Brainstorming for the midterm exam

As you well know, our midterm exam will be on March 20th, the last time we meet before Spring Break. In preparation for that, and to make sense of what we’ve worked on for the first half of the semester, we’re going to devote class time today and Monday, March 18th, to an examination of the stories we’ve read and to the overlaps we find among them.

The midterm exam itself will include ten short-answer questions asking you to define or identify terms, and one essay question that will ask you to compare two stories in a specific way. We will develop possible essay questions together in class today–they will each be based on a comparison of some element of two stories. For homework, write a blog post in which you advocate for two or more of these questions to be included among the choices you will have. In your post, consider any of the following questions:

  • What does answering the question allow you to understand about each story?
  • How does the question allow you to further explore the stories?
  • What does the comparison bring out?
  • What examples and quotations would you use in your response?
  • What thesis statement would you include?

In class on Monday, we will narrow the options down to 5 possible essay questions. On the exam, I will include only three of those questions, and you will have to answer one. You will be allowed to bring one sheet of quotations into the exam, which you will use to include evidence in your essay. After the exam, I will collect the quotation sheet along with your exam booklet.

For the essay, you will not be able to use the story you wrote about for Essay #1.

I’m happy to answer any questions in class, or you can reply here with more questions.

2 thoughts on “Brainstorming for the midterm exam

  1. In your post, you should include at least two essay questions you would like to answer on the midterm exam. The list of questions I ask about it are questions that might get thinking about the questions you’ve created. You do not need to answer all f the questions on that list, nor do you need to answer the essay question. For example, if you wanted to address the way both “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn” and “Young Goodman Brown” use language–diction–to establish and emphasize the setting, you might think through that list of questions to get you thinking about why this is a good question and what you’d want to include in the essay were you to write it. The list of questions might help you think of an essay question, or might help you improve one that you’ve drafted. Let me know if you need further explanation.

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