A Dash of Style Chapter Tweets

Chapter 1 – Periods

Style is determined by variants in the usage of periods. Whether long or short, each sentence packs a bang. Remarkable.

Chapter 2 – Commas

When I learned about commas all I wanted was to take a breath as they gave me pause. However, a breath, while needed, was hard to come by.

Chapter 3 – Semicolon

Semicolons allow for two thoughts to be joined together; style can be tricky with this controversial mark.

Chapter 4 – Colon

The colon: whether present or not, it can elaborate on the proceeding text and give it more of a punch for readers.

Chapter 5 – The Dash and Parentheses

Dashes – and parentheses – can change the pace of reading (and writing). I feel – not that it matters – that they are great tools.

Chapter 6 – Quotation Marks

“Do quotation marks really influence speed?” she asked. The response was a resounding yes, of course they do, why would you ask?

Chapter 7 – Paragraph and Section Breaks

Paragraph and section breaks can indicate transitions within writing. They also help the reader set the reading pace within novels.

Chapter 8 – The Question Mark, Exclamation Point, Italics, Points of Ellipsis, and the Hyphen

Some forms of punctuation are meant to be used only sparingly or in certain circumstances. So… use caution. We do not want outliers! Do we?


Paragraph Revisions

For this assignment, we were asked to redraw our paragraph and section breaks within a paper we have previously written. In order to demonstrate where I did some rearranging in this paper for my early American lit class, I put the sections that were moved from their original layout in bold. Overall, I was pleased with where my paragraphs started and ended in the paper that I chose. I feel like they added to the overall flow of the paper, and that each new paragraph introduced a new idea or expounded on the previous paragraph’s idea. While some paragraphs were on the longer side, I felt like they worked that way and needed to stay that length because all the ideas did connect back to each other and fit within the paragraph. I was able to break one longer paragraph into two shorter paragraphs, but that was the exception. There were also a couple instances where I felt the break needed to come later than it did, as shown in the first bold section. While the paper worked how I had it originally, by moving the break later, I think more cohesion was added to the paper and what follows. I also found that by doing this exercise, I needed to revise my new topic sentences for better cohesion and flow, and that has helped me see places I can improve in other writing.


Rachel Rackham

English 360


12 April 2016

The Performance of the Puritan’s Criminal Justice System

The Puritan’s criminal justice system was designed to better their society and therefore meet their goals. As a result, many early American texts contain writings detailing the strict legal codes of these settlements. These texts provide insight into those living during that period, particularly those who deviated from the conventions of society and committed some sort of crime. These texts were not generally written by the lawbreaker. Instead, they were written by the pillars of the community, mainly the ministers. Due to strict verdicts and punishments for crimes of varying severity, the Puritan’s criminal justice system was ineffective in its methods of bringing about justice. These methods did not truly bring about a change in those accused, such as Patience Boston, Esther Rodgers, and Martha Carrier, even though a conversion to a belief in God was the basis of their society. Instead, their methods produced a performance for the community, serving as a reminder of what occurred should the law be broken, no matter the social status of the offender. This is significant because an inability to control a community meant as a model to other nations undermines the community’s purpose as a whole, calling into question the effectiveness of Puritan teachings.

But what might the Puritans have meant by justice? In today’s culture, justice is defined as “to punish or reward appropriately, to treat justly; to try in a court of law; to bring to trial; to punish judicially.” For the Puritans, justice was defined as “the body of a subject is to be justiced secundum legem terrae” (“Justice, v.”). Secundum legem terrae is defined as “according to the law of the land” (Taylor 476). In other words, the Puritans viewed justice as a means to bring to trial and punish appropriately, receiving verdicts according to the laws of the land. Therefore, each individual tried was done so according to the Puritan legal codes established upon settlement in the Americas. Their settlement “was founded on religion, and religion was its life. The entire political, social, and industrial fabric was built on religion.” Further, their way of life was “stern and somber… founded on the strictest, unmollified Calvinism…” and “breathed the air of legalism rather than of free grace” (Elson par. 5). Every aspect of the Puritan’s life was focused on religion, and this focus therefore provided ministers with large amounts of power within their communities. They had the power to either redeem or condemn a criminal (though those were sometimes used interchangeably), because their legal codes were founded on religion, thereby meaning that their justice was enacted through religious standards of justice in comparison to the legal ones of present society.

