Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam will take place on Wednesday, 10/17.

The format of the Midterm is open book, so remember to bring you copy on the day of the exam.

Use a Green Book (a composition book) to write your answer. Please use black or blue ink.

You will have the full class period (85 minutes) to write your answer.

I am providing the questions to you beforehand so you can think and prepare for your written response.

What makes writing in-class essays like the Midterm and the Final difficult comes from the fact that most first draft writing is disorganized and unfocused – you are responding to a question that you’ve haven’t seen before.

That’s why I’m giving you the questions in advance, so you can develop a focused thesis and plan your answer. So I’ve designed the Midterm Exam to build the writing process into the exam itself.

The purpose of this essay exam test is

to test your comprehension of the reading required for this class;


to evaluate your ability to generate ideas, sentences and conclusions in response to that reading.

A good Midterm Exam essay exam will be:

focused with a thesis statement
organized around a sequence of connected assertions
developed by use of examples and evidence

So now that I’ve given you possible questions, let’s talk about how to plan and organize an essay response:

Here are some strategies for this essay response:

As you write down notes for your 3X5 cards:

1) Analyze the question by underlining cue or key word(s) to determine exactly what the question asks
2) Rephrase the question into a topic sentence/thesis statement
3) Outline the main points you plan to cover in your essay
4) Use a logical pattern of organization and a strong topic sentence for each paragraph
5) Support generalizations with specifics/evidence
6) Beware of going off topic – respond to the prompt (see number 1)

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