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Summer Reading Assignment 2017

Life’s Golden Ticket: A Story About Second Chances by Brendon Burchard

The classic inspirational parable from the top motivation and marketing trainer and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaire Messenger, a triumphant tale of personal growth and change that will inspire anyone who has ever wished for a second chance. What if you were handed a golden ticket that could magically start your life anew?

That question is at the heart of Life's Golden Ticket. Brendon Burchard tells the story of a man who is so trapped in the prison of his past that he cannot see the possibilities, the choices, and the gifts before him. To soothe his fiancée Mary, clinging to life in a hospital bed, the man takes the envelope she offers and heads to an old, abandoned amusement park that she begs him to visit.

To his surprise, when he steps through the rusted entrance gates, the park magically comes to life. Guided by the wise groundskeeper Henry, the man will encounter park employees, answer difficult questions, overcome obstacles, listen to lessons from those wiser than he, and take a hard look at himself. At the end of his journey, the man opens Mary’s mysterious envelope. Inside is a golden ticket— the final phase in turning his tragic life’s story of loss and regret into a triumphant tale of love and redemption.

Steps for Successfully Completing the Summer Reading Assignment:

  • Purchase the book.
  • Read the Active Reading section prior to reading the book.
  • Review the assignment for your first year seminar course, BUS 101, LA 100, ENGR 100, ENGR 102, HONE 102.
  • Take notes, highlight, and formulate your thoughts and opinions for both the Summer Reading Assignment and the ENGL 130 or ENGL 132 in-class essay.
  • Write the Summer Reading Assignment paper prior to Transitions weekend and turn it in on the first day of your First Year Seminar class.
  • Bring the book and your notes with you because you will have to write an in-class essay in your ENGL 130 or ENGL 132 class.

ASSIGNMENT DETAILS

Part 1: First Year Reflection Paper Assignment Directions

Select one of the writing prompts. Whichever prompt you select, do not hesitate to go beyond the parameters of the book. What is important is that you develop a carefully reasoned opinion supported by specific references from the reading. You can use your own experiences or outside sources to further document your response.

Use the grading rubric as you write your paper. Refer to the attached writing assignment grading rubric, which is also posted on the First Year Program website, to determine expectations of quality. Keep in mind that faculty may elect to place varying degrees of emphasis on the elements within the rubric. Expect assignments to be graded according to individual instructor-determined weight for the assignment, i.e. calculated by the specific seminar instructor.

Part 2: Common directions for English Composition I Critical Reading Assignment

This assignment is required for students enrolled in all sections of English Composition (ENGL132 or ENGL 130). If not enrolled in English 132 or ENGL 130, this part of the assignment does not apply. If you have transfer credit or AP credit specifically for ENGL 132, then you will not complete this in-class essay.

The summer reading selection is used by all English Composition faculty as a starting point for discussion, research, and writing. Students will be required to write at least one in-class essay within the first two weeks of class based on Life’s Golden Ticket: A Story About Second Changes by Brendon Burchard, so it is important to read the entire book before the summer ends.

The first in-class essay becomes a part of the student’s writing portfolio and serves as a benchmark against which other essays are measured. Actively reading, taking notes, and engaging with the book will assist students in the writing of in-class essays. Specific directions will be given by each student’s English Composition instructor. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact the Academic Success Center at 413-796-2027. 

Assignment Expectations

  • All references are to be properly cited using either MLA or APA format.
  • The paper should be at least three pages but no more than four pages in length (not including the title page and works cited).
  • All papers are to be double-spaced using no larger than 12-point font, Times New Roman, and no larger than 1" margins.
  • Use standard word processing software, preferably Microsoft Word. 
  • Spell-check and proofread.
  • Include a title page and a works cited page.
  • Copy and paste the specific prompt you are using as part of the title page. 

Active Reading

Welcome to your first university reading assignment! Your learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, are sure to challenge you to think critically and make connections among seemingly disparate information. This is your first step on that journey of learning, and we have provided you a map to guide your first venture into college reading. Enjoy!

Be an active reader. Approach your reading with an analytical eye. This means not just reading the book for the story. Rather, look for the themes, big ideas, and how this book relates to your experience as you transition from high school or another phase of your life to your life as a college student.

Take notes and highlight. As you detect significant issues and/or themes, or as you have a reaction to something that you read, write it down in a notebook, jot notes in the margin and highlight passages that support your observations. Becoming a discerning reader is a significant part of being an educated person. Consider that you are engaged in a conversation with the author. Your notes, markings, and margin notes reflect your response to what you have read.

Active reading will save you time as you write your paper. These few actions will assist you with your assignments:

  • Ask questions.
  • Make connections.
  • Keep a list of characters.
  • Think about how you can relate to these characters and events.
  • Do some research about the places, events, or ideas with which you are unfamiliar. 

As you begin the book, consider why this particular book might have been chosen. Do you think that there is any relationship to being a first year student? There are more similarities than you may think.