In receiving justice for their crimes, those convicted of the crime were brought before a council or jury, as in the narratives of Patience Boston, Esther Rodgers, and Martha Carrier. Through ministerial accounts, readers learn Boston was imprisoned for murder, Rodgers for two cases of infanticide, and Carrier for witchcraft. Boston openly admitted to committing multiple crimes and even “went forthwith and informed the Authority, and when the Jury sat on the body [she] was ordered to touch it… After the Jury had bro’t in wilfil Murder, [she] was sent to Prison” (Moody 124). In contrast, Rodgers attempted to hide her infanticides from the society. When her second child was due, Rodgers “delivered in the Field, and dropping [her] Child by the side of a little Pond, (whether alive or still Born [she could not] tell) [she] covered it over with Dirt and Snow, and speedily returned home again” (Rogers 97). Martha Carrier was on trial for witchcraft, having committed a different sort of crime than either Boston or Rodgers. Even her children, claiming they were witches, accused Carrier of being a witch because “their mother had made them so” (Mather 331). Many cases of witchcraft would involve the accused doing the devils bidding, and a memorandum added to Mather’s account contains Carrier’s confession, saying “that the devil had promised her that she should be Queen of Hebrews” (333). This additional memorandum demonstrates that Carrier confessed to being a witch in order to gain worldly treasures, something their culture would not have promoted. This may also be why she was accused as a witch, due to some sort of worldly desire for riches. In Richard Werking’s article entitled “‘Reformation is our Only Preservation’: Cotton Mather and Salem Witchcraft,” he states, “If the accused were to confess and renounce the Devil ‘openly and publicly,’ perhaps the people would be made aware of their reliance upon God, the churches, and the ministers” (290). Those convicted of crimes, whether or not these were regular crimes or crimes of witchcraft, were expected to confess their crimes before the community in order to serve as a lesson to the community.

Each of these examples describes a woman brought to trial through the Puritan’s criminal justice system. In each case, they were accused of a crime, brought before a court and tried, and then received a sentence for their crimes (usually the death sentence). In the interim between arrest, trial, and death, the accused were also permitted to go to church, where their presence would draw large crowds. As a result of these crowds, “Mather labored to enhance his effectiveness…” with “the handling [of the large crowd being] the same for all sermons. Though each was aimed particularly at the felon, it still had to be profitable to the whole congregation” (Lazenby 53). The Puritan ministers most likely felt the need to help and educate those in prison, based on the accounts given to readers of Boston and Rodgers. Each met with a minister who was meant to help them come to see the error of their ways, similar to the way sermons were designed to be profitable to each felon and the congregation as a whole, adding a level of performance to the sermons given.

As a result of these ministerial visits, Boston herself had a “remarkable conversion” while imprisoned. After being brought up in a religious family, she turned away from the truths she had been taught which led to her horrific actions in the community. She “adored God as infinite and unchangeable; She confessed her Sins… and prayed that she might be cleansed in the Blood of Christ” (Moody 120, 138). For Rodgers, at the beginning of the narrative she said, “Satan made me believe that it was impossible such a Sinner, should be Saved”, and after the ministers visited her in prison she hoped to have her “Soul washed and cleansed in the Blood of Jesus Christ” (Rogers 98). Both Boston and Rodgers appear to be converted to the church due to these phrasings, wishing that they might be washed in the blood of Christ. This conversion occurred through the work of the ministers while the women were imprisoned, bringing about a moral redemption and justice for the individuals. The only view given of Carrier is of her trial, the multiple accusations against her, and her eventual confession after continued pestering by officials. Many suspected witches were executed due to evidence given by witnesses, so even without her confession, there was little likeliness of conversion.

