Gokturk’s Honors Packet


Please register with Remind and turnitin.

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

** I will text you a date with a date for a mandatory meeting before you begin, so please register ASAP even if you are not 100% sure. Also, familiarize yourself with the titles and acquire the book ASAP.

 Turnitin ID:  18289601              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. You will write ten mini essays about the first work. Therefore, break down the number pf 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. In general, you will have two weeks to complete your reading and submit the one page single-spaced essay (minimum). See below.


I am NOT requiring a separate Writer’s Log; however, I do expect you to 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.”


Approximately every 10-14 days (please see turnitin for the due dates), in lieu of meetings in person and submitting a Writing Log, 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. 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 will be part of your FINAL PORTFOLIO. 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.  At the end of the semester, you will write a 1500 word comparative essay.



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.


These are extremely important. They count as:

·         your meetings with me. I will provide feedback for your revisions.

·         Your reading logs. These are your proof that you read and read carefully.  Be mindful to include specific details and quotes. Your quotes must be selected by you as you read; please, no Internet searches for the “right” evidence.  BORING.

·         Portfolio Pieces. Each piece will be revised and printed in a final portfolio.


You compositions 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. Rather, you should explore a different, specific point each due date.  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.

AGAIN: Each short essay will be graded out of 25.  If your paper receives less than a 20, it must be revised and submitted to the PROBLEM PAPER SLOT that week.  If you receive more than two grades lower than 20, a discussion about dropping will most likely occur.  ALL PAPERS are revised for the final portfolio.

Assignments due at turnitin

Proposal (see turnitin for prompt)         Oct 1


Work 1 : Prompt 1                                     Oct 9


Work 1 : Prompt 2                                      Oct 22


Work 1 : Prompt 3                                      Nov 5


Work 1 : Prompt 4                                      Nov 19


Work 1 : Prompt 5                                      Dec 3



Film or Work 2 : Prompt 1                        Dec 10


Film or Work 2 : Prompt 2                         Dec 17


Comparative Essay                                   Jan 11


Reflection                                                     Jan 14



w/ title page, table of contents, reflection and revised all work



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.

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.

22. COMPARISON. After finishing the novel, consider ideas presented in the other works we read this semester. Please develop a controlling idea that allows you to compare this novel with one other work from the class.  Your thesis should be arguable and specific.  Provide evidence and analysis from both works.





Film Study: select one movie title (or select a second novel) to pair with your novel. See the list for your class. Write TWO separate responses 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.


FINAL COMPARATIVE ESSAY: Write an analytical essay comparing your work, your film (or second novel), and 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. Please submit it to turnitin.



  1. Revise ALL the previous assignments. See my comments, read aloud, visit the Writing Center, and make sure all pieces are polished. I WILL NOT ACCEPT chronic mistakes that have been pointed out (For example punctuation, citing, tense, etc.).
  2. Collate everything into one hard copy, single  spaced document (AKA Portfolio), which includes: page numbers, a cover page (include your name, mine, title, titles and authors used, date, and course information), a table of contents, and a reflection letter about the project as a whole.


·         Any assignment that received LESS than a 20 must have been revised and submitted in problem papers slots. These also should be revised again.

·         Revise ALL work (any grade given) and aim for best polish.  There is no excuse for chronic errors.  See earlier assignments and comments to triple check your work. If I had pointed out tense, punctuation, citation, etc. errors that you are continuing to make, this could jeopardize attaining the Honors credit.

·         Write a one page reflection letter commenting on your project, your successes and challenges, what you learned, etc. Use paragraphs!

·         Create a cover page: must include your name, my name, course name, course number, section number, Titles and authors of both works and film, date.

·         Copy and paste all revised work into one document and give page numbers.

·         Create a table of contents. Each essay should be labeled clearly and correspond to your table of contents.

·         Reflection letter should be labeled and serve as an intro to your portfolio.

·         Print final portfolio single spaced and double sided (save paper), staple, and bring to English Dept to my desk by due date.


Your portfolio will be read by me and the chair and then if accepted, it will get Honors credit.


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. Write a ONE PAGE proposal that indicates your selected authors/titles, goals, etc. Contracts with polished proposals due by the due date. 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 ONE novel from below to serve as our 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]


1984 by George Orwell [be aware that Ms. Valenti 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


Replay by Ken Grimwood [if you did not read for me as a sophomore]




The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Replay,  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

The Island

Never Let Me Go

Minority Report

The Island

Never Let Me Go

What Happened to Monday


Westworld (first few episodes)




Sophomore English I -- 1st Semester

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. You may begin reading and writing right away; I have set up slots for your submissions at turnitin. Select TWO novels from below.

M. R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts 

Consider the themes of being different, isolation, belonging and conformity as you read this unlikely narrative. Whose point of view is this? What effect does this have? Recall the works from the first month of class and think about how you can link this novel to them: “The Lottery,” “The Hangman,” Antigone, etc.

Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What does an introverted teen need in order to feel like he belongs? Consider the themes of the course as you follow this coming of age story.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One

As you read this novel, consider how the character/s seek to find meaning a valuable place in this bleak place. What types of psychological pressures/stress do these teens experience and why? What role do the adults play? Recall the works from the second half of class and think about how you can link this novel to them: Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, etc.

Caroline Ives Gilman’s Halfway Human

How is Tedla’s happiness and misery directly linked to its place in community? How is it exploited? Does Tedla find its place in the world? What factors contribute to its changes? Think about this character is displaced like Holden Caulfield. Also consider the power of tradition and bystanders as seen in our short stories.

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Consider how being special is handled in this novel. Why won’t Kathy rebel? Why do the characters accept their fate? Contrast this novel with Antigone and True Diary. Also, pay attention to what is NOT said and examine the role of tradition and bystanders.

Moacyr Scliar’s The Centaur in the Garden

Explore the idea of being different, conformity and non-conformity. How does Guedali come to deal with these issues? Does he find his psychological comfort zone?



The Girl With All the Gifts & Centaur in the Garden

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Good Will Hunting

See first few episodes of iZombie


Ready Player One

Ender’s Game

Princess Mononoke

The Matrix



Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Breakfast Club

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Pretty in Pink

Sixteen Candles


Never Let Me Go

The Island

Never Let Me Go


Westworld (first few episodes)


Halfway Human


Blade Runner


Westworld (first few episodes)


Sophomore English II:  Honors Project Yearlong Commitment: 2nd Semester

You may begin reading and writing right away; I have set up slots for your submissions at turnitin.


Novels [select ONE]


Dark Characters / Anti-heroes

Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Dexter Morgan by Jeff Lindsay

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

Misery by Stephen King


Secrets / Atonement

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

CS Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

Dan Simmons’ Song of Kali [some scary horror scenes]


Fate / Destiny vs. Free Will / Choice

Albert Camus’ The Stranger

Ken Grimwood’s Replay

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

Jose Saramago’s Blindness



Film Study: select one movie title to pair with your works. Watch the films and write a 2 page single spaced response to the film that supports a controlling idea for both works (the title and the film). Please incorporate course themes discussions into your analysis. Please submit to turnitin.



Dark Characters

The Grifters

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Perfect Stranger

I am Not a Serial Killer


Natural Born Killers

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Mr. Brooks

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Hard Candy



Life of Pi


What Lies Beneath


The Village

Perfect Stranger

Swimming Pool

The Sixth Sense


Fate / Free Will

Simon Birch

The Adjustment Bureau


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Sliding Doors