Planning my Portfolio

For my portfolio I will be using a persuasive essay, a blog post, a concept map and webpage to communicate my ideas about “The Book of Negroes”.

I chose to do a persuasive essay rather than a narrative essay because I have very strong opinions about some events and characters in my novel. With a persuasive essay, I am able to give the reader a different perspective on the idea which may help change their opinion to agree with mine.

I chose to do a blog post because it is an informal way of communicating with others where I can simply express my opinion without having to use facts. I obviously will use some quotations from my novel just to help prove my point, but it isn’t always necessary. It also will allow the reader and I to share ideas and opinions by having a comment box. It is a good way to communicate with my targeted audience.

I chose to do a concept map because I am able to show the many themes and archetypes that are portrayed throughout the novel. I will be able to show how there are different types of power and archetypes.

I chose to do a webpage because it also allows me to share my opinion. I will be able to give the audience insight on characters, conflicts and ideas that are in my novel. I will also be able to state my opinion trying to persuade my audience to agree with me.

Throughout this course, I feel as though I have developed as a writer. I now know how to apply different literary theories to certain texts and know how to analyze them from that perspective. I also feel that my vocabulary has expanded, which has always been a huge challenge for me. There were many words I didn’t know in my book and in essays/poems/stories that were read in this class. When I came across those words, I looked up the definition to learn what they mean and I now know how to use them.

Some challenges I had were identifying the thesis and identifying what kind of essay some texts were. Sometimes the thesis isn’t always clear but the message is, meaning you can predict what the thesis is. It was also difficult when figuring out whether the essay was expository or argumentative or persuasive. Persuasive essays are very similar to argumentative for they are both arguing a point from a certain perspective. Lastly, I found that generating a thesis was the biggest challenge for me. I have always struggled with it. I know what I want to persuade my audience, I just find it challenging to put the words into a formal sentence.

I’m glad I got to learn everything that I did in this course. I know that it will always stick with me and I will continue developing as a writer/creator.



Should ENG4U be a mandatory prerequisite for university? Here are some things to consider…

Hey there! My name is Laura Carleton and I am currently enrolled into a grade 12 university English course for the summer! Why am I doing this? For starters, English is not my strongest subject. I am only interested in it for minor things such as writing about my own opinion and getting to write about what I want. (Literally the only thing I enjoy. Who LOVES writing essays?) Another reason is I want more space in my timetable for my grade 12 year so I can take the courses I need for the university program I want to get into.

“But ENG4U is a mandatory course needed for university”. Yeah it is. But honestly, why?

In my opinion, I think that ENG4U shouldn’t be a mandatory prerequisite for university. I think English should be mandatory up to grade 11 yes, but to HAVE to take English our last year? No, I don’t think it’s necessary. We learn the basics throughout our high school year. How to write an essay, how to properly use grammar, how to analyze novels and stories. In grade 12, it’s just taking it up a notch. Now you may be marked on the amount of “technical” words you use, or the essay you need to write may be longer. Now you will be reading a 700 pg novel rather than 400. It’s stretching your brain and making you think more in my opinion.

Some of us are better at English than others and even though some of us really struggle, we are still required to take it. Some university programs don’t care if your gr.12 Eng credit is applied or academic, as long as you have so and so percentage you can get in. But what is the difference between applied and academic?! (I’ve really only ever taken academic so I actually don’t know lol. If there is a difference plz tell me) I think that the applied English course may be less home work and more in class work and maybe the content isn’t as difficult as the academics. But really, if there is no difference… or even a small difference… how different is it from the grade 11 class? We are still reading, writing essays and poems and analyzing stuff.

The majority of us are using English every day. We speak it, we write it, we read it. In other classes, we are required to write essays and read novels. Do we really need gr.12 English to do that? When we get to university, do we really need to know the gr.12 English curriculum unless we’re going through for English?

I want to be a French and Biology teacher when I graduate from university. I don’t plan on taking any English courses for I think I can manage without. I know I will be required to write essays and novels, but I have learned that already. I won’t be required to have read Macbeth; I will be required to have all my French and biology prerequisites. English majors and minors, and people who want to have a career involving English should be taking all the English credits they can, including ENG4U!

Also, some schools have certain limits in regards to courses a student can choose for their semester. Some classes are only offered once a semester and may be at the same time as English. What if you really need Math because you want to become an accountant but English is at the same time? You have to either drop math and take English, or maybe take it online if it isn’t messing up any of your other courses. It can be a hassle. This is also the reason for many students coming back for a fifth year because they were unable to select the courses they need for University. Without gr.12 English, it would open up ONE spot for those courses. One spot is way better than nothing.

I do think English is important, but I don’t think eng4u should be mandatory in order to get into university. I mean, what do you guys think?