Week of October 13-17
This week I want you to focus time everyday on revising the rough draft of your Persuasive Essay. Revising isn’t the same thing as editing. With editing you are looking for grammatical and spelling mistakes. We don’t do that until next week. Revising is looking at the essay as a whole. This week you are going to look at the structure and the elements of your essay–to make sure that with each paragraph you have built a solid structure to prove your points.
This essay is a big deal. Do not think that you can just throw together some thoughts the night before it is due and I won’t be able to notice. You need to work on it every day. I will give you daily tips, but please be very thorough and treat it like it is your baby. Love it. Nurture it. Feed it. Be proud of it.
This week I also wanted to focus a bit on Phyllis Wheatley, since we didn’t get to her last week. But the book didn’t even mention Olaudah Equiano, who was also an important writer to this time period. So we will look at both. Please don’t just brush off this information as “history.” Their stories matter. These are people, humans. Imagine what it was like for them.
Monday– Equiano and paragraph development
- Please read this biographical information.
- Then watch this excerpt from his autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.
- Now, please watch the five minute video below.
- I need you to look at your rough draft body paragraphs. Underline your topic sentences, and then make sure you support your topic sentence. put a squigly line underneath your support. Then put a double underline under the part where you elaborated on your support. You might not have done that yet. If not, then go back and add two sentences that elaborate on your support (in each paragraph). These sentences connect your support back to your topic sentence and show the reader why it is important and relevant.
- The video gives suggested sentence starters for connecting/elaborating sentences. Feel free to use them.
- Another way to say that is . . .
- What I mean by that is . . .
- This connects to my argument because . . .
- This shows that . . .
- The reason for this is that . . .
- This is important because . . .
- In other words . . .
Again, I need you to do 3 things for EACH body paragraph (you need to turn this in).
- underline the topic sentence.
- put a squigly line underneath the supporting sentences.
- put a double underline for the sentences that elaborate or connect the supporting ideas back to the topic.
Tuesday– Phyllis Wheatley and your introductory paragraph
- Please click on this link to read about Phyllis Wheatley.
- Then read her poems in the American Voices book, pg. 34-35.
- Then please watch the video below to help you polish your introductory paragraph.
- Then look at your rough draft introduction. Underline your broad opening/hook. Does it capture the readers attention?
- Then look at your thesis sentence? Does it present your argument? Double underline your thesis statement. It needs to be the LAST sentence in your introduction.
- Then look at your introduction, does it mention the three topics that you will develop in the body of your essay to prove your thesis? Please put a number next to each topic that you mention in your introduction (1, 2, 3, etc).
Again, you will be turning in your rough draft, with these underlines on it, along with your final draft.
And please let me know if you have any questions 🙂
- Please watch the video below which is an interview of Afua Cooper, called “My Name is Phyllis Wheatley”
Write a paragraph about why this information in the video is important. What does Afua Cooper say makes these stories important and exciting?
(Leave this paragraph in the comment section below for ten points).
- Watch the very basic video here on how to write a concluding paragraph.
- Double underline the summary statement (the first sentence in your conclusion). Make sure that it is the same as your thesis statement.
- Put a squigly line underneath the sentence that shows your reader why this is important.
Thursday– Rough Draft Number 2
Today I want you to take Rough Draft number one (which you will turn in) and type it again. Making sure that you fix and add in all the things that you noticed needed to be changed or developed this week as we worked on the different parts of your essay. Please type it up in proper MLA format. Print it out. Underline it just the same as your first rough draft. You are going to walk away from it for a couple of days. 🙂
Friday–Thomas Paine and Christian Apologetics
Apologetics is the branch of Christianity that deals with the defense and establishment of the Christian faith. Christian Apologetics is something every true believer should be involved in even if it is only a little. (CARM)
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (1 Peter 3:15).
So you read a bit of Thomas Paine in your History book. He became famous for writing “Common Sense” and “The Age of Reason.” He is literally the pen behind the Revolutionary War, and the greatest influence in our national independence. He was a close friend and confidant of our founding fathers.
And yet in this time of great awakening and spiritual fervor, we have this guy who influenced people in the opposite direction. As they say, the light shines brighter in the darkness. It is ironic that in a time of the gospel of Jesus Christ gripping the hearts of the people in our country, many of our countries leaders were gripped by the Age of Reason. They were literally blinded, and yet they call this time period “The Enlightenment.”
Please read some of these words and try to wrap your head around how the people of God must have felt about this harsh persuasive type writing.
‘Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]
When I see throughout this book, called the Bible, a history of the grossest vices and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales and stories, I could not so dishonor my Creator by calling it by His name. [Thomas Paine, in Toward The Mystery]
As to the book called the Bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions, and a history of bad times and bad men. There are but a few good characters in the whole book. [Thomas Paine, Letter to William Duane, April 23, 1806]
Science is the true theology. [Thomas Paine, quoted in Emerson, The Mind on Fire pg 153]
Now, I would encourage you to talk to your parents about this stuff. It is heavy subject matter. But it is important for you to be able to see it and process it, because it continues today. And you will encounter it not only in a college classroom, but on TV and in conversations you will have with people who believe the same ideas today.
Here are some similar quotes by a modern writer named Richard Dawkins, who is more famous for his offensive statements about Christianity than he is for his scientific knowledge.
“It’s a horrible idea that God, this paragon of wisdom and knowledge, power, couldn’t think of a better way to forgive us our sins than to come down to Earth in his alter ego as his son and have himself hideously tortured and executed so that he could forgive himself.”
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
“There is no such thing as a Christian child: only a child of Christian parents.”― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
These quotes are so infuriating that I really prayed about sharing them with you. But the truth of the matter is, if you really are a Christian, and you really love God, there is nothing anyone can say that can change your mind! You KNOW Him.
If you don’t really love God, you don’t know Him, and you are on the fence of faith, then these things won’t pull you further away from Christ. They may shock you. But you will be no more lost than you are than when you sat on that fence. Lost is lost. It isn’t a measure of distance. You either know Him, or you don’t.
But when it comes down to it, these angry atheists do not just not believe in God, they hate God. I was listening to Cheryl Brodersen on the KWVE last night and she was talking about Dinesh D’Souza talking with a famous atheist. And when it came down to it, Dinesh asked him if on any level if he believes God exists. The atheist admitted, that he believed God did exist, and that it was probably the God of the Bible. But he said, he just doesn’t like him. He hates the idea of that God. He is literally shaking his fist in God’s face.
I don’t know if that atheist was Christopher Hitchens or not. But Dinesh did debate Hitchens. I haven’t had time to watch the whole thing yet. You may be interested in watching the debate with your parents. I am not asking you to. But here is a quote from the website where the debate is listed:
As he admitted in a recent interview, Hitchens calls himself an “anti-theist” rather than an “atheist.” Most atheists say that based on the evidence, they believe God does not exist. Hitchens’ position is somewhat different: he doesn’t want God to exist. He hates the idea of God’s existence because he thinks of God as a tyrant who supervises his moral life. Even the tyranny of Stalin or Kim Jong Il, Hitchens says, ends when you die. But this God, he wants obedience and praise and worship even in the afterlife! To Hitchens that’s a form of unceasing subservience and slavery.
Assignment–To what extent do you think Thomas Paine, as well as modern atheists just don’t like Christianity or the God of the Bible? Please write 2-3 paragraphs exploring this (typed MLA format). And turn it in next Friday. You can be honest. Please read Romans 1 before your write.
If you would like more information on Atheism from a Christian Apologetics point of view, please take time to view the information at CARM.