Most semesters, my students choose a book from a list to read together in a small group or “Book Club.” On Book Club days, they bring to class a “thought paper” about the book which they use as a tool to generate discussion. At the end of the project, they produce a paper together based on a mutual thesis and individual drafts which develop that thesis in their own ways.
Here’s how this summer’s assignment went.
Th 7/15 Assign Book Club Paper
> This summer you’ve read a book with your book club. You’ve shared thought papers about the book and discussed ideas, vocabulary, and questions the text has raised for you. For your last assignment, I want you to work together with your Book Club to write a paper about your book. I want you to individually and collectively do research, and individually and collectively write a paper based on a thesis you develop as a group. You will have class time Weds July 21 to develop your thesis and 90 minutes of class time in the Beach Weds. July 28 to write the paper.
W 7/21 TP#10 Book Club 100% read: bring in a thesis about the book
> While you are reading, what questions are raised? What would you like to know more about in order to understand the text? Work with other book club members to get different types of sources to find and bring in. Sources could include: author biography, book reviews, geography—physical and cultural, etc.
Your paper’s thesis statement should have the “4 T’s” —
> Provide the title/s and author’s name/s with your topic (your topic’s context—texts and focus)
> Connect your topic with your argument or ideas on the essay (your ‘tude).
> Have tension (why should readers be engaged or care?)
> Telegraph the direction of your argument
> Using your group’s thesis statement as a road map, each of you will individually write a 3-5 page draft for Monday July 26. then in class on Wednesday, you will bring your ideas together, and revise it into a final 4-5 page paper with a works cited and a works consulted which has at least 2 sources per group member.
M 7/26 Down Draft Book Club
> Write a draft of a paper about your book using your group’s thesis statement. In your paper, make constant references to the text. Discuss the text extensively, providing, at the minimum, the major points. To support your argument, include numerous short quotations; avoid quoting large sections of text at one time. Cite your sources according to the MLA style format in EW. Bring to class a MLA works cited format of 2 or more sources of info about your book.
T 7/27 Up Draft Book Club
W 7/28 TP#12 Book Club: Review—why would you recommend it? Or not?
Dental Draft Book Club
- Your group’s final paper should include at least 2 sources.
- Turn in drafts, responses, works consulted, etc, one final.
- Process paper by each group member: discuss your groups’ writing process, evaluate your contributions and participation, and that of your teammates.
Th 7/29 Final Draft Book Club
> Revise your group’s paper OR your paper. Write a process paper: discuss your groups’ writing process, evaluate your contributions and participation, and that of your teammates.