English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
I would like to start this letter by introducing myself. My name is Han-Sung Park and I am a
sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School in Boston, Massachusetts. I am studying British
Literature in my English 10 class now. I really enjoyed reading your book "Dusk.” The story is
so compelling. So I would like to invite you to my class to teach a lesson for us so we can
understand British Literature more easily and get great information from a real British writer.
I found some information about your life on the Internet. It said you were born in 1950, in Grimsby
on the Lincolnshire coast. At 18 you went to Africa to teach in a school in Malawi, before returning
to England to study English and American literature at Warwick University. I found the really
interesting that you studied English and American literature both. So I thought you could tell us
about your experience of learning about literature and tell us some differences between American and
Your book "Dusk" is the fantastic fiction story about how a future scientist wanted to
experiment to see if humans could have vision like hawks. Dusk, the young girl who they experimented
on, knows nothing about herself. She can be very dangerous to humans and to herself, depending on
her mood. They keep her in a cage like place that has gas to make her sleepy so she won’t hurt
herself. When the military center gets destroyed, Dusk and all the other animals run to a near by
town called “Prospect” that no one lives in anymore, and she has to learn how to survive on her own.
There are many problems they face, and one of them is especially dangerous. I like this book because
it has adventure and extraordinary details that make the story even better.
In your book, I found a pretty amusing section in page 4. Somebody said “What the hell is it?” For
the most, authors don’t not use the swear words in their book, especially books for children. But
you use a word what we say sometimes, and that word you give us can help us to feel normal and
little bit comfortable. That makes us believe in your writing and faith that your book shows real
Since our class is studying British literature, I would like to get a chance to learn British
literature from a real British writer. It would be very nice and a great honor if you could come to
my school and tell us what you think and know about British literature, about being a writer, and
about your life too if it is possible. I know this is a really big favor to ask you, but if you
could come and having a time to teach us, that would be really nice. Thank you.
|This letter was written in January
22, 1893, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in response to Mr. Stead. Mr.
Stead had asked him whether he would be willing to work together on writing a novel for the
magazine; Conan Doyle wrote this letter to refuse Mr. Stead’s suggestion. There are three ideas we
can find in this letter that reveal something that most people do not know about Arthur Conan Doyle.
Mr. Stead’s business proposal was an exciting one, which would certainly bring big financial
success. Even Conan Doyle agreed in the letter, saying, “I firmly believe that a vast number of
people would be very interested in a serial which followed events, and that a big financial success
might ensue.” This belief about financial success was a very reasonable because of the time when
this letter was written. The Victorian era was the great age of the English novel—realistic, thickly
plotted, crowded with characters, and long. It was the ideal form to describe contemporary life and
to entertain the middle class. In those days, people actually were excited about reading new novels,
just like people today are excited about new movies. Besides, Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the most
famous writers during that time period. He was especially acclaimed for his new method of writing
that used science, criminal’s mentality, and humor in the detective novel. His great achievements
included “A Study in Scarlet,” “The Sign of Four,” and “The Strands.” With an all-star cast of
authors that included Conan Doyle, Mr. Stead’s project was sure to succeed.
However, in this letter Arthur Conan Doyle refused Mr. Stead’s suggestion. Mr. Stead thought if they
work together and write a novel for the magazine, they could earn big amount of money. Mr. Stead
already asked some other popular writers to work together. But Conan Doyle disagreed with this
opinion. Conan Doyle thought literary writing is more important then popular writing and money was
not his interest. You can figure this out from some sentences.
The sentence “I am convinced that it would be impossible to make it good from a literary point of
view-it must be uneven, disjointed, and superficial” reveals Conan Doyle thought literary or serious
writing is more important than popular writing. Later, he says, “I firmly believe that a vast number
of people would be very interested in a serial which followed events, and that a big financial
success might ensue” this reveals Conan Doyle thought good writing is more important than money. The
sentence “There remains only incident, which a good craftsman only uses as a means for elucidating
character. Incident for any other purpose is the lowest form of art” reveals Conan Doyle has lost
respect for Mr. Stead.
Perhaps because Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor, all of his writings seem to have a very logical
structure. We already saw in this letter how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle refused Mr. Stead’s offer very
tactfully, using very good reasoning to support his position. We can see that structure from this
sentence from his letter. “I firmly believe that a vast number of people would be very interested in
a serial which followed events, and that a big financial success might ensue.” We can also see Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle’s characteristic logical style in one of his works, “The Hound of the
Baskervilles.” In the second to last chapter of this mystery novel, detective Sherlock Holmes
surprises everyone by solving the death mystery again with great ease. "A dog!" said
Holmes. "By Jove, a curly-haired spaniel… This paste in the tin is no doubt the luminous
mixture with which the creature was daubed. It was suggested, of course, by the story of the family
hell-hound, and by the desire to frighten old Sir Charles to death… It was a cunning device, for,
apart from the chance of driving your victim to his death.” This is the sentence from “The Hound of
the Baskervilles.” From this excerpt we can easily see Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s logical style of
writing. His character Sherlock Holmes uses his knowledge and impressive deductive reasoning to
solve the problem.
On August 21, 1983, an influential Philippine
politician, Benigno Aquino, was shot dead at the
Of many important purposes and roles ‘language’
has, its communicative power to connect individuals