Department of English Literature and Linguistics

Fall 2022: English 151 Advanced Reading

This assignment is worth 10% of your total grade.

Introduction: Over the past few weeks, you read about and watched inspirational/ motivational experiences of individuals who decided to take a transformative path by overcoming obstacles, rising above calamities and envisioning a dream. Each of these experiences is unique in terms of goals, reasons for change (personal or collective/ for the sake of others) type of motivation (internal versus external) and available system of support and resources. Yet, all characters are able to achieve their dreams and realize potentials. 

  1. In the text, ‘The Teacher Who Changed My Life’, Nicholas Gage mentions that “if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have become an investigative reporter and foreign correspondent, recorded the story of my mother’s life and death in Eleni and now my father’s story in A Place for Us, which is also a testament to the country that took us in. She was the catalyst that sent me into journalism and indirectly caused all the good things that came after”.
  2. In ‘Wining Every Day’, Summit says, “winners aren’t born, they are self-made.” She also emphasizes that the “only way to ensure you become a winner is to set goals every day, and hold yourself and your teammates accountable for reaching those goals.”
  3. In ‘Dangerous Minds’, students’ comment on Joan’s quitting teaching by saying: “You can’t give in, you got to rage against the dying of the light, cause we see you as our light, you can’t give up”.
  4. In ‘Malcolm X’ text, Malcom says “You will never catch me with a free fifteen minutes in which I’m not studying something I feel might be able to help the black man.”


  1. Choose 3 out the four texts mentioned above to write a Comparison orContrast Essay (choose only one) in which you either compare or contrast the experiences of the main characters.
  2. Choose 2 points that these characters share (= comparison essay) or choose 2 points in which they differ (= contrast essay). Your essay has to elaborate on these 2 points by summarizing and critically evaluating the similarities or differences related to their transformational path that each character undertook.
  3. Word count: 600-650 words with 5% fluctuation. If more than 5%, you will lose marks.
  4. Deadline: 6/10/2022 before 4:00 p.m.
  5. This is a group assignment: Each group has to be formed of 4 students (if more or less than 4 students, you will lose marks). It is your responsibility to collaborate with your classmates to form the group (4 students only). One member of the group should submit the paragraph on behalf of the other students = One submission/ group. Make sure that a safe assign report is generated to check plagiarism.
  6. Don’t forget to mention the names and ID  number of the group members, name of the course and section number on the cover page of your reflective assignment.
  7. Complaints about uncooperative members are not accepted, and the whole group will be penalized for lack of cooperation. Each group member should do her share as agreed upon with other members; meaning, a fair division of labour should be maintained.
  8. The outline of your essay is as follows: 1st paragraph is the introduction, 2nd paragraph develops the 1st point (they share or differ in), 3rd paragraph develops the 2nd point (they share or differ in) and 4th paragraph is your conclusion.
  9. Read contrast essay sample Below  
  10. Check the rubric below.
  11. For late submission and plagiarism penalties, please refer to relevant sections on your syllabi.

Warning 1: Technical issues while submitting the reflection is not an excuse. This is your responsibility to make sure that you are able to access your BB account before the deadline.

Any excuse for technical issues will be not accepted and the respective group will receive a zero.

Warning 2: No extension of deadline is possible unless you have a legitimate sick leave or a legitimate obituary (screen shot of announcement of death).

Differences between Tokyo and Kyoto

In recent decades, the title of one of the most popular cultures worldwide should be definitely given to Japan. Millions of people all over the world study the Japanese language, watch dorama (dramatic TV series on all kinds of topics) or animation, read and write haiku, and make pen pals with Japanese people. Countless people buy tickets and fly to the country of the rising sun to see its wonders with their own eyes. Among the most popular destinations—mostly because these city names are most known to the western public—are Tokyo and Kyoto. And perhaps for an inexperienced traveler, there is a dilemma: where to go? Mostly, people know that Tokyo is a mega city of the future, and Kyoto has more to do with ancient culture, traditions, and so on. Basically it is true, but at the same time, there also exist more subtle differences one should consider when choosing their destination point in Japan.

