Assignment Part I:
Read and respond to ten editorials. These editorials should be written by recognized, syndicated columnists, not letters to the editor or local news stories. Each entry must include a copy of the editorial and the following bibliographical information: title of the editorial, author, name of newspaper or publication, date of publication, and page number (if applicable).
Below you will find a list of possible publications in which you may look for editorials. This list is a small representation of the columnists you will find available to you, so please don’t limit yourself to just these publications:
The New York Times Slate.com Newsweek
The Washington Post Huffingtonpost.com
The Ledger The Miami Herald
The Tampa Tribune USA Today
You will complete the same five basic tasks for each editorial:
1. Circle each word in the editorial that you don’t know. On your journal entry, list the words and define them. (Note: This can apply to words that you have never seen before, or words you have seen but aren’t sure of their definition the way they are being used. If you’re not sure, circle it and look it up!)
2. Identify the author’s assertion. The purpose of an editorial is to present a viewpoint on a particular topic—that’s what makes it different from a regular news story that just presents information.
3. List the points the author makes to support his or her assertion.
4. What writing techniques does the author use? Techniques might be figurative language, humor, tone, rhetorical questions, symbolism, imagery, and many others. You’ve learned about the functions of language in your past English classes, now it’s time to put that knowledge to work!
5. Do you agree or disagree with the author’s assertion? Why or why not? This response should be at least a paragraph in length.
Part II: Novel & Reading Journal
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
Directions: For each of the following sections, write a thorough summary, including main plot points, character development, important themes, etc. As each section is fairly lengthy (50 pages or more), your summaries should be a minimum of one page in length to accommodate the scope of the narrative. After completing the summaries, answer the accompanying questions using complete sentences. Please type all responses where possible. Handwritten responses should be completed on a separate sheet of paper, in black pen, on one side of the paper only.
Section 1: “The Last to See them Alive”
1. In the first paragraph, why does Capote use a simile comparing the grain elevators to Greek temples?
2. What is the purpose of ending the first section of the text with “and as strangers”? What details are discussed and why?
3. According to the text, what is Mr. Clutter’s only reason for “disquiet” in his life?
4. What aspect of River Valley Farm is Mr. Clutter’s pride and joy?
5. How do the narrative voice and sentence structure change when the story shifts from descriptions of the Clutter family to descriptions of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith?
6. How do the comparisons between Perry’s physique and the images of weightlifters help establish Perry’s physical challenges?
7. What is the purpose of introducing the Ashida family and their relationship to the Clutters?
8. What do the Holcomb citizens mean when they describe Kenyon as a boy who “lives in a world of his own”?
9. What is the biggest challenge to the relationship between Dick and Willie-Jay?
10. What is the primary motivation behind Perry’s decision to meet with Dick and become a part of the big “score”?
11. What is the effect of continually switching narrative perspectives between the Clutters and Dick and Perry?
12. As the Holcomb community gathers at Hartman’s Café, what is the initial speculation about the killer or killers?
13. How does initial speculation about the murders change the atmosphere within the Holcomb community?
Section 2: “Persons Unknown”
1. How does the language in the first pages of Section 2 differ from that of a traditional fiction narrative? (Pay special attention to the discussion of the investigation and the author’s selection of detail in these early pages of the section.)
2. What effect is achieved through the simile that compares Dick’s confidence to a “kite that needed reeling in”?
3. What detail does Susan Kidwell find most disturbing about her visit to the funeral home? Why?
4. What conclusion does Al Dewey draw about the murders when he studies the crime scene photos once again? What leads him to this conclusion?
5. What does Perry’s behavior at the beach and swimming pool reveal about his character?
6. What is Capone’s purpose in including the lengthy letter written by Perry’s father? What theme does the letter reinforce?
7. How are the police investigators able to determine the order in which the Clutter family members were murdered?
8. How are Dick and Perry planning to return to the United States? What does their plan reveal about their state of mind following the Clutter murders?
Section 3: “Answer”
1. What event in the opening pages of Section 3, “Answer,” turns the investigation around?
2. What is the purpose in Dick’s father’s proposal that Dick “wasn’t the same boy” after he injured his head in a car accident?
3. According to Mr. Hickock, what was unusual about Dick when he returned from his alleged trip to Fort Scott? Why are his observations significant?
4. What does the nickname Perry has given himself reveal about his character and self-image?
5. According to Mrs. Johnson, what paradox exists about Perry’s character?
6. How is investigator Dewey able to conceal a possible breakthrough in the case from the general public? Why does he consider it to be so important to keep new details of the case hidden?
7. Why is Perry disturbed by a newspaper account he reads when he and Dicks arrive in Miami, Florida?
8. What is Perry’s tone/attitude when he is being interrogated by police after being apprehended in Las Vegas?
9. According to Perry, what is his only regret about the night of the murders?
Section 4: “The Corner”
1. What is Mrs. Meier’s first impression of Perry Smith? What particular details does she notice about them, and how do they contrast with what her husband tells her about the crime scene?
2. What changes does Perry want to make to his initial statement to police? What is his motivation for making the changes? What does this suggest about his character?
3. What is significant about Perry’s reaction to the letter written by Don Cullivan?
4. What is significant about the big yellow bird?
5. According to Dick’s written statement composed in prison for his psychiatrist, what ultimately was Dick’s motivation for invading the Clutter place?
6. For what purpose does Capote include Dr. Jones’ lengthy report, even though it was not admitted into evidence during the trial?
7. Why does Perry go on a hunger strike? Why does he eventually change his mind and end his hunger strike?
8. What strategy does Dick pursue in order to appeal his conviction?
9. What effect is achieved by the alliteration in the closing sentence?
· Your entries should be either typed or neatly handwritten in blue or black ink.
· All margins must be one inch
· Typed papers must use Times New Roman 12 point font.
· Handwritten assignments should have writing on one side of the page only.
· Each entry should be made on a separate sheet of paper.
· Bibliographical information should appear at the top of the page.
· Each editorial journal entry should include a printed copy of the editorial.
· Your assignment should be placed in a 3-prong folder or small 3-ring binder. Loose leaf papers will not be accepted.