Before joining this adversarial discussion, be sure that you’ve read the material in the last post very, very carefully. Also be sure that you’ve picked up the Regents Exam packet distributed on May 28; copies of that packet will not be made available online, although you will be able to pick up extras at any point in class.
Also note that there is a writing assignment at the end of this post. It is the same one given to you in class on Wednesday the 29th; check back here to be sure that you understand what you must do by the end of the day on Friday.
Have your Regents Exam packet handy as you read this post. Notice that the scoring grid in the packet splits the exam into two sections: multiple-choice questions and writing prompts. You will be practicing the multiple-choice all week through Castle Learning, where you will find a new set of assignments starting today. (You should be finishing the batch assigned to you in early May, as well.) For the writing portion, we’ll start with the lone essay: the critical lens.
Here is a copy of the prompt you will see on the exam day (it is also reprinted in your practice packet):
Write a critical essay in which you discuss two works of literature you have read from the particular perspective of the statement that is provided for you in the Critical Lens. In your essay, provide a valid interpretation of the statement, agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it, and support your opinion using specific references to appropriate literary elements from the two works. You may use scrap paper to plan your response. Write your essay in the essay booklet.
Critical Lens [will be different on the exam, obviously]:
“Because of its tremendous solemnity death is the light in which great passions, both good and bad, become transparent, no longer limited by outward appearences.”
—Søren Kierkegaard (Journal Entry for July 17, 1840)
Be sure to
• Provide a valid interpretation of the critical lens that clearly establishes the criteria for analysis
• Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it
• Choose two works you have read that you believe best support your opinion
• Use the criteria suggested by the critical lens to analyze the works you have chosen
• Avoid plot summary. Instead, use specific references to appropriate literary elements (for example: theme, characterization, setting, point of view) to develop your analysis
• Organize your ideas in a unified and coherent manner
• Specify the titles and authors of the literature you choose
• Follow the conventions of standard written English
To insure the best possible score on this essay, you are going to prepare a list of the works you might use in your essay. The easiest way to do this: Make a list of all of the works you’ve read over the last three years that have some literary merit. For each, complete a Major Works Data Sheet. Use the template in your packet, and write your responses in your compendium.
When you’re ready, leave a comment below with a possible work. Give as much detail as possible, and discuss why it might work on any given critical lens prompt. Then return periodically to this post to discuss possibilities and fill in gaps in information (e.g., authors’ names, characters, setting).
Writing assignment: You must write a practice critical lens essay using one of the quotations in your packet by the end of the day on Friday. Follow the prompts and guidelines in your packet. Give yourself between 60 and 90 minutes, and write by hand. Submit this handwritten essay before leaving school grounds on Friday.
Bonus score: If you average as a class a 4 on this practice essay, I’ll enter a 100/100 bonus grade into the gradebook for all of you, regardless of your individual score. Otherwise, it’s your individual score.
Bonus score #2: If you average as a class a 4 on this portion of the Regents Exam itself, I’ll enter another 100/100 bonus grade into the gradebook for all of you, regardless of your individual scores.