Annotated Reading #5

Annotated Reading #3: The Dew Breaker

Now it’s time to continue this semester’s assigned novel, Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker. You will ultimately use a chosen theme from this novel as the seed for your research project. Hopefully, you will enjoy this book; however, it is important to keep in mind that we will be reading it critically, meaning we are examining it as a cultural artifact that contains commentary on our current social, political, and cultural moment in history. Here’s how we’ll do that:

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For this week, in Edwidge Danticat’s novel, The Dew Breaker, read the last chapter of The Dew Breaker: “The Dew Breaker”

As you read, take notes for each chapter. Then, respond to these prompts separately for each of the two chapters, and in the following order for each:

Summarize each chapter in a brief paragraph for each; be sure to just capture all major plot points and avoid minor details. Be sure to include the title of each chapter (in quotation marks) in your summary (i.e., not just as a heading to your notes).
Ask at least two questions of each chapter: What are you curious about? What don’t you understand? Etc. Avoid generic questions such as “Why is this chapter shorter than the last?”; “What will happen next?”; etc. You should dig deep and ask thoughtful questions with substance.
Make at least two comments and/or connections for each chapter: What are you noticing about the themes of the novel? The style and tone? How might each chapter be connected to the others? What are your interpretations of the events in the book? How might the content relate to our current cultural moment in time?
Note one key passage (important turn of events) in the chapter: What moment do you find revealing or crucial to the overall arc of the chapter? This should not simply be a quotation, but rather a description of a turning point in the chapter (although, you may certainly use a quote, but be sure to follow it with your rationale as to why it is the key moment of the chapter).
Define new/uncommon vocabulary in the chapter: What words (at least two) are unfamiliar to you for which you needed to consult a dictionary, or at least what an average reader might not know? Define them in your notes. Don’t state that you knew every single word, lest you receive no credit for this prompt!

Do not submit your annotations in essay form; please have appropriate numbers/subheadings for each chapter and question.

Type the above notes using MS Word and strict MLA formatting (heading on left, last name and page number in upper right corner of each page, double space everything, half-inch indents for each new paragraph). Upload your document through “Assignments” in the “Assessments” content area.

Finally, plagiarism has been occasional in past classes regarding writing the summaries for each chapter; do not do so. Good summary writing is an important skill for you to master, and simply cutting and pasting a chapter summary from a website will not allow you to sharpen those skills. Any instances of plagiarism will be grounds for removal from the course.

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