The topic of witchcraft existed fragilely within the Puritan social order, for “if people were to renew the covenant, they had to be reminded of the nearness of the spiritual world, and no opportunity should be lost in doing so.” Witchcraft was used during the period by the ministers so the community might be reminded of religion, and of the spiritual world. “But at the same time, a good deal of caution had to be used toward those accused of witchcraft” (Werking 286). Whether or not the Puritans believed in witchcraft they knew that the topic was sensitive in caring for those accused. While witchcraft served as a reminder that the spiritual world was near, this reminder better served to help those who were not accused of witchcraft, and would not have helped Martha Carrier.

With the structure of the Puritan’s criminal justice system, neighbors were to spy on each other to make sure all obeyed the law, conscientiously looking for instances of witchcraft as they spied. This is true in both Rodger’s and Carrier’s situations. This is shown in Rodgers account, with the “Child being found by some Neighbors was brought in, & laid before my Face, to my horrible Shame and Terror” (Rogers 97). Her neighbors had ensured she would be brought to justice, and Rodgers was most likely terrified because she knew the consequences for her actions. In Carrier’s case, it was her neighbors accusing her of a crime that had no merit. These accusations most likely stemmed from a disagreement, but served to paint her in a negative light and ultimately led to her death because of the meritless crime.

The law in Puritan society was clear, without much room for any unique circumstances that might occur in the society. Had the law been more flexible, then the crimes committed by Boston and Rodgers would not have occurred to the extent that they did. Boston would not have murdered her Master’s grandchild in order to actually be guilty of a crime. She most likely had a mental illness that was not addressed and helped during that period. Rodgers would not have felt the need to hide her initial or subsequent pregnancy and infanticide. Also, Carrier would not have confessed to witchcraft had the law been different. Due to the regulations put in place, those convicted were forced to admit their guilt, even if they were not guilty, and even if there were other circumstances to consider. Imprisoned and visited by ministers to help them redeem and find justice for their souls, it must be considered that none of the accused were truly converted. This can be seen through the performances occurring at church and at executions, in the accounts written about their lives and in the rhetoric used in the accounts.

Many aspects of the Puritanical justice system, such as church sermons, criminal trials, criminal confessions, and even criminal executions existed to fulfill a type of performance within the community. These performances were not only the scaffold performances many critics mention in their works, but were also a religious performance intended to bring the community back into the religious fold of the Puritan’s church. In Lazenby’s article, he mentions several examples of these performances, starting at the sermons where the accused would stand in front of the crowd and confess their sins. For “though these sermons were admittedly extreme examples of church drama, New England churchgoers were accustomed to dramatic expressions of repentance…” and by far “the most impressive dramatic ritual was this bringing a fettered criminal into the sanctuary to edify and be edified” (51). Cotton Mather produced sermons meant to call his people to repentance for their wrongdoings, and the performance at church was just the beginning. Based on Mather’s remarks, the danger of the people “was increasing secularization in the life of the colony and the consequent loss of religious zeal… the clergy stressed the necessity of continually reminding the people of the existence of the spiritual world and of its close connection with the material world” (Werking 283). This reminder was given during the executions of the accused.

The greatest performances given of all, besides those given in church sermons, were the scaffold performances. Upon being led to the scaffolds, “the penitents, ‘instructed’ beforehand by Mather, delivered warning speeches to the crowds assembled at the gallows – speeches successful enough, in his eyes, to merit publication (Lazenby 54). No doubt this was a part of the countless hours spent with each of the convicted. In the accounts given of the lives of Boston and Rodgers especially, readers are shown how much time the ministers spent with both.  Upon Boston’s execution, Mr. Moody walked with her to the scaffold, giving final ministerial words. To the crowd, Mr. Moody stated that “he verily believed that Hundreds there present if they did not begin to seek God in earnest that Night, would perish forever… he hoped many of them would secure their eternal Salvation” (Moody 139). Mr. Moody used Boston’s execution as a stage to preach the dangers of sin to the crowd. Those who were caught up in the execution spectacle were also reminded to be cautious with their actions, for if they were not cautious, they could be next on the scaffold.

