English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  What would you do if your teacher told you to write a research paper on a word and your word just
happened to be "word" well this is what I would do. Most people think of a word as a
group of letters that have a meaning they are correct but, it also has more definitions like an
utterance of. Word first recorded as being used in 873 was originally a word of the Anglo Saxon
language but, it was spelt as word, but that doesn't mean it stayed as being spelt word, and it
meant to give an order. It has had many forms until it has finally reached the best fitted spelling
that we know today as word. From then it was first made up word has gone through twenty eight
changes in spelling until the present where it is “word.”

I went around asking people what they thought when they heard word, to define it in their own words
and to use word in a sentence sixty percent of the people that I interviewed thought that it was a
group of letters. Sean Steinberg said that when he heard “word” the first thing that came to his
head are “letters”, he defined word as “letters put together to create a sentence”, for his sentence
he said, “How many words are in this sentence.” So then I went onto my brother Matt, he thought of
“English” when he heard “word”, he said word was “a way to communicate” when I asked him to use it
in a sentence he said, “Why are you asking me about words?” Then I asked my father Mark these same
questions and he replied that when he heard "word" he thought about "words" when
I asked him to define it he said, "a combination of letters," when he used it in a
sentence he said, "You have to learn this word." When I finished with my research I
realized that only forty percent of the recipients thought that word was something other than
letters combining that have a definition.

There are a few definitions that I found unique for word. One which is no longer used according to
the OED is word is a song. Another dead definition is that "word" means a phrase
inscribed on something. Another interesting definition that I found for "word" was that
it can be of one mind. Also I found out that "word" can be something that is uttered
between people. Also I found out that word can be a password or a watchword. Before I looked into
the Oxford English Dictionary I never knew how many definitions "word" has and I bet that
when you look at it you will be saying the same thing.

Many literary authors have used the word, word, in many of their literary pieces. For example in
1471 William Caxton used word several times in his pieces Recuyell of the Historyes of Troy Vol.
2," Stameryng in his wordes," Sonnes of Aymon," Whan we playd togyder, we hade some
wordes," and Cheese II, "That the symple parole or worde of a prynce ought to be more
stable than the oth of a marchaunt. Also Charles Dickens used “word” many times in Dombey and Son,
"We had word this morning...that Mr. Dombey was doing well," and Christmas Stories,
"I gave Rames the word to lower the Longboat and the Surf-boat. In 1667 John Milton used “word”
in his book Paradise Lost, "When at his Word the formless Mass...came to a heap: Confusion
heard his voice, and wilde uproar Stool rul'd. Milton." These are the famous literary
authors that have been recorded with using word in one of their pieces.

I went around school asking some of the foreign language students if they have ever had trouble
with the word, "word," here are a few of their responses. I asked an Albanian named
George if he has ever had any trouble with "word" and his response was non-hesitant
"Never in my life." So then I went on to the next person another Albanian named David,
his response was "yah right." The last person that I asked was a Korean named HunSun Park
his response was to laugh and then he simply shook his head. These are the responses that I got
when I asked foreign speakers if they had ever had trouble with "word."

When you think of it word ties up all of our languages because without any words we would have no
language and just sounds. If word was suddenly dropped from the English language, the English
language would become a dead language because if "word" gets dropped that means all other
words get dropped because how can you have words without having a definition for word. I think that
"word" has had enough of a past, because it has had the most amount of spelling changes I
have ever seen for a word, and won't have that big of a future. I really don't think that
their is a future for "word" because it doesn't have any spelling changes left for it
in the English language the only future it will have will be either a new definition being added on
or a definition being taken away. But as you can tell "word" is a great example of the
ever shifting English language.



















Dear Mr. Geoffrey Chaucer,

I have enjoyed and loved reading your piece The Canterbury Tales. But, with regrets I must
say that we are omitting The Canterbury Tales from the next edition of the Prentice Hall
Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes the British Tradition
textbook due to our lowered
budget. This was truly a hard decision for me to make. But, it just so happened that you were the
weakest link of the bunch by a small fraction. Some people say that they rejected you because you
use too many metaphors just to explain one concept take for example The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.
Others said they rejected you because they thought your writing was too complicated for the younger
children because you had very short narratives and used too many religious references for instance
line 307 you say that the Old Testament is a manual. But, when I read The Canterbury Tales I
rejected you because I thought that your scene changes were too subtle for anyone to notice like in
lines 336-337 of The Nun’s Priest’s Tale. These are a few of the reasons why employees from
Prentice Hall rejected The Canterbury Tales.

