Assignments and Lessons

Tutoring in USM's Writing Center

Tutoring in USM’s Writing Center

*All assignments and lessons are original*


English 203 Class Blog Assignment

This assignment asks students to relate the texts we read in class to the real world and to publish their thoughts in a public place–our class blog–so that our in-class conversations can continue outside of the classroom.

Close Reading Essay

I consider this essay the rhetorical analysis of literature: students must choose a small piece of text from a larger work and analyze HOW an author makes an argument or compels the reader to feel a certain way.

Personal Narrative/Character Analysis

This is a hybrid assignment that asks students to use personal evidence in order to more fully analyze a character. The ultimate goal of this assignment is to have students analyze themselves as much as they analyze a text and to see that we have intimate connections with the literature we read.


Close Reading

A guide sheet to help students fine-tune their close reading skills. This handout uses Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” as an example because it is a text we read on the first day of the semester.

Paragraph Development

A handout that aims to break down a paragraph and demonstrate that it is a mini-essay in itself, with a focus (topic sentence), evidence (quotes, summary, etc.), and analysis.

Tutoring the Thesis Statement

A tutoring aid that helps teachers and tutors explain a thesis statement to students.

Rhetorical Toolbox

Primarily used in Composition classes, the toolbox is a method of discussing the various types of evidence an author can use to persuade his or her reader.



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