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Student blog assignments

You have been asked to blog about a novel of your own choice. Here you will find all the blog assignments (in the end we are talking about 12 tasks altogether). This page will be updated when there is a new task.

Task 1: write a blog post about your choice of book. Make sure you send me an e-mail with your blog address by Friday! Deadline: Tuesday 12.1. (all deadlines expire at midnight. I must be able to read this on Wednesday morning)

Task 2: comment on two other blog posts. Please send me an email with links to the blogs you comment upon so I can find them. Deadline: Wednesday 13.1

Task 3: write a post about A: the first chapter or B: the main character of your book or C: something else about the book that is interesting and original. Can you identify with him or her? Did the first chapter make you want to keep reading, smash something, laugh or sob uncontrollably? Do you have other thoughts about the book you are reading? Deadline: Thursday 14.1

Task 4: comment on (at least) two more posts – from task 3! Send me an email with the links to your comments. Take care to check that comments on your own posts are moderated and visible. Deadline: Sunday 17.1

Task 5: write about the world or the social environment or the setting of the novel. Is it a fantasy novel? Is it from a different time period? Describe how it’s different from the world you know. Remember that you can use your ideas later for the report/analysis that you will write. Deadline: Wednesday 20.1

Task 6: comment on two more posts from task 5. Before Friday, make sure that all comments to your own posts are visible, so that I can check them! Deadline: Thursday 21.1

Task 7: write a post about whether you will write a book analysis or a book report about your book. If you haven’t quite decided yet, you can write about that. What makes you uncertain?  Deadline: Tuesday 26.1

Task 8: write about the point of view in the novel. Is it:

  • first person (an I person tells the story)
  • third person limited (you follow the perspective of one character)
  • alternating point of view (the perspective changes between several characters. Can also be called third person “less limited”)
  • or omniscient (an impersonal narrator seems to be reading the thoughts of several characters, even in the same chapter)

Give one or two examples to prove what you are saying. Deadline: Monday 1.2

Task 9: comment on two posts from task 8. Deadline: Tuesday 2.2

Task 10: What is the book really about? This is different from plot, which is what happens in the story. This is what we call the themes. Try to look beyond the action, behind the characters. You can think of the plot as the body, and the theme as the soul. Another way to see it is to think of the story as a vehicle, and the themes are the passengers. The story allows the theme to come through. The characters can also be a vehicle for the themes: they can bring themes into the light.

Don’t confuse theme with message. You are not after what the author is trying to say, but rather what the story and the characters tell us.

You will be writing about theme for the analysis, but not for the report. Deadline: Friday 5.2

Task 11: Comment on two posts from task 10. Send me an e-mail with the links. Deadline: Monday 8.2

Task 12: last writing task! Now that you have finished reading your book (well, you should try to finish it by the end of this week), write a post about what you have learnt from your blog work.
Not just “how to make a blog” – has it given you ideas for what you will write in your report or analysis? Has it made you think critically about what you read? Has it made you a more observant reader? Have you gained more insight into what the rest of your class is doing? Have you had fun with it? Have you received constructive comments from others in class? Is this a productive way of working with a book? Has it built up your confidence about writing a good English essay?
Now is also a good time to review the criteria for assessment, and revise some of your posts, perhaps. Write comments you have forgotten. I will begin marking the blog work next week, so this deadline is also for finalizing the blog work.
Deadline: Sunday 14.2

Next week, you must begin work on your report/analysis.

 

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Book reports and book analyses are due Monday 29.2, to allow those with very long books to finish reading. I recommend, however, that you finish before the winter break and hand in your essay on Friday 19.2, so that you can truly enjoy your holiday!

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