Having too many metaphors to explain one concept is just like repeating a lesson over and over
again. For example in The Nun's Priest's Tale you use two different examples to
give the audience the same message. Kathleen McCoy says, “Several tales, referred to as "the
marriage group," reflect the various attitudes toward marriage of several pilgrims.” You used a
story of two companions that have to separate ate night because there was no room at an inn and one
dies during the night. And then you used a story about a chicken that dreamt he would be killed by
a fox. This is just annoying because you do all that extra reading but you still get the same
message as the first example, which you even state on lines 287-288 of The Nun’s Priest’s
. So if it were at all possible would you please use fewer metaphors to explain a single

When you write you either use too much information or too little information. One way is when you
have a short narratives it confuses people because the narrative is what explains what is going on
and if it is shorter it means there is less information. J.M. Smallwood agrees with this and uses
The Pardoner’s Tale as an example. He says that, “The Pardoner’s Tale begins with
twenty lines of narrative in which a scene and group of characters are described. Suddenly this is
attacked by your one hundred seventy-eight lines of sermon.” Another way you do this is by using
too many religious references. One example is on line 307 of The Nun’s Priest’s Tale. Also in
The Pardoner’s Tale it sounds like you are ending it with a confession, lines 340-343. So if you
want us to keep putting your book into our textbook these are very important changes that you should

When you have a scene change that is subtle it can cause a big problem. One being that it would
confuse the reader as to where the story is taking place. And if it were subtle the reader would be
wondering why the character was doing something in the wrong scene. For example in The
Nun's Priest's Tale
I wasn't able to pick up that the surviving companion went to
the shipyard to tell his friends not to sail today on lines 263. Also lines 336-337 it sounds like
the same story going on but it is really the change from one story to the other. Also when you go
from talking about the two companions and then you go and talk about a chicken and a dream he had.
You should have introduced that you were now saying a different story. If you don't fix this
it could cause a big problem.

I am truly sorry that we had to do this to a great author such as you. But, we insure you that
The Canterbury Tales will be in a later edition of the textbook. This has been the hardest
decision of my life and I hope you don't hold yourself responsible for this inconvenience.

With Apologies,
Andrew Jagelski
CEO of Prentice Hall Literature
















Although hockey is not the most popular sport in the British Isles, however MSN Encarta says, the
modern game was actually created by British soldiers in Canada in the mid-1850s. According to the
OED “hockey” was first used in 1527 but the origin of the word is still unknown. The OED defined it
as a game played on ice with an “L” shaped stick, a rubber disk called a puck and two goals on both
sides of the rink. According to MSN Encarta the name “hockey” is thought to originate from the
French word hoquet, which means shepherd’s crook. This reveals to us that some of the British
sports are just not as appealing as they are to us, like hockey. Throughout are examples of how
hockey in the British Isles is not that appealing of a sport to its crowd and will never affect
their literature.

One interesting rule that I found in the Official Hockey Rulebook was that a player cannot pass the
puck untouched to his/her teammate from two lines away. Also a player can only take three strides
before they can deliberately check their opponent, any more will result in a charging penalty. Also
I found out that a puck must be perfect in weight and size. The puck must be three inches in
diameter, one inch thick and weigh 5.5 ounces otherwise it may not be used in a professional game,
says the NHL Official Rulebook. The one rule that really caught my attention was the rule that
there could only be a certain amount of curve, in the blade of a player’s stick, before it is an
illegal curve. These are all the interesting rules that I found.

Britain has their professional league, Elite Ice Hockey League, but they currently only have ten
teams. According to the Elite Ice Hockey League, the team that is in first right now is the
Coventry Blaze with 35 wins and 10 loses. Ironically, the number one player in the league plays for
the Coventry Blaze and his name is Adam Calder. He has played in a total of 61 games this year with
54 goals and 60 assists and a total of 114 points. Compared to our top player, who has 99 points 57
goals and 42 assists in 73 games. The British Amateur League is called the English Premier League
according to the British Ice Hockey League.

Ice Hockey is so forgotten in the British Isles that its best newspaper, The Telegraph, last
mentioned an article about hockey on October 1, 2007 by Andrew Baker titled, “Anaheim Ducks win, but
its dollars that count”. And guess what this article was about, it was about souvenir prices for
the American Anaheim Ducks. The last time that they mentioned something about one of their teams
was on December 4, 2006 by Simon Crosse titled Chaos at Cardiff. This article is about how the
first game to be played at the new Cardiff Ice rink was cancelled due to ongoing construction. And
The Sun newspaper forgets about hockey so much they don’t have any history records of any ice hockey
articles. This is another way that hockey is just not well liked in the British Isles. The only
place where one could find any up to date news was on the Elite Ice Hockey League’s home page. They
are so up to date that if you were watching the game and a goal was scored then in a few seconds if
you look at the website the score is sure to be changed. And no matter where I looked the word
“hockey” did not play a major role in any British literature pieces.

