Gokturk’s Honors Packet


Please register with Remind and turnitin.

JUNIORS: Remind101 send message @h2ek6e to 81010

Turnitin ID: 21523710 PW: gokturk

SOPHOMORES: Remind101 send message @msgoktur to 81010 [no K; that’s not a typo!]

Turnitin ID: 21523697 PW: gokturk



Find your course specific page at the end of this packet and select the works you would like to write and think about this semester. Select your text/s and write a proposal: submit to turnitin.



Please submit your proposal by indicating in three separate paragraphs a response to each [approximately 1 page single spaced]: 1) motivation for participating in Honors option (please be honest!) as well as prior Honors experience [please discuss the works you covered/when and the honors process and its pros and cons—please also cite previous mentor teachers], 2) Indicate book title/s select/ed and why for this project, 3) prior experience with literary studies and reflect on your writing. Are you at Honors level writing? What does that mean to you?



See the turnitin schedule to calculate how to divide your readings. For example, if you will write five mini essays on the novel you select, break down the number of pages by 5. For example, if your novel is 250 pages, you will have five 50 page readings.


For each reading, select a prompt and use specific evidence/quotes from that section of the reading to explore the idea. You need to know how to blend and cite quotes MLA format.


Read actively and annotate: things that strike you, patterns, connections to the course, literary analysis, etc. Because I am also NOT requiring one-on-one discussion in person, your writing submitted to turnitin and my feedback will serve as our “meetings.” Please do not “find inspiration” on your text online. Be honest and engage in authentic discourse.

YOUR ANNOTATIONS WILL BE COLLECTED AND GRADED. Your book should look abused – written in, post-its, dog eared, highlighted. Most important: YOUR NOTES! Interact emotionally with the text. Look to patterns. Connect to course themes.


Every week (please see turnitin for the due dates), in lieu of meetings in person, I ask that you write short essay responses (minimum one-page single spaced or 550 words) that use direct quotes evidence and are written formally. Your annotations should be useful. Read the prompts before you read, and annotate for ideas.


For each mini-essay, write one and half to two (1.5-2) pages SINGLE SPACED. Your minimum word count is 550 words, but your responses will most likely warrant more writing as you get deeper into the text.


You essays should never be plot summaries -- not only have I read the works, but I loved them. That’s why they are on your Honors list.

You should explore a different, specific point each due date.  Be mindful of the menu before you read so you can annotate with purpose.

Your responses should discuss an idea that appeared to you in that section of the reading AND also review previous readings. DO NOT CONSULT online sources.

Use MLA parenthetical citations. See Purdue’s OWL site [https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html] to see the proper formatting.


These mini-essays serve as our meetings. You will submit these to turnitin every due date.  I will check to see that you have completed work and provide feedback early in the process to make sure you are on track for the expectations. Each will be graded out of 25. Should your grade be less than 20, you must revise that week and submit the revision to the corresponding PROBLEM PAPER turnitin slot. If you receive more than two grades lower than 20, a discussion about dropping will most likely occur. At the end of the semester, you will write a 1500 word comparative essay, comparing your works to a course work.


Again: you must meet all due dates and you must revise when lower than 20 and submit that revision within a week.








Select one of the following questions for each required response (see turnitin) . When submitting, title your submission with the Work Title and Question Selected. For example: Time’s Arrow: Motifs. Or, The Grifters: Skills. This title should appear in the subject bar of TURNITIN as well as on each document.


1.    QUESTION. Ask a question about the narrative or the author’s method and answer it.

2.    PROBLEM. What problem does a character face? Explore the nature of the problem and what solutions the character attempts. Explain using textual evidence.

3.    STRUCTURE. Discuss the structure of the novel. How does it help you understand the character’s situation?

4.    ANTI-HERO. Using our definition of the anti-hero, explore how the anti-hero of the text proving the definition right with textual evidence.

5.    REDEMPTION. Sometimes characters make bad choices change for the better. Or not. What is happening with your character? Is he/she redeeming himself or herself?

6.    PHILOSOPHY. The narrator or character probably has a particular mindset. Explore what this is and support your assertion with specific evidence.

7.    CLOSE READ. Select a passage to close read. Write it out and analyze every part of it.

8.    RELATIONSHIP/S. Analyze the relationships in the novel and how they reveal the character’s values.

9.    SKILLS. Select a character. What skills does he or she possess? Are these skills a curse, a gift, or both?

10. FORCES. What forces shape a character? Explore.

11. MOTIF/S. What course motifs appear in the work? How/why are they used?

12. MINOR CHARACTER. Select a minor character and explore why he or she exists in the narrative.

13. GENDER ISSUES. Consider the gender of the characters in the novel. How are male and female characters portrayed? How does gender influence the choices and the decisions they make?

