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HELP Mom needs help in understanding what the teacher is asking....HI I am new to this...

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daranddon | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 12, 2008 at 6:56 AM via web

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HELP Mom needs help in understanding what the teacher is asking....

HI I am new to this site and I am in the process of helping my 15 year old with an essay.

Her topic is: What ideas does Harper Lee develop regarding the impact of significant experience on the individual? (In To Kill a Mockingbird.I wonder is the topic really asking her this: What IDEAS are developed as in what THEMES are developed? Is it correct to assert that the author uses the themes of courage, injustice, racism, tolerance and how scout and Jem learn about these qualities through the events in their lives and around them. I also wondered if I should also state the author uses comparison of age, gender,(in those two kids) as well as racial background, education level etc...as one more factor in how an event can impact one individual.

Am I getting TOO many factors and ideas in there? I find I have been at this all night and I am MORE confused now than I was at 10pm last night! I thought she had to analyze the novel for evidence that individuals are impacted in different ways depending on what the event is...but I think it has to look more at what ideas Harper Lee has developed?? Is the teacher really just asking HOW does the author support this thesis statement?

I am only helping because she is having oral surgery today and will be out for two days. She has not asked me to do her homework and does not trust me to do it right anyway.

Thanks

Darlene

8 Answers | Add Yours

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 12, 2008 at 10:12 AM (Answer #2)

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It's hard to tell ... we probably need more information:  how long should/can the paper be?  What does the teaching define as a"significant experience"?  Does the teacher ask for a specific number of examples?

Please provide some additional information and I'm sure you'll get help.

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daranddon | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 12, 2008 at 1:45 PM (Answer #3)

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It's hard to tell ... we probably need more information:  how long should/can the paper be?  What does the teaching define as a"significant experience"?  Does the teacher ask for a specific number of examples?

Please provide some additional information and I'm sure you'll get help.

Hi...the paper is to be min of 3 pages....MLA format...There is no definition from the teacher as to what constitutes a significant event

the teacher asked for 3-5 specific examples from novel and quotes as well.

life and events(age, gender, race, education etc...)

I used meeting Boo Radley and kids involvement and beliefs about him., Trial of Tom and aunt alexandra as the examples of events in Jem and Scouts lives that impacted their own personal view of the world as just, safe, secure...the firm belief in right and wrong...the belief in justice and fairness...basically the events showed the two kids from a young age..and throughout the novel(the ideas were reinforced) that we must not judge, must walk in anothers skin to know their motivation....

I got it up to 5 pages...used quotes describing Jemmaturing and changing views from start to finish...Atticus telling him how ugly the world is(a quote) how a black man will not get a fair trial..

Scout...used quote from her teacher in grade one who told her she was not to learn to read at home..

Basically chose the two characters, those 3 events and the way their age, gender and similar fatherly influence contributed to how they each absorbed the new realities forced upon them from each event they experienced...the common impact for the kids...was a loss of 'innocence' or loss of seeing the world and people as fair....

Thanks for any help...she is so mad at me!

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 12, 2008 at 5:30 PM (Answer #4)

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It sounds to me like you have it figured out :)  What else do you need to know?  If you want, just post a link to the paper ... I'm sure you'll get some good feedback.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 12, 2008 at 6:15 PM (Answer #5)

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At this point, I would just review the essay and make sure that everything flows.  You don't want to develop too many ideas, as you indicated in your first post.  Three events and the focus on two characters are fine - I think going into a tangent on the multiple themes, etc., would be taking the ideas too far so that you lose the main point.

Make sure that the thesis makes a clear statement of what an experience does for the individual (i.e., significant experiences are a key factor to individual maturity), and make sure each body paragraph develops that idea.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 12, 2008 at 9:04 PM (Answer #6)

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Reply to #5--good advice!  If the paper is to be 3-5 pages, you need to narrow the topic or you'll end up with 30-50 pages!  I would keep it to one character's life experiences and focus on 3-4 events from the book which effect that character.  Boo Radley is a good one, Mrs. Dubose is a good one, Tom's trial is a good one, the white man married to a black woman who everyone thinks is the town drunk but he's only sipping Coca-Cola is a good one, the attack on the children by Mr. Ewell is a good example. All of these try the kids and change them forever if only just a tiny bit.

Good luck!

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sarahd786 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 22, 2008 at 10:26 AM (Answer #7)

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I need help writing a good into here is my thesis: 

Romantic love is a volatile and passionate force that one person feels for another. In the novels Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, this love is the driving force behind the main events, and is used by both authors to develop the personalities of Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester. In the novels, the principles and demands of society create an obstacle with romantic love which in turn has a profound effect on the course of the novel.    

if you could please help me with my intro that would be great..i also need a really good hook!!

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 18, 2010 at 1:57 AM (Answer #9)

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In response to #3 I think this sounds great. In essays I always use "the rule of 3" - focussing on 3 points for each character or 3 points in response to the question, which just seems to work out well. The biggest thing to do now is make sure you have identified quotes that support what you are trying to argue, and that you use them effectively in the essay. Good luck!

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM (Answer #10)

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When I read this topic, the first thing I thought of was to choose a character, perhaps the main character, and choose experiences that develop her character.  Characterization means how the author provides information about the character.  I agree with number 9.  Choose 3, and back them up with quotes.

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