1. Go to Google Drive and open up a new document. Title it Altered Book and your name.
2. Share it with Ms. Garvoille firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Add your MLA format header
4. Double Space your document, make it 12-point font, and Times New Roman
5. Write down your theme under the header and center it.
6. Write an introduction paragraph that ends with your theme. Start with a connection to everyday life, then introduce the name of the novel and the author, explain how the theme comes up in the novel, and finally state your thesis. It should be something like “In The Outsiders, [theme].”
Here’s an example:
Though we all read novels about times, places, and values completely different from our own, we nonetheless usually find ourselves relating to the situations and characters. In S. E. Hinton’s young adult classic The Outsiders, the main character and narrator Ponyboy does just this. Throughout the novel, we are treated to his reading list: Dickens’s Great Expectations, Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. But each time Ponyboy mentions reading one of these texts he focuses not on understanding the text in itself, but rather in using the text as a way to comprehend his own difficult situation. In The Outsiders, the purpose of reading literature is to understand yourself, if not the text.
7. Write four paragraphs, one for your cover and then one for each art piece in your book. Your paragraph should explain how your visual choices connect with your theme. Each paragraph should include:
- A topic sentence: the first sentence, which explains the overall connection between your theme and the page.
- An explanation of how a quote on the page relates to your theme
- An explanation of how three visual details connect to your theme
Here’s an example:
My first art piece includes a found poem that explores the connections between imagination, particularly reading, and reality. Ponyboy’s powerful imagination helps him connect his life to the novels he reads. Whereas other characters use their heads for more everyday practical purposes, Ponyboy uses his to imagine how he is like a character in a novel. I created a found poem by blacking out words of the text because when Ponyboy reads he figuratively blacks out the parts that don’t relate to his life. The found poem I made starts “flipping away, I’m Nightly to hunt action,” meaning that Ponyboy finds action by “flipping” through books as he reads at night. The poem suggests that as he reads, he contrasts the life he wishes to have (“fine china / a real good home / a real nice girl”) with the life he does have (“we were dirt / Grease / mean / arrested / run out”). Ponyboy uses literature to better understand himself by comparing his situation with Pip’s from Great Expectations. One of the lessons Ponyboy learns from Pip is that no matter how you see yourself in your mind or imagination, others always have the power to put you down. The words of the poem are highlighted in yellow to connect Ponyboy’s thoughts about literature to his real-life problem: the yellow-wearing “cute girl” in his biology class tells him he’s “a hood” even though Ponyboy thinks of himself as intelligent (“I’m supposed to be smart”) (15). Even though Ponyboy doesn’t get past the eighth chapter of Great Expectations, Dickens helps him understand how people can judge you incorrectly.