Leopard Man Activity 1 Getting Ready to Read—Quickwrite

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Leopard Man Activity 1
Getting Ready to Read—Quickwrite

Answer one of the following questions individually. Your response should be ½ page in length. You can handwrite it or type it on Google Drive.

  • Have you ever felt like an outsider in a group? What made you feel that way? How were you treated by others?


  • Have you ever known someone who you thought was truly an individual? Write about what you think makes them an individual.

After you have written for 5-10 minutes, discuss your responses in a group. After your group discussion, answer the following question:

What are the three most interesting ideas your group had about being an individual or belonging to a group? List them in complete sentences.

Leopard Man Activity 2
Introducing Key Concepts

As a group, discuss the definition of the following words:

  1. conformist

  2. nonconformist

On Google Drive or a separate piece of paper, answer the following questions:

  1. What makes someone a “conformist”?

  2. What makes someone a “nonconformist”?

Leopard Man Activity 3

Making Predictions and Asking Questions

Answer the questions in Google Drive or on a separate piece of paper:

  1. From the title, what do you think this essay is going to be about?

  2. What do you think is the purpose of this essay?

  3. Who do you think is the intended audience for this piece? How do you know?

  4. Based on the title and other features of the text, what information or ideas do you think will be in this essay?

Discuss your answers in a group.

Next, read the first paragraph of the essay and the first sentence of each paragraph. Then respond to the following:

  1. What is the main topic of the text?

  2. Summarize the main ideas from what you have read so far.

  3. What is the author’s opinion on the topic?

  4. What do you think the writer wants the reader to do or believe? How did you come to this conclusion?

  5. Turn the title into a question (or questions) to answer as you read the essay. Write this question on the top of a sheet of paper. As you read, write down the paragraph numbers that contain answers to this question.

Leopard Man Activity 4
Introducing Key Vocabulary

Chart your familiarity with these key vocabulary words by filling in the last three columns below. Then, in pairs, look up the definitions of all the words. Spending time with new and unfamiliar words will improve your understanding of the essay.



Know It Well

Don’t Know It

Have Heard of It

sociology (title)

existence (1)

mutilations (2)

anti-social (2)

socialites (2)

civilization (3)

extraordinary (4)

suspicion (4)

pursue (4)

hamper (4)

pop psychologists (5)

disorders (5)

overwhelmingly (5)

self-inflicted (5)

will (6)

seceding (7)

dependent (2, 9)

shun (9)

environs (10)

independently (10)

Leopard Man Activity 5

First Reading—Understanding the Essay

To prepare for your first reading, preview the questions that appear after the essay before you read it. After your first reading, answer the following questions on Google Drive or on a separate piece of paper:

  1. Why is Tom Leppard called “Leopard Man”?

  2. What does the author think about people with tattoos and piercings? Why does he have these opinions?

  3. How is Leopard Man different from other tattooed and pierced people?

  4. Where does Leopard Man live?

  5. According to Feys, what kind of people does society fear? Why?

  6. What is the “world’s most common but dangerous psychological disorder” (par. 6)? Explain Feys’ argument in this paragraph.

  7. Why is Leopard Man so happy?

  8. What is Feys’ final message to the reader? What does he want the reader to do?


Take 5-10 minutes to write a journal entry about your understanding of the text at this point. What is the text about? What is your opinion of the author’s main point so far? What parts confuse you? Why? Be prepared to discuss your reactions with the class.

Leopard Man Activity 6

Noticing Language

This exercise will help you continue to build your understanding of the key words in this essay, which will improve your overall comprehension of your reading. Working in groups, complete the chart for each of the words or concepts you have been assigned. Be prepared to present your findings to the class.



