Discussion 3

A. Post an introduction, conclusion, or other paragraph from your paper. Describe how you used the writing tips on pages 128-129, 141-143, 163-164, or 179-180 in a few sentences. Ask for specific feedback. Wednesday

B. Provide specific feedback to another person’s paragraph. Friday

48 thoughts on “Discussion 3

  1. Tub waits for his friends in the falling snow. He plans to go hunting for deer with his friends Kenny and Frank in a truck with a broken windshield. What’s supposed to be a harmless hunting trip quickly goes south when Kenny shoots a dog dead on private property and scares his friend’s. Tobias Wolff wrote “Hunters in the Snow,” the story itself catches you and holds onto you without great detail.

    I used the writing tips in order to make my introduction interesting. I saw how some of the examples kind of narrated the story without telling the full story and it still catches a readers attention.

    1. I had trouble figuring out what your thesis statement is? Are you focusing on how the author writes his story with little detail or are you focusing on the main characters? Your introduction is good though it tells the reader a little bit to get them intrigued but not enough to reveal the story.

      1. These sentences do work as an opening to an essay, and the paragraph does need to go on to make some kind of statement of opinion (or thesis, if you like). In other words, good start, but not an opening paragraph yet. It is possible that the time to add this final sentence or two or three will be once your paper is written and you know where you went with it.

  2. “Hunters in the Snow” is a story about three men, all of whom are liars; liars to themselves, as well as, liars to each other. By lying to each other they convince themselves that they are out of the cold when in reality they are throwing themselves in the face of it. When two of these men in the trio begin to tell the truth, not only to themselves, but to their friend, they find an oasis from the cold, figuratively and literally. Each encounter with the truth brings them closer to the warm embrace of acceptance and they find the power that they so desperately search for in each other.
    This is my introduction. I was trying to use the ideas on page 142 for Sharpening Your Intro, specifically using some suspense with a brief overview of the story.

    1. I chose to write about the same story since it had a little more action than then A&P, I so far like your introduction. If i didn’t know how this story was going to end then I would be curious as to why and how they were lying to each other you grab the readers interest with that curiosity. That’s my opinion anyway.

      1. Yes, I agree, your intro definitely generates suspense or interest in the story. But what I like even more is your tuning into the way that the environment, the warm and cold, is literal and symbolic, Lots more along those lines in this particular story!

  3. “She said that you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul” (280). Langston is a young boy in Langston Hughes short story “Salvation” who has the faith but is relying on something tangible to be a true believer. Patiently waiting “on the mourners’ bench” (280) for a joyful warm fuzzy feeling deep down inside your soul, bright light shining through the stained glass shimmering waves of light throughout the church, or better yet Jesus himself reaching out his hand sits Langston. None of these come to young Langston guilt/shame sets in and he finally “lies, says that Jesus had came to him and got up and was saved” (280).

    I mostly used integrating quotations in my introduction in hopes that this would sharpen my introduction. How do you think this flows? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I know its hard to give suggestions when all you read is the intro.

    1. The third sentence, to me, sounds too long. is there a way to split it in two? or make two separate thoughts? I like your introduction though, I agree that this is how the little boy is feeling! Imagine being stuck in that situation and how overwhelming it must have been for him!

    2. Personally, i don’t like how much of the introduction is integrated quotes. It makes it seem like you just needed some filler words. I also can’t tell what your paper is going to be about. Is it supposed to be about his need for tangible proof to truly believe, that he lied, or the shame/guilt he feels for the lie? Lastly, the first part of the last sentence that says “None of these come to young Langston” seems like it should be have a comma right after…or maybe connected to the sentence prior by a semicolon. I don’t know really, but it doesn’t sound right.

    3. I disagree that your intro used too many quotes. I think that it is a good way to highlight the situation that Langston is going through. I enjoyed reading it. The only thing that I can see that maybe needs some work is the line, “or better yet Jesus himself reaching out his hand sits Langston.” That part of the sentence was a little confusing. You could possibly reword it to show that he had the desire for Jesus to reach out to him.

