To prepare for our midterm exam, find below a draft of the essay portion. Included are five possible topics, though you’ll only find three there on the day of the exam. For our discussion, consider ONE of these topics and answer the following questions about it by Sunday night:
- What does responding to this topic allow you to understand about each story?
- How does the topic allow you to further explore the stories?
- What does the comparison bring out about both stories?
- What’s a draft of a thesis statement for one of these essays?
Vote for your top choice! Use the poll in the sidebar (or if you’re viewing the page from a smartphone, all of the sidebar material appears at the bottom on the screen, so scroll down).
Midterm exam draft:
In a well-developed essay, consider how two of the short stories we have read this semester (excluding the one you wrote about in Project #1) compare in their approach to one of the following issues, topics, or themes. Compare two examples from each story, using quotations from your quotation sheet as evidence to support for your thesis-driven essay.
- the significance of setting details, including their symbolic significance
- the intricate relationship between freedom and death
Restriction or confinement as limiting or enabling
Depictions of the grotesque or unnatural
The treatment of Illness as transformation
Your essay should be 500-600 words—if you’re writing 5 words per line, that’s 5-6 pages in the blue book, fewer pages if you get more words per line. There’s no need to count all of the words: check to see roughly how many words you write per line on a few lines, then multiply that by 20 (lines per page) and the number of pages you have. When you include a quotation, even though it is already on your quotation sheet, I ask that you copy it into your essay. Rather than using whiteout or making a mess, when you need to make a correction, just cross out what you want to delete.
To get started, you should use the time before the exam to plan your three possible essays. On Wednesday, take time at the start of the exam to think about what you want to write, and use the blue book to write down notes before you start writing the essay. There’s no need to skip every other line, but you might want to skip a line or two between paragraphs to give yourself space to add in any additional words or sentences when you re-read your essay.
Don’t forget–there will be short-answer questions to start the exam.
If you have questions, feel free to ask them here.