Here is a guideline for managing your time with the reading, research, and writing:
As you are reading, thinking about articles that would work well with your novel. Consider a diary entry or letter from one of the characters. Would a newspaper advertisement work? Make sure you choose the three artifacts carefully. You don't want to choose items that you cannot complete in a timely manner. Plan for one a week. Don't wait until the last minute! You can do these even as you are reading the novel.
- SUMMARY: As you read, make sure you keep track of the protagonist, antagonist, conflict, turning points, and resolution. This will help you write your summary succintly in one paragraph. Have a draft of your summary on or before Friday, November 30th and I'll give you feedback on what to revise.
- BACKGROUND HISTORICAL SETTING: Think about the historical setting of your book. What background information do you need to know or clarify? If your book is set during the Civil War, you might need to narrow your research to the specific setting (a battle, a location, for example). You should find a few credible sources that help you understand the actual historical context in orderto evaluate how well the writer portrayed the setting in the book. As you research, write down the source information. If you use Cobb Virtual Library, the MLA format is already on the bottom of most pages (YIPEE!), and you just need to copy it down. There are websites for plugging in the information that change it to MLA. I'll show that to you in class, so don't worry about the MLA. Have a draft of your research on the historical setting (remember, it's just one paragraph) by Tuesday, December 4, and I'll give you some feedback on what you need to revise.
- EVALUATION OF HISTORICAL SETTING: By Friday, December 7th, write two paragraphs evaluating the historical setting (its portrayal/accuracy and its role related to the plot and the theme). This is the part of your paper that shows your critical thinking and your ability to evaluate your reading.
- MLA: As you gather information, be sure to cite your sources along the way. It will make it easier to pull it all together. When you have your completed draft, I'll show you how to put in the parenthetical citations and compile your works cited page in class. All that will be left is to type your paper and write your intro and conclusion.
- Your Dear Reader letter is done at the end. It's an informal letter for you to reflect on the reading of the novel and the research process. I don't need to see a draft of this one unless you would like some feedback.