Describe the Word

Provide an Example of the Word

Explain the Significance of the Example

Leopard Man Activity 7

Annotating and Questioning the Text

Reread the text, and complete the following assignment:

  1. Highlight and label the following points in the essay in the left-hand margin:

    1. Introduction

    2. Issue or problem being addressed

    3. Author’s main arguments

    4. Author’s examples

    5. Conclusion

  2. Write in the right-hand margin your reactions to what the author is saying.

  3. Highlight in another color any places where you were confused.

Leopard Man Activity 8

Analyzing Stylistic Choices

The questions below about the author’s use of words and sentences will help you understand how the text works. Answer them in Google Drive or on a separate piece of paper. Be prepared to discuss your responses with others.


  1. What is the definition of “non-conformists” (par. 2)? What image comes to your mind when you hear this word?

  2. How do the words “anti-social freak” (par. 2) make you feel? What image comes to mind when you hear those words?

  3. Which words or synonyms are repeated? Why?


  1. What does Feys mean when he says, “Most anti-social freaks, in their obsession with displaying their freakishness, are just as dependent on others’ opinions as approval-seeking socialites” (par. 2)? Explain what he means in this statement.

  2. In paragraph 4, Feys says, “society looks down upon freakish and extraordinary individuals alike and views them with suspicion.” Who is he talking about when he says “freakish and extraordinary individuals”?

  3. Are the sentences in this essay mostly long or short? Are they complex or simple? What effect might these choices of the author have on the reader?

Leopard Man Activity 9

Mapping the Organizational Structure

Learning more about the structure of the text will give you a better understanding of the writer’s approach to his subject, which you can then apply to your own writing. Complete the following tasks individually:

  1. Draw a line across the page where the introduction ends. Is it after the first paragraph, or are there several introductory paragraphs? How do you know?

  2. Draw a line across the page where the conclusion begins. Is the last paragraph the conclusion, or are there several concluding paragraphs? How do you know?

  3. Discuss your reasons for drawing the lines where you did. In this activity, thinking and reasoning about organizational structure is more important than agreeing on where the lines should be drawn.

  4. Now divide the body of the text into sections by topics (what each section is about). Remember that the topic of a section may consist of more than one paragraph.

  5. Write a short description of what each section is about.

Next, answer the following questions on the sections you have identified:

  1. How does each section make you feel? What is the writer trying to accomplish in each?

  2. Which section is the most developed?

  3. Which section is the least developed? What would make it more complete?

  1. Which section is the most convincing or appealing to you? The least convincing or appealing?

  2. On the basis of your map of the text, what do you think is the main argument?

Finally, make a map of the ideas in the article by doing the following:

  1. Draw a circle in the center of a blank page, and put the text’s main idea in the circle.

  2. Write down and circle any related ideas. As you add ideas, draw a line to show what ideas they are related to.

  3. Figure out how the ideas are related to one another. Are they examples? Does each example help explain the main point more?

Leopard Man Activity 10

Summarizing and Responding

The act of summarizing asks you to put someone else’s ideas into your own words to improve your understanding of those ideas.

Use the following GIST guidelines to create your summary:

  • Read the paragraph or essay.

  • Circle or list the important words, phrases, or ideas.

  • Put the reading material aside.

  • Use the important words, phrases, and ideas to generate summary sentences.

  • Add a topic sentence that unifies the summary.

Responding to your reading is an essential part of critical thinking. It helps you understand the main ideas as you also learn to respond to them.

Write a personal response to the piece based on the following questions:

  • What do you think about the essay?

  • How did you feel before reading?

  • How did your feelings change?

  • Were there any areas you were confused by?

  • Were there any areas you were surprised by?

  • Why do you think you had those reactions?

  • What would you say to Leopard Man if you got to meet him?

After you have created your summary and response, write two questions that can be used for a class discussion. Be sure to write your own answers to the questions.

Leopard Man Activity 11

Thinking Critically

The following questions and activities will give you a deeper understanding of Feys’ essay and help you discover how logos, ethos, and pathos work. Answer the questions as thoroughly as you can. Then, complete the quickwrite that follows.

Questions about Logic (Logos)

  1. What are the major claims or assertions made in this reading? Do you agree with the author’s claim that people who try to look different are really looking for attention and approval from society? Explain your answer.

