English classes write outside the box

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Leila Rasas, Staff Photographer

During Ms. Kasner’s 5th period Honors English class, sophomore Anne Choi revises her satire for the assignment. Honors English 10 students were asked to write satires after reading “A Modest Proposal”; this is one of many creative writing English assignments for the 3rd quarter.

Anais Hinojosa

Pushing the limits of everyday assignments, students in several English classes throughout the school have taken on writing tasks that require more than just analyzing literature out of a textbook. Whether it’s writing a satire, a paper involving ethnography, or the tale of a real life immigrant, English students are getting a chance to step outside the box and take their writing to a different level.

In Honors English 10 classes, students were asked to write a satire of their own after reading A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift. Satires use irony and sarcasm to denounce a current issue or problem, making this assignment more of a creative writing assignment as opposed to an analytical one.

“Expository writing is really important, but I think it is beneficial to have an assignment every now and then that you get to have fun with,” sophomore Ellen Michael said. “Were it up to me, I definitely would have more of these types of assignments.”

With subjects from PDA to the consumption and waste of water addressed, students were able to sarcastically express their opinions about topics that have become widely acknowledged issues.

“Creative writing enlarges a person’s imagination and gives them a lot more freedom compared to typical essays,” sophomore Anne Choi said. “It was really fun to be able to write for the entertainment of others while identifying a problem with our society.”

Instead of writing satires, however, students in Honors English 11 classes are writing papers that revolve around the experiences of real life immigrants, which they themselves must interview and learn about. With immigration having been a frequently debated issue over the past few years, taking on this writing assignment gives students a chance to expand their knowledge and understanding on the subject, as well as formulate more of a solid opinion.

“Understanding certain concepts or topics becomes easier when students think about how it may relate to the world we live in,” junior Jessica Xilo said.  “The immigrant paper, for example, will hopefully give students a new understanding about the people around them; it may get students to think about what the ‘American Dream’ means or to question if it is attainable.”

ERWC students are also getting their share of atypical writing through an assignment on ethnography, which is a research process that deals with the study of human communication and behavior within certain cultures or societies. Students observe a community of their choice, anything from Xbox Live to clubs such as JSA, and then report on their observations on the different patterns of communication amongst males and females.

“It’s different because it doesn’t have the same formula of a ‘normal’ essay,” senior Maoie Fabon said. “Assignments like these let the students have hands on learning, so not only is it educational, but it’s pretty fun, too. If classes didn’t have unique assignments, it’d be boring.”

While most writing assignments require students to only analyze the text that is presented before them, unique assignments such as these give students an opportunity to make firsthand connections with society and the modern world.