Ms. Gokturk


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Advanced Composition

Course Description


Advanced Composition is a course which stresses improving your essay writing skills. You will read fiction and non-fiction, essays, newspaper and magazine articles, your peers’ essays, and anything else we can find to inspire.  This course is about youYou will write about you, your experiences, people you love and hate, your views on the readings, your opinions of the world, and you will pursue your own interests for research.  You are the main subject!


Required Readings

Models for Writers assigned readings

Albert Camus’ The Stranger (novel) and The Misunderstanding (play)

Ron Currie Jr.’s Everything Matters!

Israel Horovitz’ Line (play)

The Matrix and / or Stranger Than Fiction and or Sliding Doors (films)


What is Expected?

·        A Commitment to the Writing Process During All Stages: Diligence during class and lab writing time, prepared with TWO copies double spaced on peer edit days (if absent, you are responsible to email your draft to me by class time so it can be edited or you will receive a zero), revisions using peer feedback, and thoughtful writer responses.

·        Thoughtful and Developed Written Work (Journals are all one page single spaced  OR two pages handwritten à 500 words range)

·        Solid Peer Editing

·        Thoughtful Discussion & Positive Energy in the Class

·        Final Portfolio [all work revised]



1.      Personal Narrative / Memoir: Significant Moment Essay*[1]

2.      Biography: Person of Influence Essay*

3.      Literary Analysis Essay

4.      Process Analysis: The How To or How It Happens Essay*

5.      Argument & Persuasion: Editorials and Op-Eds*

6.      Personal Research Essay & Photo Story Presentation

7.      Portfolio: Make a beautiful house for all your work!




The Common Application College Essay Prompts


2016-2017 Essay Prompts 

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
 2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.










HW #1 (25 points)


Ms. Gokturk

Advanced Composition


Pre-Course Reflection: How I Feel About Writing


No matter where you find yourself on the writer ladder, whether you consider yourself a struggling “bad” writer at the bottom or an articulate “good” writer at the top, you will improve in this class.  At the end of the semester, you will be asked to reflect on the writing you completed in this course.  In order to measure your growth as a writer, it is important to take a moment to recognize your perceptions at the start of the class.


YOUR TASK: Write a one page, single spaced composition that describes your attitude and feelings about writing.  Consider how you view yourself as a writer (or non-writer) and why.  Remember your best work, your most difficult, and remark on your strengths and weaknesses.  Be honest about why you took this course and what your expectations are.  Highlight what you’d like to improve.


Organize your ideas into a short essay format: you should have an introduction, a body that develops your ideas, and a conclusion. PLEASE BE SURE TO USE PARAGRAPHS TO ORGANIZE YOUR IDEAS!


You will hand in a hard copy, but be sure to keep an electronic version handy and in a safe place.



*1 Possible  college essay