Reading is preparation for writing and for discussion. Students' ability to condense and articulate understanding of content, reading material, or concepts is evidenced by their written and verbal expression. It stands to reason, then, that their annotations should guide them in the direction of lucid, critical, and sound reasoning. Cognizant of this, the Precis Writing Assignment will be helping students to engage in a very specific active reading process for their study of William Shakespeare’s Othello.
As they read each week, students will prepare for a short writing assignment. To reveal your understanding of the play and its central themes, they will annotate for a different facet of the text, concept, or essential question. Rather than reading for plot, character development, poetic language, symbolism, etc. exclusively, they will annotate carefully with one central focus each week. As we discuss the play, students will sit in small groups to compare analyses and collectively prepare to write.
With the culmination of your unit, therefore, students will not write a large, analytical essay on the play. Rather, they will have compiled four précis on four separate topics. At the conclusion of the reading and writing process, they will revise one of these for a final submission.