2015 BLOG ASSIGNMENT #10

Read The Sin of High School English Class. Respond objectively to the piece OR choose and answer 3 prompts from the list below:

  1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?
  2. Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?
  3. What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?
  4. What persona (public image) is the writer giving? What kind of feeling does the assigned speaker/symbol reveal?
  5. What kind of logic (evidence or arguments) is used to persuade the audience? What kind of emotional appeal is used to inspire strong feelings, positive or negative?
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22 thoughts on “2015 BLOG ASSIGNMENT #10

  1. The blog, “The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature))”, by Eric J. Paparatto, strives to make readers apprehend the author’s viewpoint on the focus of classic literature in high school. Paparatto argues and supports his opinion by providing examples of students’ emotions and speculations of reading such as listing his own experience of “force read” classic novels. The author of the pompous blog does not go against reading, but he argues for a more diversified reading array of novels for students to read in high school as an alternative to “force reading” of dull and and repetitive classic novels.
    Clearly, Paparatto wrote the blog to an audience of high school students currently reading classic novels. The whole blog narrates the struggle of Paparatto’s high school years and the years before. He asserts, “From the time I was young, I was a voracious reader. I began with Berenstein Bears and progressed through Hardy Boys and Superfudge….” (The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)). Many students, like myself, can relate to this statement. Many enjoy reading novels starting from an early age, no matter the type of book. Until the ninth grade, do students despise the idea of reading. That grade level is the beginning of “force reading” of novels unheard of students and are listed as “classics.” Many begin to stop reading due to the book being assigned is not interesting or not the genre of choice. “ We’d be given a book and we’d be told to read a couple of chapters a night. In class the next day, we’d be told what the major symbols and themes were, and the names of particular techniques the author might have used” (The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)). There are many explainable reasons why students do not want to read a “forced down” book. It just may be the idea of forcing someone to read a book that can not be related to. Anyhow, the audience of high school students is a perfect fit for the blog since Paparatto relates his experiences of high school reading to the audience.
    The blog’s stated message is simple. Allow students to read their own chosen genre and novel instead of “force reading” dull ones students will not understand. “…my real gripe isn’t with this novel or any particular work of literature per se, it’s the way English class essentially tried to herd me away from the stuff I enjoyed reading in favor of stuff that easily could have turned me off to reading altogether…” (The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)).Paparatto argues that students are discouraged from choosing their own path of reading. Reading is reading, not the concept of understanding “classics”, but the idea of enjoyment of any novel. “The way literature is taught is upside down and backwards, and fosters a dislike of reading rather than a love of it. The idea that students are discouraged from exploring and discovering on their own terms for the love of doing it should horrify educators, yet in in this domain it seems to be the status quo” (The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)). Reading taught in high school literature classes is not the analyzation of texts and themes written in the book. It is just simply the enjoyment and comfort of just reading a book. “We were never really asked to analyze the novel for ourselves or taught how to do it. It was just an exercise in forcing down our throats novels written by authors that a teenager couldn’t relate to, set in times that a teenager couldn’t relate to, and featuring characters that a teenager couldn’t relate to…” (The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)).
    The author is seen to be an Explorer archetype symbol. Throughout the blog, Paparatto argues for students to become more individualistic and explore their reading style instead of being forced to read a set genre novel not entertaining for that student. The Explorer archetype is simply to find out who you are and the person you will become. The “force reading” does not allow a student to become themselves, but a controlled person. Furthermore, the author reveals a motherly kind of feeling. He looks out for highschool students and their struggles. It can be said that he is also the Caregiver archetype; someone who cares and assist others. Paparatto shows he is both of those archetypes by stating his view and striving to have students choose their own reading novels and not the boring classics which many agree to be not entertaining and somewhat unrealistic to a student.

  2. 1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The poster of this blog post was giving their opinion that assigned reading, especially the assigned reading in English class, is pointless. The blog also states that being forced to read something that does not necessarily relate to the audience causes the individual, or group, to lose interest in reading in general. The poster was trying to get the point across that reading for pleasure or reading something that per trains to the reader is much more effective in continuing the willingness to read than having to read classical literature that may have lost the effect on younger generations. The writer is trying to simply state their opinion on the subject matter and perhaps persuade the audience to see in their light. The writer themselves experienced losing interest in books once entering high school and having to do assigned reading. This subject has affected the writer personally in a negative way. The writer feels that both students and teachers should be able to read what the individual actually wishes to read instead of being mandated to read something simply because it is ‘on the list’.

