How to study for your Core 1.1
midterm, spring 2007:
- Review the reading assignments, together with notes you may
have made in your texts and taken in class.
- Review your notes and the material on the website for critical
analysis; use the online quizzes to make sure you are conversant with
the content of the texts we read.
- Choose one of the key questions posed in class or select a
paragraph that we discussed and write a 4 paragraph essay on it (using
the guidelines we used in class).
- A study group is almost always a good idea. Exchange email
addresses with three or four people and divide up the review
responsibilities. Teach each other; you will learn more by actively
You will be allowed 75
minutes (from 5:00-6:15) to write the
exam. It will consist of three parts plus one extra credit
- Description (for example, of dramatic irony, what constitutes
a good tragedy in Aristotle's theory, the ceremony in the Theater
of Dionysos prior to the performance of tragic dramas, the tenets
of the so-called New Intellectualism/Sophism, the generic
conventions of one the genres we have studied, the structure of a
tragedy, panhellenism, the process of oral composition in
performance, ransom/revenge/compensation as responses to harm).
- Essays analyzing a text in relation to its several contexts
(e.g., historical, philosophical, literary, cultural).
- Essays in response to a prompt, in which you will
compare/contrast, agree/disagree (or some combination thereof), or draw
on more than one text/context to explicate a recurring theme.
- In addition, one extra credit question will be given on
Aristophanes' Clouds, which is the reading assignment for the
second half of the class period.
You will be able to choose
from at least two options in each
- You will choose 3 out of 5 description questions; you should
write a single paragraph on each. You should allow yourself about 15
minutes for this part of the exam. 10 pts each
- You will choose 2 out of 4 quotations on which to write a
critical essay; you should write a thoughtful essay of 3 paragraphs on
each of two quotations. You should allow yourself about 30
minutes for this part of the exam. Each essay is worth 20 points.
- You will choose 1 out of 3 essay questions that will require
you to draw on your knowledge of the texts we have read and the
recurring themes and contexts that we have discussed in relation to
them; you should write a thoughtful essay of about 5 paragraphs. You
should allow yourself about 20-25 minutes for this section of the
exam. The questions may ask you to compare and contrast cultural
themes such as justice and power or civic identity in more than one
work; they may ask you to trace the development of a particular
cultural idea, such as the relation between ransom and cultural order,
in a single work. The essay is worth 30 points.
How to write your exam.
The same qualities I look for
in your papers and in-class
writing are important on the exam essays:
- Is the essay well-organized? Does it proceed in a logical
manner to construct a coherent and cogent discussion. Does each
paragraph have a single coherent point that is supported by evidence
from the text or supplementary materials? Are the examples and how they
support the thesis explained (in other words, does the essay
demonstrate cogent analysis and not just description).
- Does the essay address the question directly and adequately?
- Does the essay demonstrate independent, informed, and critical
- Is the essay accurate? Does it demonstrate knowledge of the
text and contexts?
- Is the essay mechanically correct (spelling, syntax, grammar,
Take time to think about the
passage or the question and to
outline the main points you will make before you start writing. This
will keep your essays focused and prevent rambling or
Write legibly, in black or
dark blue ink, in a moderate-sized
Always, always, indicate the
section and number of the question
on which you are writing.
A few basic rules
- You may have nothing out of your bag except a pen and the
exam, which will contain ample space for you to write your essays.
- You may not use or take out a cell phone during the exam.
- If you come in late to the exam, you must still turn it in at
- You may not leave during the exam and return to work on the
exam; if you leave the room, you are finished with the exam and must
turn it in on your way out. A word to the wise: plan ahead.