Congratulations to Shepherd freshman, Linnea Meyer, whose essay submission was selected as the winner of the 2016-2017 Common Reading Student Essay Contest. Special thanks to our judges: Dr. Heidi Dobish, Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, and Dr. Timothy Nixon.
In my opinion, it is the need for communication and interaction that determines the importance of reading and writing. In the past, it was satisfying to people to just communicate with neighbors. Many people never left their village, so they knew nothing about the outside world. However, they were both socially and economically satisfied. Today, as the whole world becomes a small village, the human discovery desire is stimulated. Few people are still considering local relationships enough. Most people are looking forward to establishing new overseas relations. Because traditional communication ways fail to carry such global messages, new ways are used, beginning from letters and faxes and ending with the use of computers and the Internet. This has raised the importance of reading and writing as a strict prerequisite of such modern facilities.
Common Reading Student Essay Contest
Shepherd students are encouraged to enter the Common Reading Student Essay Contest. Please share these guidelines with students and encourage them to enter. Entries should be emailed to and are being accepted now through April 1. The winner will receive $350 towards Shepherd University tuition or the purchase of an education-related device or tech gadget. Entries are judged by a panel of three faculty members using a rubric developed by the English Department. Essays written for a specific class or other assignment are acceptable.
Organizing your close-reading essay In writing your close-reading essay, you may wish to start by introducing the book and describing your chosen passage’s importance within it. You could then offer relevant details to support your thesis. Questions you raise may appear as part of your conclusion, suggesting avenues for further thought and study.
A Student's Guide: Research -- Reading v. Writing
No one can deny the role of reading and writing in developing our style of life. One's life is as long as the lives of the authors of books he reads. Reading and writing also adds to our relationships with other people. Firstly, books we read suggest topics to discuss with others. Secondly, from books we can learn nice and polite behavior to interact with people. Thirdly, reading increases our ability to understand people. For example, we can face some hard or embarracing situation that we previously read about, so our approach to it will be better. Lastly, the age of our relationships can be longer. Consider, for instance, a friend travelling abroad. Writing to him can keep up the friendship till later eye contact. The previous benefits of reading and writing are independent of time. The message to be conveyed is that reading and writing was also important in the past.
Free comprehension Essays and Papers
To do a close reading, you choose a specific passage and analyze it in fine detail, as if with a magnifying glass. You then comment on points of style and on your reactions as a reader. Close reading is important because it is the building block for larger analysis. Your thoughts evolve not from someone else's truth about the reading, but from your own observations. The more closely you can observe, the more original and exact your ideas will be. To begin your close reading, ask yourself several specific questions about the passage. The following questions are not a formula, but a starting point for your own thoughts. When you arrive at some answers, you are ready to organize and write. You should organize your close reading like any other kind of essay, paragraph by paragraph, but you can arrange it any way you like.
The "reading level," measured in terms of school grade levels, indicates the minimum education level that someone would need in order to read and comprehend a piece of writing. For example, if the reading level of an essay is an 8, this means that someone with an eighth-grade education should have no significant problem reading and understanding the essay.
Critical Reading of an Essay's Argument