabetes to child abuse to Project Overlord and the Emancipation Proclamation.  The sky has been the limit on what the students have found interesting or what has had an impact on his or her life.  The first topic of the research paper has been done with instructions and individual deadlines.  The second topic will have an end deadline with resources, note cards, a working outline, and final paper due as one deadline.  This structure gives the student a knowledge of what has to be done, plus creates a situation where each student has to establish individual goals to complete the second topic by the required deadline.  Finally, Albert Einstein once said, "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"  We continue to learn the process and expand our knowledge of writing, reading, and what we enjoy.

The quotation is from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/research.html#g0tOGm0vI9HOvO5z.99


Hungry for The Hunger Games

            Usually the College English II students read All Quiet on the Western Front, but this year's seniors asked if we could read The Hunger Games.  Many of the themes are similar in the two books, so reading The Hunger Games with its anti-dystopian government and the heroic journey seemed to fit some of our long-range goals for the class.  We have also worked on literary devices within the book, symbolism, and the culminating project is a compare/contrast essay of the book and movie.  Some student comments on the book are as follows:


Miguel JaimesThe Hunger Games is a very good book.  I couldn't put it down once I started reading it.  It has you in suspense chapter after chapter.

Kody Kenton:  Once you finish the first book, you will be craving the second book.

Francisco RodriguezThe Hunger Games has increased my desire to read.  Once you start reading, you just can't stop.

Lilia Jimenez:  I enjoy reading The Hunger Games because it isn't like any book I've read before.  It's very interesting.  Even though I have already read it before, it doesn't get boring.

Halle GydesenThe Hunger Games is a very good book because it has action and romance.  I hope Katniss really falls in love with Peeta.

Stephanie Jimenez-Lemus:  Although I had already read The Hunger Games trilogy, reading the first book again helped me understand the following books better.

Ana Lopez:  I like how there is always a twist in The Hunger Games.

Andrea Garcia:  I think it was a good choice that we read The Hunger Games because it is interesting.

Rosalva Juan:  I honestly think reading The Hunger Games was a good choice because at every corner there is action and we cannot do anything but keep going.

Casey Seberger: This is my first time reading The Hunger Games, and I am absolutely hooked on it!  I find myself trying to predict what will happen in the next books.  I am very happy we read this in class.

Katy Derrick:  I personally thought it was a good idea we read this.  I loved this book, and I think it helped expand my knowledge.

Maria Ramirez-Partida:  I have really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games because it draws you in, and you can't stop reading it.


College English II students are also working on a research paper due March 19, 2013.  The paper is to be written after reading a book by a world or British author.  The students then research the author and critical reviews on the book, and then select a theme from within the book.  The book then becomes primary research information to prove the selected theme.  For example, a student might select the theme of the main character as the hero or heroine of the book.  The student would then prove how the main character fits the heroic structure, with citations from the book to prove the theme. 


Melanie Estrada: Atonement by Ian McEwan.  I think this book has a great plot to it, as the main character grows throughout the novel.

Vanessa Ambriz:  The book I am reading talks about the concentration camps and what prisoners had to go through, and it's sad.

Yobana Ramirez: My Sergei: A Love Story is a romantic novel consisting of two people skating with love.

Carly Lamberts:  Angela's Ashes is a very sad story of Frank McCourt's childhood in a poor. dysfunctional family in Ireland.

Maria RamirezThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a good book.  I really enjoyed it.

Crystal FloresForbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is brilliantly plotted and planned.  The plot is unlike any other book I've read.

Cristal GomezDeath on the Nile. What I like about the book is that it's a mystery.

Elvia Tobias:  I'm currently reading Sense and Sensibility, and the archaic diction is difficult to decipher.  However, once I was accustomed to the text, I began enjoying the novel.

Alaina MuellerAll Creatures Great and Small. I love that this book is dealing with animals.  I am very attracted to books about animals, so this is a great selection for me.

Neida TornelAll Quiet on the Western Front. I like how the book is touching, and I feel fictionally correct.  I dislike that the book is sometimes hard to understand.

Erik Frias1984. My book is not like your ordinary book.  It's really complicated, but it does a really good job of describing a dictator society.  That's my favorite thing about my book.

Chris Lindeman:  The novel 1984 is very enlightening, as it displays what a society can become if all aspects of life are controlled by the government.

Jordan Neben1984. Some of the concepts in 1984 amaze me.  Orwell put an enormous amount of thought into this amazing book.  1984 may not be a happy book, but it's powerful, even today.

Skyler SpeerThings Fall Apart. This book makes me very frustrated. Okonkwo is the main character, a man set in his ways.  He believes women are beneath him and men shouldn't show any compassion.

Molly WoockmanAnd Then There Were None is a great mystery book with surprises around every corner.