Debate Rubric

Hi Everyone! I am very excited about the start of our debates tomorrow. I know that each group has devoted a lot of time and hard work to the process, and I can't wait to see how that becomes a reality as you present your arguments to the class. I'm attaching the grading rubric that I went over in class in case anyone wants to view it beforehand in more detail.
:-) Ms. Moyer

Download file "editorial debate project rubric sheet.doc"


Bad Weather vs. No Bad Weather

If the whole weather issue happens to be a non-issue and school continues on our normal schedule, the expectations are as follows:
1. For Thursday, ALL brainstorming for the debate project will be complete. I intend to check each person's packet to be sure. If you haven't completed it, not only will you lose points for the homework check, you will also lose points on the final presentation since you've demonstrated that you haven't equally contributed in your group.
2. Outlines will be turned in ASAP. Ideally, everyone should have submitted a final outline to me by tomorrow. These will count for a 20pt grade, and they need to be in good shape for you to begin drafting next week.
If the weather does affect our schedule and we're not here either Thursday or Friday, you are still responsible for the above-mentioned assignments. Of course, you'll hand in the outline via email instead of in person. Remember to send it as a '97-2003 document and send it to
You also should be ready to hand in the following upon your return to school:
1. Homework listed on Day 9 of your syllabus - a typed paragraph that lays out the plan for your opening statement. Each student must do this in order to then collaborate with group members at a future group work session.


Current Syllabi

Hi All! I'm excited for the start of a new semester, and I hope all of you are, too! Attached are the freshman and junior syllabi for the start of the spring semester. These can also be found on my Archmere webpage.
:-) Ms. Moyer

Download file "Persepolis syllabus 10.doc"
Download file "cav syl 10.doc"


Frosh Break Info.

Hi Everyone—

I just wanted to update you on your HW over break. I warned you to take everything home in case of snow, so I hope that you have done that!

Please finish and type up the Edufa study questions. We will discuss them in class, and I will give you some time to update them before you turn them in.

Please finish the Edufa symbol sheet in your packet as well as the Antigone/Edufa parallel questions in your packet on pages 15 & 16. Write neatly. I attached a packet just in case you don’t have yours. I will be checking these for a homework grade.

Finally, study for the Vocab Quiz we are having on our first day back.

I do not know what day it will be when we get back, but hopefully the school will let us all know soon so we can plan.

Have a great holiday!

Ms. Moyer

Download file "DRAMASYL dec09.DOC"

Download file "Midterm Exam Review09-10.doc"


Junior Break Hmwk. & Exam Info.

For those of you who are sitting at home wondering "What shall I do? I've left my WOBgraf assignment at home. How will I ever complete this valuable lit. homework?," I'm happy to alleviate your anxiety by attaching everything you need below. The reading and paragraph are due the day that you return from break.

Also, please see below for the final exam review sheet.

Download file "wobgraf complete assignment.doc"

Download file "midtermrev 09.doc"


Due after break

Complete the WOB graf assignment for January 4th. If you've left it at school, I will post it here later today.
Plan to take the lesson 7&8 vocab quiz on January 5th.
Enjoy break! :-) Ms. Moyer


An Early Break is Nice, But...

it obviously feels like scheduling has been all messed up.

Here's the plan for the essay (see the next blog for other info.):
Definition papers are still due either the 24th (in a .doc email) for extra credit or the 5th for normal credit. Some items to note:
1. Body paragraphs - Again, double check the order of the paragraphs. Have you considered which works best first/last?
Have you meaningfully referenced all of the key words/phrases in each paragraph?
Do you focus on key moments in each paragraph or are you offering a situation that's too general?
2. Conclusions - Include the following: core definition & key words/phrases, reference to your pair word, comparison of your body paragraph
examples - how do these approach the definition in slightly different ways?, a real world connection - what can readers
take away from your definition?
3. Style - Don't forget that there is no 10pt style grade for this essay; instead, grammar will be a part of your 100pt. essay grade. Please
be sure to edit your essay with a critical eye. Eliminate to be verbs, passive voice, agreement errors. Check spelling. If you've
used first person in your personal experience example, make sure that you haven't overused the 'I.'
Again, don't forget to consult the sample essays in your packet and posted here on the blog. They can give you a concrete picture of what the final product should look like. Later today I'll also post the peer review sheet I would've handed out today. You can use that to double-check your work.


