Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Library Visit 5/15

Your third draft of essay four is due Friday.

Consider the following:

  • Have you written of your own observations or experiences with the sport? That could be paragraph #2.
  • Have you conducted a survey of ten people of various ages, ethnic/racial/cultural backgrounds, geographic origins, and genders about their thoughts on the sport? You could write about the results of this survey and analysis of it ("Only twenty percent of the women I spoke to thought badminton was an Olympic sport..."). This could be paragraph #3.
  • Have you contacted and interviewed a professional player of the sport? By "professional" we mean someone who does it for a living. Type "professional" and then your sport name into EBSCO or Infotrac or JStor to find a pro's name if you haven't yet. Then, if you can't reach them, type "name" and "interview" into EBSCO or Infotrac or JStor to look for interviews. In particular, look for this person commenting on what it means to be an American or an American player of said sport. Writing about your professional and quoting his/her answers could form your fourth paragraph.
  • Have you contacted and interviewed an amateur player of the sport? By "amateur" we mean someone who does not play the sport for a living. Type "amateur" and then your sport name into EBSCO or Infotrac or JStor to find an amateur's name if you can't find an amateur within the walls of this school. Also type "league" and then your sport name into one of those search engines (or into google maps) to look for a local league chapter of your sport. Call the league up and ask to speak to an amateur. Ask them your interview questions. Writing about your amateur and quoting his/her answers could form your fifth paragraph.
  • Have you found a piece of literature yet that mentions, references, or is inspired by your sport? Try searching for a poem at this poetry site. Or this one. Or try searching for a story here. Or try some sophisticated searching for American authors here. Writing about this poem or story could form your sixth paragraph.
  • Have you found two good sportswriters who write about your sport? Read through the most recent results for your sport's name in a MAS-Ultra EBSCO search. Or search recent Sports Illustrated articles or Sporting News articles. Quoting writers who've written about your sport--and identifying why this makes your sport particularly American or not--could form your seventh paragraph.
  • Discussing what sports we've read about this year in typical American literature and why your sport was included in them or not--that could form your conclusion.
What do you do when you're done? Check for proofreading errors in your teacher's sportswriting--here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Library Visit, 5/8

Library Jobs for essay 4:

1) If you haven't thought of a professional athlete yet, search EBSCO full-text for your sport's name and the word "professional" or just the former of these. Look for an "interview" with the name of the professional.

2) If you have yet to find an amature player of the sport, do the same as above with the word "amature" (or "amateur," depending on who's spelling it).

3) Search for good writing about your sport in literary periodicals. Try searching with your sport's name and the terms "American" or "defining" or "origin" or "Americanized" or "authentic" or others like these. If no hits come up, just try reading some articles about your sport. Find someone who writes better than you and quote a line or two of theirs that you like. Check EBSCO full-text search (username cathmem, password 'password'), or Infotrac (password melody) or JStor. Try all the search engines in each.


4) Looking for creative piece of literature about your sport? Try searching EBSCO and Infotrac for "poem" or "novel" or "song" or "short story" with the name of your sport.

Keep track of all sources! (Author, title, publisher, date, page number.)


What do I do when I'm done?


1) Read some F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes.

2) Read more of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

3) Read about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda.

Friday, March 23, 2007

To the research cave!

So you found your way to the library and to the library blog du jour.

Time to look for some other professional writers who've written about your poem, story, or novel. We call these "secondary criticism."

Try to quote a piece of secondary criticism in your literary analysis as you make an intelligent argument about what your work does and how it does it.

Search for articles in literary periodicals. Check EBSCO full-text search, or Infotrac or JStor (best match for this paper). ELibrary also looks cool, but I don't know the username and password.

"What do I do when I'm done?"

Read the other posts in this blog.

Find proofreading errors in your teacher's writing.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The multi-platinum recording artist...of the 1850s

Read more about Stephen Foster's life here.

Listen to your Stephen Foster song here.

Get your lyrics here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Searching for Huck

Search the full-text of Huck Finn for instances of your theme. Click here.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Flat, stale, and unprofitable.

If you don't like Huck Finn, you're not the first Bostonian to feel so. Check out the original Boston Evening Traveller's review of the book here. They called it "flat, stale, and unprofitable" and suggest that they only way people might read it is if you've got a bayonet pointed at them. Well, I haven't gotten that extreme. (Yet.)

You might also start browsing through the Mark Twain scrapbook put together by Ken Burns. Good bonus material. Free of charge.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Studying for the midterm?

Here are some of my favorite questions from last year. I like them so much, I'll...well, we'll see.



Which of the following authors was born in Boston?
1. Whitman
2. Twain
3. Krakauer
4. Dillard
5. Poe


Who is Sophia Peabody?
1. Hawthorne’s love
2. Poe’s benefactor
3. Washington Irving
4. Ben Franklin
5. Johnathan Winthrop


Which of the following authors died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, New York in 1846?
1. Fuller
2. Poe
3. Hawthorne
4. Dillard
5. Melville


Where is "Brook Farm"?
1. Near Concord, MA
2. In Lexington, MA
3. In West Roxbury, MA
4. In New York, NY
5. In New Bedford, MA


Which of the following writers was expelled from West Point?
1. Wheatley
2. Poe
3. Hawthorne
4. Dickinson
5. Thoreau


Which of the following authors, at one point, considered committing suicide?
1. Whitman
2. Hawthorne
3. Foster
4. Twain
5. Bradford


“…A speckled ax is best…”—who said that oddball zinger?
1. Franklin
2. Chillingworth
3. Longfellow
4. Poe
5. Melville


"Who knows what beautiful and winged life, whose egg has been buried for ages…may unexpectedly come forth…to enjoy its perfect summer life at last!”—who wrote that gem? (Read it again, isn’t it beautiful?)
1. Mark Twain
2. Sam Clemens
3. Henry David Thoreau
4. Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. James Russell Lowell


“You wants to keep ‘way fum de water as much as you kin, en don’t run no resk, ‘kase it’s down in the bills dat you’se gwyne to git hung.”—who said that?
1. Jim
2. Huck
3. Pap
4. Tom
5. Miss Watson


"Then with eyes that saw not, I kissed her/And she, kissing back, could not know,/That my kiss was given to her sister,/Folded close under deepening snow.”—who wrote that beautiful line?
1. Holmes
2. Whittier
3. Lowell
4. Longfellow
5. Bryant