As far as hockey’s future goes in Britain, one would find it hard to even see a future for this
sport. If you compare it to American hockey we have thirty teams compared to their ten teams. A
few years ago American hockey as popular as it is, just stopped for more than one season. And if
this happens to British hockey I have a feeling that it won’t recover like American Hockey did.
They don’t even have an amateur league so once this generation of hockey is gone there are going to
be fewer and fewer teams every year until hockey just stops. So as I see it British Hockey does not
have a great future ahead of them.















British literature has made a major impact on American literature. First it gave American
literature the language to even write. Also it inspired American authors to write stories of
British literature tales. Authors such as Sir Thomas Mallory use the trend of having a well rounded
resolution to their tales. There have been many pieces that are prose, poetry or drama. Prose is
either a short story that does not have all of the explanations or it may be a novel that can be as
long as the author wants it to be. Poetry is a type of message that is in a rhythmic tune, the most
common form of poetry is a Sonnet. Drama is a story that is able to be acted out by many people in
front of a crowd, one of the most famous pieces of drama is Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Through all of its development British literature has been heavily influenced by the five devices
theme, setting, form, resolution, and gender.

Nature has been a major setting for authors such as. Joanne (J.K.) Rowling uses nature in her book
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when she wrote, “…he realized that they had reached the
ridge of a vast hallow…” (277) Harry is taken away by some creature and when he turns his head he
realizes that it is no longer dark in the forest and that they have reached a hallow. Sir Thomas
Mallory used nature as a setting in his story The Two Swords when Arthur first meets the Lady of the
Lake he wrote, “Standing on the shore he looked out across the quiet blue water...” (19) Mary
Shelley was known for her use of nature in her book Frankenstein she wrote “…we saw Mont Salave, the
pleasant banks of Montalegre, and at the distance, surmounting all beautiful Mont Blanc…” (183) this
is during the boat trip after the marriage of Victor and Elizabeth. Mark McBeth stated, “I didn’t
really think that Mary Shelley would have to be all over the place in Frankenstein.” What he was
trying to point out was that Mary Shelley had a lot of different settings ranging from Antarctica to
Mont Blanc. John Milton used Heaven as a major setting in his book, Paradise Lost he wrote “Back to
the gates of Heaven; the sulphurous hail...” (59) John (J.R.) Tolkien wrote in The Return of the
King, “…and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in
the West.” (339) Frodo has just left and the other hobbits look for the ship but they lose it in the
fog while it is heading West. Martha Quest is a story of a young girl who was born in Central
Africa and turns toward learning literature Doris Lessing wrote, “Martha lived and worked on her
family farm in the rural town...” Lessing is describing how at first Martha lives on her family
farm but then is taken away into the city.

Women taking power or changing their identity has played a major role for some British authors.
Alexander Pope’s Belinda in Rape of the Lock has a lock of her hair cut off and when she notices it
she orders the man to give her back her lock of hair Pope wrote, “Restore the lock she cried and all
around restore the lock.” (74) and when she does this everyone around her agrees. A character from
one of Shakespeare’s most noticeable play, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth wants to change her sex he wrote,
“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here.”( 55). Elizabeth from Jane Austen’s
Pride and Prejudice takes who she wants to marry into her own hands instead of listening to her
mother Austen wrote, “I refused two proposals one from Mr. Collins and the other from Mr. Darcy,
even when my own mother wished me to marry one of them.”(108) Elizabeth’s mother wanted her to marry
one of these men because she lived in a very poor household and two of the richest men in the area
wanted to propose to her and she denied them. Doris Lessing’s Martha Quest was a girl but she had
the desire to learn literature Lessing wrote, “She was born in a poor part of Central Africa and
turned to literature...” Martha wanted to learn literature but it has only taught to the boys and
she was a girl but she was still persistent about it. Then a critic named Linda Lowen stated, “I
think that since some of these women writers are feminists and they have women in power because it
goes with their cause.” Jane Austen and Doris Lessing are often thought as being feminist writers
because when they write a story they usually have the women in power over the men. Orlando is the
story of a boy who half way through the novel has a sex change and becomes a woman Virginia Woolf
wrote, “Orlando woke up in the morning and realized he was a woman!” One morning when Orlando woke
from his sleep he realized that he had become a woman so this is a change in gender. 1984 is a
story of oppression, hatred and total control by the government or so we thought until Orwell wrote,
“…she picked up the heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the telescreen.”(14) This is the dark
haired girl revolting against the two minutes of hate by throwing a book at the telescreen.
The type of poetry that used was a device used by poets. William Shakespeare wrote