  2. Do any claims appear to be weak or unsupported? Which ones? What makes you think they are unsupported?

  3. What counterarguments does the author not consider?

  4. Do you think the author has left something out on purpose? Explain your answer.

Questions about the Writer (Ethos)

  1. Is the author knowledgeable on this subject? How do you know?

  2. What does the author’s language tell the reader about him?

  3. Does the author seem trustworthy? Why or why not?

  4. Does the author seem serious? In what ways?

Questions about Emotions (Pathos)

  1. How does this piece affect you emotionally? Explain your answer.

  2. Do you think the author is trying to manipulate the readers’ emotions? In what ways? At what points?

  3. Does the author use humor? How does that affect your acceptance of his ideas?

Quickwrite (5 minutes): Look back at the quickwrite you completed before reading this essay. Did your opinion change? Do you still feel the same way about people who are different? Will you change the way you think or act towards people who are different from you? Why or why not?

Leopard Man Activity 12

Reflecting on Your Reading Process

You have now read and analyzed “The Sociology of the Leopard Man” and considered questions of social conformity and individuality. Reflect on your reading and thinking processes by answering the following questions:

  • What have you learned from this article and your discussions with your classmates?

  • What will you look for the next time you read a new article?

  • What reading strategies did you use or learn in this module? How will these strategies apply in other classes?

  • What strategies used by this writer do you think you might use in your own writing?

Leopard Man Activity 13
Considering the Writing Task

Reading the assignment carefully to make sure you address all aspects of the prompt is important. As you read these prompts, list the tasks they each require you to do.

Writing Assignment #1: Narrative Essay

Discuss a time when you have been pressured into changing your feelings, looks, beliefs, or actions to fit into a group. What happened? Did you change to fit in, or did you stay strong in yourself? How did you feel about your decision? How were you treated? Explain the significance of your decision.

Writing Assignment #2: Response Essay

Is it a good idea to change your feelings, looks, beliefs, or actions to fit in with a group? Use the example of Leopard Man as well as your own experiences and observations to support your position.

Writing Assignment #3: Argument Essay

Logan Feys argues, “To be human is to be an individual human, with individual tastes, talents, values, and aspirations that are distinct from those of others. Living in society, we are under constant pressure to surrender our individuality to the will of the majority, the school, the workplace, the family, etc.” (par. 6).

Do you agree with Feys? Write a well-developed essay discussing the degree to which you agree or disagree with Feys’ argument about individuality and society. Use examples from the text and your personal experience to support your opinion.

Leopard Man Activity 14

Getting Ready to Write

The following exercises will help you move from reading to writing.

  1. Freewrite/Brainstorm: Read the essay topic again, and take a minute to think about it. When your teacher says “start,” write for 10 minutes about the topic. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or complete sentences at this point—just keep your pen moving on paper. If you run out of things to say, repeat some ideas you may have already written. Do not stop writing until your teacher tells you to

  2. Next, read what you have written. Highlight and underline important words, phrases, or ideas that stick out to you as you read. Make a note of any words or ideas that are repeated or that start to form patterns. Ask questions and make notations in the margins to note something interesting. The idea is to start to make sense of your freewrite.

  3. Using your freewrite and other notes you have taken, complete the following essay organizer. It is important to remember that this is still prewriting; don’t worry about spelling or grammar at this point. The goal now is to organize your thoughts a little more than in the freewrite. You will be prewriting for several main ideas in this activity, but it is up to you and your teacher how many you actually use in your essay.

Essay Organizer

What is your topic?

What is your opinion?

What is your first main idea?

Discuss one example you can use to support this main idea.

How does this example support your main idea?

Discuss another main idea.

Discuss one example you can use to support this main idea.

How does this example support your main idea?

Discuss another main idea.

Discuss one example you can use to support this main idea.

How does this example support your main idea?

Discuss another main idea.

Discuss one example you can use to support this main idea.

How does this example support your main idea?

