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Sep 28, 2009

Do Well in a High School English Class

So you've entered High School and you are wondering about your English teacher. You've heard different things about the class but you don't know what to believe. You're trying to get at least a 3.5 this year and you know you need an 'A' in his or her class to do it.

1. Make sure you bring your notebook/binder and a pen or pencil to class everyday. You won't impress your teacher by asking him or her for paper or a pencil.
2. Write down assignments and due dates when the teacher gives homework. He or she will expect it to be done on time for full credit.
3. Do all (yes all) your work. A missing assignment will come back to haunt you and might even prevent you from getting the grade you want.
4. Ask questions! Nothing pleases an English teacher more than a question about the topic at hand. If you ask questions, you probably know what's going on; if you don't, then ask! It shows that you are engaged in the material and you might learn something by asking a good question.
5. Come to class (on time). If you are habitually absent or late all the time, your grade will suffer (and you probably won't get an A).
6. Read! The best way to become a better reader/writer is to read on your own. Spend about 20 minutes reading at home every day. You will be amazed by how much vocabulary you will learn and how much better your writing will be.
7. Stay after school for extra help. If you find you aren't good at some aspect of the class (ex: introductions, thesis statements, grammar) then ask the teacher for extra help. He or she will be happy to spend time with you after class and you'll probably get better at whatever it is you are struggling with.
8. Go above and beyond expectations. In high school, doing the bare minimum will not get you an A. If you do the assignment correctly, chances are you will get a B. If you do it exceptionally well, you will get an A.

Talk to your teacher after class about something that was discussed in class that you thought was interesting or was confusing. This will clarify the issue in your mind and allow for the teacher to explain himself or herself again (if he was confusing the first time).Encourage your fellow students. If you help and encourage them, they will do the same for you. And who knows when you might need the help of a fellow classmate to understand a difficult concept or assignment.
Participate in class discussions about the books your class has been reading. Support you opinions with quotes from the book, or make connections to other books the class has read. Most teachers give participation grades, and these can really help to bring up your final grade. Most teachers are impressed by deep thoughts and intellect, try to show you know about current events, you can relate to your current book or text.Teachers like you to be well read so read up on classic literature, such as The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and Gone with the Wind, and talk about these books. Show you care about the class; don't text or slack off.

Never cheat or plagiarize! If you are caught cheating or plagiarizing you will receive an automatic zero for the assignment and will probably be referred to the administration. While its possible to bounce back and still get an 'A' with a zero on an assignment it is very difficult, not to mention that your teacher will never trust you again. Avoid doing assignments last minute. In order to get an 'A' you need to do your very best. It is difficult to do your very best at 2:30 in the morning the night before an assignment is due, on the bus on the way to school, or during your math class.Cutting class will lower your grade - you will miss out on valuable class material and will be behind when you decide to rejoin the class. Plus, it makes your teacher angry when you cut his class. If your teacher finds out about it, he or she will be upset with you.

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