    2. What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    The message being portrayed is that instead of focusing on literature that would encourage reading and interest, English class has dedicated itself to introduce different literature that students may not necessarily read themselves that may or may not reduce the willingness to read. The message was stated in paragraph 16, “…. my real gripe isn’t with this novel or any particular work of literature per se, it’s the way English class essentially tried to herd me away from the stuff I enjoyed reading in favor of stuff that easily could have turned me off to reading altogether”

    3. What kind of logic (evidence or arguments) is used to persuade the audience? What kind of emotional appeal is used to inspire strong feelings, positive or negative?

    The writer uses their personal experiences, as well as some of their peers, as evidence. The writer also brings up multiple examples of books that were required and were not enjoyed. Examples include, “The Scarlett Letter” and “Great Expectations”. The writer tried to bring out a strong, negative feeling about the system of English classes. The writer brings up a conversation that had occurred in real life, which in affect causes some type of emotion out of the audience. The writer of this blog used pathos by sharing experiences and continuously giving out their opinion until the audience starts to feel the emotion.

  3. 2. Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?
    A.The intended audience of this blog are high school English teachers. The blog is supposed to change their views on how they assign literature to their students. At the time this was written, the creator was most likely hoping that their English teachers would read the article and change teaching strategies.

    3. What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?
    A.The underlying message of The Sin of High School English Class is that the curriculums of current high school classes are not as beneficial to students as they should be. This is because not only is the literature that students are required to read not relevant or relatable but they are also not analyzed thoughtfully by students. This means that students can’t take anything away from the material that they are reading. As stated in the article “Eventually we were asked to regurgitate that information on a test, and then moved on. If the aim was that we’d understand or appreciate The Scarlet Letter, it failed.” Students only viewed assigned literature as is something that only needed to be temporarily memorized.

    I personally agree with the ideas that are portrayed in the The Sin of High School English Class. I think the literature that students are exposed to in English classes are just a waste of time for the students and the teachers. This is because the only reason that students read these works is to get a good grade on the test they are going to eventually take after they finish reading their assignment. I know this because “reading to the test” is something that I have done on several occasions. A simple solution is to allow students the ability to read whatever they want to and allowing them to analyze their preferred reading instead of the previously mandatory literatures. By doing this, not only will students enjoy what they are reading, but they will also still be able to learn the same skills that they would have obtained if they had read some of the “classic” works.

    4. What persona (public image) is the writer giving? What kind of feeling does the assigned speaker/symbol reveal?
    A. The writer gives a very professional yet down to earth image in the blog article. This is established through the use of relatable stories and common dialect. By creating this image, the writer allows us the ability to empathize with the “pain” that the writer was put through in high school. It also allows us to feel the disappointment and anger that the writer felt during his/her high school days.

  4. Here, Eric points out the “great failure of the English curriculum” and he does an outstanding job of pointing out how current English curriculum can stifle one’s love for reading. Eric holds the opinion that “The job of English teachers should be to foster that love of reading.” What he fails to understand, however, is that on a high school level, this is not the job of an AP literature teacher. Literature in high school is instead studied and dissected not for reading experience, or even for the appreciation of old works. Advanced literature is dissected for the skills that can be developed, not the composition itself.
    Studying advanced literature is similar to higher mathematics. Students and teachers alike acknowledge that the likelihood of any student finding a practical use for the quadratic equation later is life is close to none. But countless studies show that mathematics greatly increases the brains ability to critical think and problem solve, a skill that is priceless in the real world. Advanced literature is no different.
    A study done by the Magnetic Resonance and Image Analysis Research Centre in 2007 concluded that, “The very shapes of Shakespeare’s lines and sentences had a dramatic effect at deep levels of the mind.” Other studies have suggested that the works of Jane Austin require a level of cognitive complexity that surpasses that which is required for an advanced math problem.
    Eric is right that there is something “painfully wrong” about how literature is presented but the problem is not that teachers are forcing students to read things that aren’t enjoyable. English teachers need to use required classic literature to stretch the minds of students, not as a way to shove laundry lists of literary devices down their throats and expect them to relate to century old works.

  5. 1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The literature that we are being exposed to doesn’t connect with me on a personal level, what I mean by this is, I don’t feel like classical literature teaches me anything I can apply to my life. The only thing it does teach is the history of what’s going on in the story. I agree with the student in the sense that, book assignments are only busy work. Books are suppose to be fun but in perspective to what kids want to read, assigned literature seems more like a chore. The writer is trying to get teachers to change their curriculum so the students could be more engaged with the books we read. The topic is important to the writer because it is based on his personal life and he wants to try to help others get more engaged into other types of readings. He would like us to read stuff that we like not the things the teachers assign the students. The main thing he wants the students to do is to explore readings then just being assigned to something they don’t even like.

