Honors Senior English

HONORS SENIOR ENGLISH – MRS. McCORMICK

SUMMER READING

NOTE:  You will earn up to 400 points for your summer reading assignments.  When looking at the number of points for the entire semester, this amount of points is really not that significant.  If you don’t complete the summer reading assignments, however, you will start the year with a ZERO and have a failing grade in the class for at least one month.  You will NOT be able to change your schedule to compensate for not doing the summer reading assignments.  You may also jeopardize your chances of earning an A for the semester.  The summer reading assignments are due Friday, August 12, by 3:30 p.m..  I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE WORK.

Choose ONE of the following books written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard to read:

Killing Jesus            Killing Kennedy          Killing Lincoln
Killing Patton         Killing Reagan

Your summer reading assignments consist of THREE papers.  After reading one of the books, find the corresponding essay prompts and complete your written assignments.


Killing Jesus

PROMPT ONE:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt.  Your answer should be written in paragraph form and should contain no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

This book is written in the historical narrative style.  “O’Reilly says that he believes that ‘people who do not necessarily like history will enjoy’ his books. And with regards to the titles, O’Reilly refers to himself as ‘a snappy guy.’ ‘I do things,’ he says, ‘in a flamboyant way. I want to get your attention.’  In your opinion, does the style O’Reilly and Dugan used in writing this book add to or detract from the underlying history of this work. Does its easy-going style leave out or gloss over more complex historical facts that may not be as interesting or easy to follow?

PROMPT TWO:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt in paragraph form.  Your essay should have no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

Have you come away from this book with a different understanding of Biblical times and the figure of Jesus? Did anything surprise you? What have you learned you didn’t know before reading Killing Jesus?

PROMPT THREE:  In a minimum of two pages, answer the following prompt using both the book as well as at least ONE more source to express your opinion.  Your essay should be in formal, essay form (no personal pronouns, no contractions) and should include citations.  You must also provide a source page including the book you read and other sources you cited in your paper.

Choose either Herod or Pontius Pilate and explain the roles they played in Jesus’ life/death story? What motivated their decisions?  How could the lives of people in that time period have been changed if Jesus would have lived?


Killing Kennedy

PROMPT ONE:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt.  Your answer should be written in paragraph form and should contain no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

This book is written in the historical narrative style.  “O’Reilly says that he believes that ‘people who do not necessarily like history will enjoy’ his books. And with regards to the titles, O’Reilly refers to himself as ‘a snappy guy.’ ‘I do things,’ he says, ‘in a flamboyant way. I want to get your attention.’  In your opinion, does the style O’Reilly and Dugan used in writing this book add to or detract from the underlying history of this work. Does its easy-going style leave out or gloss over more complex historical facts that may not be as interesting or easy to follow?

PROMPT TWO:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt in paragraph form.  Your essay should have no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

Talk about the role the City of Dallas plays in this narrative. Describe what Dallas, Texas, was like—as a place, as an American town—in the early 1960s. Why did people (several different people, actually) warn JFK not to travel there? And why did he decide, nevertheless, to do so?

PROMPT THREE:  In a minimum of two pages, answer the following prompt using both the book as well as at least ONE more source to express your opinion.  Your essay should be in formal, essay form (no personal pronouns, no contractions) and should include citations.  You must also provide a source page including the book you read and other sources you cited in your paper.

Although JFK’s time in office is often compared or referred to as Camelot, this time period was not without problems.  Pick one of the following situations and further develop/explain the issues as discussed in the book:  Lyndon Johnson and Bobby Kennedy’s dislike for each other, Frank Sinatra’s ties to the mafia, J.Edgar Hoover’s distrust of the Kennedy family.


Killing Lincoln

PROMPT ONE:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt.  Your answer should be written in paragraph form and should contain no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

This book is written in the historical narrative style.  “O’Reilly says that he believes that ‘people who do not necessarily like history will enjoy’ his books. And with regards to the titles, O’Reilly refers to himself as ‘a snappy guy.’ ‘I do things,’ he says, ‘in a flamboyant way. I want to get your attention.’  In your opinion, does the style O’Reilly and Dugan used in writing this book add to or detract from the underlying history of this work. Does its easy-going style leave out or gloss over more complex historical facts that may not be as interesting or easy to follow?

