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  1. YOUR ASSIGNMENTS are on this SYLLABUS.  READ IT ALL BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR WORK. Links for assignments are on this document. Download link is below to access class readings.  


  1. FIRST, complete your assignments for “WEEK ONE” below (on paper or computer). Essays MUST be double spaced and size 12 Times New Roman black font. Always save your work.

  2. NEXT, click “WEEK ONE” below and complete the classwork SUBMISSION form. Type or copy & paste responses that you have prepared, in the spaces provided on the form. Some assignments may require you to upload a response, a photo or scan. PROOFREAD and double check your work.

  3. Then, submit your form with the full week completed and MOVE TO YOUR NEXT WEEK.   

  1. GRADES: I will evaluate, issue a weekly score and return your submission in about 5 business days.

Scores: 0 = F, 1 = D, 2 = C, 3 = B, 4 = A.

Your 5 weekly grades must average to a 2 (“C”) to receive your credit.
You will NOT be given an opportunity to improve your weekly grade so submit your best. 

  1. MESSAGE me directly from this site. Emergencies only, call Dr. Stroud MON-FRI 9AM TO 5PM at 773-499-2668


SVLIT115 SURVEY OF LITERATURE: Students will read literary works from a variety of genres, from different cultures, and from classical and modern time periods. The elements of each genre and various literary techniques will be discussed to develop an understanding of the authors’ craft and the effectiveness and purposes of common literary devices. Students will be asked to understand more than storyline; they will be asked to contemplate the universality of literature, themes and motifs that transcend time and place. In order to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate effectively, students will be asked to respond to their readings creatively and thoughtfully, to write for different purposes, to present material orally, and to evaluate material and ideas presented not only in literature but also in the media. Focus is on: novel, poetry, short story, biography, classic short story, a play (staged -video), personal and persuasive essays. Includes, "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "A Raisin in the Sun".




Read “Bias and Propaganda”

  1. Complete the surveys embedded in your text. Save and submit.


ASSIGNMENT: Design a new product. Create an advertisement for a magazine or a television commercial script to persuade consumers to purchase your new product.

GUIDELINES: Design a new product: Create an advertisement for a magazine or a television commercial script to persuade consumers to purchase your new product. Your advertisement should: Target a specific audience: Explain who you are targeting. Use at least two propaganda techniques. Explain how you used each techniques. These techniques should: grab your attention and hold it, give new information, demonstrate why the product is perfect for you, persuade your specific target audience to purchase the product.


  1. Write a Scholarship Personal Essay: Use your download “Personal Essay Guide - PDF” as your guide. (no length requirement)

You have just learned of a $30,000 college scholarship. To apply, you must write a personal essay in the first person to help the evaluator understand who you are and why you deserve to receive a scholarship. You want to stand out from the rest of the applicants, but not for the wrong reasons. The personal essay will help you clarify your goals and how you want to achieve them. Your personal essay should present a picture of you as a person, a student and a potential scholarship recipient. It is an opportunity to share your story.


Weeks 1 - 2: All Quiet on the Western Front - Novel


ON THE WEBPAGE AS A DOWNLOAD: All Quiet on the Western Front - Book Link – Full Text

Movie Link: (or) You Tube Movie Link:

(or) Movie Link:

The film “All Quiet on the Western Front”…

is a classic Hollywood adaptation of Erich Remarque’s novel. It takes a hard look at the tragedy of war using World War I as its backdrop. The scenes in All Quiet on the Western Front take place in three basic locations: the front itself, settings near the front but away from the fighting (such as a camp or hospital), and settings away from the front (such as Paul’s hometown or the army training camp). By shifting between calm and violent scenes, Remarque emphasizes the contrast between life at the front and life everywhere else. As you watch the movie and read the novel, please complete the following...


    1. Why was Paul so fond of Kat? Would they have had the same relationship at peace time?

    1. What sort of propaganda does Paul resent the most?

    1. What does the emphasis on perfecting the art of saluting symbolize?


    1. Why is Paul hesitant about showing sympathy for the Russian soldiers?

    1. How did the men find the glory of warfare that had been presented to them by the teacher Kantork very different from the realities of combat?