    2.Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/ read this when the creator made it?

    The audience of this blog has to be the students and teachers. Teachers should be the main people who needs to read this because classical literature is boring and we the students want to read things other than classical writing. The students are really not that important when compared to the importance teachers towards test scores instead of students opinions.

    3. What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    The message of this article is to tell the students that classical literature shouldn’t be the only thing we should read in schools. We need to start reading things that actually teach us stuff in the real world then reading something and not even learning anything. I agree with the reader that books need to useful not only in the classroom but in life, classical books are not like that today. Classical literature I feel like is the thing of the past and we need to start reading things that can actually relate to us.

  6. 1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?
    -The purpose of this piece is that assigned reading is considered or viewed pointless to an audience of the high school teachers, but we will get to that later. This article also states that when students are forced to read something it somewhat leads to losing interest in reading. Reading should be for pleasure and entertainment which the point or reason the author was trying to get across this article. “The only thing I learned from reading the novel was that there’s little that can sour a love of reading except for assigned reading. I was immediately annoyed by the fixed “pace” of the assigned reading”, the author stated. Because of this, the author realizes that ASSIGNED reading was “lame” and “useless”.

    2. Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?
    -As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the audience is pointed towards was teachers because, majority of what was said was already clear to students so the author wanted teachers to see the POV of the students and why assigned reading was a useless factor. Author wanted to see their english teachers read it to see if they can change their minds.

    3. What is the thesis/ message?
    -The message to this article is that reading shouldn’t be forced or assigned, but that reading should be meant for fun, to be read at your paste, for the pleasure of reading. If you assign it or force students, the values of reading become pointless, student’s interests will decrease and because of that students would not learn anything.

  7. “The Sin of High School English” by Eric J. Paparatto spends about a quarter of the article explaining what he believes to be the ultimate failings of high school level English classes, and the remaining time complaining about his lack of literary skills. The author attempts to pass off his whining as examples of how English class screwed him over. His intentions are to use his clever examples as a tool to highlight his beliefs. However, he instead highlights a whole different issue in the high school English class; and it’s not a poor choice of reading material. It’s a lack of appreciation, understanding, and comprehension of the reading material. Those are the things missing in high school English classes, if the musings and rantings of Paparatto are to be taken at face value. What good is asking students to read classic works of literature if they can’t even begin to appreciate them? Paparatto best demonstrates this problem when he stated that “By contrast to those science fiction novels I had been reading, there’s not one character in The Scarlet Letter who acts the slightest bit of logic or reason, or even demonstrate themselves capable of such. How and why the characters behaved the way they did made no intuitive or logical sense to me, and it’s hard to find much enjoyment in a novel where you just want to reach through the page and smack the characters for being stupid.” His intent with this example is to showcase that classic literature isn’t enjoyable for the sole reason that it’s often illogical to the modern teenage mind, and therefore should not be taught. He suggests that such reading curriculum only serves to put students off reading entirely, by way of making reading an undesirable and confusing chore. He’s advocating for English curriculum to consist of books that high school students would enjoy, regardless of whether those books have any educational value. Because if high school kids don’t like it, then what’s the point of teaching it, right? Because high school English isn’t supposed to broaden students’ horizons or expand their literary prowess or culture them to the finer works of literary art beyond science fiction novels and romantic fantasy, right? Because it isn’t necessary for high school students to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the characters and really think about the situation and the personalities and understand ‘why’?

  8. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    This piece attempts to expose the faults in our high school english curriculum, and does it with great success. The writer is trying to show the reader that, through his own experience, he has seen the joy sucked out of reading as it is reduced to nothing more than a mundane series of tasks regarding irrelevant literature. This topic is important to the writer and the community because voracious readers such as the writer of this article feel that high school education has diluted the pleasure of reading books.

    Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?

    There are two main audiences for this article. The first is english teachers. This article is supposed to awaken teachers to the truth behind the sin of high school english. This is in hopes that the teachers will make changes to their own curriculum. The other audience is students. The writer hopes to remind students that reading is still fun and just because high school english sucks doesn’t mean that all literature is bad.

