Now that you have finalized your thesis sentence for your research project, you need to compose the topic sentences for your project.  Creating topic sentences from your thesis sentence will help keep your ideas focused, unified and coherent as you develop your research ideas into a sentence outline later.


Writers of children’s literature are known for their unique styles. An author’s style is what separates their writing from other authors’ writings. Style relates to how an author uses purpose, context, audience, word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, illustrations and sentence arrangement in concert to create tone and meaning. The style an author uses often reflects aspects of their own life and the lives of those they are connected to; their style also often reflects their political, economic and social attitudes and beliefs. Authors such as Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, A.A. Milne, Beatrix Potter and Lenny Lipton all used unique writing styles in their writing; it is their unique writing styles that established them as major literary artists. Understanding these unique writing styles will provide you with perspective and importance of style in writing.

1. You will be assigned ONE of the following stories/authors to analyze and prepare a presentation on. You will be assigned based on the first letter of your last name. (If you choose, you may work with a partner to complete this assignment as long as partners are assigned the same story/author.  Learning to work in small groups and with other people in a collaborative format will help prepare you for the professional world you will enter once you leave the college setting.)  You will have one week to complete your research, analysis and presentation.  Presentations will be submitted through the Discussion Board section of the course so classmates can view and respond to them.

2. Consider the following ideas as you research your assigned author (not all of these will apply to all of the authors):

How might the author’s childhood experiences be revealed in the story?
How might the author’s political beliefs be represented in the story?
How might the author’s interest in environmental issues, social issues, or political issues be revealed in the story?
How might parables be used in the story?
How might the author’s religious beliefs be represented in the story?
What kinds of symbols have been used in the story, what do those symbols represent, and why did the author use those symbols?

Author Study Groups – SNEETCHES

  • Last name begins with N, O or P – Analyze the Sneetches (Links to an external site.) for theme and style, and then research for why Dr. Seuss wrote the story. Why might this story be controversial?

2. Your presentation will need to be created in a digital format for submission purposes {Prezi, PowerPoint, LiveBinder, video, Screencast, blog, webpage (wix.com or weebly.com), etc.}

3. Your presentation will need to include the title of the book you analyzed and the the author’s name, but the bulk of your presentation should be on research and analysis for theme(s) and style and for why the author wrote the story. You will also need to discuss in your presentation how the story might be controversial.

4. Submit your completed Author Study to the Discussion Board.  Write the name the author and the name of the story you analyzed at the top of your submission. (Note: You must post your writing before you can read your classmates’ experiences.)

Post your discussion:

  • Click the Reply button below to post your introduction in the discussion forum.
  • When finished, click the Post Reply button.
  • You can also find this discussion forum by clicking the Discussions link in Course Navigation.


This assignment is worth 70 points toward your final grade. I will grade this assignment according to the following criteria:

  • 63-70 points = complete & thorough research and analysis; well thought-through responses; accurate information; outstanding presentation
  • 56-62 points = complete & adequate research and analysis; accurate information but some information may be vague; good presentation.
  • 49-55 points = partially complete, limited research and/or analysis; some inaccurate information and/or some information may be vague; adequate presentation.
  • 0-48 = incomplete, minimal or no effort with research and/or analysis; incorrect information or too vague to understand; limited or no presentation

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