14. CHOICE. A character may face a difficult choice in this section of the reading. Explore the difficulty and why it is difficult. Is there a clear answer to you?

15. CURRENT EVENTS. Connect your novel to a real life story / situation. Be sure to cite your outside source and connect part by part to your novel. Your focus is on the literature, not the current event, FYI. Use the current event as a springboard into the text.

16. CLASS ISSUES. What social classes are represented in the novel? To what extent is each class depicted? Are all the classes given equal representations? How does class shape the important themes of the novel?

17. DREAMS & REALITY. Each of the main characters is introduced with dreams, plans, and expectations. The characters often must come to terms with the difference between their expectations and their reality. Examine how the character/s navigate their journey from dream to reality. What kind of course do they follow? How are they changed in this journey?

18. CONNECT TO THE CLASS. Discuss how your section of the reading connects to idea/s presented in class.

19. SELF-LOATHING. Explore how a character’s self-loathing defines him or her. Does s/he change? Why?

20. RELIGION / SPIRTUALITY. Explore a character’s connection to religion or some force bigger then themselves.

21. FREE TOPIC. What haven’t you discussed about this work that you would like to analyze? Choose a highly specific point to analyze.


Film Study: select a movie to pair with your first work. See the list for your class. Write a response using the same prompt list you used for the first work. Please incorporate course motifs into your analysis. Please submit to turnitin. [If you have another thematically linked film in mind other than those listed below, please see me.] The Port Public Library has many of these available, as does Netflix and/or Amazon.


COMPARATIVE ESSAY/S: Write an analytical essay comparing your TWO novels selected + one work from class. You should develop a controlling idea that works with all works. This controlling idea should be arguable.  You should also be discussing within your essay how/why the author has used literary techniques and devices. You may (and are encouraged) to revisit all your previous essays and use them for inspiration and searching for quotes. This essay should be about 1500 words or more.

REFLECTION. Your final piece of the project is a reflection on the project. What grade would you give your Honors work? What was your motivation to undertake the project? How did your project and writing complement the course material? How engaged were you with the text you selected? What did you think of “virtual” meetings rather than having in person meetings? How did you go about selecting evidence for your writings? How would you rate your annotations? The process of notetaking? Did you become a stronger reader or writer? How was your time management? Would you prefer an Honors class or an Honors project? Did you use the Writing Center? What was the most challenging piece of the project? Do you feel that it was an authentic process? Comment on any and all pertinent issues. Basically, write a last essay, this time personal in nature, about your experience. Use paragraphs.


Is there a chance my project won’t be accepted?

Yes.  If you hand in sloppy and undeveloped writing, ignored revising, or plagiarized any part, your project will not be accepted.


How will I know my paper was accepted?

You will receive Honors credit! If there is a problem with your portfolio, I will contact you.



Dos and Don’ts Guidelines



·         Use the Writing Center! Room 212 during 4-1 and 4-2. Get help/feedback. Revise and polish all your writing before including it in your portfolio.



·         Never take reading short cuts such as Sparknotes or Wikipedia, etc. What’s the point?

·         Don’t look online for “meaningful” quotes. Rather, highlight as you read passages that speak to you or perplex you.

·         Never, ever plagiarize. Whether it be a phrase, an idea, or analysis from any uncited source other than yourself, it is plagiarism. Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional use of someone else’s ideas and presenting them as your own. Even the smallest infraction will result in termination of your project. Always cite any words or ideas from anywhere other than your own mind. See above MLA citing.

·         Do not plot summarize. Select your evidence deliberately.

·         Do not wait until the last minute to complete your reading or writing.

·         Do not use “I” or “you” in your writing.


Juniors: Dystopia / End of the World Semester Project


Please print and sign the contract packet from the English Department’s website; read and sign the page with a parent. Submit with your proposal. NO LATE CONTRACTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. You may begin reading and writing right away; I have set up slots for your submissions at turnitin. Select TWO novels to serve as your Honors focus:


Earth Abides by George Stewart


One Second After by William Forstchen


The Road by Cormac McCarthy


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood [be aware that is a required summer reading book for AP English senior year]


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


1984 by George Orwell [be aware that Ms. Valenti sometimes teaches this in World Lit, so do not select this if you are taking her course or have taken it]


Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguru [if you did not read this for me as a sophomore]


Everything Matters! By Ron Currie [do not select if you read this with me sophomore year]


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North


Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis




If a film shares a title with a novel you read, avoid it.