    What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    The writer clearly states his thesis/ message when he says “my real gripe isn’t with this novel or any particular work of literature per se, it’s the way English class essentially tried to herd me away from the stuff I enjoyed reading in favor of stuff that easily could have turned me off to reading altogether.” The thesis is: Although not all classic literature or reading in general isn’t boring and unnecessary, high school english and its many inefficiencies have the possibility to derail a student’s passion for literature.

    This paraphrased thesis rings true in me as well as many other high school students across the country. We enjoy reading, and we feel that assigned reading assignments and the force-feeding of literature may be enough to discourage us from reading altogether.

  9. 1.Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?

    The intended audience of the blog titled, “The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)” is educators, specifically English teachers. The author makes it very clear he is unhappy with the way English teachers approach the assigned reading topic and wants them to change. The only way he could expect change is if the teachers and professors saw how this topic has personally affected him, and the importance of keeping kids excited about literature.

    2.What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    The main message of this blog is that English teachers should be trying to get students excited about literature and reading, not forcing them to read books that they end up not reading and using Spark Notes for or setting a limit on the number of chapters you can read per night. This is not only implied throughout the whole blog, but stated at the end. As Eric puts it, “the job of English teachers should be to foster that love of reading, not prematurely (and incompetently) force literature on students to the detriment of reading they’d be doing otherwise.”

    3.What kind of logic (evidence or arguments) is used to persuade the audience? What kind of emotional appeal is used to inspire strong feelings, positive or negative?

    Evidence used to persuade the audience that English teachers should be fostering the love of reading, are real life situations the author experienced while in school. He gives the example of how his whole English class seemed excited about reading Lord of The Rings but the teacher immediately shot that idea down because it was not on the AP English reading list. The author talks about relatable experiences so that the reader can feel connected which inspires negative feelings towards not just English teachers, but the curriculum.

  10. In my opinion, the intended audience for “The Sin of High School English Class” by Eric J. Paparatto is not only high school English teachers but also, high school students. The article itself shares Paparatto’s personal thoughts on Advance Placement (AP) reading and the whole paradigm of reading classics strictly to “mark another one off the list.” Paparatto wished to share his view about the lack of skills he learned in English class with other English teachers. For the most part, he blamed his lack of basic skills such as reading comprehension and appreciation on his high school English class. This was an effect of his class focusing more on reading classic books which eventually sucked out his inner “voracious reader.”

    Paparatto’s main message in this article is that America’s high school English classes are severely lacking in performance because its curriculum is not beneficial towards students. The established curriculum is failing its students education because the simple fact is, students do not thoughtfully analyze book’s’ content. Many classic books are simply not relatable to the average teenager. As the article summed up, “as students we see our assigned reading as just another assignment, memorize it, then eventually forget about the book altogether.” Overall students never establish a greater understanding or appreciation of literature. Students never foster a love for reading which will inevitably be a downfall in their future academic career.

    Throughout this article, Paparatto used personal anecdotes, as well as anecdotes from some of his colleagues to support his reasoning. Paparatto’s reference to real life classroom events and examples of assigned reading also added to the validity of his arguments. I was personally able to see the use of pathos and logos throughout the course of his writing. Paparatto established credibility because he has personally experienced the ”sins” that take place in the typical high school English class. Paparatto also evoked some sense of emotion with me as the reader. He engaged me with vivid language and descriptive stories that made myself think about what changes can be made to the “standard” high school English curriculum.

  11. 1. Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?

    The intended audience of the blog called, “The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)” is to teachers but, specifically English teachers. In the blog, the author explained the way he didn’t like how he did not learn anything from the novel his English teacher at the time assigned him and his classmates.He says that “The only thing I learned from reading the novel was that there’s little that can sour a love of reading except for assigned reading. I was immediately annoyed by the fixed “pace” of the assigned reading. Though I was a voracious reader, I was also a sporadic one. Reading X chapters a night just didn’t fit with the way I liked to do it. I also found that there’s just something particularly distasteful about being forced to read a book you don’t like, in a way that doing other schoolwork I didn’t like wasn’t.”

    2. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The author is greatly showing the readers how his English class went during his high school years. He explained the way his teachers made assigned reading not exciting and very educational. This topic is important to the writer and community because keen readers such as the writer of this article feel that high school education has taken the pleasure of reading books.

    3. What is the thesis/message?

    The message of “The Sin go High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)” is telling English teacher to give a break on assigned literature or not having to assign their students a certain specific literature. The joy of reading should come from the books the students want to read. If a teacher wants to force a book upon a students, they will most likely will become uninterested in the book and not even bother. If there is assigned reading of a certain book it increases the chance of students not wanting to learn and not enjoying the book.

