Exercise 1 Prior Knowledge
Look at the words in bold in Exercise 2 without reading the example sentences. Rate your current knowledge of the word before doing the unit exercises. Use the numbered scale and write the number in front of the sentences in Exercise 2. With each exercise and by the end of the unit, your knowledge should work toward a "4", which means you will know the word, can explain it and give an example. It is expected that you will mark many words with a "1" or "2" now since they might be completely new words.
- I do not know this word, and I have never heard of it before.
- I have heard of this word before. It sounds familiar.
- I can give an example of this word, but I cannot explain it.
- I know this word. I can explain it and give an example.
Exercise 2 Definitions
Read the sentences below. Guess the meaning of the words in bold based on the example sentence(s). Circle the best definition of the word in bold.
______ 1. Teachers should deal with noisy students, not ignore them.
______ 2. Visiting Morelia was a pleasant experience. Everyone was very friendly.
______ 3. The graduation application was denied because it was incomplete.
______ 4. The student worked diligently on her assignment making sure to answer every
______ 5. Apples can vary in size and sweetness.
______ 6. Police officers are strict and will give a ticket if you’re going 2 miles per hour over the speed limit.
______ 7. After failing the exam, Sharon pressed on and continued to study hard.
______ 8. Hadi loves blueberries; additionally, he likes peaches and apricots.
Reading Skill Practice-Subheadings
Look at the subheading below from the reading. Write questions from these subheadings predicting what the section will include.
- Refugees Flee for Safety
- An Unpleasant Welcome
- American Hesitation
- Eventual Relocation
Reading Skill-Signal Words to Identify Support
When reading a text, look for signal words that show a connection between ideas. The relationship between ideas might be an example, contrast, comparison, addition, result, or emphasis. Identify the type of signal of the words below and add them to the appropriate heading.
also for instance however similarly
moreover but for example such as
therefore furthermore especially consequently
so thus on the other hand most noteworthy
likewise significant in contrast just as
Reading Skill-Annotating Texts
Annotating a text means that you mark, or write on a text, while you read. One benefit is that you stay awake and engaged as you read. Other benefits include slowing your reading so that you can process the information and reviewing annotations before class or an exam.
Look at the example below from the reading Jewish Refugees on the St. Louis.
Reasons the US didn’t accept the ship
The U.S. government and citizens had varying reasons for not making any special arrangements for the ship full of immigrants cruising up the coast. Immigration policy at the time set numerical quotas for how many people could come to the U.S. from various parts of the world. By mid-1939, the 1quota for Germany had already been met, and the waitlist extended for several years.
Additionally, U.S. citizens shared Cubans’ concerns about new immigrants. The Great Depression left many Americans jobless, and many worried immigrants would 2compete for the few jobs that still existed. 3Anti-Semitism also ran deep in the United States. Americans sympathized with the plight of refugees on the St. Louis and other refugee ships, but 83% of citizens favored the strict immigration rules already in place. President Roosevelt and his administration saw no motivation to change these rules, so they refused to admit the Jews from the St. Louis.
Below are some common symbols used to annotate a text.
? Confusing or unclear
1 2 3 List of points
Exercise 5 Practice!
Annotate the reading below using some of the symbols above. Also, you can create your own strategy for annotation.
Jewish Refugees on the St. Louis by Jessica McBirney
As the Nazi Party came into power and anti-Semitism rose under Adolf Hitler, many Jews sought refuge in other countries. In this informational text, Jessica McBirney discusses one specific ship, the St. Louis, and the experiences of the Jewish refugees on it who were denied entrance to multiple countries. As you read, identify why some nations chose to accept foreign refugees and why others decided to reject them.
1Today we often hear news about the refugee crisis happening in the Middle East. Because of wars and political unrest in the region, thousands of people have had to flee for their lives by seeking refuge in countries around the world, including the United States. Whether to accept large numbers of refugees is a controversial question.
Refugees Flee for Safety
2The world dealt with very similar concerns in the late 1930s, when the Nazi regime in Germany began systematically persecuting Jews and other minority groups. The Nazis, also called the Third Reich, were led by Adolf Hitler and believed the German race was superior to all others, and that other races and religions must be killed off. To escape direct threats against their lives, thousands of Jews began fleeing the country as refugees to find new homes.
3The MS St. Louis was one ship that transported Jewish refugees to safer countries. Piloted by Captain Gustav Schroder, the St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany on May 13, 1939, carrying 937 passengers. Almost all the travelers were Jews escaping from the persecution they faced under Hitler’s Third Reich. The ship was bound for Cuba, and then eventually for the United States.