Boston’s account closes with her execution, and her seemingly peaceful death. When Mr. Moody asked her if she remembered what she intended to say, her response was “Yes, and added, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit” (Moody 140). Boston’s first response was to say yes; it only occurred to her afterwards to add “Lord Jesus receive my Spirit.” This can be interpreted as partial commitment from Boston of conversion to the Puritan church. The rhetoric also changes through the course of this narrative, starting with the use of the first person and ending with a third-party writer, which also supports the question of a true conversion occurring. These narratives extended “the reach of the spectacle of execution which established and reinforced the boundaries of the social compact through its example of both sin and redemption” (Harvey 256). Through reading this narrative, more insight is given to the execution spectacle and therefore to the religious spectacle to which the ministers of the society adhered.

The first-person narration that is present up to a point in Boston’s narrative is also present in Rodgers’ narrative. Amelia Lewis’ article discusses this occurrence, stating that “the first-person narrative putatively came directly from Esther Rodgers, yet the narration frequently slips into third person, disrupting the first-person confession” (38). The transitions between the first and third person narratives offered in this narration serve as a reminder to readers that these words were not fully written by Rodgers, but offer the “rigid rhetoric of a Puritan minister, calling into question the degree to which Rodgers’s voice emerges in the midst of these other voices; the latter were privileged by their owners’ ability to write and more powerful social positions” (39). This change in perspective also draws in to question the execution spectacle.

In the text offered of Martha Carrier’s witchcraft accusations, there is no first-person narration offered. Solely given to readers through many accusations of witchcraft is the perspective of the accusers, and of those trying the cases in front of the accused and the accusers. There were many instances of this shown throughout various texts. In fact, Martha Carrier’s trial had many testimonies given against her and of her witchcraft and practices. These testimonies do not allow for readers to learn what Carrier might have thought, nor do they allow for any true crimes or conversion to be seen. Mather’s memorandum is meant to serve as an example of her guilt, but instead alludes to the possibility of a forced confession, or a confession given to stop all of the accusations against her.

The rhetoric involved in the confessions and the performances given in church and at the scaffold all lead to a resolution that everything associated with a criminal, from the accusation, to the trial, and finally to the execution, are meant to be a performance for the Puritan community. This performance would then be used to keep the community in check and following the written laws. The Puritans came from the Netherlands and England, where turmoil abounded. In order to escape that society, they left for the Americas, where their own community could be established according to their values. However, in the ideal society the founders wished to create, human nature and opposition occurred, as well as a requisite conformity to the culture no matter the status of a person within the community. The criminals punished, including Patience Boston, Esther Rodgers, and Martha Carrier, were outcasts of their community in some way, whether they were an Indian serving in the community, an indentured servant brought into the community as an outsider, or a longstanding member of the community who had somehow quarreled with another. Because of these differences, they were outsiders and a threat to the city upon a hill idea pioneered by John Winthrop (Winthrop 177). As a result, the performance made by the ministers in church and at the scaffold served to show society that all were equal according to their law, and subject to the same laws as the community they lived within. This equality is one of religious justice, a way for the community leaders to keep their society in check from inside sources, showing that anyone who threatened the society’s goal as a whole would not be allowed to continue in their practices, but would be converted to the Puritan religion in order to receive the requisite justice. Their performative deaths would then reinvigorate the community to follow the guidelines laid out for them and allow the community to continue in conformity.

Works Cited

Elson, Henry William. “Puritan Laws and Character.” History of the U.S.A. Ed. Kathy Leigh.       The MacMillan Company, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.

Harvey, Tamara. “‘Taken from Her Mouth’: Narrative Authority and the Conversion of Patience Boston.” Narrative 6.3 (1998): 256-70. ProQuest. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.

“Justice, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2016. Web. 9 April 2016.

Lazenby, Walter. “Exhortation as Exorcism: Cotton Mather’s Sermon to Murderers.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 57 (1971): 50-6. ProQuest. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.

Lewis, Amelia C. “Interpretive Challenges Posed by the Gendered Performances of Early             American Female Criminals.” Legacy 31.1 (2014): 38-41. ProQuest. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.

