TVS AP Eng Lang Summer Reading: Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
($9.42 on Amazon right now; ISBN-13: 978-0812984965)
Overall goal: awareness of Stevenson’s claim (argumentative message, thesis--WHAT HE SAYS) and the writing moves he makes as he argues it (HOW HE SAYS IT). For the purposes of this course, that includes Stevenson’s own credibility as an authority on the subject, the quality of his evidence, and his awareness of his audience. Your task: read, think, respond, and annotate appropriately.
What the heck does that mean? It means I want you to enjoy this book, so I don’t want to ruin that experience by requiring heavy annotation. But I also want you to be able to USE this book, and quickly, when we return in August. So you have to know your way around, be able to find things, remember what you noticed while reading. You decide how you want to do this. Find a balance between too much and not enough. I’ll collect your books and annotations upon our return from vacation, and you will receive a grade for the work you’ve done. Below, you will find some suggestions; you may choose any/all/none/go with some other plan. Just have a plan.
Here’s the fun part! After August 1st, check in here
Annotating Stylistic and Interpretive Observations: Noticing the Moves a Writer Makes
- Inside front cover: list major characters, key scenes (w/ page numbers)
- Bottom and top page margins: make note of key plot moments/summary of action
- Side margins: stylistic and interpretive observations
- Circle words you don’t know; number a series of points or examples.
- Put a question mark in the margin to indicate confusion; exclamation point for surprise.
- F for figurative language / D for description / I for imagery
- Star or asterisk * to indicate most important information
- Marks (checks, arrows, happy/sad/angry surprised faces) to indicate notable but not vital information.
- Note table of contents: great titles! Jot quick notes on what happens in each chapter.
- Keep track of anything you feel makes Stevenson a credible source of information: credentials, valuable experience, insight, etc.
- Take notes in an accompanying notebook, or on stickies (the MS way!!).
Underline or highlight valuable and important lines, of course, but do not do ONLY this--better to explain why you’ve chosen to underline with some other indicator in the margin. Words. In the margin. Of your book. :)