Honesty Sample Essay

Though the following essay isn't perfect, I believe it is a good model for you to consult, especially where literary examples are concerned. The writer consistently brings readers to key moments and spends time really developing analysis.

Be Honest, be a Rebel

What predicament challenges honesty the most?When one’s life is at risk or when what one knows to be true is not popular among society.Honesty unveils the truth that is factual or grounded.For example, when brought to the stand in court, witnesses swear to tell the truth in relation to what they see, hear or observe.Members of the jury expect witnesses to relay real or factual truths and be honest rather than be sincere, an attribute that involves communicating a range of perceptions or opinions of something.Honesty is never deceitful or fake but a genuine, heartfelt act and a sign of integrity.For instance, when a student takes a test, she does not cheat for fear of getting caught but because she knows that her actions define her character. Cheating in this one instance sends a message to the teacher and others that the student does not value honesty, that she may not be trustworthy.The motives behind honesty also reveal one’s character through one’s intentions and actions despite the societal pressures he may face.Honesty, the unveiling of a truth despite the societal pressure one may face, proves evident in Elizabeth’s refusal to Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

Elizabeth Bennet’s refusal to Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice exhibits honesty or the unveiling of a truth regardless of the societal pressures one may face.Because Mr. Bennet lacks a male heir, his Longbourn estate must be passed on to the next male relative after his death, Mr. Collins.After arriving at Longbourn for a hospitality visit with the intention of finding a wife, Mr. Collins offers his hand in marriage to Elizabeth Bennet the second eldest of the Bennet daughters.When Elizabeth refuses his proposal, Mr. Collin believes that Elizabeth only denies him to encourage a second proposal.But Elizabeth assures Mr. Collins of her refusal by remarking, “I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies…who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time.I am perfectly serious on my refusal.You could not make me happy…(74).”Elizabeth’s refusal demonstrates honesty because she speaks from her heart. Her words represent more than just her feelings, they represent her character, who she is. By informing Mr. Collins that he could not make her happy, Elizabeth unveils the grounded truth of her belief that a woman possesses the choice to decide who she wishes to marry out of love and out of happiness.Elizabeth remains honest to herself and to her principles despite the pressure of her family.By standing up for her beliefs Elizabeth risks the disapproval of her family by rejecting the opportunity of keeping the Loungbourn estate to the Bennet name. The motives behind Elizabeth’s honesty reveal her character of integrity and conviction because she remains honest to her belief that a young woman needn’t agree to the very first proposal of marriage; she refrains from succumbing to the standards of society and risks disapproval from those around her, who consider marriage honorable for skilled woman of little fortune.Finally, Elizabeth genuinely tells Mr. Collins that he lacks the ability to provide her happiness in life rather than deceitfully accepting his proposal to please her family and adhere to the standards of society.In Pride in Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s genuine refusal to Mr. Collins demonstrates honesty which involves the unveiling of a truth regardless of the societal pressures one may face.

Additionally, Honesty or the unveiling of a truth regardless of the societal pressures one may face is evident through John Proctor in The Crucible. In the final act of the play John Proctor can save his life by confessing he saw the devil and agreed to do the Devil service and bysigning his testimony.But after signing his testimony, John Proctor denies his confession and is questioned by a head official “Why? Do you mean to deny this confession when you are free?” and Proctor cries in response, “Because I lie and sign myself to lies!Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of those who hang (1333).”Proctor than tears and crumbles his testimony.John Proctor’s bravery and conviction clearly demonstrate the meaning of honesty because he chooses death rather than sign his name to a lie and live.By tearing up his testimony, Proctor tears the lie that he has conversed with the devil and stands behind the factual truth that he has never saw nor served the Devil.Proctor depicts honesty as genuine act by choosing to die for the real truth rather than sign a fake testimony to live.His decision to deny his testimony and tear it to pieces reveals his integrity and conviction; he will not sign his name to a lie to escape the truth even if it means dying for it.Proctor chooses honesty even when the circumstances aren’t advantageous to his well being.The town officials demand Proctor to confess a false happening to continue to live.He cries that “I am not worth the dust on the feet of those who hang” because by signing his false testimony Proctor promotes being fake unlike the other citizens who demonstrated the ultimate genuine act of the truth through death.John Proctor in The Crucible clearly defines honesty or the unveiling of a factual or grounded truth regardless of the societal pressures one may face.

