Study Guide Assignment Feedback Development Plan Criticism Modules Sitemap

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On Hills Like White Elephants

A "Hills" Forum

Suggested Study Question Parameters

Answers to the numbered study questions throughout the Study Guide depend on "reading between the lines," or making inferences.  Because answers require interpretation, they should be discussed; in fact, the study questions may be the basis of class discussion.  Teachers should consider--

bulletassigning the study questions book by book
bulletrequiring written answers to the questions before in-class discussion, perhaps asking students to work in pairs or groups to divide up the questions for Book 1, Book 2, etc., but to agree on one answer to selected questions 
bulletOR having groups of students post agreed-upon answers to selected questions at a discussion forum
bulletcounting answers to the study questions, whether written by  individuals or groups, as quizzes (so there would be 5 quizzes for the novel, since it contains 5 "books")

The point of the suggestions above is to provide some intervention between students who are reading mostly for the story and getting the facts straight and the requirement to read the novel as a literary work, considering motives of the characters and the writer, looking for motifs or ideas, seeing beneath the surface.  The point of writing and discussing the study questions, then, is to deepen students' perspectives, enabling them to write better research reports and essays about the novel after considerable thinking and interpretation.

Suggested Research Assignment Parameters

Most of the research topics at this website could elicit brief, factual reports of no more than 2-3 typed, double-spaced pages (or 4-5 screens on a web page).  Students and faculty may wish to consider several of the issues below before finalizing an answer to the research question the student selects.  (Research questions throughout the Study Guide are lettered, unlike the numbered study questions for which students can make answers from the novel alone.)


bulletresearch paper or report
bulletweb page
bulletbrochure or poster with explanation
bulletRelevant illustrations could be used in any format.


bullet2-3 pages for a report (4-5 screens)
bulletlonger for a research project

Documentation and Presentation

bulletFollow your instructor's directions for crediting sources. Common practice is to use the guidelines of the Modern Language Association (MLA), the American Psychological Association (APA), or other style manual for citing sources by name during one's paper and listing full citations at the end of one's paper.  
bulletGuidelines are usually included in such manuals for a cover page, a "Works Cited" page, and others.
bulletAn "abstract" or "executive summary" may be a good idea for getting students ready for a class discussion that may touch on information they have turned up.

Collaboration or Not?

bulletWhether or not to collaborate on an assigned topic may depend more on finding the right partner and on deciding the right division of labor than on the instructor's permission.  Students should make sure they understand whether their instructors allow them to work in teams or if they must work solo.


bulletThis essay, posted with permission of the student writer, uses background information about the society of the time to illuminate her reading of A Raisin in the Sun.
bulletAn essay on the U.S. entry into WWI is also a sample of researched writing worth discussing.

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