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The exam will be cumulative.  Graduating seniors who must take the exam early will get a different version, which relies more heavily on long essay questions.

For the rest of the class, here is the general format:

Identification 25% (I give you a quote, and you identify the work, the author, the speaker (or the person the narrator is speaking about, if appropriate), and the significance of the passage in relation to the whole. If you can't remember a character's name or some other detail, or if, for instance, you misidentify a quote from Invisible Man and use it to make a thoughtful point that demonstrates your knowledge of The Great Gatsby, I am willing to give partial credit.)

You will have some choice; I might, for instance, give you six excerpts and ask you to identify four. I might ask you to demonstrate your ability to identify quotations from prose, poetry, and drama, or quotations from works written closer to 1915, and closer to the present.

Examples:  Identify the author, the work, the speaker and/or the central character (for instance, "narrator" is very vague), and explain the excerpt's significance to the whole work.

"Somebody! Somebod --"

We were sitting at a table with a man of about my age and a rowdy little girl who gave way upon the slightest provocation to uncontrollable laughter. i was enjoying myself now. I had taken two finger bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, and profound."

Whatever he smelled was good:
The fruit and flesh smells mixed.
There beside him she stood, --
And he, perplexed;

Short Answer 25%

These questions will ask you to demonstrate your familiarity with the material by remixing what you know, in creative ways, while avoiding excessive personal reactions, plot summary, and character analysis.  Examples:

Which charactes from The Great Gatsby would feel most at home in the world of Machinal? Identify two or three likely possibilities, and demonstrate your knowledge of the course readings to support an argument in favor of one of your options.

Apply what Foster has to say about sex to a work other than The Time Traveler's Wife. Is the sex in your chosen work really about something else, or is the something else in your chosen work really about sex? Explain, using specific examples that demonstrate your knowledge of the assigned readings.

Essays 50%

You will probably be asked to write two essays; there will be some choice involved, and you should make your choices with the understanding that your goal is to demonstrate both depth and breadth.

I will ask you to come up with a thesis that compares at least two works, on one of the major topics we have addressed during the course.  (In class today, we will brainstorm a sample list of these major topics. I don't promise that I will limit the essay questions to topics on that list, but if today's discussion turns up a good topic, I may very well use it.)

Due Today:

Portfolio 2

Just like Portfolio 1, but covering new material.

Due online.

The general idea is that the act of compiling your portfolio and finishing up any missing entries will help you prepare for the final exam (also due May 4). 
Due Today:

Paper 2 Final

Something creative, directly but imaginatively related to the literary works we have read.

A Twitter feed, as written by characters during the riot in Invisible Man?

A Facebook profile page for The Brotherhood?

Retell an important scene as a graphic novel or a Lego diorama.

Bring in your guitar and sing the blues.

Perform an interpretive dance, representing Ruthie and Winfield's encounter with the toilets in The Grapes of Wrath?

Make a YouTube video, in which Dr. Phil invites Sylvia Plath and the Young Woman from Machinal onto his talk show.

What would The Young Woman's wedding have been like? What would the murder scene have been like? Write a scene that wasn't in the original play.

Write a response to "My Papa's Waltz," from the perspective of the frowning wife, or the state child welfare board, or the child as a grown man dancing with his own child.

The actual project does not have to be written, but please do submit an written explanation in the slot.

The longer your draft is, the more helpful I can be.

However, I would much rather read four solid pages than seven that are puffed up with filler.

Due Today:

Paper 2 Presubmit

Upload a single word-processor file, to the Paper 2 Presubmit slot in

1. Topic (a question about the literary work, not the real world)
2. Thesis statement (answer the question, with a precise but non-obvious opinion; offer a blueprint for the paper -- "[Claim], because A, B, and C.")
3. Quotations supporting your thesis
4. Quotations supporting alternate or opposing arguments
5. Preliminary conclusion
6. MLA-style Works Cited list (demonstrating your knowledge of the correct format)
7. Format the presubmission as an MLA-style paper (title block, pagination, etc.)

Due Today:

Paper 1 Final

Due Today:


Due Today:


Foster; Wilder

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