4The journey itself was very pleasant for the passengers, with fancy meals, activities for young people and some childcare, and religious services on Friday evenings. They enjoyed the trip very much, especially after facing so much stress and hardship in Germany.
An Unpleasant Welcome
5What the passengers did not know about was unstableness of the political climate in Cuba. Shortly before the ship’s departure, Cuba amended its immigration policies and retroactively invalidated the refugees’ permission to come to the country. Right-wing Cuban newspapers cautioned the government against letting in the Jews, whom they believed would take away jobs from native Cubans who had been hit by the recent economic depression. Many also hated the Jews as an ethnic group — anti-Semitism was not exclusive to Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
6On May 27, the St. Louis weighed anchor in Havana, Cuba, where passengers were denied permission to leave the ship and officially enter Cuba. Soon 29 people were allowed to walk free, but the remaining 908 were confined to the ship, since their visas had not been finalized and the Cuban government refused to do so.
7No one could convince Cuba to accept the refugees, so the St. Louis changed course and headed for the nearby United States. Even though U.S. newspapers had diligently reported the story of these passengers to the public, very few people saw any benefit in accepting the refugees. Secretary of State Cordell Hull advised President Roosevelt not to let them land.
8When some of the passengers contacted President Roosevelt directly and begged him to let them enter the country, he never responded to their plea. A telegram from the U.S. State Department told them they must “await their turns on the waiting list... for immigration visas.”
9The U.S. government and citizens had varying reasons for not making any special arrangements for the ship full of immigrants cruising up the coast. Immigration policy at the time set numerical quotas for how many people could come to the U.S. from various parts of the world. By mid-1939, the quota for Germany had already been met, and the waitlist extended for several years.
10Additionally, U.S. citizens shared Cubans’ concerns about new immigrants. The Great Depression left many Americans jobless, and many worried immigrants would compete for the few jobs that still existed. Anti-Semitism also ran deep in the United States. Americans sympathized with the plight of refugees on the St. Louis and other refugee ships, but 83% of citizens favored the strict immigration rules already in place. President Roosevelt and his administration saw no motivation to change these rules, so they refused to admit the Jews from the St. Louis.
11Captain Schroder pressed on to find new homes for all of his passengers. Canada also declined to accept anyone from the ship. So Schroder sailed back to Europe, docking in Belgium, and worked deals with several countries on the continent. The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands all welcomed hundreds of the refugees.
12Unfortunately, during the course of World War II, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, so many of the previously safe refugees found themselves in danger all over again. Using survival statistics for Jews from these European countries during the war, scholars estimate that, of the 936 refugees (one man died during the journey), 709 of the passengers survived the war, and 227 did not.
For the following questions, choose the best answer according to the reading.
1. PART A: Which of the following identifies the central idea of the text?
A. Cuba and the United States did not accept Jewish refugees because they simply did not have the economic means to support them.
B. The prejudices and economic fears of several countries led to the deaths of many Jewish refugees, who tried to escape Nazi Germany.
C. Despite not gaining entry to the United States or Cuba, the Jewish refugees found security from other countries that were wealthier.
D. Due to the small number of refugees on the St. Louis, relatively few people were affected by Cuba’s decision to deny them entry.
2. PART B: Which of the following TWO details from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
A. “To escape direct threats against their lives, thousands of Jews began fleeing the country as refugees to find new homes.” (Paragraph 2)
B. “The journey itself was very pleasant for the passengers, with fancy meals, activities for young people and some childcare, and religious services on Friday evenings.” (Paragraph 4)
C. “Soon 29 people were allowed to walk free, but the remaining 908 were confined to the ship, since their visas had not been finalized and the Cuban government refused to do so.” (Paragraph 6)
D. “U.S. citizens shared Cubans’ concerns about new immigrants. The Great Depression left many Americans jobless, and many worried immigrants would compete for the few jobs that still existed. Antisemitism also ran deep in the U.S.” (Paragraph 10)
E. “So Schroder sailed back to Europe, docking in Belgium, and worked deals with several countries on the continent. The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands all welcomed hundreds of the refugees.” (Paragraph 11)
F. “Using survival statistics for Jews from these European countries during the war, scholars estimate that, of the 936 refugees (one man died during the journey), 709 of the passengers survived the war, and 227 did not.” (Paragraph 12)
