Kratz’s English 4: Q4 Agenda, Assignments and Resources

E4 Agenda: End of the Year


For the remainder of the year, we’re focused on finishing the year strong and going into next year knowing you’re prepared for the rigors of college writing.

Many of you are in a good place with your development and your grade, but there are still opportunities to improve in both areas:

1) Take the Final Exam. If you’re failing for the year, this is mandatory and a tremendous opportunity to boost your grade, as well as another chance to work on crafting a college-level on-demand expository essay.

2) Revise your Senior Thesis. Work on polishing up a long-form expository research essay and gain valuable test points. Submit to “Re-Submission – Senior Thesis Final Copy” by Monday, 6/12, 11:59 am.

3) Grammar and vocabulary work: finish assignments and quizzes on and When you complete assignments, email Mr. Kratz at

4) Submit outstanding annotations: “The Power of Context”, “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” and “Welcome to Newburgh”.


Assignments (click to download work)

“State of Your Future City Project” (Test Credit!!!). Research, argument and presentation. Due: 5/17. Share Google Slides PPT with Mr. Kratz at for credit.

Crime Theory Reading Comprehension and Writing Quiz, due 5/8.

“Welcome to Newburgh” by Patrick Raden Keefe annotations and seminar (HW), due 5/5.

“What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” annotations (HW) and Socratic Seminar (CW), due 5/1.

“What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” vocabulary quiz (Quiz) on Due: 5/2, 11:59 pm

Appositives Phrases – Practice (CW), style practice on

Commas for Clarity – Quiz (Quiz), style quiz on Due, 5/9.

Commas for Clarity – Practice (CW), style practice on Due: 5/2.

“The Power of Context” writing quiz (Quiz), due 4/24.

“The Power of Context” vocab quiz (Quiz) on

“The Power of Context” annotations (HW) and Socratic Seminar (CW), due 4/21.

Senior Thesis Revision Submission (HW), due 4/16, via You will lose 10% credit each day this is late and your Senior Thesis – Research Paper 2017 will become a zero (until it is submitted).

MLA Citations – Quiz (Quiz) on, due 4/6; you can make up 25% of credit by completing the MLA Citations – Practice sessions.

Embedding Quotes – Quiz (Quiz) on, due 4/17; you can make up 25% of credit by completing the Embedding Quotes Practice sessions.

Peer Editing (Classwork), due 4/5 ; no make-up. If you weren’t here, you will be exempt. (Unless you were skipping class!)


The Power of Context” by Malcolm Gladwell

“What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” by Charlie LeDuff

“Welcome to Newburgh, Murder Capital of New York” by Patrick Radden Keefe


Senior Thesis Research Materials and Guides:

— Click here for Research Paper – Guidelines and Rubric (this includes all requirements, a scoring breakdown and your criteria for success)

— EBSCO Research Guide and Requirements

Research Paper Checklist 2017 (Everything you should be thinking about as you write and before your finalize and submit your research paper!)

— Works Cited Guide

Click here more information on MLA style citation and Works Cited (from Purdue OWL – college writing lab)

— Quick Fix- Editing Checklist for Essays


English 4: 4th Quarter Resources and Assignments

[Updated 5/30]

Hello English 4 Writers! We’ve reached the 4th Quarter, the final chapter of our journey together toward preparing you to succeed with any writing task you encounter in college. At the same time, we’ll continue to develop our voice as writers, build our vocabularies and gain confidence in being able to complete a well-developed research paper! Below are all of the materials and resources you’ll need to access this quarter in order to complete your reading writing assignments. I’ll also also include due dates and other important information in this space as the quarter continues.

***Important Note: From now on, when you complete any essay or want to re-submit a revision, YOU MUST EMAIL ME at with the subject telling me the name of the essay you’re submitting for evaluation.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

*Final Examination: Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3. You’ll write a fully-developed essay based on a short passage of non-fiction text over the course of two days or 100 minutes (longer for those with an IEP). One final test of your ability to decipher any text thrown your way and respond to it by crafting a compelling, well-developed argument. You’re ready!  (But we’ll do a little practice on Tuesday to make sure we’re in fighting shape.)

*Prose/Fallows Essay, Due Monday, June 6

*Gladwell/LeDuff revisions, Due Monday, June 6

*Research Paper revisions, Due Monday, June 6

*Extra Credit Research Paper, Due Monday, June 6

*#Hashtag Activism Essay, Due Monday, June 6

*Unit 5 and Unit 6 vocab quiz re-takes (Monday-Friday, after school in 408, through Friday, June 9; explore and build your writing tool set at

*Q4 Calendar (updated 5/17) Includes our schedule, goals and deadlines, through the end of the year.

*Prose and Fallows Quizzes: Due June 6

*Annotated Texts: Due June 6

Materials for Gladwell/LeDuff Essay: “Diagnose Detroit” (Due: April 22, 4:30 pm)

— Text: “Power of Context” by Malcolm Gladwell

— Text: “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” by Charlie LeDuff

— Quiz: “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”

— Gladwell/LeDuff Essay Prompt: “Diagnose Detroit” (Due: April 22, 4:30 pm)

Detailed Essay Outline and Organizer Tool


Research Paper Resources (evolving, checking back for updates here):

— Research Paper Checklist (Everything you should be thinking about as write and finalize your research paper!)

