Due 11/7: The Bell Jar Essay

We are starting 1984 and our discussion of Politics and the English Language  (Finish this essay by Tuesday. Be sure you are ready to discuss it in full.) in the new week. If you are buying your own copy, please have it with you starting on Tuesday.

1. The Bell Jar Essay–Completed First drafts are due on Monday. While you are expected to have an introduction and conclusion, I want you to focus most of your thought on development of the argument across the body of the essay. Remember, this essay should be 3-4 pages.

General Formatting:

  • Double-spaced; size 12 font; Times New Roman or similar
  • 1 inch margins on both left and right sides. Justify margin. Indentations– .5” or 1 tab space.
  • All pages beyond the first page should be numbered.  Page numbers should be placed at the bottom right of each page.
  • No Cover Page.  Include name, class, and date (Single space the heading)
  • Be sure TITLE reflects the theme of the essay (for instance, 1984: Hierarchical Hegemony)
  • Include Title, Author, and General Theme of work in first paragraph of essay…For Example—Jean Paul Sartre’s Nausea
  • Follow MLA guidelines

Order of Arrangement:

  • Final Draft on top. Staple.
  • 1st Draft—with significant corrections made + name and signature of reader

Avoid the Following:

  • Avoid Pronouns: I, it, you, me, we, us
  • Avoid Troublesome language. Do your best to avoid the following words: it, these, this, those, kind of, almost, seems, maybe, like, then, later, eventually, basically, so, many, a lot, things, due to the fact (or any variations of the fact that), in reality, very, really, forms of the verb “to be”
  • In the intro, nix all book-review commentary—i.e. “is fascinating, interesting…”
  • Avoid meaningless sentences–i.e. “Authors rely heavily on symbolism.”
  • Contractions
  • While I am not suggesting that you avoid all modifiers, you certainly should be conscious of how you are using them. Yet, definitely avoid the likes of really, basically, very, excellent, terrible, etc.
  • Avoid misspelling proper nouns!


  • When writing about literature, write in the present tense.
  • Active voice should be your default voice and only use passive when you are CHOOSING to use passive voice.
  • Get comfortable writing in complex and compound sentences.
  • Introductions and conclusions are factored into the grading of this essay.
  • Read your essay aloud and you will hear many diction and syntax issues.

Keys to Good Writing:

  • Cohesion—Every sentence fits together; paragraphs flow smoothly.  Ensure that the entire discussion comes together as one unified discussion of your text and its context.
  • Concision—Less is more.  Use fewer words to explain yourself.  Begin fusing sentences by merging ideas into tightly knit phrases.
  • Precision—Accuracy.  Use words that accurately capture what you mean.  Don’t settle for words or expressions that come close.
  • Coherence—Does your essay make sense? Are your ideas organized in a logical sequence? Do you prove your thesis? Do the parts contain the essence of the whole?



Welcome back to The Beacon School for the start of the 2017-18 school year and welcome to Blackboarddreams.com, our class website!  I am very excited to give e-life to a vision born a few years ago.  Then, I envisioned using the web as a meaningful extension of my classroom where there would be resources aplenty and a communication hub. Here, you and your family can access the following: homework assignments, class forums, updates on the happenings and direction of the class, complementary materials, writing and research resources, Essay and Creative Project exemplars, a link back to the Beacon homepage, and so much more!  

  1. This weekend you should register for the class website, Blackboarddreams.com. Please do so by midnight on Sunday at which time the site will be closed to registration. To do this, you must scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click “Register.” Your username should be your Full Name (First and Last).  Do not use nicknames and leave A SPACE between your first and last name. Your password will be emailed to you at which point you can change it if you would like.  I also suggest you take a moment to familiarize yourself with the website! Don’t forget to bookmark your course page! So, if you are in my sophomore class, bookmark the sophomore page. 
  2. Sophomores and Existential students, you must print your class syllabus and bring it into class Monday! Check the “documents” section in the sidebar on your course page. The syllabus will detail supplies for the class, among many other things.


HW12 due 10/20 (10/21 for 12G): Nausea

1. Nausea–Read and annotate up to p. 40

2. Class Forum


Hello all! Since the end of H Band yesterday, I have not been able to find my keys! My apt keys and my school keys are on this key chain distinguished only by a purple fabric. Please be on the lookout for my keys! Email me if you know anything. Thank you!

E-Media Fast!

The fast begins at 5:00 pm this evening and ends at 7:00 am Monday morning! Live a little differently this weekend! Before you begin, visit the UNICEF Tap Project and let’s make this mean even more!