Contemporary Literature

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The Stranger and Existentialism

"Free Will in The Truman Show: Is Truman a Free Man or a Prisoner?

"The Twentieth Century" Reading Packet and Handout

Discussion Starters for The Stranger

BBC "In Our Time: Culture" Podcast on Existentialism and Teacher's Notes

Background Notes for The Stranger (fill-in notes template)

Post-it Note Assignment

Examining Existentialism and The Absurd in the film Groundhog Day

First Impressions of Meursault

Compare and Contrast Meursault and Salamano (Venn Diagram)

Moser's Critical Analysis

Worksheet for Moser's Critical Analysis

Socratic Seminar Questions and Preparation 

EXAMPLE Socratic Seminar Question (Socratic Seminar PREPARATION worth 25 points)

Socratic Seminar Makeup Assignment (posted on Mon 11/27; due--submitted to or before Friday 12/1 by 11:59 pm)

Study Guides for The Stranger

Part I Ch 1-2

Part I Ch 3-6

Part II Ch 1-2

Part II Ch 3

Part II Ch 4-5


Part II Ch. 4-5


Personal Choice Reading Assignment

Assignment including Rationale and Absent-Work Directions

Essay Assignment

Summary Sheet


"What's Next? Life After High School" UNIT

Essay Evaluation handout (to evaluate example essays in class so you can keep track of what you like and don't like)

Guided Reading Handout

MLA-formatted Example of Personal Statement

Choose an Essay Topic From Here:

UC Personal Insight Questions

Common App Questions

Scholarship Questions

Example Essays (viewed and discussed in class)

NOTE: These essays are posted here for your reference.  They are NOT in MLA format--please consider the CONTENT as related to the rubric, not the formatting!  DO NOT COPY THEM.

"Sarah Chinn"


NYU Application Essay

"A Quencher for Curiosity"

"Balverne Court"

"Dreaming of You"

"A Foot Short of a Sprout"


"Where Valor Rests"



"A Novel Only to be Heard"

2 more student examples--UC Freshman Application Prompts from 2014 (also called "German" & "Legos")

Course Information and Helpful Links
Struggling with annotating or margin-noting? Click HERE for hints and HERE for an example