Carry Your Own Skis” Essay Prompt



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Carry Your Own Skis” Essay Prompt

Liam Dolan, in her essay “Carry Your Skis,” explains that she wants people to be responsible for themselves and their stuff. She makes her point by describing her experience carrying her own skis when she first learned to ski.

In a minimum of a one-paged MLA typed essay, you and your partner will describe Dolan’s purpose for writing “Carry Your Own Skis.” You will each present to small groups.

Learning Targets


  • I can understand literature that is at my grade level.

  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate for the task and audience.

  • I can participate in a variety of discussions, building on others’ ideas, while expressing my ideas clearly and convincingly.

  • I can present information in a manner that is clear and is appropriate to my audience and task.

Sign up for one of the following prompts

1. In “Carry Your Own Skis,” by Lian Dolan uses repetition is a persuasive appeal. In an essay, discuss the writer’s use of repetition mentioning specific examples from the text. In your essay, explain why you think Dolan's use of repetition appeals to reason, to emotion, or to a mixture of both.

2. The first part of Dolan's essay “Carry Your Own Skis,” deals with skiing. The second part of her essay deals with many other experiences in her life. In an essay, explain how Dolan makes use of her mother's rule—“carry your own skis”-- in the second part of her essay. Give two specific examples of how she applied the rule off the ski slopes in her teenage and adult life. Then tell what her persuasive essay aims to persuade her readers to believe or do.

3. How does the title of Dolan's “Carry Your Own Skis,” relate to the writer’s central message? In an essay identify the theme of the selection and then discuss the ways in which the author supports her point of view. Does she use appeals to reason, appeals to emotion, or a mixture of both? Support your main idea was specific references to the text.

4. Persuasive essays most often focus on controversial topics on which people can have a legitimate differences of opinion. In “Carry Your Own Skis,” however, Dolan promotes a message with which few people would disagree: the necessity for individual responsibility. What specific details does Dolan select in order to give her essay audience appeal, credibility, and persuasive power? In an essay, discuss how Dolan manages to make her writing fresh and forceful.

Rubric=30 POINTS

Individual: Each member will attach their rough draft and final copy to this paper 10 POINTS

Group grade: Participate in producing clear and coherent writing with your partner 10 POINTS

Minimum one-paged typed MLA format

Print 2 copies one for you and one for your partner

Presentation: Each member will present individually to a small group 10 POINTS

Each member will fill-in “TAG! You’re IT!” at bottom for the other 3 presentations





Name #1: ________________________

Tell the writer something you liked? _______________________________________________________________

Ask the writer a question? ______________________________________________________________________

Give the writer a positive suggestion: ______________________________________________________________



Name #2: ________________________

Tell the writer something you liked? _______________________________________________________________

Ask the writer a question? ______________________________________________________________________

Give the writer a positive suggestion: ______________________________________________________________



Name #3:________________________

Tell the writer something you liked? _______________________________________________________________

Ask the writer a question? ______________________________________________________________________

Give the writer a positive suggestion: ______________________________________________________________

Tips

Minimum one-page typed double spaced



Each person should have one-page handwritten rough draft skipping lines

Feel free to share contact information

Tomorrow bring in a checking pen or pencil to peer edit each other’s portion

Identify the essay title and author in the first paragraph

“Carry Your Own Skis” by Liam Dolan

How to cite an essay: http://www.wikihow.com/Cite-an-Essay

Sample answers:


  1. Dolan begins her essay using repetition because it lets her show how hard her mother and aunt work to accomplish their goal and why. Paragraph 3 ends with the valuable “life lesson” the author learned as a child.

The consequences include missing fun, being unpopular, and letting people down. She give, specific examples to support her argument, such as being left all day at the ski lodge, not being invited to go on camping trips, and missing a deadline at work.

Dolan draws an analogy between her responsibilities and adult life (husband, children, house, friends, and radio show) with the skis, boots, and poles she carried in childhood. Most students will say that the analogy was effective.



  1. Student should identify two appeals. They might point out that Dolan could have been given several more specific instances from her current life--perhaps from conflicts that have arisen in connection with her radio show. She might also have mentioned feelings of independence, satisfaction, and pride that comes from being self-sufficient. Student’s responses should be relevant and reasonable.




  1. Student should mention the authors numerous repetition and variations on the title “Carry Your Own Skis.” Students may also note Dolan’s repetition of words like responsible and phrases like “the lodge and back, baby.” Students will probably agree that the repetition of these words and phrases appeals to emotion rather than reason.



  1. Students’ essays should know that Dolan uses her mother's rule “carry your own skis” as a metaphor for being responsible for oneself and one's actions. Student should provide two examples from the text (for example, making peanut butter sandwiches at camp, doing her work at college, juggling work at home, responsibilities as an adult). Students should include statements of Dolan's goal: to persuade readers to be responsible for themselves and actions.

Mrs. McBride

English 9

February 9, 2017



“Carry Your Own Skis” Essay

Liam Dolan, in her essay “Carry Your Own Skis,” explains that she wants people to be responsible. She refers to the valuable “life lesson” the she learned as a child.

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