Mather, Cotton. “The Trial of Martha Carrier.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature.     Ed. Nina Baym and Robert S. Levine. 8th ed. Vol. A. New: W.W. Norton, 2012. 330-33.     Print.

Moody, Samuel, and Joseph Moody. “A Faithful Narrative of the Wicked Life and Remarkable   Conversion of Patience Boston.” Pillars of Salt. Ed. Daniel E. Williams. Madison:        Madison House, 1993. 119-41. Print.

Rogers, John. “The Declaration and Confession of Esther Rodgers.” Pillars of Salt. Ed. Daniel E.             Williams. Madison: Madison House, 1993. 95-109. Print.

Tayler, Thomas. The Law Glossary: Being a Selection of the Greek, Latin, Saxon, French,           Norman and Italian Sentences, Phrases, and Maxims Found in the Leading English and            American Reports, and Elementary Works, with Historical and Explanatory Notes. Alphabetically Arranged, and Translated into English .. 7th ed. New York: J.S. Voorhies,   1865.Google Books. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.

Werking, Richard H. “‘Reformation is our Only Preservation’: Cotton Mather and Salem             Witchcraft.” William and Mary Quarterly 29.2 (1972): 281-90.ProQuest. Web. 9 Apr.      2016.

Winthrop, John. “A Model of Christian Charity.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym and Robert S. Levine. 8th ed. Vol. A. New: W.W. Norton, 2012. 166-77.     Print.












Remember the Titans Gettysburg Scene

“Anybody know what this place is? This is Gettysburg. This is where they fought the Battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here – in this field – fighting the same fight that we’re still fighting amongst ourselves today. This green field right here: painted red, bubbling with the blood of young boys; smoke and hot lead tore right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men: ‘I killed my brother, with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family.’ You listen and take a lesson from the dead: if we don’t come together, right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed – just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other, but you will respect each other; and maybe – I don’t know, maybe – we’ll learn to play the game like men.”

Hills Like White Elephants: Oh Hemingway

Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants is filled with dialogue. It has the reverse problem from other stories that have too much prose and little dialogue. However, in this story, the dialogue takes on the role of prose, adding pauses within the story that might have not been present otherwise. At the beginning of the story, the dialogue is used to indicate a passing of time. “What should we drink?” is followed by a space of time when the girl sets her hat down, and gives the reader a pause to situate themselves within the frame of reference of the story.

This passing of time is also indicated later in the story, where two lines of dialogue are split by either “the girl said” or “the man said” or another similar divider. The divider subtlety indicates that time has passed. Later in the story, there is prose that offers a break from the constant dialogue. However, this prose does not seem to do much work for the momentum of the story. It essentially acts as a recapitulation of earlier prose, and shows that the two are in the same place that they were in the beginning of the story, but some time had passed. It reaffirms the allusions that the quotes give of time passing.

The quotations can also clarify who is speaking. Page 345 demonstrates a section of back-to-back, firing quotations. Some authors will allow dialogue to occur without separating it by quotation marks, but by having one quote per person per line, readers can more easily discern who is speaking within unidentified dialogue.

The quotations used also deliver an air of finality, and of decisions being made. They provide assertiveness to different parts of the story, like with the drinks that are ordered at the beginning. They indicate decisions are made. Another quality visible in the story is the lack of quotation marks on page 344. Here, the line “The girl did not say anything,” becomes more powerful due to the lack of quotes. It emphasizes what is not being said, and is at an in-between point for prose and dialogue. The lack of quotes gives readers time to ponder the message of why the girl might seem upset and not say anything in response to the man. Overall, this story uses quotes to indicate time and emotion, and demonstrates its uses within a conversation.

Rachel Carson Punctuation

The following four paragraphs are from Under the Sea Wind: A Naturalist’s Picture of Ocean Life (1941) by Rachel Carson. I have added punctuation to them to help with flow and clarity, as was the goal of the assignment.

