Gatsby: Week 1

Note: Before beginning an exercise, please read the relevant section in our free Handbook (located next to the Home button on the website menu). To find the correct section, look for the number of the drill you are beginning. For example, if you are doing Drill 1.6, you should find section 1.6 in Style Rules. If you are doing Drill 2.1.2, you should find section 2.1.2 in Eight Paragraphs

Day 1

Reading Assignment: ch. 1

1.1. Active Verbs Drill 

Rewrite the following sentence in five ways, using active verbs.

Nick was made uncomfortable during the meal.

2.1.1. Numerous Examples Drill

Write a paragraph on the following prompt. 

What sort of life have Tom and Daisy created for themselves?

Your topic sentence should answer the question. In the body of your paragraph, support your topic sentence with examples from the narrative in chapter 1.

Day 2

Reading Assignment: ch. 2

1.2. Nominalizations Drill 

Rewrite the following sentence in five ways, using active verbs.

Living forever is an impossibility, but many people ignore this fact in their behavior.

2.1.2. Example Drill

Write a paragraph on the following prompt. 

In this chapter, Myrtle justifies her affair with Tom by remarking, “You can’t live forever.” What seems to be her philosophy of life? Answer this question in your topic sentence and support your main point with one well-developed example from the text.

Day 3

Reading Assignment: ch. 3

1.3. Middle Style Drill 

Pretend you must revise this sentence to make it appropriate for an essay, as opposed to a novel. Rewrite the sentence in five ways, using the Middle Style.

Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues.

2.1.3. Textual Analysis Drill

Write a paragraph on the following prompt. 

Based on this introduction to Jay Gatsby, what is the man’s outstanding characteristic? Present your answer in a clear, elegant topic sentence. In the paragraph body, support your topic sentence by induction, that is, by providing textual evidence. As you analyze the text in your paragraph, remember to follow the textual-analysis format: 1) articulate a point, 2) cite the relevant passage, and 3) explain the point further.

Day 4

Reading Assignment: ch. 4

1.4. Clause Drill 

Rewrite the following sentence in five ways, making the subordinate clause shorter than the main clause. 

Although he was a frequent guest at Gatsby’s parties, had met the other guests, and used both the beach and the hydroplane at Gatsby’s urgent invitation, Nick did not know his host well.

2.2.1. Compare and Contrast Drill

Write a paragraph that compares two of the characters you have met so far. Your topic sentence should state how these characters resemble or differ from one another. The body of your paragraph should develop the topic sentence by 1) describing the first character and 2) showing how the second either resembles or differs from him/her.

Day 5

Reading Assignment: ch. 5

1.5. Redundancy Drill 

Rewrite the following sentence in five ways, rephrasing the redundant parts.

After meeting Daisy again, Gatsby passed through a state of embarrassment, a state of joy, and a state of wonder.

2.2.2. Analogy Drill

Write a paragraph on the following prompt.

In this paragraph, use the green light on the dock as an analogy for Gatsby’s feelings about Daisy. How has he imagined her in the five years since their initial acquaintance? What begins to change in this chapter, and why does it change? Your topic sentence should state the analogy (i.e. “X is like Y because…”). Your paragraph body should show how the green light corresponds to Gatsby’s feeling for Daisy.

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