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, and/or Time’s Arrow


Edge of Tomorrow


Donny Darko


Everything Matters!





Earth Abides, One Second After and/or The Road

The Last Man on Earth (with Vincent Price)

The Book of Eli

A Boy and His Dog

The Omega Man (with Charlton Heston)

I am Legend (with Will Smith)

The Road


The Handmaid’s Tale, Never Let Me Go and/or 1984, Brave New World

The Handmaid’s Tale (season 1, HULU)

The Island

Never Let Me Go

Minority Report

The Island

Never Let Me Go

What Happened to Monday?


Westworld (first few episodes)





Assignments all submitted at turnitin


Required meeting with me to

discuss book choices Week of Sept 16-- 27


Proposal (see turnitin for prompt) Oct 4

Work 1 : Prompt 1 Due Oct 7

Work 1 : Prompt 2 Due Oct 14

Work 1 : Prompt 3 Due Oct 21

Work 1 : Prompt 4 Due Oct 28

Work 1 : Prompt 5 Due Nov 4


Required Meeting

Annotations Due Week of Nov 4 -- 8



Film 1 Prompt Due Nov 12


Work 2 : Prompt 1 Due Nov 18

Work 2 : Prompt 2 Due Nov 25

Work 2 : Prompt 3 Due Dec 2

Work 2 : Prompt 4 Due Dec 9

Work 2 : Prompt 5 Due Dec 16

Required Meeting

Annotations Due

Thesis and Outline Due Week of Jan 6-10


Comparative Essay Due Jan 17

Reflection Due Jan 23



Sophomore English

In order to participate in the Honors Option, you must have earned an A first quarter; you must maintain an A average in order to continue. Please print and sign the contract packet from the English Department’s website; read and sign the page with a parent. Submit the top page to me by the due date. NO LATE CONTRACTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.


Caroline Ives Gilman’s Halfway Human


Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go


Russell Greenan’s It Happened in Boston?


Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory


Dorothy Bryant’s The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You


Jose Saramago’s Blindness



Week of November 12 Meet with me informally to discuss books, questions, etc.

November 18th CONTRACT & PROPOSAL DUE. See guidelines and indicate which FOUR titles you selected. You should have acquired your first book and begin reading. Submit your proposal to turnitin.

November 25 Work 1 : Prompt 1 DUE

December 2 Work 1 : Prompt 2 DUE

December 9 Work 1 : Prompt 3 DUE

December 16 Work 1 : Prompt 4 DUE

December 23 Work 1 : Prompt 5 DUE

January 6 Annotations Book 1 DUE

January 6 Work 2 : Prompt 1

January 13 Work 2 : Prompt 2

January 20 Work 2 : Prompt 3

January 27 Work 2 : Prompt 4

February 3 Work 2 : Prompt 5

Week of February 3-7th Annotations Book 2 DUE. Required meeting with mentor. Come prepared with thesis and outline for your Comparative 1500 word Essay.

Week of February 10 - 14 Draft of essay due. Must work on it at Writing Center. Get slip of paper that you attended. Must submit for credit.

February 17 Final Draft First Major Essay Due


February 24 Work 3 : Prompt 1 DUE

March 2 Work 3 : Prompt 2 DUE

March 9 Work 3 : Prompt 3 DUE

March 16 Work 3 : Prompt 4 DUE

March 23 Work 3 : Prompt 5 DUE

March 24 Annotations for Book 3 Due

March 30 Work 4 : Prompt 1 DUE

April 6 Work 4 : Prompt 2 DUE

April 20 Work 4 : Prompt 3 DUE

April 27 Work 4 : Prompt 4 DUE

May 4 Work 4 : Prompt 5 DUE

Week of May 4 -- 8 Annotations for Book 4 Due. Required meeting with mentor. Come prepared with thesis and outline for your Comparative 1500 word Essay.

Week of May 11th – 15th Draft of essay due. Must work on it at Writing Center. Get slip of paper that you attended. Must submit for credit.

May 21 Final Draft Second Major Essay Due

May 28 Reflection Due


Additional meetings may be scheduled at the mentor’s discretion (this includes conferences, online discussion groups, and responses submitted to www.turnitin.com, etc.). Failure to meet all deadlines and requirements will result in being dropped from the Program.