Elizabeth Bennet and John Proctor both illustrate that honesty is not necessarily easy when one is challenged by the expectations of those around them; honesty in these circumstances requires integrity and conviction of the truth.Honesty entails the unveiling of the truth despite the societal pressures one may face.Therefore honesty proves more valuable then sincerity because it involves one’s moral fabric.Honesty is an integral part of society and a societal need.If no one ever spoke out for the truth when society promotes false morality who would then be honest and speak for the truth?


Guidelines for Example Paragraphs

Literary Example

-Zero in on 1 (maybe 2) key moments in the text that highlight or advance your definition

-Key moments should be a combination of direct reference to the story AND quotations

-Analysis of quotations should explain how the example connects to/fits ALL of your key words

Structure of Paragraph

1.Topic Sentence – word + core definition + example 1 + example 2

2.Minimal background (avoid extensive plot summary)

3.Key Moment

4.Analysis – you may intermix key moment and analysis


Personal Experience Example

-Condense the even to the key moment – the whole process of learning how to drive is NOT a key moment, the way you handled a flat tire is

-Avoid lots of unnecessary background information – readers don’t always need the whole story

-Be objective – make sure the example uses supportable facts – don’t get overdramatic

-Make sure the example makes sense in relation to your literary example in terms of degree

Structure of Paragraph is the same as the literary example.


Definition Paragraph Notes

Your first paragraph - definition paragraph - should include (or in the case of # , NOT include) the following:
1. 4-5 key words or phrases - one of which should be your CORE definition
2. stipulation, one or two short anecdotes/examples that clarify or concretize your key words or phrases, a brief reference to your pair word, and at least ONE other definition technique
3. do NOT preview or discuss the examples you will use in your body paragraphs
4. a thesis statement that identifies your word, your core definition, and your two examples
Any questions or concerns, come see me! I'd love to help!


Definition Info.

EIII: Definition Background

-In this essay you will need to choose 1of 8 words to thoroughly define. We’ve grouped the words into 4 pairs so that you will have to develop a more thoughtful and complex definition in order to differentiate between two close concepts.

-You will craft your definition by developing 4-5 key words or phrases that explore the full implications of your word. One of these key words or phrases will be your core definition.

-After you establish the definition, you will need to give readers a complete understanding of the word through 2 extended examples. One example must come from literature. One may come from personal experience or literature. Keep in mind that the personal experience example is typically the more difficult paragraph to execute.

-Each example must be related to ALL 4-5 key words or phrases. They should do so without merely repeating two similar examples. For example, if you were to define ‘fair,’ you wouldn’t want both body paragraphs to be about a teacher making unfair rules.

-The article in your packet offers various methods or approaches to defining.

oDictionary Definition – OED is a good choice versus online options. Look at all the offered possibilities, but know that some definitions will be too broad and some will be too narrow.

oStipulation – The most important step. What can you add to the definition? Stipulation asks readers to accept a definition or part of a definition that differs from the conventional definition.

oNegation – Defining a word by what it is not or what it excludes. Note: You may use negation in your definition paragraph, but neither example paragraph should be solely based in negation. If you are defining fair, for instance, you may not have an entire example paragraph about something or someone being unfair.

oExamples – Real is ALWAYS better than hypothetical. Narrow is typically better than broad – Ex. Ref. being fair in a game vs. Ref. making a tough but fair call in the last 5 minutes of the season’s final soccer match.


oClassification – Focusing on a type or kind of something – Ex. moral responsibility

oCause and Effect


Definition Homework

Tonight we will attempt to make use of the wiki feature for the first time. Instead of going to users, you will go to the groups page. Select the group whose number (2,3, or 6) corresponds with your section. You will need to log in with your usual email login, though I think that you don't have to include the @archmereacademy part. Then you should view and complete the assignment. Read the directions closely as it is a two part assignment. Also note the possibility of extra credit. I can't wait to read and discuss your responses!