“To stand at the edge of the sea – to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea – is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”

“Before sunset, the skies lightened and the wind abated; while it was yet light, the sanderlings left the barrier island and set out across the sound beneath them. As they wheeled over, the inlet was the deep, green ribbon of the channel that wound, with many curvings, across the lighter shallows of the sound. They followed the channel: passing between the leaning, red spar buoys, past the tide rips where the water streamed broken into swirls and eddies, over a sunken reef of oyster shell, and came at last to the island there they joined a company of several hundred white-rumped sandpipers – least sandpipers and ring-necked plovers – that were resting on the sand.”

“While the tide was still ebbing, the sanderlings fed on the island beach. As they slept, and as the earth rolled from darkness toward light, birds from many feeding places along the coast were hurrying along the flyways that led to the north; for with the passing of the storm, the air currents came fresh again and the wind blew clean and steady from the southwest. All through the night, the cries of curlews and plovers and knots, of sandpipers and turnstones and yellowlegs, drifted down from the sky. The mockingbirds who lived on the island listened to the cries: the next day they would have many new notes in their rippling, chuckling songs to charm their mates and delight themselves.”

“About an hour before dawn, the sanderling flock gathered together on the island beach where the gentle tide was shifting the windrows of shells. The little band of brown-mottled birds mounted into the darkness and, as the island grew small beneath them, set out toward the north.”

In the first paragraph, the dashes were added because the middle chunk of the paragraph all felt like an aside, like an addition to the two end caps of the paragraph. The middle thoughts felt like they built on each other, so each were separated by commas to help them build to the end of the descriptions within the paragraph. They could also be taken out and still have a complete thought for the sentence. The middle two paragraphs contained more detailed descriptions, demonstrating the channel and the journey of the sanderlings. Commas were added to differentiate the different thoughts in the paragraphs. After “channel” in the second paragraph, a colon was added because the following seemed like a descriptive list, and it places more of an emphasis on what follows. The paired dashes in that paragraph add separation and descriptions to the bird types. The semicolon in the third paragraph was added to break the two thoughts, because they felt too similar and connected to completely separate them into two sentences. The colon in the last sentence elucidates the clause proceeding it. The final paragraph felt like two sentences, broken between “shells” and “the.” Other than that addition, a few commas were added for overall clarification.

Eloise, Eloise

Eloise is such an interesting story of a six-year-old girl who lives with her nanny in a hotel. As such, while adding punctuation to this excerpt, we felt that it needed to stay true to how a six-year-old would talk. So, we did not add a ton of additional punctuation as it felt like the sentences would naturally be spoken in one breath with few pauses, which seems to build excitement in its own way.

The first paragraph was edited by two dashes, one after “Saylor” and the other after “legs” because it felt like a child would speak in dashes that are more interconnected but disjointed all at once. Otherwise, the commas in the middle emphasize the description of the doll, and felt like little asides that Eloise made. Ending that paragraph with a period seemed to bring the emphasis to the italicized “rawther.” The next section had hardly any additional punctuation. The first line felt like a sentence so a period was added, otherwise the dash between “night” and “and” was added because it seemed like Eloise had reached a high emotional point there so she needed to pause before more excitement and conversation took over. The rest of the punctuation felt normal, but the parentheses were added because that section felt like Eloise added it for clarification, but it is not really connected to the rest of the paragraph.

The dialogue on the other side of the page felt like it needed to be grouped together. So each phrase and then mimic are grouped together, with the comma giving it an additional thought and the period closing that particular mimicry with the air of finality that children seem to have. The one difference to this is Nanny has more punctuation in her dialogue, as she would be more proper then Eloise in her conversations, and Eloise is not mimicking her at this time.

H.I.V.E. vs. Fablehaven

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to your new home.” He gestured to the stone walls of the cavern that surrounded them. “Your lives as you once knew them are over,” he continued. “You have been selected, all of you—the worst, the most cunning, the most mischievous minds from around the world—selected to become part of an institution like no other. You have all exhibited certain unique abilities, abilities that set you apart from the mediocrity of the teeming masses and that mark you out as the leaders of tomorrow. Here, in this place, you will be furnished with the knowledge and experience to best exploit your own natural abilities, to hone your craft to a cutting edge.”

