[Milton-L] Re: Memorization and K. Jackson

Jameela Lares jlares at ocean.otr.usm.edu
Wed Feb 25 06:19:09 EST 2004

I routinely ask my Brit Lit I survey students to write a sonnet 
for their second of three papers.  I have in the past also assigned a 
paper as an alternative, and most of them have chosen the "easier" 
assignment, only to find what we could all predict.  It's magic to 
grade--it takes them forever to do it properly, and only five minutes to 
assess.  In order to cut down on plagiarism, I tell them that it must be 
keyed to a sonnet in the text (they have to explain how) but that it also 
must relate to a current event.  I may add some strictures entitled 
"What this assignment is NOT," including free verse, musings about their 
boyfriends or girlfriends, love poems to baby daughters, etc.



On Wed, 25 Feb 2004, Roy Flannagan wrote:

> I would like to second Steve Fallon's suggestion, and perhaps the list
> might even compromise on the question: why not ask students to write a
> sonnet (especially in a Ren Lit class) that scans and makes sense AND
> ask them to memorize, say, one sonnet by Wyatt, one by Sidney, one by
> Shakespeare (or two or three), and one by Milton (how rousing might be a
> football player's version of "Avenge O Lord")?
> But we shouldn't ask sophomores to write a villanelle.
> Roy F
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Jameela Lares
Associate Professor of English
Univ. of So. Mississippi
118 College Drive #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
+601 266-6214

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