  12. 1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?
    The purpose of this article was to let the author state their opinion on how they felt about assigned reading during his high school years and that when people are forced to read a book that they lose interest in it and don’t want to read it. What the writer is trying to accomplish is to inform the audience about what most people happen to feel/do when they are forced into reading something they don’t like and that people enjoy reading when they are able to read books that they are interested in. This topic is important to the reader not only because he went through this but because he doesn’t want other people to go through the same. He doesn’t want us to go on Cliff notes and search up the book he wants us to go and read a book that we enjoy. This is important to the community because the community needs to know ways to be able to go and read and be enjoying the reading.
    2. Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?
    The intended audience for this article is high school students but more specifically high school students taking AP English. Teachers and students were meant to read this when it was created because now teachers know how their students feel about reading and now they can let their students be able to read books they are interested in and know that they are enjoying the reading they are doing.
    3. What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?
    The thesis of The Sin of High School English Class is that the curriculum taught in English classes now are not very helpful in the real world they aren’t just boring but teach us nothing that will help is live in the real world today and that we should read books based on things that happen now or things that can be happening in the future.

  13. 1.What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The Purpose of this piece is to elaborate on the amount of efficiency that occurs during a standard english class. During class and during our remote lives students are required to read many prechosen writings of literature. These said writings of literature are often mandatory which itself creates an icky feeling within a student and more often than not the books are not as interesting as an extracurricular book of choosing. The writer is trying to accomplish many things with this, both providing us with a basis of understanding of their perspective, as well as giving us logical reasons to follow this bias. This topic is important to the writer because they have personally experienced the depletion of their interests, of which were once magical. The topic is self explanatory and completely understandable. Forcing students to read mandatory writings is a form of negative reinforcement, they are pushing us for a positive effect without knowing that it is in fact doing the opposite. Reading should be something that we choose to do and something that should naturally occur in our academic lives, forcing something onto someone, especially if they don’t exactly enjoy to do it.. will only destroy their future desires.

    2.Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?

    The intended audience is for both students and teachers, the writer tries to relate to students and exemplifies his own personal experiences. And is also approaching teachers to make a change in their plans to oppress their students. By informing teachers that we in fact do not like books to be forced onto us (which they should have known hands on already..) this will in the end, if a teacher is successfully convinced, allow a few more readers into a productive and surprisingly entertaining field.

    3.What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    The message is that forcing mandatory readings can create the opposite of the implied effect. Mandatory readings should be more open and less forceful, otherwise future desires to read will be squandered.

    4.What persona (public image) is the writer giving? What kind of feeling does the assigned speaker/symbol reveal?

    The persona of the writer is very relatable, seems both professional and sociable, I can completely understand the writers perspectives and I completely agree. With a couple of bombs being dropped by the writer it makes me feel more at ease and it makes it more relatable. Their form of writing creates a persona of a past student turned writer.
    5.What kind of logic (evidence or arguments) is used to persuade the audience? What kind of emotional appeal is used to inspire strong feelings, positive or negative?
    The evidence used to persuade the audience if form their personal experiences and from other generalities. The writer appeals to the audience emotionally with their relatable form of writing and by giving us a perspective of which we can easily empathize with.

  14. In my opinion the purpose of the blog post “The Sins of High School English Class” is to shed light on the issues within the education system, specifically with English curriculum. Author Eric Paparatto describes in this post his first hand experiences with the English system and his opinions regarding it. Throughout the whole article Paparatto made it clear that he disliked how he was taught in his high school English classes. I believe that his opinion of the high school English system proved the purpose of this blog post and also what the writer was trying to accomplish, which is prove his point. Not only did Paparatto prove his point but he also made it very clear that this issue within the English system is a problem that needs to be addressed and is very important to him. By stating his opinion as well as personal experiences, he stressed that this effected his education and is a problem with all education systems.

    I believe Paparatto meant for his audience to be high school teachers and students because his blog post was focused on high school English class issues. Paparatto discussed AP classes as well as regular high school curriculum, like being forced to read certain books. By sharing his opinions, Paparatto expressed how he lost needed skills and how English class tried to steer him away from the things he liked, all of these things occurring in high school English class. I believe Paparatto wanted to open the eyes of teachers and students with this blog post.