The first of them is prices. Tokyo is expensive—as you might expect from the capital of the most urbanized country in the world (the prices below are listed in Japanese yen: 1 USD approximately equals 100 yen). So, to grab some inexpensive snack in Tokyo would cost around 850 yen. Having a three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant, in case you travel with your spouse, will cost you 5,230 yen. A one-way ticket on Tokyo transport costs you 190 yen, and renting one room apartment outside of the city center costs 77,853 yen (and this is probably a weekly price). Just do not expect this apartment to be big and cozy; most likely it will be tiny, with basic utilities, and with no central heating (actually, there is no such thing in Japan at all—everyone warms their house up on their own). If you think of buying an apartment in Tokyo, forget it—one square meter of a room outside of the city center is around 1 million yen (double the price if you want to live closer to the city center).Kyoto is not much cheaper. Although dining in a restaurant is cheaper—only 4,000 yen for two persons in a mid-range restaurant—transportation costs are surprisingly higher: 235 yen for a ride (however, if you want to purchase a monthly pass, it is cheaper to do in Kyoto rather than in Tokyo: 8,410 yen compared to 10,000 yen). If you think you can save some money buying food in a market, you are correct only in particulars: some products in Japan cost a lot of money no matter where you buy them. For example, white rice costs 850 yen for 1 kg in Kyoto (453 yen in Tokyo). White bread, tomatoes, chicken breasts, and especially cheese—these are the most expensive products both in Kyoto and in Tokyo. Speaking of accommodation, renting or buying an apartment in Kyoto is much cheaper: for a one room apartment outside of Kyoto’s center, you must pay 48,000 yen to rent, or 300,000 yen per square meter if you want to buy it.

Tokyo is great to visit if you enjoy hustle and bustle, if you want to feel the heartbeat of a mega-city, dive into its life, and experience all those crazy things people in the West usually tell about Japan. Be prepared for the overcrowded subway— and “overcrowded” is a gentle way to put it; in fact, you can take a 60-minute ride in the subway, and your feet will not even touch the floor, because you will be squeezed between other people so tight that you can even take a nap in this position. Kyoto, on the other hand, is good to visit for all those who feel inspired by traditional Japanese culture: haiku, hanami, court customs, the No theatre, and so on. In Kyoto, you will not see amazing skyscrapers, over 280 subway stations, and the craziness of the famous Shibuya crossing; instead, get prepared for temples, tea houses, museums: all things antique and authentic. But, if you want modernity, go to Tokyo, and you will not feel disappointed—this city already lives in the future.

It is difficult to say which city is better for an inexperienced tourist to visit, Tokyo or Kyoto. Kyoto is cheaper, especially in terms of renting an apartment, and is more suitable for those looking for the old Japanese culture weaved into sophisticated palaces made during Heian-jidai. Tokyo, on the contrary, is an enormous metropolis, with crazy prices, crazy transportation, crazy everything. The atmospheres are different, but both of the cities will make you awed, so if you have a chance, you should definitely visit them.

Rubric: Compare-Contrast Essay

   Excellent  Good  Accepted  Needs Improvement
Thesis Statement            
 Very well developed thesis. It engages the reader and creates interest. It covers the writer’s point for the comparison or the contrast.Writer has a clear beginning. Thesis creates interest and is fairly well developed. But while it covers the subject, it is not very engaging.Thesis introduces the subject for comparison or contrast, but it either does not give accurate and complete information.The thesis does not introduce a subject for comparison or contrast, or it may not be a complete sentence.
Body Paragraphs        There are details, but they are not clear, specific, and vivid.   
 Details in the paragraphs are clear and specific, and there are enough details to create vivid images for a thorough comparison or contrast.Details are clear and specific, but they do not vividly support the writer’s point for the comparison/contrast.Details are either wrong or lacking. The details do not fit the writer’s point for the comparison/contrast.
Organization/ Struct ure            
 The details are in a clear order and the author sticks to one pattern: subject-by- subject or point-by point.Most of the details are in a clear order and the author sticks to one pattern.The details are in a discernible order, but the author does not stick to one pattern in the paragraph.No discernible organization. Details are either missing or not in any discernible order.
Style: sentence flow, tone, and  Writing is smooth, skillfull, and coherent. Consistent and appropriate tone and word choice is used throughout the paragraph. .  Writing is clear and sentences have varied structure. There is consistent tone and word choice is appropriate.  Writing is clear, but sentences may lack variety. The tone is inconsistent and word choice, while adequate, could be better.  Writing is confusing and hard to follow. Contains fragments and/or run-on sentences. The tone and purpose is inconsistent and difficult to determine.
Grammar and Spelling  No more than one error in grammar and spelling.        Distracting and more than 5 errors in grammar and spelling
 2-3 errors in grammar and spelling but they do not detract from the overall meaning and effectiveness of the paragraph.4-5 errors in grammar and spelling that while distracting, the meaning and intent of the paragraph can still be discerned.

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