10th Honors Literature

English II Honors

Summer Reading Assignment


You will read one of the following novels and then write an approach paper on your selection.


Dracula, Bram Stoker

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells

An approach paper consists of several sections: 

I.       Proper heading with your name, date, class, and novel/play title (MLA)

II.      Summary Paragraph:  A three or four sentence paragraph which explains the ENTIRE novel using as much description and detail as you can manage.  To encourage your writing style, you may not use semi-colons or colons in this paragraph, and every sentence must start out in a different way.  Prepositional phrases, gerund phrases, normal word order clauses, participial phrases, and infinitive phrases are some of the different ways you might choose to start these sentences. This helps make your writing more interesting to read. This is often the most difficult section of the approach paper to write.  It will take some time to condense the happenings of the novel/play into these few sentences which all start in a different way.

III.   Character Descriptions: Choose three or four main characters in your novel or play.  By each of these characters’ names, list four or five words which describe the character distinctly. This is a good time to think about vivid vocabulary words and to check the dictionary and thesaurus for ideas.  If you use a particular word to describe one character, you may not use that same word to describe another character.

IV.    Discussion/Essay Questions:  Write three questions that a teacher might ask you about the novel or play either in class or for an essay.  These questions should be thought-provoking and almost always take more than one line to type because they ask readers to combine more than one idea.   Just writing these types of questions helps you to anticipate what questions might be asked of you in class discussion or on a test and encourages you to think more insightfully about the book or play.

V.      Key Passage:  Choose the most important passage in the novel/play (in your opinion).  Type it up word-for-word in the approach paper.  Make sure to identify the speakers.

VI.    Key Passage Explanation:  In a fully-developed paragraph, explain why your chosen passage is important to understanding the novel/play. In your explanation, make sure you integrate quotes (actual words or phrases) from the key passage to strengthen your explanation.  Often, this selected passage will offer clues to the novel/play’s themes.  Explain any mentioned or inferred themes connected to the key passage.