This paragraph comes from H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden. It is a good paragraph as it does a lot of work to set up the story line and the purpose of the school that these children have been brought too. Its usage of varied punctuation helps the flow as the reader does not become stopped by an overwhelming amount of punctuation which other children’s stories can contain. It also effectively uses dashes to relay information. The sentences are varied in length and complexity which helps with the flow as it seems like many children’s book have a lot of shorter sentences which can be hard to read after a while. I also appreciate the word choice here. The book is written in a way that speaks to older children, but the storyline is appealing to people of all ages. This paragraph draws readers in, and helps them to see what is occurring; they are not just being told.


As the dragon glided down toward the circle of gazebos around the former shrine to the Fairy Queen, Kendra struggled to calm herself. It would be good to see Bracken. She would try to wait and hear what he had to say before freaking out. They passed over a hedge wall and landed in the field near the whitewashed boardwalk that surrounded the pond.

Bracken stood on the steps up to the boardwalk, dressed in a loose white shirt and jeans. Devastatingly handsome, he jogged toward Kendra once she had landed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull. I read them with my dad, and have great memories of doing so. But sometimes, the writing is not quite the best – the above demonstrates that effectively. Going straight from “devastatingly handsome” to “jogging towards Kendra” creates an awkward flow due to the poor word choice. It does not have anything to do with how a person jogs – it is a misplaced modifier, or at least a misplaced adverb. It creates a weird effect on the writing, and causes readers to pause. In order to improve this awkwardness, the author would just need to revise a little. Also, it would be nice to have a bit more show and less tell in the descriptions. But it fits the genre and is effective with reaching the audience.

Will King Arthur prevail and protect Camelot from itself?

This is my imitation of an Onion article. Shout out to my co-workers for helping brainstorm ideas!

The last year has seen many changes in the faces of the leaders of the world. Donald Trump is now President Trump of the United States of America, and Theresa May is the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, following the results of the Brexit vote last summer and David Cameron’s resignation. It will be interesting to see how the countries comprising the United Kingdom will take to the results of Brexit over the next few years; many are still outraged over the Brexit win. The legendary King Arthur has his work cut out for him; not only does he need to lead a divided England, but rally the other countries comprising the United Kingdom as well. His prodigious skill will not be enough though. This issue lies deeper than saving a kingdom from the evil Morgana: it requires time, finesse and careful planning to ensure that all parties are satisfied with the end result, particularly with those who are unhappy with the results of Brexit. Though relatively close to each other in numbers, more people voted Leave than Remain, and now the European Union and the United Kingdom are filling with plans and speculations.

Over the course of the United Kingdom’s history, there have been many times where it has come out on top as a world power, and many times where it has come out weaker. Will this be a time where it comes out on the top or on the bottom? Will King Arthur prevail, and convince Walter Scott and his co-patriots that Brexit is the best thing and most beneficial for everyone, and convince Scott and his people to stay as part of Camelot? Or will the once and future king finally be defeated, once and for all? Only time will tell, and only to those who care to look and learn.

Reese’s Cups are Perfect

Growing up, Reese’s could be found in my home, sometimes out in the open and sometimes hidden. Often, they were hoarded, with everyone wanting the deliciousness to themselves. They were and are certainly hard to share. We even adamantly flaunt our pronunciation of the chocolate, which goes against what people might consider to be the actual or mainstream pronunciation. Ours is correct, though.

When I first looked at this ad, I immediately wanted Reese’s in their peanut butter and chocolate glory, and I wanted to take a bite of one just as in the ad. The thoughts shared above immediately popped into my head, and I was brought back to my childhood and teenage years, and to the constant arguments I have had with others over the proper pronunciation of the chocolate. Even the slogan given added to my reflections, “Sharing is a nice gesture. Stupid, but nice.”

This ad tells a story. In this story, viewers see the chocolate, think about having some, and picture themselves opening the package and taking it out of the wrapper. Then there is a pause, where some might think to share it with others, before realizing that it is not necessary to share. This ad makes you hypothetically contemplate sharing Reese’s peanut butter cups, before realizing that the greater satisfaction is not in sharing, which to them is “stupid, but nice.” The satisfaction comes from the bite taken out of the cup, and savoring the goodness that comes from it.

