Unit 6 - March 2017
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Unit 6: Summarizing Multiple References 

Dear Readers,

Here are a few tips to consider as you work your way through Unit 6.

Tip One: Narrow your topic. A common problem with report writing is choosing a subject that is too broad. When you narrow your subject, research becomes more focused and productive. For example, if your student wants to write a 5-paragraph report on cats, this subject needs to be narrowed down. Perhaps your student could choose to write about Persian cats, which is a popular breed. If your student expresses interest in the Civil War, maybe choose a specific battle or general, instead of trying to write about the entire war. If your subject is Robert E. Lee, your topics might be his childhood, his career at West Point, and his involvement in the Civil War. Narrowing your subject is important and will help both the research and writing process.


Tip Two: Research thoroughly. Many students are eager to start the writing process and do not spend enough time in the research phase. If you are an advanced student, although you cannot write everything there is to know about the topic, always look at more sources than the required number to make sure you have found enough information on your topic. Remember that not all sources are accurate and worthy of being used in your report. Avoid quoting or taking information from blogs or Wikipedia.  

Make sure websites are credible, and if something sounds questionable, verify the information by looking for the same information in another source.


Tip Three: Make a plan. This can be a very overwhelming stage of the report-writing process. You have a narrowed subject, and you have a pile of credible research; now the writing task lurks before you. However, this does not have to be an overwhelming phase if you take the time to make an outline. Your outline will help keep you on track and organize your thoughts. The time spent planning will be time saved in the end.


Hopefully these tips will be helpful as you write from multiple sources. For detailed instructions on summarizing multiple references, refer to Units 4 and 6 in Teaching Writing: Structure and Style and your Student Writing Intensive.


Congratulations to our student writers who are published in this newsletter:


Taryn Perry
Grace Sprayberry
Benjamin Ziesmer

Thank you to all the students who submitted their work to our Unit 6 newsletter. Keep writing and submit again!




Megan L. Horst

Managing Editor

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An Extremely Monumental Character in History  
by Benjamin Ziesmer, age 12

      The ship tossed. The waves crashed. The wind howled. As the rain poured and the thunder boomed, a lone sailor grappled at a hatchway, trying to climb beneath to relative safety. Washing violently across the deck, a wave dragged him towards the frothing sea. Just in time the sailor grabbed a rope, which saved him from being tossed overboard. He flung the hatchway open, leaped down through it, and slammed it shut. “We are almost there,” he gasped to the captain. “I sighted India on the horizon!” The captain was Vasco da Gama. His early life had prepared him for wild voyages such as this. Currently, da Gama was sailing to India because Portugal needed a trade partner in Asia. If he succeeded, he would gain riches and wealth beyond imagination.


      Da Gama’s upbringing revolved around sea life and the ocean. In the coastal town of Sines, which is in Portugal near the city of Lisbon, da Gama was born. The year was 1460. While being educated in the town of Evora, he predictably learned astronomy and navigation since Portuguese schools followed the ideas of Prince Henry the Navigator. Da Gama became a sailor because Portuguese trade involved mostly maritime activities. Commissioned by King Manuel I, da Gama’s father prepared to command a voyage to India. Tragically, his father died before the voyage began. Da Gama was given charge of the expedition because he was an able seaman like his father. Da Gama’s early life had prepared him for the voyage ahead.


       The voyage to India was the longest, riskiest, and most difficult voyage attempted of any before it. Da Gama started on July 8, 1497 with four ships, which were manned by a total of 170 men. After leaving the city of Lisbon, da Gama’s ships sailed out into the mid-Atlantic where they spent three months battling tempestuous storms. Eventually they reached the Cape of Good Hope at the southern end of Africa. Since the natives were not happy with the sailors’ presence, the Portuguese left promptly after they had set up a stone marker claiming the Cape for Portugal. Upon reaching the Kenyan port city of Malindi, da Gama acquired two pilots, who guided the expedition across the Arabian Sea to India. Da Gama’s ships arrived in the major Indian city of Calicut on May 20, 1498. Desiring gold, the ruler of Calicut was not pleased with da Gama’s gifts of beads and trinkets because they insulted his position of authority. Realizing the city’s need for a European trade partner, he reluctantly agreed to open up trade with Portugal. The homesick sailors turned back towards Portugal, arriving on August 29, 1499. There were only fifty-five men and two ships left from the original expedition. Sadly, many had died from scurvy. However, the most adventurous episode of da Gama’s sailing career had been a victory.


