Honors: Juniors

End of the World


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 October 6th. NO LATE CONTRACTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

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

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

Turnitin ID: 15594414  PW: gokturk


Select TWO novels that work well together:


1984 by George Orwell

Earth Abides by George Stewart

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Everything Matters! By Ron Currie

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


MONTH 1 & 2 1/2

I would like to see you dedicate five weeks for each novel. Break down your readings for each work into FIVE sections and write your responses around that reading.  For example, if your novel is 250 pages, read 50 pages for each of the five weeks and write about one of the prompts below for that particular section (i.e., 1-50).


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.”


Each week, in lieu of meetings in person and a Writing Log, I ask that you write short essay responses (minimum one page singles spaced or 500 words) that use direct quotes evidence and are written formally. Use MLA parenthetical citations. See Purdue’s OWL site. These mini-essays will be part of your FINAL PORTFOLIO and will also be used to help you write your comparative paper. You will submit these to turnitin every week.  Every week, I will provide feedback.  Each will be graded out of 25.  Should your grade be less than 20, you must revise that week and print the revision for me. Be mindful of this!



For each weekly mini-essay, write one and half to two (1.5-2) pages SINGLE SPACED. Your minimum word count is 500 words.


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.

·        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 week to convey.  Your responses should discuss an idea that appeared to you in that section of the reading AND also review previous readings.



Select one of the following questions each week. Use the following questions and 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 who 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. MOTIF/S. What course motifs appear in the work? How/why are they used?

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

12. 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?

13. 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?

14. 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.

15. 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?

16. 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?

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

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

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

20. 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.




We will use the rest of the 3rd month for three things: a film study, polishing previously written essays, and writing the final piece.


FINAL ESSAY :Write an analytical essay on BOTH your texts. You should develop a controlling idea that works with both 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 1000 words or more. Please submit to turnitin.



Film Study: select one movie title to pair with EACH of 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 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. You may consider watching the film just after you finish each novel.


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


Edge of Tomorrow


Donny Darko


Everything Matters!





Earth Abides and/or The Last Man 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 and/or 1984

The Island

Never Let Me Go

Minority Report




Finish the final 1000 word comparative essay. Submit to turnitin.


All pieces are copied and pasted into one document, double spaced, pages numbered.  Also include a cover page, table of contents, reflection, and make sure all the writing has been revised and polished.



  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, double 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.



Honors Project 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?

·        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.