What is the format? What’s on the exam?
The exam has two questions. Allow about 50 minutes for composing each response. This leaves you time to proofread each essay. The test covers Proof and as much of Hamlet as we have covered. By the end of the Tue/Wed class (Dec 6/7), we will officially declare the last line covered. As described in recent classes, the exam will in some significant way refer to the passage about Wolfgang Iser (see below*). To assess the essays, I will use the criteria described in the “Content Writing Rubric”: organization, idea development, specific evidence, sentence clarity, understanding of material.
You will submit your exam–as one document–to TURNITIN (“December exam”).
What do I bring to the exam (Mon Dec 12)?
Bring your LAPTOP and your own copy of HAMLET. During the exam, you will not be allowed to share any materials with another person. As for PROOF, you may use a digital copy of the play that you find on the internet. Note this allowance differs from using online commentary about the play.
If you want, also bring a book to read, in case you finish early because you will be asked to close your laptop after submitting your exam to TURNITIN.
How should I study?
Consider the two plays in terms of the course’s essential questions. Record your considerations by writing them down. (I find it helpful to write what I am thinking because if I can’t write a thought down satisfactorily, that usually means I have to consider that thought more carefully, more fully.) You can think about the play’s overall response to the essential questions, or you might think about how a particular character, or group of characters, might answer these questions: How do we handle struggle–external and internal? Where do we see demons, or monsters, and what makes them so? What influences our responses to these demons and struggles? Also, if circumstances allow, connect with a study-buddy to compare considerations and mock essay outlines.
When will review sessions happen?
During class Thursday and Friday, Dec. 8 & 9. Friday between 3 & 4pm, I will be available for anyone who has additional questions.
Anything else I should know?
In class Tuesday and Wednesday, I will explain the exam preamble. I want to use class time to make sure everyone understands the letter and spirit of the preamble because you will be asked to sign this preamble before starting the exam next Monday morning.
* For [Wolfgang] Iser, meaning is not an object to be found within a text, but is an event of construction that occurs somewhere between the text and the reader. Specifically, a reader comes to the text, which is a fixed world, but meaning is realized through the act of reading and how a reader connects the structures of the text to their own experience. To illustrate this, Iser uses the example of constellations: “The impressions that arise as a result of this process will vary from individual to individual, but only within the limits imposed by the written as opposed to the unwritten text. In the same way, two people gazing at the night sky may both be looking at the same collection of stars, but one will see the image of a plough, and the other will make out a dipper. The ‘stars’ in a literary text are fixed; the lines that join them are variable.” A literary work, which for Iser is created when a reader and a text “converge, consists of two “poles”: the artistic (the object, the text created by the author) and the aesthetic (the realization accomplished by the reader). Both of these poles contribute to the two central points of Iser’s theory: the concept of “implied reader” and narrative “gaps.” [underlining added]