    The overall message of this post is that high school English classes fail in teaching and encouraging students to love literature and instead teach the opposite. I believe Paparatto clearly states his message throughout the whole blog multiple times and he even adds anecdotes to prove his message. As Eric Paparatto states, “The job of English teachers should be to foster that love of reading, not prematurely (and incompetently) force literature on students to the detriment of reading they’d be doing otherwise.”

  15. I believe, in the piece, “The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)”, the writer was trying to accomplish a rant, against public education and their English classes. The writer explains that High school students are forced to read irrelevent literature, that results in young hating reading. However I feel as though the writer is blind to the educational value of challenging books.
    I can tell that the writer feels very negative against public education’s teaching requirements. However, I must say that I disagree with most things being said, for example: “This one incident represents most of what’s wrong with our education system,” this is a quote from paragraph two, after the class began to whine that a Literature term-paper could not be done on the book “Lord of the Rings”. Just because the writer didn’t get what they wanted they referred to it as a “educational system fail”, this is were I believe the writer is wrong. Classic literature is important for life, as challenging as it may be it’s beneficial to those aiming for college. In college, people receive large, heavy, difficult to read textbooks. How could someone read that book if all they read in high school were easy books that were simply read for pleasure. I believe young adults these days just loved to question everything and never stop to think about the educational value they are reviving. Do I believe some aspects of high school requirements could be change? Yes. However, I value reading challenging books like “The Scarlet Letter” even when this writer of the post disagrees with me.

  16. 1) What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The purpose of this piece is to make an effort in changing the education system. Even now, schools still force students to read assigned readings rather than giving the students freedom. Paparatto is trying to give students an opportunity he didn’t have a chance to enjoy. This specific topic is important to the writer because he has experienced himself how school made him hate something he loved. Paparatto was a book lover, but he soon realized that assigned reading took the fun out reading. He is trying to encourage the community to read books they enjoy rather than hate reading because of school.

    2) Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?

    Paparatto had intended his blog for those who take part in an AP English class, specifically teachers. He intends to change the way that teachers teach their classes and actually take into consideration what their students prefer. Paparatto makes this clear by sharing his own experiences in high school about a teacher ignoring her students.

    3) What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    This blog is delivering the message that high school English classes are flawed. Eric J. Paparatto supports his message by giving examples of when he was in high school. He gives background information about himself saying that he has always loved reading, but when it came to being assigned reading in high school, he hated it. He states that there is something wrong with out educational system. I could not agree more when Paparatto said this because I also feel that English classes can be more enjoyable. In my sophomore year, we were assigned books that we had to read. Most students including me didn’t enjoy these books and thus didn’t read the books. However, in Junior year this changed because rather than assigning us books to read, Mrs. Edwards allowed us to read any books of our choice.

  17. The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)

    The general argument made the article, The Sin of High School English Class, is that high school literature reading requirements are unfair and unchanging. More specifically, the article argues that the literature is not relatable and is therefor hard to comprehend. It writes, “It was just an exercise in forcing down our throats novels written by authors that a teenager couldn’t relate to, set in times that a teenager couldn’t relate to, and featuring characters that a teenager couldn’t relate to.” In this passage, the article is suggesting that being given the required text, taking it apart, and being quizzed on it, doesn’t help any students learn how to effectively analyze and doesn’t prepare them for higher learning. In conclusion, the author’s belief is that current English class curriculum is not effectively teaching students in a beneficial way.

    In my view, the article is both right and wrong, because I go to iPoly and we have opportunities to voice our opinions on our curriculum and can make small adjustments if we are not comprehending the assignment at hand. More specifically, I believe that more schools should attempt to adopt these ways of teaching. For example, larger schools could have “comment boxes” or “concern boxes” for students to voice they’re opinions on the way they are being taught. Although the article might object that that is an unrealistic idea , I maintain that it would be both successful and helpful. Therefore, I conclude that high school literature doesn’t need to be completely overhauled but small changes can be put into effect to make it easier for students to comprehend classic literature.

