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I Finished That Book Months Ago, Dummy

By: Miss Marm

If you're like me (and I know you are), you race through assigned books in a few nights. You finish ahead of schedule mostly for pleasure; you love to read. You also enjoy saying, "Oh, Lord of the Flies? I finished it, like, a month ago."

But after the jerky pleasures of bragging subside, reality sets in: you must now spend week after boring week waiting for your classmates to catch up. You probably wind up taking the test four months after you finished the book, at which point you only kind of remember the plot. Worst of all, you know you're not reading as much, or thinking as hard, as you could and should be. That's the fix this Sparkler finds herself

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Claudius is X and Hamlet is Z

By: Miss Marm

How DO teachers do it? In a mere two sentences, they can make your eyes glaze over and your brain turn into a block of moldy cheese:

"Compare Hamlet and Claudius. How does the personality of Claudius help illuminate Hamlet's character and action?"

UGH! It's hard to pinpoint what's wrong with this prompt, but through some dark magic, it makes me want to go take a nap.

If I were a student trying to write a paper in response to this question, I'd start by thinking of stuff Claudius does that provokes a reaction in Hamlet. Here's one

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Categories: assignments | hamlet

Bewildering Assignment Explained

By: Miss Marm

Sometimes the problem isn't starting your homework; it's understanding what your professor's asking for in the first place.

Today, a confuzzled Sparkler sent me her first assignment for a college English class. Her questions are [in green brackets]; my answers are [in purple brackets].

Assignment:

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