    1. Connection Discussion

Does it help or hurt to talk about traumatic experiences? Under what circumstances might communicating about trauma be helpful? Under what circumstances might it be counterproductive? Share your opinions. Review the section (in Chapter 7) in which Paul returns home. How does he act when he is there? How does he feel? Why does he make the statement he does at the very end of the chapter? Does Paul’s homecoming experience affect your opinion of whether talking about traumatic experiences is a good idea? Why or why not? 1 FULL PAGE

    1. Propaganda Poster

Paul’s teacher Kantorek persuades his students to join the army by telling them that they will be fighting for the glory of the fatherland. Many military recruiting posters at the time did the same. Recruiting posters were one form of propaganda because they were designed to influence public opinion on social or political issues. Research images of World War I recruiting posters. Create your own World War I military recruiting poster aimed at young people for that era. Select a strong visual image for your poster and a complimentary slogan or message. Your poster may appeal to emotion or to logic.


    1. News Reporting

Imagine that you are a newspaper reporter accompanying Paul’s group on the night they perform their mission in No Man’s Land. Write about the scene in a news bulletin for your readers. Include details of sight and sound to convey the dangers the men face during the bombardment. Describe the actions of the men and their emotions and attitudes before, during, and after the fighting. After you have written a first draft, review it critically. Does your report have an interesting lead? Does it give readers a feeling of actually being present in the situation you are describing? Does it convey “human interest”? Revise and proofread your report. 1 FULL PAGE

    1. Psychology Connection

When people are under severe stress or dealing with strong negative emotions, they often fall back on certain coping strategies. Also called defense mechanisms, these strategies may temporarily protect a person from painful situations or thoughts, but they usually do not work as long-term solutions. Common coping strategies include denial, or refusing to recognize an emotion or problem; compensation, or making up for a weakness in one area by excelling in another; daydreaming, or inventing situations to escape unpleasant facts; displacement, or transferring emotions from the true source to some other thing or person; rationalization, or making excuses for one’s actions or feelings; and regression, or returning to immature behavior to express emotions. Give examples of these strategies as used by Paul or other characters in the novel. 1 FULL PAGE


    1. Letter Writing Assignment

You will take the perspective of a soldier during World War 1 who did a majority of their fighting in the trenches on the Western Front, and will write a letter home describing what the conditions are like.

The letter must have the following:

  1. A date from when you are writing from (somewhere between 1915 and 1916)

  2. Someone to address the letter to (mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa)

  3. How you feel about fighting in this war – are you enjoying it or hating it? Why?

A description of living conditions in the trenches (using your quotes from the book and examples from the movie) 1 FULL PAGE
Persuasive Online Writing Lesson

    1. Persuasive Essay: Write a letter to the president telling him why you either support this war or not. Give direct evidence from your text and movie. (2 pages minimum)


Week 3-4: Maya Angelou - Memoir, Poetry, Biography

READ THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Get a copy from your local library – or search the web for a deal -

Watch the movie:

Listen to Maya read:

Maya Angelou’s official website:


    1. JOURNAL: “Think of a time in your life that might make for an interesting story. Write a journal response of about 75-100 words about a time you were surprised, extremely happy, sad, angry, embarrassed, amazed, frightened, or proud. As you write, concentrate on feelings and mental pictures


    1. Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

INTERPRETATION: Provide your detailed interpretation of the poem

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!

When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;

When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,

And the river flows like a stream of glass;

When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,

And the faint perfume from its chalice steals —

I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing

Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;

For he must fly back to his perch and cling

When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;

And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars

And they pulse again with a keener sting —

I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,

When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—

When he beats his bars and he would be free;

It is not a carol of joy or glee,

But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,

But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —

I know why the caged bird sings!


    1. Read the your download PDF excerpt from the autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

  1. Interpret what the author meant by, “But I had seen the fingers cut by the mean little cotton bolls and I had witnessed the backs and shoulders and arms and legs resisting any further demands.” Support your answer.

  2. TONE – MAYA ANGELOU ASSIGNMENT (PDF) – Complete and type answers below.

  3. Discuss the author’s tone and at least one literary technique she uses to create that tone.

  4. Return to “Sympathy” - determine the tone. List words or phrases that create tone. Make sure that you understand that the bird is suffering “adversity.”