  18. The Problematic English Literature Curriculum

    English literature classes in the twentieth century is a snooze fest and a disappointment. Out of all the vast collections of literature and articles written that are not only academic but interesting, American schools decide to stick to the same few and bore generation after generation with not relatable works that do more harm than good. The author of, “The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)”, Eric J. Paparatto, beautifully summed up all of the faults of the English literature curriculum and even pointed out some beautiful solutions that I could not agree more with.
    First off, the texts choices for English classes are miserable reads. While I, may not be the best of judges for I am not an avid reader, I do see the positives and reasons for why certain texts are chosen. With some authors, their writing styles and word choices allow the reader to broaden their vocabulary with whimsical stories. But most likely, the results will be like Paparatto’s experience with “Great Expectations”. Students become confused with what they are reading and are not being given the opportunity to ask thought provoking questions and truly indulge themselves in a book that is relatable. I, for one, despised reading Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. When reading the book, I was forced to read certain chapters per night, but I never read for content. I would end up reading just to get it done, not noticing the vast amounts of romanticism used and the parallels between Frankenstein and the author’s life.
    Allowing the student to pick the books or at least have some say of what they read is an amazing way in engaging students in books. If students get to pick what they read, it will likely give them a positive reading experience and make them want to read. Paparatto’s personal story in the beginning of the article, is a commonly shared experience. Sometimes students are given lazy teachers, which is a great tragedy because teachers who have no interest in their students’ input, have no true interest in their learning. The author’s teacher in the story had no interest in the student’s growth as readers, they just wanted to give the students busy work. Allowing a student to have a say in how they present their work will make them want to do well. Most students bullshit their book projects because they are doing them on books they could not care less about. Learning is all about engaging a student, so students should be reading engaging books whose target audience is meant for them. Not all books they read will be exciting, but all the books do not have to be boring.
    Literature has full capability to be intriguing and educational. In order for reading to be a success, it needs the help of both the students and the teacher. Giving the students a say in their education can positively affect them to become lifelong readers. In a world that is overwhelmed with short cuts in words and oversimplified texts, a student’s only hope may be their literature class. That makes it up to the teacher, to either force painful books and book reports at the students, or allow students to express their opinions and have them do work that they will want to learn and benefit from.

  19. The main issue that Eric J. Paparatto addressed in the article, “The Sin of High School English Class or Why I Hate Classic Literature” was that the main objective English Honors and AP Literature classes should be accomplishing is the actively encourage students to explore and discover literature rather than forcing them to read literature they are not interested in. He supports this point when he says that “the job of English teachers should be to foster that love of reading…” I agree with the issue that Paparatto thoroughly addressed — to a certain extent. Since I go to I-Poly, I feel strongly that educators should not deny their students a choice in what literature they read and analyze. And at I-Poly, educators do not shun or ignore students who voice their comments or concerns, but take what students say into consideration; a regular literature class has more flexible curriculum.

    However, the particular classes that Paparatto is pinpointing are Honors and AP classes. He comments, “…there’s little that can sour a love of reading except for assigned reading.” He fails to understand and acknowledge that Honors and AP classes do not have the freedom to pick and choose what it taught. These certain classes need to follow a specific curriculum. The reason why the teacher may choose to read The Scarlet Letter versus Lord of the Rings may be because that particular book can fulfill the standards that are required to be taught and learned in the AP or Honors course. He continues to lament how the assigned novels portray only authors, time periods, and characters “a teenager couldn’t relate to.”

    He calls out the AP curriculum and calls it “painfully wrong.” Additionally, he ignores the fact that there is a set list of AP novels to choose from. An educator of AP Lit cannot just suddenly pick and choose random books that are not on the list. Paparatto is shaming the educators for policies that they have no control over. He fails to understand that the reason why educators may shoot down the idea of writing a term paper on Lord of the Rings is because it simply does not meet the AP requirements and was not discussed or read in class in the first place. It would be ridiculous and unfair for a teacher to force students to read a random book that was not on the AP Lit list just a couple of weeks before the term paper was due because two students seem enthusiastic about it.

    Paparatto begins the article with the strong argument that students were denied to read books they were interested in or opportunities to write term papers on a book they would actually enjoy writing about. Again he fails to remember that students are not limited to reading and writing in their AP Literature classes. If students wanted to read certain books so much, then they could read it on their own time or join a book club. If they wanted to write an analytical paper on a particular book, what’s stopping them? Join or start a writing club, write a separate paper and request for your teacher to read both, participate in a creative writing workshop. Paparatto fails to realize that students are presented with so many more opportunities that his arguments are not valid in an AP or Honors class with specific curriculum to be followed. This article denounces and shames the curriculum of AP Literature classes when the purpose of these classes aren’t to assign novels that each and every will enjoy, but to prepare and teach them the necessary skills that they are needed to approach and fully understand all types of literature, even the type they do not particularly enjoy.