      1. Great comments on this paragraph. Brandon, I also do not think too much quoting is going here; however, you should take Tanya’s opinion into consideration because she is also a reader. Just note that some readers are going to have that reaction. But Tanya, I would say that integrating quotations in this way can do one important thing for your essay: it features the writing, the style, the feel of the story while conveying information. The third sentence clearly needs some revision. I don’t find it too long, but it is technically not a complete sentence, and Adam points to a problem in the writing itself. It would be worth revisiting that sentence. Tanya is correct that your last sentence needs punctuation attention, and it is currently a run-on. Content-wise, good opening paragraph.

  4. Some say that John Updike’s short story, “A&P”, is about living “…honestly and meaningfully.” (Porter 1972). On the other hand, my fellow classmates discuss that the theme of this short story “is power, or maybe a fight for it.” (Paul) Another classmate observed that, “She [Queenie] showed power against the girls but the one who really used their power was the manager” (Gonzalez). While all three views are valid and well written, I believe that the theme of Updike’s story is a protest of women’s rights and the boy’s choice to uphold them.

    After our first two writing assignments I have come to realize that my spelling/grammar check is not working at all. It says “good to go” but it is not actually checking. I even put “$#*$&*(FJDK” to test it and it said it is spelled correctly. WOW! Therefore, I am having to go back to the good ole days and use other means of proofreading. The tips in our book were extremely useful, but if you catch any errors in my intro please, please, please tell me. As for my type of intro, I chose to go with integrating quotes. I really wanted to use our classmates points of view in my paper because I found them so different from mine. After doing some research I found yet another point of view different from mine and added that as well. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to your feedback. Thanks everyone!

    1. It is neat how you included other classmates thoughts in your paper, it makes the introduction interesting and curious. However I think that the theme that Paul wrote, “is power, or maybe a fight for it,” is on par with yours. I believe woman’s rights has a lot to do with power and the fight for power.

      1. I love that you are using your fellow classmates’ opinions in your opening. Remember that you will then have to cite the class website on your Works Cited page. Your punctuation with those quotations needs some assistance. I agree with Biff that you could take a closer look at what you identify as the theme and how that actually can relate to rather than be in conflict with some of the ideas of the other students that you chose. Good strategy for getting into your discussion!

  5. Unintentional Harm

    When children are young, their minds are an open book just waiting to be filled. Everything they witness, hear or read creates a small impression in them. Adults, often family members, are the most influential in creating these impressions in children, and sometimes we can push a little to hard on what we want them to believe. A good example of this is in the short story “Salvation” by Langston Hughes where a child is the unintentional victim of the his aunts good intentions.

    I used a few of the tips to make an interesting introduction (hopefully). And I tried to organize it better than I usually do, using some of the tips on page 180.

    I often run my sentences and do not realized it, even when I re-read it. And sometimes my writing comes out unorganized, so if anyone notices or doesn’t understand something, please let me know! And do you like the introduction, does it capture your attention? Do you want to read more?

    1. I chose the same story to write about, but a different topic. I’d continue reading your paper because of the way you are portraying the story. I wouldn’t have looked at it in this way, and now I’m curious as to what else could be said on the subject. I didn’t notice any run-on sentences, and after reading it over a few times it all sounded pretty organized.

    2. I really enjoy your introduction. This story didn’t sit well for me because of the unintentional harm. That is such a personal walk and unfortunately it happens too often. I am guilty of the same unorganized writing and run on sentences. I found last semester that making an outline, even just a very short one, helped me tremendously to keep my thoughts on track and my papers more concise.

    3. You’re introduction really caught my attention and makes me want to read more! Excellent job! Many parents/family members can push others past their limits, you made a very good point in relating that to this story.

      1. I agree. You use the strategy of starting with a very broad generalization that appears to apply to all people, and then you narrow your observations down to the specific story. It is organized. There are no run-on sentences. A run-on sentence is a sentence that is actually two or more sentences trying to be one. A run-on sentence can be as short as “I love you, you love me.” It’s all in the punctuation. The only grammar problem in your paragraph is your refusal to use possessive apostrophes 🙂
        Your paragraph makes me wonder what the conclusion will be. Is Hughes criticizing this expressive culture in his church? Or is he saying this experience is in fact necessary on the path to salvation? Was he saved? Why is the story called Salvation if he wasn’t? These are some questions already raised by this short introduction.