       Because of da Gama’s successful journey to India, he commanded more nautical adventures and received riches and accolades in his remaining years. Commissioned to punish Calicut for violence towards Portuguese merchants, he sailed to India on a second voyage in 1502. When the expedition reached Calicut, they bombarded the city for two days despite the ruler’s pleas for mercy. Returning to Portugal in 1503, da Gama retired from the sea. Ceremoniously he became a count in the year 1519, allowing him to collect taxes and rent from two small towns. In 1524, King John III titled da Gama Viceroy of India, since da Gama’s leadership had helped secure India as a Portuguese colony. In 1587, many years after da Gama’s death, Luis Vas de Camões wrote an epic poem about da Gama’s heroic voyages. Da Gama’s riches and titles after his magnificent voyage had given his exciting life a comfortable ending.


        Da Gama’s early life had been preparatory for his voyage to India. Being a very pivotal expedition, his voyage to India gave him riches and wealth. During his life after the essential voyage, da Gama was very luxurious and comfortable. If his sea-based early life was excluded, da Gama would not have been able to command the expedition, and if he had not commanded the expedition, he would never have obtained the magnificently large amount of wealth. Significantly, the most important part of his life was his upbringing because without it, Vasco da Gama would not be the great person he grew up to be. He was extremely monumental.



Works Cited


Doak, Robin S. Da Gama: Vasco Da Gama Sails Around the Cape of Good Hope. Minneapolis:                            Compass Point Books, 2002. Print.

Goodman, Joan E. A Long and Uncertain Journey: The 27,000-Mile Voyage of Vasco da Gama. New                      York: Mikaya Press Inc., 2002. Print.

"Da Gama, Vasco." The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 2011. Print.


Johann Sebastian Bach's Inspirational Legacy

by Grace Sprayberry, age 14 

        “The aim and the final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Bach believed these words faithfully. As Bach's love for music grew, so did his relationship with God. Bach used his music to spread the word of God wherever he visited. In Japan Bach's music is admired as the “fifth gospel.” Influenced by faith and the great composers before him, Bach created a great mix of music that was truly different and special. Unfortunately, most of Bach's fame arose after his death. Bach, who died in the 1700s, is still very much alive today through his music. In our time Bach's music is still very much respected, sold, and enjoyed throughout the world because he has an incredibly large fan base. Although Bach has been deceased for hundreds of years, his life and music have left a great legacy in all of our hearts.


        Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a family that boasted several generations of musicians. In the Bach family music ran deep, and Bach was passionate about music from the time he was very young. When Bach was a small boy, he became an orphan. His mother died in 1694 when he was just nine years old. Bach’s father died in 1695. Because he was so young at the time his parents died, Bach went to live with his older brother. To cope with the emotional pain he felt from losing his parents, he turned to music. His brother, who was also a musician, helped develop his passion. Interestingly, in addition to playing musical instruments, Bach also took pleasure in singing in his school’s choir. Bach married two times over the course of his life and fathered twenty children. Depending on extra income to support his large family, Bach held many jobs considered unpleasant, like collecting kitchen garbage and cleaning. As awful as those days were, he always found a way back to the industry he loved—music. In the music industry Bach held many jobs; one job consisted primarily of testing and fixing organs. Another job consisted of creating and supporting the building of musical schools since Bach was a strong supporter of the musical arts.  Throughout Bach’s life he made a strong musical impact on society and at home; in fact, after his death four of his twenty children followed in the music industry.


        We do not know the exact age Bach started composing music; history tells us this is because in the early years he mostly composed in secret. Historians have estimated that he must have started writing somewhere around the ages of twelve to fourteen. When Bach first began writing, it was remarked by many musicians that his pieces were too extravagant and tasteless. The first compositions he wrote were too difficult for most musicians to play although Bach did not see this problem. Presumably, the first pieces of music that he composed were arranged in the cantata style. Cantatas, which are generally associated with the church, are similar to hymns but require both instruments and a chorus. Bach’s quality of work varied. In the church at the age of seventeen, Bach got his first composing job, and his writing grew more magnificent with experience. Becoming significantly better in his composing with time and effort, Bach eventually blossomed into one of the best composers in history.


        While at the peak of his career, Bach was not a very well-received musician, but after his death he became surprisingly well respected. Inspiring many musicians and composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, Bach’s majestic writing style became popular. Interestingly, as time went on Bach’s life as a writer and teacher slowly gained much due respect, primarily throughout Germany. In the baroque music style, Bach is said to be one of the best composers to date. Baroque flourished because other composers adopted Bach’s grand style of writing. Bach is still played and enjoyed all over the world. A statue of Bach located in Leipzig Germany was erected in 1908 in his honor. The statue was built while Bach’s music was growing in popularity across Europe. Bach, who is still very much respected today, continues to grow in popularity with new generations of music lovers.