Leopard Man Activity 15

Formulating a Working Thesis

A thesis statement is the controlling idea for your essay. The following questions will help you develop a tentative thesis statement. Record your answers to these questions in Google Drive or on a separate piece of paper.

  • What is your tentative thesis? (Check your essay organizer for your topic and opinion.)

  • What are the main ideas you want to write about in your essay?

  • What evidence have you found for your main ideas (e.g., facts, statistics, statements from authorities, personal experiences, anecdotes, scenarios, and examples)?

  • How much background information do your readers need to understand your topic and thesis?

  • If readers were to disagree with your message, what would they say? How would you address their concerns (what would you say to them?)?

Once you have responded to these questions and done some thinking about your focus and purpose, try the following activity:

Rather than writing a single-sentence tentative thesis or drafting a one-sentence thesis statement, try to capture the “gist” of your argument in a few sentences—maybe six. Once you have completed that task, read your statement and identify what is most important about it, what is the key message it is trying to send. Then, revise your statement by reducing your message to one or two sentences. Reflect on it again. Once you have completed that task, reduce it to one sentence. Now, write a title for your paper.

Leopard Man Activity 16

Starting with your brainstorming notes, informal outlines, freewrites, and/or other materials you have generated, write a rough draft of your essay. Just get your ideas down on paper. You will work on organizing your thoughts and developing your ideas as you revise.

Leopard Man Activity 17

Considering Structure

Here are some additional suggestions to help you organize your thoughts:


You might want to include the following in your introductory paragraph:

  • A “hook” to get the reader’s attention

  • Background information the audience may need

  • A thesis statement along with some indication of how the essay will be developed (Note: The thesis statement declares the topic of the essay and the writer’s position on that topic. You may choose to sharpen or narrow your thesis at this point.)


  • Information that presents support for your argument

  • Information that refers to different points of view or what others have to say about the topic

  • Information that addresses what others say by doing the following:

    • Refuting them

    • Acknowledging them but showing your argument is better

    • Granting them altogether but showing they are irrelevant

  • Evidence that shows you have considered the values, beliefs, and assumptions of the audience; your own values, beliefs, and assumptions; and some common ground that appeals to the various points of view


  • A final paragraph (or paragraphs) that indicates the significance of your argument—the “so what?” factor

Draw horizontal lines through your essay to distinguish these three parts, and label them in the margin.

Leopard Man Activity 18

Revising the Draft—Rhetorical Analysis

A PAPA Square helps you analyze rhetorical strategies in your reading and writing. To apply this exercise to your writing, answer the questions around the outside of the box in reference to your own essay. In the center, identify the stylistic devices and logical, emotional, and ethical appeals you used to persuade your audience. These may include types of evidence, figurative language, text structure (e.g., cause and effect), and tone.

Based on the rhetorical analysis you have just completed for your draft, revise your essay to make it more effective.

Leopard Man Activity 19

Editing the Draft

Edit your draft on the basis of the information you have received from your instructor or from a tutor. Use the editing checklist provided by your teacher.

The following editing guidelines will also help you to edit your own work:

  • If possible, set your essay aside for 24 hours before rereading it to find errors.

  • If possible, read your essay aloud so you can hear errors and awkward constructions.

  • Focus on individual words and sentences rather than on overall meaning. Take a sheet of paper and cover everything except the line you are reading. Then, touch your pencil to each word as you read.

  • With the help of your teacher, figure out your own pattern of errors—the most serious and frequent errors you make.

  • Look for only one type of error at a time. Then, go back and look for a second type and, if necessary, a third.

  • Use the dictionary to check spelling and confirm that you have chosen the right word for the context.

Leopard Man Activity 20

Reflecting on Your Writing Process

Reflecting on your writing is an essential part of improving on your next assignment. Select one or more of the following questions and write a brief response. Discuss your response with a classmate.

  • What have you learned about your writing process?

  • What were some of the most important decisions you made as you wrote your essay?

  • In what ways have you become a better writer?

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