— Works Cited Guide

— EBSCO address (check your gmail for log-in info):

— EBSCO Research Guide

— Alternative (or Extra Credit) Research Paper Seed Text Options (Plus Inquiry Question worksheet)

Detailed Essay Outline and Organizer Tool

Note: Extra Credit (or alternative) Research Papers must include 4 valid source from EBSCO, including the seed text article.


Materials for Prose/Fallows

— Text: Francine Prose’s “Voting Democracy Off the Island”

Quiz: “Voting Democracy Off the Island”

Text: James Fallows’ “Win in China”

Quiz: “Win in China”

Prose/Fallows Essay Topic and Assignment (Due June 6)

*Detailed Essay Outline and Organizer Tool


Materials for Cobb/Gladwell (#hashtag activism)

— Text: Malcolm Gladwell’s “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”

— Text: Jelani Cobb’s “The Matter of Black Lives”

— Essay Topic: #hashtag activism (Will the Black Lives Matter movement succeed?)

*Detailed Essay Outline and Organizer ToolDetailed Essay Outline and Organizer Tool

English 4: Everything You Need for LeDuff/Gladwell Essay (Due: March 23)


Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for you to put everything you’ve learned about writing academic essays into practice with this full essay assignment, due Monday, March 23. You will come up with your own thesis, based on the prompt and the evidence you gather, write 3-5 body paragraphs to support and prove your thesis, and provide a conclusion that re-states your thesis in new language, summarizes your evidence and shows us the broader relevance (why is this important to us as a society and individuals). Specifically, you’ll be “diagnosing” Detroit’s problems and showing your reader how it would be possible cure this struggling Midwestern city of its ills. Can you do it through the Power of Context and applying the Broken Windows Theory (Gladwell) or will it take the large-scale reform and overhaul of Detroit’s vital civil institutions — its criminal justice system, its education system, its economy or its government, to name a few (LeDuff)?

My recommendation for completing the writing process for this (or any other) essay: 1) Start pulling out evidence (from the ideas and evidence presented by Gladwell or LeDuff) that you think might lead to Detroit’s renaissance; 2) Based on that evidence, come up with a working thesis that takes a strong stance that promotes the ideas of one author and disproves the other’s ideas. 3) Come up with an outline that delineates how you will structure your argument and essay. 4) Start writing! 5) Complete a draft; 6) Seek and receive feedback based on the rubric we’re using; 7) Revise and submit!

Below, you’ll find all of the relevant materials you will need to complete this assignment, including:

— The Texts: “Power of Context” and “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”

The Prompt (what you need to do and the questions you need to answer)

The Rubric (how you’ll be scored and what your essay should look, sound and read like)

For help, come see us in the Writing Center! Due: Monday, March 23.

English 4: “The Power of Context” Seminar, Day 2

Below is the video from 8th period’s Socratic Seminar about “The Power of Context”. We made it through almost all of Gladwell’s piece, which should put you in a good place for tomorrow’s quiz. The questions on the quiz will be very similar to the two prompts on your seminar sheet, so feel free to start gathering your evidence now!

English 4: “The Power of Context” Schedule and “The Central Park Five” Notes

This week, we’re wrapping up our initial work with Malcolm Gladwell’s influential non-fiction piece, “The Power of Context”, which was taken from his book, “The Tipping Point.” We’ll finish watching “The Central Park Five” documentary on Monday and use it to further or understanding of “The Power of Context” and the Broken Windows Theory, especially as it applies to the charged environment that defined New York City in the 1980s. The rest of the week, we’ll be working through the text in seminar discussions and assessing your understand with a reading quiz on Thursday. Next week, we’ll introduce the new essay assignment, which will require you to compare and contrast “The Power of Context” with “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”.  To prepare you for this work, here are a few notes and materials:

Click here to download the text: “The Power of Context.”

Here’s the schedule for the week (3/2 – 3/7):

Monday: Finish watching “The Central Park Five” and connect documentary to “The Power of Context”. HW: Finish reading and annotating “The Power of Context”; complete body paragraph assignments (“Soccer v. McWorld” and “Dr. Daedalus”) and/or complete revisions.

Tuesday: Socratic Seminar, Day 1. HW: Finish reading and annotating “The Power of Context”

Wednesday: Socratic Seminar, Day 2. HW: Finish reading and annotating “The Power of Context”. Make sure you have SS notes ready for quiz on Thursday.

Thursday: Reading Quiz (Due: Annotations and Socratic Seminar notes.)

Friday: No classes! HW: Finish “The Power of Context”; complete body paragraph assignments (“Soccer v. McWorld” and “Dr. Daedalus”) and/or complete revisions.

A few other links that might be helpful:

The Daily News has a whole page dedicated to this case, with a timeline, videos and links to original reporting.

Here’s a NY Mag story with a look back on the case following the 2002 confession of Matias Reyes who admitted that he, in fact, had raped and beaten the jogger in Central Park.

Some say “The Central Park Five” documentary is biased and one-sided. The Wall Street Journal tries to clear up some of the misconceptions about the case,and how it played it out over the past 25 years.