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This is a literature class final paper and portfolio project about contemporary authors


Art, Language Arts  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Contemporary Authors Paper and Portfolio Assignment
By – Jennifer Blake
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – 9-12

Note: I use this lesson in my literature class for a final project for seniors and juniors. I give it to them at the beginning of the third quarter so they have plenty of time to work on it. It obviously has a lot of points to it, so it counts for a hefty chunk of their grade. I’m including the initial sheet that I hand out to them as well as paper and portfolio rubrics.
British Literature Contemporary Author Paper and Project:


      You will do a research paper on contemporary authors (those published within the last 10 years).
    You will:

    1. Choose ten contemporary authors on which to focus (four of them may be from the U.S., but the others must be from a different country).
    2. Give me a short biography of each
    3. Give me at least 5 reviews for each author written by professionals
    4. Tell me what makes them popular , according to reviews and articles


    You will:

    1. Pick one of your authors (NOT from the U.S.) and read one of their books that was published within the last 10 years.
    2. Explain the plot in your own words (NOT what’s written on the back or book jacket).
    3. Explain how it fits into today’s culture . (What about it would make it relevant for today’s audience?)
    4. Write a review of the book (What do you think about it? Is it as good as the reviews said?)
Paper Format
  • Your paper will be at least 12 pages long , typed, Times New Roman 12, double-spaced.
  • You can use Google Documents to type and send your paper to me through gmail. My address is on the board. You don’t have to, but if it’s late, it’s a 0%. So… if you have a history of leaving things on the table at home, running out of ink, having a computer meltdown, etc…, I would suggest you use gmail.
  • Also, save your paper ! Don’t print it, then assume you don’t need it anymore.
  • You will use MLA style for this paper, complete with in-text citations, title page, and works cited. Your title page and works cited pages do NOT count toward the 12 page minimum. If you need to be reminded how to do MLA, just ask, and I will be glad to remind you.
  • You will put your last name and page number in the top right-hand header of your paper (NOT the title page).


    You will:

    1. Make a portfolio of ten smaller assignments using the book that you read for the first part.
    2. Type all assignments (when applicable).
    3. Be creative .
Portfolio format
  1. Title Page/Cover (can be as creative as you want)
  2. Letter of Introduction (introduce yourself, the assignment, and the contents of your portfolio.
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Ten Assignments
    • They will be separated by dividers or tabs
    • A cover sheet for each assignment will describe the assignment and its purpose
  5. Concluding Letter
    • What did you find difficult? What was easy? What grade do you think you deserve?

You may choose from these assignments or activities.

  • Choose ten great/important lines from the work and discuss in a paragraph why you selected them.
  • Choose a character from the novel and discuss why this person will stay with you for a long time to come. (1 page min.)
  • You are trying to convince a friend to buy the book. What argument would you use to persuade them? (1 page min.)
  • Hold a talk show interview with your author as a guest. Write a dialogue between you and the author based on the research you have done. Make sure you cite your sources at the end. (1 page min.)
  • Retell part of the story from another character’s point of view . In your cover sheet for this assignment, make sure you tell me what the original was like so I understand the changes. (1 page min.)
  • Decide what visuals you would include with the texts if they were to be illustrated. Draw a series of illustrations and match them with the lines of text. (5 min. Drawing should cover 1 page.)
  • You are asked to provide a piece of ” great art ” for the cover of your novel. Which piece of art would you choose and why? Make sure to provide a picture of the art, tell me what it’s called, and who the artist is.
  • Write, enact, and film a 60 second preview/commercial/trailer of the novel you read.
  • Retell your novel or portions of it from a modern perspective or in the form of a different genre. (1 page min.)
  • Your novel is about to be produced as a new film. Write a storyboard of the scenes that must be included in the film, decide where the film should be shot, which actors should be cast in your lead roles, and make other directorial decisions you deem necessary in order to convey your novel in the best light. (2 pages min.)
  • Your novel is going to be presented with accompaniment by the New York Philharmonic. Who is going to read it? What selections will they read? What kinds of classical music would be best suited to the tone and content of the selections? If you can, create a CD of you or someone else reading portions of the work with your selected music. (1 page min.)
  • Your novel is going to be published in a Reader’s Digest condensed edition . Make decisions about what must stay and go. Be sure to include your justification for your choices. (1 page min.)
  • Create the hypothetical journal or a series of letters your author might have kept while he/she was in the process of writing. What kinds of writing decisions might they have had to make? What life or societal events might have influenced them? How did they deal with publishers? In what sections do you think they might have experienced writer’s block? (5 entries/letters min.)
  • Design unique bumper stickers that reflect the personalities of the characters in your book and discuss why you designed them the way you did. (5 min.)
  • Name or rename the chapters of your book to something that you believe reflects the chapters’ themes better. Discuss why you would name them the way you did. (1 page min.)
  • Write a news story that would have been in a newspaper or magazine about something that happened in your story. Use the Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions to make sure your audience knows all of the details. (1 page min.)

British Literature Final Paper Rubric
At least 12 pages ___/5
Page numbers ___/5
Title Page ___/10
Works Cited ___/20
Introduction ___/10
Summary of the book you read ___/20
Your review of the book ___/20
Spelling, grammar, punctuation ___/20
Correct in-text citations ___/20
For each author:
  • Biography 10 pt. x 10 authors
  • Reviews (10 pt. x 10 authors) (5 reviews minimum)
  • How they fit into popular culture (10 pt. x 10 authors)
Conclusion ___/10
Total: ___/440

British Literature Final Portfolio Rubric
Ten assignments completed ___/20
Title page/cover ___/10
Letter of introduction ___/20 Table of contents ___/10 Assignments separated by dividers or tabs ___/10 Cover sheet for each assignment
(10 pts. x 10 assignments) ___/100 Overall creativity ___/50 Grammar, punctuation, spelling ___/20 Each assignment shows your understanding of the book you read (20 pts. x 10 assignments) ___/200 Total: ___/440
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