  6. Ok so I have been particularly facsinated by the two stories “A &P” and “Geraldo No Last Name”. Both are short stories and both are written in first person narrative. I will be reading the different discussions written by my classmates for ideas to spark my imagination.

    Also I want to continue to compare and contrast the two stories and their attention to the plot and details of the stories.
    To actually pick apart the stories will help me in understanding them better and give me a better idea of why the authors wrote the way the did. I will use the organizing and introduction tips to do a better job making my paper flow.

    1. I think that you have some good resources to help you through your paper. Hopefully the discussions open up some new ideas.

  7. If you stop believing in Jesus, does that mean your salvation is null and void? I’m sure Langston Hughes may have wondered this when he stopped believing in Jesus because “he didn’t come to help” (Hughes 281). I myself was “saved” when I was younger, but I still had doubts since all I felt I was doing was repeating a few words. I did this on multiple occasions waiting to really feel something, anything; I wanted something to change within me. Nothing ever did, so I stopped believing. When I stopped believing and going to church, I was called an apostate. So after reading “Salvation” I wondered if Langston Hughes was called one as well and whether or not someone could really be “saved”.

    I am using the writing tips on pages 141-142 by posing a question that you wouldn’t expect in hopes to pique your interest making you want to read further. I’d like to know if you would continue reading my paper just from reading my introduction? If you wouldn’t, how do you think I should change it, or make it better? Can you tell what my paper is going to be about from this introduction?

    1. You have a very intriguing introduction and I would definitely keep reading. As a person of faith I would be hoping that you found your way back. Your introduction questions enough to get believers and nonbelievers alike to want to see where you will go with it. I did not see clearly where it will go but I think that adds to the interest of the paper. Good job!

    2. I would definitely keep reading just to see where you go with your story. Not to sure what the story is going to be about. Maybe about believing with out really believing?

      1. You use two strategies here. The first, as you identify, is throwing some questions out there, and this is a good strategy to start getting your reader involved and thinking. The second is that you are bringing your own story in, which provides a personal connection. Obviously, from your fellow students’ comments, both of these strategies create interest in readers to read further. But I agree with Brandon that at this point the biggest question is whether your essay is going to focus more on Hughes’ story or more on your story.
        I was thinking as I read your paragraph that something similar is going on with Dee in “Everyday Use.” There is somehow an idea of salvation there too that had not really come to mind until I read about your story. You can’t force belief or something…

  8. “Nuit of the Living Dead” is a humorous story that can be torn apart, analyzed, and redirected so easily. The narrater leaves many things to the imagination, including the gender of Hugh’s companion, which for my own purpose believe to be a woman. Does she really enjoy the torment that she makes the mouse endure? Is there really a more sinister reason for the death paraphernalia in her home? Is Hugh truly on a trip or did she bury him under the walnut trees? This woman may just be the poster child for pyscho murder next door.

    I felt that this story was fun to manipulate and direct the characters in a different direction. When you read it where did your mind take it? Why? What gender did you assign the main character? Did you feel that maybe there was something more to the crazy mouse drowning and stuff in the house? Good luck on your assignments. Hope you enjoy playing with yours too!

    1. I truly enjoyed your introduction. It had humor and questions that made me think. Other intros use too many questions or questions that don’t relate to each other. However, your technique of using questions to draw our interest worked beautifully. Also, I am impressed that you chose this story to write about. I, myself, could not expand on it for 3-4 pages. Lastly, I pictured the main character as a woman also. I wonder how we both came to that conclusion? The only part I would revise is the second sentence. I can’t tell what exactly is odd about it… maybe too long? Just an idea. Great job!

      1. Your introduction has so many questions in it that I am left wondering what the point of all the questions is. That’s okay at first. Once you get the whole paper written, I hope the point will be clear. It might be worth it to go back and play around with the intro again after you have figured out what all of this fiddling with the story does for you. I also would encourage you to look for indications in the text as to whether readers are expected to play games with the story. Does that playing mirror themes in the story? I love this question of the gender. How does it matter? Very generative introduction.