This ad demonstrates connections through the details it gives. Each Reese’s cup is clearly defined, outlined by the bright orange background that makes up their packaging. The colors are instantly recognizable, as is the distinct shape of the chocolates themselves. Another detail present represents the packaging of the chocolate: there are two Reese’s cups in each regular package. So even with the satisfaction that can come from one Reese’s, there is another to bring even more satisfaction to your Reese’s eating experience.

Further, this ad uses metaphors to get its aims across. The bite taken out of the cup falls right underneath the slogan for the ad, as if telling people its worthless and pointless to share because you have already started eating the Reese’s cup. Essentially it is a nice thought but you might as well finish your perfect Reese’s cup instead of sharing. The second cup furthers this metaphor as it pushes viewers to make more inferences, “As there are two cups, maybe sharing is okay to do.” But the slogan says otherwise, metaphorically telling people to not share, and to hoard all for themselves. Though this particular pattern of reasoning might seem off, it demonstrates the nature of the Reese’s cups themselves, that they are so good you would not want to share with others.

Overall, this is a successful ad. The colors draw you in, and immediately bring you to think about Reese’s cups. It entices you to not share with others, even if it is nice, implying that the Reese’s are just too good, so you would not want to give up any that you have, or you would miss out.

Mischief Managed

Vivid Memory Paragraphs


During the fall of 2015, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London. While there, we traveled around the United Kingdom and to Paris. I also went to Dublin and Copenhagen. I loved our trip to the north of England; the Lake District and Scotland were incredibly gorgeous and full of culture and history. One day was spent in Edinburgh, walking up and down its cobbled streets. A friend and I went on a ghost tour, where the guide failed to scare me but scared my friend twice. We explored Edinburgh Castle and saw the author monument that soared above all others. The large gothic structure stands as a tribute to Sir Walter Scott and his works. Another discovery was The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. The café is filled with memorabilia to mark where Harry Potter began, and people wrote all over the bathrooms to express their thanks to Rowling for her stories that shaped our generation.


Faulkner Imitation:

Studying abroad in London enabled me to travel throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, to places like Paris, Dublin, Copenhagen; with the beautiful Lake District and Scotland visited on a long trip north at the beginning of the program. Edinburgh’s wonders abounded, trailing up and down its cobbled streets to see the castle and the monument to the famous author Walter Scott and The Elephant House where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. The marvelous Elephant House boasts this connection, from posters and postcards and cups and mugs, to signs hanging throughout, even in the bathrooms. The bathroom walls were covered on every surface in writing and thanking Rowling for her stories and how they saved their lives or influenced them for the better or shaped an aspiring generation.


Hemingway Imitation:

Studying abroad in London is an incredible experience for everyone. Since you are in Europe, you can go to other places too. You can visit Paris, Dublin, Copenhagen, and other destinations in the United Kingdom. One trip in study abroad was to the north of England. There, we visited the Lake District and then went to Edinburgh. Edinburgh’s cobbled streets are beautiful and lead you up and down the Royal Mile to the castle and Walter Scott’s monument. The Elephant House is also in Edinburgh. It is a café where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. This connection is seen everywhere. Mugs. Cups. Shirts. Postcards. Lots of merchandise to advertise the connection. Even the bathrooms have been touched. We love Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived. Thank you J.K. Rowling. All these phrases and more were written all over every surface of the bathroom.


For all your floral needs

Here is assignment 2, rewriting a social media intro for a flower arrangement company:

Our beautifully and carefully arranged flowers are now available to everyone in the Salt Lake City area, all the way from New York City! Our expert designers create elegant arrangements, from bouquets and boutineers to centerpieces and corsages. Also, all of our arrangements have the same modern flair that you are looking for. So whatever the theme, the event, or occasion, our designs will be perfect to fit your needs!

Trump Tweet Rewrite

have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and….


Rewriting of original tweet:

The world has many problems, so let us try to fix them. As President, I will work to gain the respect of other countries by resolving problems, not adding to them.