PROMPT TWO:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt in paragraph form.  Your essay should have no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

Examine the relationship between Grant and Lincoln.  What did each man think of the other and why did they seem to work so well together through the Civil War?

PROMPT THREE:  In a minimum of two pages, answer the following prompt using both the book as well as at least ONE more source to express your opinion.  Your essay should be in formal, essay form (no personal pronouns, no contractions) and should include citations.  You must also provide a source page including the book you read and other sources you cited in your paper.

The book hints at the fact that Lincoln’s assassination was not a quickly devised plan by John Wilkes Booth.  Choose ONE of the following people (Lafayette Baker or Edwin Stanton) involved in the investigation of Lincoln’s death and further explain (from what is presented in the book) how he may have helped or could have prevented Lincoln’s death.


Killing Patton

PROMPT ONE:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt.  Your answer should be written in paragraph form and should contain no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

This book is written in the historical narrative style.  “O’Reilly says that he believes that ‘people who do not necessarily like history will enjoy’ his books. And with regards to the titles, O’Reilly refers to himself as ‘a snappy guy.’ ‘I do things,’ he says, ‘in a flamboyant way. I want to get your attention.’  In your opinion, does the style O’Reilly and Dugan used in writing this book add to or detract from the underlying history of this work. Does its easy-going style leave out or gloss over more complex historical facts that may not be as interesting or easy to follow?

PROMPT TWO:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt in paragraph form.  Your essay should have no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

What evidence does O’Reilly present that suggests Patton’s death was more sinister than accidental? Is the evidence cited credible? Why or why not?

PROMPT THREE:  In a minimum of two pages, answer the following prompt using both the book as well as at least ONE more source to express your opinion.  Your essay should be in formal, essay form (no personal pronouns, no contractions) and should include citations.  You must also provide a source page including the book you read and other sources you cited in your paper.

Choose ONE of the numerous world leaders and other less well-known characters found in Killing Patton. Even though these men are considered to have less than desirable qualities, explain how they could be considered admirable (Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Bill Donovan) or disagreeable (Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower, Horace Woodring).


Killing Reagan

PROMPT ONE:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt.  Your answer should be written in paragraph form and should contain no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

This book is written in the historical narrative style.  “O’Reilly says that he believes that ‘people who do not necessarily like history will enjoy’ his books. And with regards to the titles, O’Reilly refers to himself as ‘a snappy guy.’ ‘I do things,’ he says, ‘in a flamboyant way. I want to get your attention.’  In your opinion, does the style O’Reilly and Dugan used in writing this book add to or detract from the underlying history of this work. Does its easy-going style leave out or gloss over more complex historical facts that may not be as interesting or easy to follow?

PROMPT TWO:  In a minimum of one page, answer the following prompt in paragraph form.  Your essay should have no fewer than TWO specific references (with cited page numbers) from the book to help express your opinion.  You may use first person when writing your answer.

Explain how Reagan’s career before politics helped OR hurt his presidency. (You must pick one side.  Don’t be wishy-washy.)

PROMPT THREE:  In a minimum of two pages, answer the following prompt using both the book as well as at least ONE more source to express your opinion.  Your essay should be in formal, essay form (no personal pronouns, no contractions) and should include citations.  You must also provide a source page including the book you read and other sources you cited in your paper.

Many Reagan historians have criticized O’Reilly’s book saying he has created a work of fiction rather than a biography.  Find an O’Reilly critic, choose a topic he/she felt was not portrayed correctly in the book and, using the book and at least one more source, explain how O’Reilly’s portrayal of history could be considered incorrect.


The essays will be graded using the following rubric:

One-page minimum essays are worth 100 points each. Use of specific details (citations) with examples explained (65 points), essay form (10 points), grammar/spelling (25 points)

Two-page minimum essay is worth 200 points.  Use of specific details, thesis (100 points), citations/source page (25 points), grammar and spelling (75 points)

Any questions about ANY part of the assignments should be directed to Mrs. McCormick through email (kmccorm@mths.us).