Am Lit I Study Guide

Am Lit I Study Guide - Reading Guide and Journal Questions...

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Unformatted text preview: Reading Guide and Journal Questions for American Literature I Some general guidelines for reading Set yourself a schedule that allows plenty of time to read slowly and thoughtfully. Look over the reading guide and handouts for that section before you start. Make notes or mark up your text as you read. You might include things you observe about characters or themes, vocabulary you need to look up, quotes that seem to sum up the idea of the passage, questions you have. Write up your journal entry while the reading is still fresh in your mind, preferably within a day of reading the passages, not two days before it is due in! Guidelines for overcoming difficulties The first rule is dont panic! Some of the texts have unfamiliar spelling or syntax that may confuse you. Dont give up on your reading. If youre stuck, its OK just to concentrate on the passages you do understand you can ask about others in class. Use the background notes for each author, and the introductory essays for each section to give you an understanding of the context of the reading. You might also find some information on the Heath Anthology website: http://college.hmco.com/english/lauter/heath/5e (but there are not yet articles for every author on this site). Try reading a passage aloud you can often understand it better if you hear it; also, you can figure out words that have unfamiliar spellings but sound close to their modern equivalent e.g. piracie = piracy; neet = neat, cannoo = canoe. Concentrate on the larger picture if the details are difficult. Ask yourself what type of literature this is, and what is most important about this reading. -If it is history or fiction, what is the plot? Are there any morals the writer is trying to put across?-If it is biography or autobiography, what impression do you get of the character being discussed?-If it is letters or a diary, what sense do you get of the writers character and concerns? What is the relationship between the correspondents?-If it is poetry, do you see a main image or argument? Writing down your thoughts and questions may help you to clarify them. If not, it reminds you what you need to ask in class! Introduction to course Part of the intention of this course is to persuade you that the questions and beliefs relevant to the America of today have their origins in Americas history and literature. It is also to persuade you that these questions are personally relevant to you! As a way to begin thinking about these issues, after your first class, answer the following journal question : Write a paragraph or two on your own familys part in American history e.g. when and from where they immigrated, wars or major events in which they took a part, any family stories that you find significant or touching. John Smith: The Generall Historie of Virginia ; A Description of New England These two extracts chronicle Smiths experiences planting a colony in Virginia for...
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Am Lit I Study Guide - Reading Guide and Journal Questions...

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