  9. There are many different themes in Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow”. The reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of emotion while they read this story. Self-absorption is the underlying issue of this story, it is what gives fuel to the drama filled story. Three friends are so lost in their own moral dilemmas that they are unaware of their friends sensitivities and this leads to tragedy. These three men learn lessons in friendships through tragedy, moral dilemmas, selfishness, lust, and self control.

    I tried to sharpen my introduction by giving my readers a clear idea of the purpose of my paper. I attempted to make the introduction interesting and fuel the curiosity of the reader. Is there any other lessons/themes that I missed that I should incorporate in my story? Do you think adding a quotation will make my opening paragraph stronger?

    1. I liked your Introduction very much. It gains your attention and lets you know about the emotions that happen without giving away any of the story. I do not think you need any quotation in the opening paragraph. I think it is strong on its own.

      1. I agree, no quotations are necessary, though they can be used if you like. What I would want is for you to make “Three friends…” a tiny more specific. You can introduce quite a bit about the three guys in this sentence without it being very cumbersome. Or you can add something about the setting. Does the story have a specific place in time or geography that matters? Since you are using a very classic pattern of introduction that leads to clear guiding thesis statement, you can add a little background information into the paragraph. This kind of introduction sets up your reader to look for discussions about tragedy, moral dilemma, selfishness, lust, and self-control. As you examine these, it will be interesting to see whether each can sustain treatment on its own, or whether some of these ideas are actually two sides of one coin.

  10. “Tis not good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” Shakespear wrote in the second act of Hamlet. Just as the prince wants ignorance concerning his parents, Langston in “Salvation” must bear his guilt and shame for silently lying to his aunt and the people of the church for being ‘saved’. Logically, Langston wanted to see Jesus in order to believe in being saved, but when he did not show up, Langston felt even more of a sinner by lying to get out of a situation he sees as real. Shattered innocence is something that resonantes in Langston’s story that many have gone through, but few will admit for the same fear he bears: dissapointment.

    I tried using intergrated quotations not frum the text but from a text I thought can help my theme become more clear: innocence. Also tried to sharpen my introduction but I think I failed with the last sentence. Was hoping it would lead into more explanation about how innocence, faith and logic concerning one’s beliefs impact each other and how they relate to Langston.

    I tried using the

    1. Abby, you do use a quotation, but this kind of use is not an “integrated quotation.” To integrate quotations, you use them in your own sentences. You can see some examples of this in Brandon’s post above. But integrating quotations is not the only way to use them. Generally I would discourage you from beginning an essay with a quotation from a source that is not under discussion. But if you can work to show how this quotation really leads to revelation of Hughes’ story, then it will be successful. I think there is something here, but it is not here yet.
      Your idea at the end of your question paragraph (how innocence, faith and logic concerning one’s beliefs impact each other) is the one I want to hear more about. The insertion of logic into a discussion of faith is always fun. I think you really identify something important here. The character is looking fro concrete, rational, tangible, logical answers. Is this a culture conflict? Is his point that we can or cannot have both? Interesting line of thought and I want to hear more.

  11. Sophia Mack
    English 211
    24 September 2014

    A Mothers Love
    There is nothing more fulfilling then being a mother. One of life’s greatest challenges is to raise a child and maintain a strong and open relationship with them throughout the rest of time. In the short story, “Everyday Use” Walker portrays a mother’s point of view of her daughter, Dee. Mama has a difficult time accepting the choice of her daughters change in culture, which causes a large gap between the two. Mama’s point of view of Dee is rather negative because she chooses to live a very different life then her mother. If walker recreated the story in Dee’s point of view it is assumed that the story would do a 180°. Despite the two separate ways of living there is one thing that doesn’t change, the fact that they are related.

    Please don’t hesitate if you recommend me changing the path of the story. I am not in love with any of the stories that we have read in the text besides “Hunters in the Snow” and my writing capacity on that topic is exhausted from last weekend’s assignment. Anyways I focused the introduction portion of my essay. I tried to make an enticing title that was relevant to the topic. I want to point out the variations of the two ways of life that Dee and Mama live and point out that there is no better one, they are just different, and that is ok. Whether we like it or not, we cant choose our relatives and it is important to be sensitive to the paths that they chose in their future. I chose not to add a quotation in the introduction; do you think I should add one? I would like to know if this topic is of interest to the reader as well.

