The Paper Chase

What is the role of the student? The teacher? This short excerpt from the film The Paper Chase (1973) illustrates the Socratic Method of questioning students to get them to think critically. But it can be painful.

Next, how should we summarize this clip?


Fix this summary for Monday, December 12:

Summary work for Monday

Student Sample Research Paper


Homework for Wednesday, Nov 30

Hi class,

I hope that you were able to take something useful from today’s class.

Here’s a quote from B.B. King: “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

When you learn something during your research project, you are the essence of a college student: you are struggling to make sense of new information. And what’s more, you are learning things that become a part of your knowledge base.

For Wednesday, bring in a paragraph that:

1. Introduces your reader to your topic

2. Introduces your thesis

3. Refines the thesis

4. And reveals your method

And bring in your annotated bibliography–at least 8 citations plus the annotations.

A Recipe for Success

Hi Class,

My philosophy is that TIME is your greatest asset, and you must use it wisely to succeed in college.

Feel free to customize this recipe:

Nov 23: bring in a draft of your annotated bibliography with at least six entries. 2 hours.

Nov 30: Annotated Bibliography is finished–paving the way to start writing up your notes into the research paper. 2-3 hours.

Dec 1-3: Write two pages of research essay-2 hours.

Dec 4: Write two more pages of research essay -2 hours.

Dec 5: Revise and edit your 4 page essay -1 hour.

Dec 6: Edit and proofread your 4 page essay and your Annotated Bibliography – 1 hour.

Dec 7: Turn in Research Essay and Annotated Bibliography (Essays 5 and 6).

Annotation Example

Hi Students,

Below is a student example that might serve as a model of what your own annotation could resemble.




Revised Asssignment Details for Essay 5

Hi Class,

I revised the due dates on the Essay 5/6 Assignment Details. Go to ASSIGNMENTS menu tab.

Homework for Wednesday, Nov 16

Getting started on a New York City Research Project:

New York City Research–getting started


When you think that you have a research site/project in mind, please let me know.

Ric Burns’s NYC Documentary:






Grammar Jokes

These are hilarious. Sort of.

Can you explain why they are funny?

Click here:




Homework for Monday, Nov 7

Hi Class,

For Monday, bring in the completed Paragraph Structure handout. Also, on Monday, I will bring in a student sample of the Comparison/Contrast essay. If you have questions about your comparison choices–email me.


Homework for Monday, October 31

Hi Class,

Two tasks for Monday:

1. Read the comparison poem “Yo Vivo En El Barrio Chino,” by Frances Chung (page 75). What do you make of this comparison?

2. In your notebooks, write a paragraph in which you compare two of your favorite foods or two of your favorite places. I will not collect this assignment, but I will go around the room to see if you have done it. The comparison essay will be our next essay, by the way.