Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Road Essay

The Road Essay blue prewriting packet is due Monday, November 9.
The typed rough draft is due Wednesday, November 11.
The final essay's last day for full credit is Monday, November 16.

Writing Prompt:

In a well-organized and thoughtful essay answer one of the following questions. Work to say something that is uniquely your own about this text and to move beyond plot summary to thematic analysis.

1. What is McCarthy’s thematic message about good versus evil? Create a complex thematic statement and use well-selected evidence to support your statement. To get at your theme statement you may compare and contrast good and evil in a double bubble or examine causes and effects of both good and evil in two multi-flow maps.

2. Is this novel optimistic or pessimistic about humanity? In other words, does McCarthy believe that humans are basically good or evil? Take a stand on one side or the other and use convincing evidence from the text to prove your position.

3. According to McCarthy, what causes people to remain good in the face of evil and what are the effects on their humanity? Create a complex thematic statement and use insightful quotes to defend your ideas.

Grading Rubric


___ The introduction engages the reader, introduces the topic, and includes a thesis statement that will serve as a blueprint for the main ideas developed in the body paragraphs.
___ Body paragraphs follow solid paragraph structure by beginning with a topic sentence, including two or three PIEs, and ending with a concluding sentence which refers clearly to thesis statement. PIE = Point, Illustration, Explanation
___ Transitions from part to part and paragraph to paragraph are smooth and logical.
___ Conclusion summarizes the ideas presented in the paper and leads the reader to an interesting idea—the So what? or the So why does this matter to life?


___ Thesis is clearly stated, fully expanded, specifically states the main ideas of your paper
___ Thesis says something specific about the topic being explored. Theme = topic + author’s lesson about topic
___ Ideas are presented logically and clearly in body paragraphs that are relevant to the thesis
___ Each paragraph includes at least two illustrations quoted from the text to support ideas.
___ All ideas are explained and analyzed fully.
___ Papers that exceed expectations also analyze how the elements of McCarthy’s style contribute to the theme—in other words, how McCarthy uses language to convey a message.


___ Words are clear, precise and spelled correctly
___ Sentence formation is clear and varied
___ Proper punctuation is used, especially with conjunctions.
___ MLA format is used to document direct quotations, and a works cited entry for The Road is included at the end of the essay. Other sources used are properly cited.

Due Dates

Typed rough drafts, with proper MLA formatting, are due in class on Wednesday, November 11.
Final draft window: 8:30 a.m. Thursday, November 12 to Monday, November 16 at 3:10 p.m. Papers submitted on the 17th will lose 25%. Papers submitted on the 18th or after will lose 50%.

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