3. PART A: Which of the following best describe the character of Captain Schroder of the St. Louis?
A. He was relentless in his search for a safe haven for Jewish refugees.
B. He was naive in his expectations for how countries would respond to the refugees.
C. He was understanding of other countries’ hesitancy to take refugees.
D. He was only concerned with completing the journey so he could be paid.
4. PART B: Which quote from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
A. “The journey itself was very pleasant for the passengers, with fancy meals, activities for young people and some childcare” (Paragraph 4)
B. “On May 27, the St. Louis weighed anchor in Havana, Cuba, where passengers were denied permission to leave the ship and officially enter Cuba.” (Paragraph 6)
C. “Captain Schroder pressed on to find new homes for all of his passengers.” (Paragraph 11)
D. “scholars estimate that, of the 936 refugees (one man died during the journey), 709 of the passengers survived the war, and 227 did not.” (Paragraph 12)
Look at the words in the table below. Add an example or two for each prefix and suffix. Then write your own definition based on the examples.
Writing Skill-Thesis Statements
Just like a topic sentence summarizes a single paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes an entire essay. It tells the reader the point you want to make in your essay, while the essay itself supports that point. It is like a signpost that signals the essay’s destination. You should form your thesis before you begin to organize an essay, but you may find that it needs revision as the essay develops.
Strong Thesis Statements
A strong thesis statement must be supported by reasons, facts, or examples. If your thesis statement is only a fact, then it is difficult to support. For example, “Tomatoes are a fruit.” One might respond to this saying, “so what!” However, to make a stronger thesis statement, one might write “Americans commonly mistake tomatoes as a vegetable for several reasons.”
A strong thesis statement should also be specific. If the thesis statement is too general, the reader will not know exactly what the main idea will be of the essay. For example, “Discrimination is bad for America.” There are many questions a reader might have after reading this thesis statement. What type of discrimination (e.g., gender, age, race)? Is the discrimination from individuals or institutionalized? What part of America (e.g. its economy, education system, standard of living, government)? Answering these questions in your thesis statement will provide a more specific topic.
Weak Thesis Statements
Take a look at the pitfalls to avoid when composing your own thesis:
A thesis is weak when it is simply a declaration of your subject or a description of what you will discuss in your essay.
Weak thesis statement: My paper will explain why imagination is more important than knowledge.
A thesis is weak when it makes an unreasonable or outrageous claim or insults the opposing side. Weak thesis statement: People who like pineapple on their pizza lack intelligence.
A thesis is weak when it contains an obvious fact or something that no one can disagree with or provides a dead end.
Weak thesis statement: Advertising companies use sex to sell their products.
A thesis is weak when the statement is too broad.
Weak thesis statement: The life of Abraham Lincoln was long and challenging.
Read the following thesis statements. Identify each as weak (W) or strong (S). Revise the weak statements so that they conform to the requirements of a strong thesis.
_____ 1. The subject of this paper is my experience with snakes as pets.
_____ 2. The government must expand its funding for research on renewable energy resources in order to prepare for the impending end of oil.
_____ 3. Edgar Allan Poe was a poet who lived in Baltimore during the nineteenth century.
_____ 4. In this essay, I will give you lots of reasons why slot machines should not be legalized in Baltimore.
_____ 5. Despite his promises during his campaign, President Kennedy took few executive measures to support civil rights legislation.
_____ 6. My experience with young children has taught me that I want to be a disciplinary parent because I believe that a child without discipline can be a parent’s worst nightmare.
Exercise 9 Practice Writing Thesis Statements
Write a thesis statement for each of the following topics. Remember to make each statement specific, precise, and demonstrable.
1. Attending college
2. The legal drinking age in the United States
3. Texting while driving
4. Public transportation
Immigration Essay Thesis Statement
Write a thesis statement to add to the introduction that you wrote in Chapter 5. Be sure that your thesis statement includes the specific topic of your essay and can be demonstrated.
Exercise 11 Sentence Completion
Complete the sentences using the vocabulary in the box below.
deal with pleasant deny diligently
vary strict press on additionally
Table 14 Sentence Completion
1. Lupita had a ____________________ time at the party. She met many new friends.
2. The book was difficult to understand, but I ____________________.
3. Employees ____________________ in their experience and education.
4. The governor had to ____________________ the problem; she could not ignore it.
5. The city has a problem with homelessness. ____________________, it has high poverty
6. The employer was ____________________ about the workers arriving on time.
7. They worked ____________________ all day so that they would finish all the tasks.
8. The law would ____________________ entrance into the country if the immigrant’s citizenship is Japanese.
Exercise 12 Discussion Questions
Take notes answering the questions below. Then discuss your answers with a partner or group.
1. Do you prefer that teachers are strict or lenient? Explain.
2. Tell about a time that you wanted to give up, but you pressed on anyway.
3. How do you deal with stress?