Final Reminders for Comparison Essay

Hi Everyone!
Don't forget that your comparison essays are due in class on Thursday. If you should happen to be absent, you still must submit your paper via a friend or via email on Thursday. You also need to submit to by midnight Thursday evening. Here are the class IDs and passwords so that you can create an account. They're listed by section number.
034-2 Brit Lit & Adv Comp Class ID: 2845301 PW: scrabble
034-3 Brit Lit & Adv Comp Class ID: 2845305 PW: clue
034-6 Brit Lit & Adv Comp Class ID: 2845307 PW: battleship
As for what you need to turn in, please follow this list. Collect your items in chronological order with your final copy on top. Don't forget to use MLA format including a unique and clever title for your essay.
- Final Essay
- Full Rough Draft w/Peer Review
- Focus Drafts w/ Peer Review (peer review is just for first focus)
- Updated Outline (if both of your are already filled in and you still need to make adjustments, see me for a new copy or create one of your own using the same format)
Feel free to add in any other drafts you may have. Don't stress if your peer reviews aren't completely finished. Collect all of your materials together with a staple or a paperclip BEFORE class.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Good luck with finishing up; I'm excited to read your final products!


Comparison Essay Homework

In case you weren't able to copy down the weekend's homework, here it is:

You need to complete the following in the syllabus packet I handed out to you - 1. the first page (both sides) where you will brainstorm concrete details for your focus paragraphs and draft a tentative thesis statement AND 2. one of the two outlines, either the linear version or the more visual bracket version. These are both right after that first page of homework.
Also, please make sure that you make time to see me EARLY next week if you are concerned about your topic. If you don't have a workable topic, you won't have a successful essay.
Enjoy your weekend. Good luck to those who have a match or a meet!
Ms. Moyer


Grammar Make-Ups


If you are required to redo any areas of the first grammar unit, it will be indicated on the top of your quiz. Follow the extra practice procedures listed below for the sections that you have been assigned. When you have successfully completed the re-quiz for each section that you are responsible for, you will then receive half the credit back on the quiz for the that section.You may ask for help at any time during this process.If you do not understand an assignment, or have questions, please see me or any other freshman English teacher (Ms. Debby, Mr. Manelski, or Mrs. Linton).You may work on more than one section at a time or work on just one at a time. The final deadline for make-ups is October 9. Please note that if you do not make up the required sections, your grade will be recorded as a 0/40.

Procedure for making up a grammar section.

A.Go to the STUDENT DOCS folder on the network.

(This may be accessed by going to any school computer and clicking on My Computer)

B.Go to the English Folder.Go to the Grammar Worksheets.Choose the folder that you need to make up.

C.Choose the first exercise worksheet and print it out.Complete the worksheet for homework and turn it in.

D.If the worksheet demonstrates mastery of the concept, then you will be able to take the quiz (Step E).If you do not demonstrate mastery on the worksheet, go back to the folder for another worksheet.Choose the second worksheet for your second attempt, the third worksheet for the third attempt, and so on.

E.The quiz will be in the English Writing center.If you get a 100% on the quiz, then you will have completed the makeup process for that section.



Welcome Parents!

It's exciting to have all of you here for Mini-Roster Night. I hope you find the information you receive tonight helpful and informative - maybe even a little entertaining? Please feel free to check in with the blog anytime for updates about what's going on in the classroom, and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have. I look forward to continuing to get to know your sons and daughters as the year continues!


Junior Summer Reading Essay Test Tips

Here are the tips for your test next week. If you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to email or stop by so we can chat. To the students in my Friday last period class, I forgot to return your paragraphs. Please stop in Monday to pick them up, so that you can read my comments before your test! Sorry!