    1. I think this is great! People really do need to make realize that not everyone is the same. That is what makes society so complex and interesting! The difference in generation, like technology and traditions and even family norms and cultural differences. so many different ways to live in this world and that is what makes sociology so complex and hardly ever correct. no matter how many studies and theories, people are always changing.

      1. It looks like Kira has taken your idea a couple of steps further, which can give you some ideas of different kinds of focal points your essay can have. Saying that the fact that they are related will never change is a very simple fact. To turn that into an idea, you need to have a stance toward the fact. Their two different points of view are a result of what? Why does Walker choose to narrate from Mama’s point of view? Yes, the story would be different from Dee’s point of view, how would that change the theme or purpose?
        But before all that, I do want you to reconsider your first sentence. You may feel that way, but it is unlikely that every single woman in the world feels that way. The over-generalization turns some readers away and undermines what follows. Modifiers are your friend! But the second sentence I think is where you essay is really at. Is the relationship between Dee and her mom strong and open? Is it trying to be strong and open? Can a parent-child relationship ever be good but not strong and open? Why do we value strong and open? Is that ever a danger?
        Also, there is nothing stopping you from integrating work from previous assignments in this paper, if you wanted to get back to the other story. I think the strong and open relationship theme is pronounced in “Hunters in the Snow” as well!

  12. “To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.” (Irving Wallace) Irving Wallace was an American best-selling author and screenwriter in the twentieth century. He was unafraid of consequences from speaking his mind or writing an improper book. Similar to Wallace and his disregard to social norms, John Updike, author to short story “A & P” had the same mindset. Updike was able to take a simple grocery store setting and create a controversial topic on how people are conforming into society and not speaking out to express themselves the way the human race is meant to do.

    Now that I know what i am planning on focusing on for this paper, I am super excited to dive in! Any suggestions on society norms or issues that could be used to make my paper a success, please share! I am mainly going to focus on the short story: “A & P” and the way Sammie decided to let go of rules and use his own decision making skills.

    1. I really liked how you used a completely different author in your intro. This made me want to read more to find out how it tied into “A&P”. I am curious about where you are going with this story. My paper is on the same story but in a slightly different direction. Society norms represented in this short story might include the acceptance of men objectifying women, children being rebellious and adults maintaining rule and order. Great job on your intro and good luck with the rest of your paper.

      1. A lot of great ideas to work with from both of you! Kira, your paragraph is top-heavy right now (lots of focus on an author who is not your topic, less focus on the topic). You transition with this sentence: “Similar to Wallace and his disregard to social norms, John Updike, author to short story “A & P” had the same mindset.” It’s pretty awkward, and you could instead balance your paragraph with some more about Updike or the story. I really like your final sentence with its focus on controversy in the conventional setting. “the way the human race is meant to do” opens a lot of room for argument. It’s provoking, and I like it, but it will have to be addressed.

        Erin, I like how you are working out your paper and sharing the ideas with someone writing about the same story.

  13. To be honest, I had a very difficult time coming up with an idea that would relate to one of the stories, but here is my introduction.

    “She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand that “no” is a word the world never learned to say to her.” (Walker 155). Dee known as Wangero approached life with no fears and was not afraid to live a new life on her own. Wangero lives in a modern day culture with dresses, dangling bracelets and confidence to endure the world. Her sister, Maggie, was the opposite. Maggie stands “hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe.” (Walker 155). Maggie has very low self-confidence since the tragedy of the burning fire took her inner beauty away and caused her to live in pain and remorse. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is somewhat related to my lifestyle. A death tragedy occurred in my family in 2009 and that took a huge toll on my life and changed it forever. As for my sister, she already had her life in place. In this essay, I am going to relate how Wangero and Maggie’s lifestyles are very much related to me and my sister’s and how mother’s can be a huge impact on each daughter’s life whether it’s for the good or the bad.

    For my introduction, I used integrating quotations to relate how Wangero and Maggie’s lifestyles were like after the fire burned down their home. I connected their story with my experience and how mother’s can influence us for better or worse. I am going to elaborate these topics in my essay.

    Does this sound like a good idea to focus on? Does my introduction draw your attention and makes you want to read more?

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