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What are your thoughts on your English 4 class after attending two sessions?

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Wow!  The previous two answers are terrific and give you what you must have.  I would offer one suggestion only and that is to really sit down, make a list of your hopes and dreams in your career choice, and then figure out how this English class will help you realize another step towards your goal.  Whether this class is a requirement or an elective, it must offer something you can use to further your progress towards your life goals or your career goals.  Then explain using the two answers above as your guide what you hope this class will provide as long as you give it your all as a student.  Please think carefully as you look ahead at your future and how school will enable your choices.

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Just to add to the sound advice already given, here are a few tips that may help you in composing such an essay that addresses "your thoughts on English 4":

For a two-page essay, you may wish to write a five-paragraph essay that contains the following:

1. An introductory paragraph which contains

  • a Motivator a quotation or an observation or question that entices the reader to continue reading the essay. For instance, you could quote from Langston Hughes's response to an assignment much like this one, taking a few lines from his poem, 

The instructor said,

Go home, and write
a page tonight,
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?

  • A thesis statement that contains 3 opinions which will be supported in the body of the essay.

For example, if this is the traditional Senior level English for high school, it probably deals with British literature and writing a research paper and essays. So, you can make these three topics part of the thesis. Perhaps, you could write something like this,

As I begin this new course, I anticipate reading and experiencing the richness of Old English literature and modern; I hope to improve my research skills and develop my interest in ______(you can list an author to be studied), as well as improve my writing so that I can better express myself.

  • The body paragraphs will each cover one of the ideas/opinions expressed in the thesis. Topic sentences containing each of these ideas will begin each of the 3 paragraphs that contain the body.
  • The conclusion will re-state the thesis in somewhat different words. This conclusion ends with a "clincher," a statement or observation that suggests an idea that extends beyond the essay.

Here's an example of a clincher:

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "For only that book can we read which relates to me something that is already in my mind." I hope by the conclusion of this course, that I have much more in my mind so that I will experience the richness of literature and the written word.

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Without knowing anything more about the class than that it's "English 4," it's a little difficult to provide solid recommendations on how to draft an essay.  Generically, English 4 classes expand upon instructions from English 2 with respect to developing an appreciation for regional literature, for example, literature from specific countries and cultures.  English 4 probably involves a focus on European literature, which encompasses a vast region with a long history.  In addition, the works of William Shakespeare will be covered, building upon the introduction to Shakespeare's works provided in English 3.  This, of course, assumes deference to the Common Core standards.  Without more information on the class in question, this will remain the assumption.

Because the essay was assigned at the outset of the class -- two sessions into the semester -- the teacher almost certainly wishes to see two things from students: an early indication of individual writing ability, and a sense from each student of where he or she hopes to go within the confines of the class.  In other words, what are the students' expectations for the coming school year with regard to English, and what does the student hope to learn beyond the limited parameters of the class.  If there is a European focus, the student may wish to write about a particular region within Europe, although the works of Shakespeare are sufficiently voluminous that they could easily occupy an entire school year alone.  The student can express his or her anticipation of learning to analyze Shakespeare's works from a critical perspective, including identifying patterns and pointing out instances of the late playwright's use of humor, irony, drama, foreboding, etc.  How did Shakespeare approach his subject matter?  What patterns are evident in his choice of locations, characterizations, themes, and so on.  

It is recommended that the student peruse online descriptions of English 4 criteria and the standards associated with the Common Core curriculum.  Provided below is one such example the student might find useful.

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