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American Literature
Novel Project

Novel Project
Rationale: The purpose of this project is to assess your ability to read, summarize,
analyze, and connect pieces of literature as well as assess your writing skills.
The Assignment: You will choose a novel (a piece of nonfiction or drama may also
be acceptable) by an American author as the focus of your project. You must not
be reading or have read the book for another class. Choose your novel
carefully because you improve your chances for a successful project if you enjoy the
book. You must submit your choice to me for approval. The final product will
consist of four parts:

A reading log revealing your engagement with literature

A book review written in a summary/response format
An analysis focusing primarily on the development of one striking element
in the novel: symbolism, characterization, figurative language, or theme, and
how that element contributes to the development of the novels
overall meaning.
A connection- a one page analytical paper connecting your novel to another
piece of literature we have read this semester focusing on one of the
elements listed above.
Due Dates: Your novel must have my approval no later than 3/23/17. The written
portions of the project are due no later than 3: 45 p.m. on 4/21/17. Because this
project will significantly impact your grade, NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE
ACCEPTED. I need to have sufficient time to assess your project; therefore, all
projects must be submitted by these dates. If you will be absent prior to the
due date, Id advise you to submit your project well ahead of the due date.
Point Values: This project can be a grade maker or breaker! The book review
and analysis are worth 150 points each. The log and connection are worth 100
points each. Therefore, the total point value of the project is 500 points.
Keep in mind that:

There will be no rewrites. Schedule writing conferences if you want help.

The book review, analysis, and connection must be word processed in the
essay format.

Project Expectations
The Reading Log: The reading log reveals your engagement with the literature.
Furthermore, a detailed reading log will significantly aid you in the development of
the rest of the project. After reading each section (chapter) of the novel, you should
write in your log:

A short synopsis of the action and character development

Your interpretation of the significance of the events occurring in the section
Ms. Bales
American Literature
Novel Project
Noteworthy figurative language and other literary elements
Vocabulary unfamiliar words and their meanings

The Book Review: Unlike a literary analysis, the writer of a review assumes that
his/her audience has not read the novel. Therefore, the first section of the review,
the summary, should consist of:

The books identity: author, title, publishing information, genre, intended

A short biography of the author
Overview of the background and context of the work
The thesis and major themes the novel reveals
Major internal and external conflicts
Description of major characters and their roles
A summary of the novel with sufficient detail to familiarize your readers with
it (be careful not to compromise the suspense or reveal the ending)
The second part of the review, your detailed response, should consist of:

Your assessment of the bookstyle, language, plot, etc.

Your experience reading it. How did it make you feel?
Your opinion of the issues the author raises in the novel
Your recommendationaudience, quality, etc. Who should read it and
Note: Because you are being asked to express your opinion, you should use first
person point of view. Remember, you should transition to your response, and your
response should be significantly longer than your summary.

The Literary Analysis: We will review literary analyses prior to the submission of
this component of the project. Your analysis should be at least 2 pages long
written in academic voice (formal writing).
1. Your essay must cover the topic you are writing about.
2. Your essay must have a central idea (stated in your thesis) that governs its
3. Your essay must be organized so that every part contributes something to
the readers understanding of the central idea.

The Connection: You are to write at least a single page connecting your novel to
another piece of literature we have read this semester. You may focus on theme,
characterization (specifically the growth in a character), or figurative language.

If you are reading or have read the novel for another class, if you
plagiarize any part or all of this assignment, you will earn a zero on the
entire project and may fail American Literature. You will sign a contract
Ms. Bales
American Literature
Novel Project
soon stating you understand the following consequence, along with your


Ms. Bales