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

This is the first line of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 a sonnet is one type of poetry. A sonnet is also
written in iambic pentameter which means that every line has to be exactly ten syllables and each
sonnet is made up of fourteen lines. A critic by the name of Shelley said, “If any should be
curious to discover whether to you I am a friend or lover let them read Shakespeare's Sonnets
taking thence a whetstone for their dull intelligence” Alfred (A.E.) Housman wrote

On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.
'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood:
'Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.
Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.
There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

This a type of poetry called cross rhyme poetry. The rhyme scheme on a cross rhyme poem goes
ABABCDCDEFEFetc. This was one of A.E. Housman’s poems called On Wenlock Edge.
The theme of evil is essentially what authors based a piece on. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come,
in A Christmas Carol, was a creature that would show a future Christmas and usually one when you are
dead Dickens wrote, “…Ghost of the future! …I fear you are more than any spectre I have seen.” (38)
the ghost never did reply to anything that Scrooge said but only pointed with its finger. In Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Voldemort was an evil man that murdered both of Harry’s parents but
left him to be known as “the boy who lived,” Rowling wrote “I killed your father first he put up a
courageous fight…but your mother needn’t have died…she was trying to protect you.” (294) Voldemort
confesses to Harry that he did in fact kill his parents out of cold blood. Paradise Lost is a
religious book that John Milton wrote about the mistake of Adam and Eve he wrote, “Of man’s first
disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste brought death into the world.”
(1) Milton is talking about the Genesis story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of knowledge and then
all of man became mortal after this. Edward Fitzgerald stated, “I could never read ten lines
together without stumbling at some Pedantry that tipped me at once out of Paradise or even Hell,
into a schoolroom, worse than either.” Shelley wrote, “The sight of the creature along made me run
from the room.” (43) When Victor first sees the monster he created it is so terrifying to him it
makes him run from the room and hide in the courtyard all night. A ring is thought to be a piece of
jewelry that one would wear on their finger but for John Tolkien In the Fellowship of the Ring it is
a powerful band that gives power to whoever wears it he said, “When Thorin was slain the many
renowned evils he had committed were stored in his ring” (12). 1984 is full of a lot of evil even
the place called the Ministry of Love is an evil place just like how Orwell wrote, “The Ministry of
Love was the really frightening one.”(4) Orwell is describing how Winston saw The Ministry of Love
as being not so lovely.

Having a surprise ending to a story was developed by authors as a major device. Jane Austen’s
Pride and Prejudice is a very confusing book if one is lost for the slightest bit of time she wrote,
“My feelings have undergone so material a change since that unfortunate day last spring that I can
only receive with sincere gratitude and the most profound pleasure your assurance that yours
continue the same.”(419) in the beginning of the story Elizabeth said that she did not want to marry
Mr. Darcy but now later on when he asked her again she said yes. Mallory has a surprise ending down
to a science in Sir Tristram and the Fair Iseult Mallory wrote, “At last Tristram was wounded with a
poisoned spear as he fought to save Kahedin his wife’s brother; whose wound festered and might not
be cured.” (163) Pope said, “In all the arguing going on the lock of hair was lost.” This
resolution is that of restoration of normality. Steven Hazenstab said, “I have noticed the
similarities between Pope’s Rape of the Lock and Milton’s Paradise Lost so how are we supposed to
know if Pope even came up with this ending originally or if he just copied the idea of Milton.”
Dickens said, “Pip and Estella discuss their past fondly; as the mists rises and they leave the
garden hand in hand.” In the beginning of the story Estella never cared for Pip but by the end they
are leaving a garden hand in hand. Another confusing text is Orlando in which a boy changes into a
woman and finally Woolf said, “…the first stroke of midnight sounded. The cold breeze of the
present brushed her face with its little breath of fear.”(313) this ending was a positive surprise
because Orlando is returned to the present.

These literary devices have been used since the first English book was written and they are still
being used in the present day by some of the best British authors of our time.
British literature effected a lot of the world literature with these five literary devices. These
devices will be used over and over again by most British authors and some will turn out to be
outstanding authors.

Works Cited

McBeth, Mark. "Shelley's Frankenstein." Explicator Spring 1999. 21 May 2008.143,4.

Mallory, Thomas. "King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table.” Sir Tristram and the Fair
Iseult. 163.

Mallory, Thomas. "King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table." The Two Swords. 19.

Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet Classic, 1949. 4,14

Rowling, Joanne K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997. 294.

Rowling, Joanne K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic Press, 1998

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Bantam Classic, 1818.43,183.

Tolkien, John R. The Fellowship of the Ring. New York: Ballantine Books, 1973. 12.

Tolkien, John R. The Return of the King. New York: Ballantine Books, 1973. 339.
. 277.

Henderson, Bill, and Andre Bernard. Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Michigan: Rhetoric, 1998. 63.