        Although Bach’s early life was troublesome, consumed with both grief and heartache, as he grew older he found his calling in life through music. Bach was very religious; he used his music to worship and cherish God. Beautifully, Bach proclaimed his love for Christ through music, which he played in multiple churches throughout Europe and beyond. In addition to Bach’s many personal achievements, he also greatly inspired many other composers of his time. Although it took time, eventually everyone came to love Bach. Bach was someone to admire. He was adored not only because of his superb music, but because he was an incredible man behind the music. Most significantly, Bach was a good and righteous man who truly cared for others. Respected by many, Bach’s legacy continues to inspire generations to come.


Liliuokalani: Queen of Hawaii
by Taryn Perry, age 17
PHOTO: Iolani Palace, in Honolulu, Hawaii, which is the only royal palace in the United States.

      She was a composer. She was a fighter. She was the queen.  


      Liliuokalani was an extremely talented musician who loved to write her own pieces. She and her siblings are known as “The Royal Four” and are even in the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame. Liliuokalani was also a fighter. She remained strong and loyal in her early years, during which she served as regent for her brother, the king, while he was abroad. She was named heir apparent and, upon her brother’s death, became the first female monarch of Hawaii. Little did she know, she would also be the last. Her story began well, but the Hawaiian government was on its downward slide. Eventually, Liliuokalani found herself imprisoned in her own palace, cut off from the outside world. Where did she go wrong? Why was the queen imprisoned in Iolani Palace? What happened to make it all go amiss?


        In 1872, Kamahameha V was king of the Hawaiian Islands. When he died in December, he left Hawaii without an heir to the throne. In adherence to the 1864 Constitution, the legislature chose the next king. His name was Lunalilo. He, too, died without an heir, and David Kalakaua was selected. David Kalakaua’s sister, Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha, served as regent when he traveled abroad, and on April 10, 1877 was named heir apparent. At this time, she changed her name to Liliuokalani. When David Kalakaua died in 1891, Liliuokalani became the first queen of the Hawaiian Islands.


        Liliuokalani’s reign was not popular with everyone. Just two years after she became queen, Lorrin A. Thurston led the coup d'état to overthrow the monarchy. He was supported by most of the wealthy business class and the Reform Party of Hawaii. The U.S. Minister John Stevens also backed the coup d'état and sent Marine Corps to depose Liliuokalani. Trying to avoid war and bloodshed, Liliuokalani peacefully stepped down. However, she was convinced that she would be back in power soon. In her letter of protest she wrote:

      Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this protest and          impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States              shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative, and reinstate me in the            authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

The queen was not restored to power, though. Instead, the Republic of Hawaii was created and Sanford B. Dole became president of the provisional government.


      Sadly, this was not the end of the turmoil, however. In 1895, Robert William Wilcox organized a counter-rebellion to restore the monarchy. Although Liliuokalani denied any involvement in the rebellion, she was arrested on January 16, 1895 and charged with treason. She was sentenced to five years of labor and a substantial fine. When Liliuokalani was informed that the rebellion leaders had been sentenced to death, she abdicated the throne on January 24 in exchange for their release. This was extremely difficult for her as she later wrote in her memoir: “For myself, I would have chosen death rather than to have signed it; but it was represented to me that by my signing this paper all the persons who had been arrested, all my people now in trouble by reason of their love and loyalty towards me, would be immediately released.”

        Liliuokalani’s condition remained the same until her sentence was changed on September 4 of that same year. She was then imprisoned in one of the bedrooms in Iolani Palace, which had been hers, prior to the coup d'état. Her Lady in Waiting, Eveline Townsend Wilson, agreed to stay with her. They spent their time writing songs and memoirs about Hawaii and Liliuokalani‘s years as queen.

        Liliuokalani endured imprisonment in Iolani Palace until October 13, 1896, when she received a full pardon from the Republic of Hawaii. Although she was pardoned, she was never restored to power. Hawaii remained a Republic. Most importantly, however, while Liliuokalani went through great hardships, she made decisions that were best for the people of Hawaii, not for herself. This is most evident in her letters of resignation and protest. Peacefully Liliuokalani gave up her crown to avoid war and protect her supporters, even though this was extremely difficult for her. Although Liliuokalani had to abdicate the throne, she remained strong and continued to defend her people.



Works Cited


Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, Liliuokalani. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1898. Google Books. Harvard            University, 19 Jan. 2006. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.



“Liliuokalani." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 16                 Jan. 2017.

“Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.               21 Dec. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

"Queen Liliuokalani." Aloha Hawaii RSS. Aloha from Hawaii, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

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