    1. Read your download PDF poem, “I Know Why the caged bird sings”.

  1. From the list supplied, of “Types of Poetry”, select the type of poetry that best identifies the poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Support your choice with evidence from the poem and your own reasoning.

  2. The author uses allegory in describing a “caged bird”. To what do you feel is the author referring when she writes of a “caged bird”? Support your answer.

  3. Discuss a literary device evident in the poem. Support your answer (use “Literary Devices” attachment)



Authors reveal the personality of a character by
a. letting us hear the character speak,
b. describing how the character looks,
c. letting us listen to the character’s inner thoughts and feelings,
d. revealing what other people in the story think or say about the character,
e. showing us what the character does—how he or she acts,
f. telling us directly what the character’s personality is like: cruel, kind, sneaky, brave, and so on.

    1. REVIEW THE PDF – Maya Angelou – Characterization Sample ASSIGNMENT: Write a descriptive characterization paragraph about Maya’s grandmother


BOOK ESSAY – “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Write a literary response essay that:

  1. responds to the essential questions,

  2. that establishes a coherent thesis, marshals convincing evidence, and that shows a command of standard English conventions.

    1. Writing Prompt & Instructions: Write a literary response essay that is at least 2 pages – double spaced (size 12 Times New Roman font) and that answers the question: “What can I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings teach us about overcoming adversity?”-

Your paper needs to be divided into three parts: an introduction that includes an

attention-grabbing opening, the title of the work and the author’s name, some background

information about the autobiography, and a thesis statement; body paragraphs which

include topic sentences and which support your thesis statement with evidence from the

text and from your own knowledge of the world around you (direct quotations from the

text are required) ;and a conclusion that draws the essay to a close.

Discuss Maya’s tragedies, how she coped, overcame, proved to be resilient, and the lasting impact her tragedies had on her life. Support your response with evidence from each reading above, independent research, along with your own reasoning.


Week 5 -A Raisin in the Sun – Staged Play


A Raisin in the Sun – Original Movie

Look for it online for free
Understanding, “A Raisin in the Sun”

READ: Raisin in the Sun Play AND Guide – PDFs on website to download
ASSIGNMENT: Respond to each prompt in full details with examples from the play.
1. In literature, as in life, a character may search for a better way of life. Show how TWO characters from A Raisin in the Sun are searching for a better way of life. Explain what each character is hoping to gain through this search and discuss the ways in which each character attempts to bring about a change in his or her life.
2. Discuss the ways in which the setting of Raisin has a profound effect upon one of the characters.
3. If people can be divided into three groups--those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened--apply each of these to the three characters in Raisin who respectively prove that this is so.
4. Often, pressure from other people or from outside forces might compel a person to take an action that he or she might not have taken ordinarily. Discuss a character from Raisin who was pressured into taking an action that he or she might not have taken on his or her own.
5. Show how Raisin deals with the generation gap--the problems that the older generation has in dealing with the younger generation and vice versa.
6. Sometimes in one work of literature, we might find two characters who contrast markedly from one another. Discuss two characters from Raisin who are the opposite of each other in their views, beliefs, and philosophy of life.
7. In literature, as in life, a character might feel trapped. Discuss a character from Raisin who feels trapped and give examples of the ways in which this character chooses to deal with those feelings.
8. Discuss a character from Raisin who changes significantly, telling specifically of the forces that bring about this change. How does this character relate to the other characters before the change and how

does this character relate to the other characters after the change?

9. Most people define loneliness as being alone, but a person might experience loneliness even when surrounded by other people. A person can be lonely if his/her ideas, feelings, or circumstances are different from those around them. Discuss a character from Raisin who experiences loneliness because of the differences in his/her ideas, feelings, or circumstances.
10. Often, in life, a situation may reach a "point of no return"--the point after which the life of a person can never be the same. Describe such a turning point for a character in Raisin.

Extended Response
Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun challenges the stereotype of 1950's America as a country full of doting, content housewives. The women in this play, Mama, Ruth and Beneatha, represent three generations of black women who, despite their double fronted subordination, continue to dream of a better tomorrow.
Discuss the aspirations of each woman, their observations of their current situations, and what each did/did not accomplish during the play. 2 full pages

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