  20. In Eric J. Paparatto’s blog entry ‘The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)’, he expresses his overall negative attitude towards the system in which English classes work. The main message he tries to convey is that there is a great mistake in making students read “required” reading rather than hindering a passion for reading (all while still teaching them the lessons they need to be taught). Moreover, he believes that a student should be taught with material that is more relatable to the students. As an example, he brings forth the time he had to read “The Scarlet Letter”. He says, “My primary thought while reading it was as follows: “These people are all fucking idiots”. I’d already known the puritans were all religious lunatics; I didn’t see why I needed to read a book that did little more than illustrate how stupid and irrational they were…. For contrast, take Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Though militaristic fascism is just as alien to me as puritanism, and it’s a point of view that I disagree with every bit as vehemently, I was at least made to understand it.” Through this example, it is obvious that Paparatto firmly believes that students benefit more out of literature they can relate to than older classic works that hardly hold any relevance to them.
    More than a rant, Paparatto’s blog entry serves the purpose to inform both teachers and students. Perhaps it is too late for him to get the education he would have liked to receive during his time in high school but it isn’t late for others still in the field of learning. Paparatto’s opinion is clearly one he feels strongly about, feeling that he was cheated of his education by being forced to read “classic literature” that made no sense to him or to any of his classmates for that matter. It is almost as if he feels it is his duty to bring into the light how English classes may be failing students by driving students away from reading rather than teaching them how to dissect, understand and appreciate a work and its intending meaning.

  21. 1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The purpose of this piece is to show that the traditional English curriculum often causes kids to hate reading instead of cultivating a love of reading in them. The writer is trying to make people aware of the faults of the current English curriculum, this is an important issue to him because as he said, he was always an avid reader and his AP English class caused him to hate reading at times since he was forced to do it. This topic should be important to the community because what is our future going ti be like if we are fostering generations of kids that hate reading?

    2. Who is the intended audience? Who was meant to see/read this when the creator made it?

    The intended audience is average people in the community. the author told his experience in high school English, something many high school kids are already experiencing.

    3. What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?

    The main message of this piece is that traditional English classes make many kids hate reading because they are forced to read things they do not want to read.

  22. 1. What is the purpose of this piece? What is the writer trying to accomplish? Why is this topic important to the writer? To the community?

    The general purpose portrayed by the article, “The Sin of High School English Class (or Why I Hate Classic Literature)”, is basically explained in the title itself. It attempts to show the perpetual struggle English students face as well as bring light to an ever present problem that occurs while studying literature in high school. More specifically, the writer excerpts this by speaking of personal instances in which the class as a whole wished to read a much more entertaining piece of literature, but to no avail due to not being administered as a pre-approved piece of literature. The ideas and interests of student are ultimately ignored and instead discouraged. He later argues that this is the sole reason or “sin” of why students loose the benefit of enjoying literature. Most problems persist by being forced to read a less interacting novel in a short amount of time. The author, throughout the article, explains the importance of this being expressed towards the community by arguing that the English class rooms are severely lacking proper teaching. He writes, “ The idea that students are discouraged from exploring and discovering on their own terms for the love of doing it should horrify educators, yet in in this domain it seems to be the status quo.”.
    3.What is the thesis/message? Is it stated or implied?
    The main message stated in the article is that students should be able to explore and enjoy their reading experiences. Instead of being forcing to read a novel that ultimately doesn’t enhance a student to become interested in students should be able to express their interests. In the end, forcing a student to read a certain amount of literature in a specific time frame discourages a student and becomes an effective way to ruin the views of reading in young students. This article gets us to thinking, how exactly are students supposed to have a positive outtake of reading when they are constantly being discouraged to partake in their reading interests.

    5.What kind of logic (evidence or arguments) is used to persuade the audience? What kind of emotional appeal is used to inspire strong feelings, positive or negative? The evidence given in the article becomes effective by the author giving personal experiences to support his case. As a student in AP English literature, the author explains of times where classes we persuaded to read novels that, and I quote, leave teenagers with novels that they couldn’t relate to, set in times that a teenager couldn’t relate to, and featuring characters that a teenager couldn’t relate to. This piece of evidence provides us with a sense that possibly the books being assigned lack an actual relevance in regards to learning. Taking into consideration the events taking place in a teenagers life should give instructors a guideline on how they can give students a feeling of importance or relevance to the pieces of novels. Although classic novels implement an important aspect to any English class, in the end it only gives teachers a lesser grasp on the concept of teaching to a younger audience. This article gives teachers an insight on the negative views that can be seen and often times overlooked in the classrooms. By showing the actual effects this type of teaching has on students it can hopefully persuade teachers into realizing the effects of teaching this way.

    p.s. I had trouble with the log in so unfortunately I wasn’t able to log in and post on time!

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