:-) Ms. Moyer


  1. DEFINE the trait in the opening/intro. paragraph. Don’t just say Elizabeth is opinionated and give me a list of times she displays opinions in the novel. Explain to me what it means to be opinionated.
  2. End your intro. with a thesis statement. Identify the trait along with how the trait influences the character’s fate.
  3. Choose a definite trait – Avoid a character’s likes/dislikes/opinions. No pride or prejudice allowed!
  4. Choose appropriate and specific evidence. You should come to class with 6 pieces of evidence marked in YOUR texts. No other explanation or analysis is allowed. See me with concerns about previously established marginal notes.
  5. Be sure to introduce all quotations. Never begin a sentence with quotation marks!
  6. Actively analyze evidence - SHOW how the quotation demonstrates the defined trait or links the trait to the fate. Avoid “This quote shows…”
  7. Use in text citation for evidence (page number is sufficient).


  1. Don’t talk about a character changing – no before/after
  2. Don’t use anyone’s book but your own; I will be checking (possibly even collecting) your books. Sharing books would constitute academic dishonesty.


Juniors Journal #2


Journal Assignment #2

Some of you have already addressed the differences between our society’s attitudes towards women and relationships as compared to the attitudes present in Jane Austen’s society. Take a few minutes to do some web research about those past beliefs (you might use Austen’s life span, 1775-1817, as a way to focus your search). Be sure you are consulting a credible source. Once you’ve read some background information, journal about your findings. Did anything you read provoke an emotional response? Explain. Connect your findings to a specific character, relationship, or situation in Pride and Prejudice.Be prepared to share your responses in class tomorrow. Hint: If you're having trouble finding information, might be a good place to start. Can't wait to hear your insights!


Journal Expectations for Juniors

EIIIR: Journal Expectations

Ms. Moyer


As I’ve already mentioned in the class introduction, I hope by second quarter to convert our journals to an online format, i.e. a wiki/blog. Until that happens, you will need to keep a dedicated space for journaling in a notebook or a binder that you intend to bring to class daily. I’d like to keep the expectations for journals basic since the concept is to encourage a more personal, rather than formal, expression of ideas.

Here’s what you need to know:

-I’m asking you to journal, not brainstorm, so sentences please.

-I don’t expect perfect grammar and organization, but careful writing is appreciated.

-The more thoughtful your response, the better!

-Entries don’t need to conform to a set length, but they must be long enough to thoroughly express and develop an idea/point-of-view.

-Have fun! This is your way to interact with the text in a more informal, personal way.

For your first journal assignment, I’d like you to offer/develop a unique critical insight about something from the summer reading novels. I’ve used the vague phrasing of ‘something’ in order to allow for a wide variety of approaches. Perhaps you noticed something interesting about a character’s personality or his or her interaction with another character. Perhaps you noticed some form of recurring image or symbol. As long as you’re analyzing, not summarizing, and as long as you’re not telling me why you liked or didn’t like the book, pretty much anything goes.

Entries are due on the second day of summer reading testing. I’ve included a sample entry below not to dictate structure to you, but to give you an idea of what I mean by critical insight.

At the end of chapter 13, Huxley makes it clear that John and Lenina’s potential for any kind of relationship is non-existent. He does so in a clever way by having each of them speak different languages, literally. John quotes Shakespeare to Lenina as a way of convincing her that she should view human relationships as something sacred, something to be nourished and valued, while Lenina responds with the hypnopeadic sayings that encourage casual sex and self medication (in the form of soma). Neither one gets what the other is saying, and interestingly, I think Huxley is perhaps suggesting that neither is in the right. John, attracted to the elevated nature of the Shakespearean English, focuses too much on an ideal society that will never exist. Lenina, in contrast, falls back on the neat, simple sayings that lead her to believe that life involves nothing more than practical repetition of empty sayings. Neither character takes a realistic approach.


First Day

What a great first day of classes! Here's hoping for an even better year ahead. Good luck on the upcoming summer reading tests. If you have any questions, stop by the office and we can review.
:-) Ms. Moyer