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Krupa Shah
2/1 Discussion
Fri Feb 1, 2013 12:05pm
150.216.135.169

Thinking back to junior and senior year (as this is my first college English class), I found that I had pretty amazing English classes as the teachers did a lot to help us understand the text and prepare for the AP test. Each class started with an analytical prompt from the reading assigned the class before. Then, we would proceed to do an activity or have a group discussion about the text, focusing in on important paragraphs that contained many rhetorical devices or held much significance to the entire novel.
During my senior year, students put together a ‘data sheet’ (containing important quotes and explanations, a character list with descriptions, roles, significance to the story, the significance of the setting, as well as other information) for every novel we read. I found the ‘data sheet’ to be tedious yet helpful when keeping up with many different plots. I liked the idea of creating a skeleton of the story and analyzing why every detail was placed where it was in the book. Furthermore, the data sheet made it easier to write a paper and pick a topic as all the important information was laid out on a 6 page ‘data sheet’.
I also found in class discussions to be helpful as it gave students a chance to hear different perspectives. We would come to class prepared with discussion questions then the conversation would lead from there.
I also found activities helpful as they helped gain more insight into the text. For example, while reading “Crime and Punishment” read a history of the author and analyzed various psychological problems that the character was dealing with so we could understand him better. At the same time, I disliked working in groups because there never was a balance. Some people overpowered while others barely contributed anything.
One of the most effective things you could do to help me improve my writing is providing a lot of feedback in my papers. Although I loved my English classes, whenever we wrote a paper and the teacher handed it back, there would be a grade and minimal reason as to why the grade was what it was. The paper would simply have sentences underlined or words circled rather than telling me how to fix it for the next time. I would rather have someone tell me my writing is awful and tell me what specifically makes it awful than receive a decent grade with no support as to what to improve.

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