Monday, May 19, 2014

Study Tips for Freshman English

How to study for the English exam:

1. Poetry multiple choice

You'll be given whole poems or parts of poems. They may be poems you've seen in class; they may be new poems you haven't seen.

a) make up list of literary terms (we did this in the study session; get the notes from a buddy) and know how to use them
b) practicing sight-reading poems from your poetry book (this is a GOOD thing to do with your teacher on Reading Day!)

2. Macbeth passage analysis
The task is to identify context, summarize/paraphrase the passage, connect it to a key theme, and use a key literary term to enhance your explanation.  

When you answer these questions on the exam, point to specific language from the passages to support what you are saying.  That way, even if you are wrong about context, you may score some partial credit by allowing your teacher to see your reasoning.  Always give evidence to support what you are asserting.

a) prepare for context by remaking a Freytag's Pyramid or bullet point plot summary
b) make up a list of literary terms
c) make up list of themes
d) practice reading passages from tests and worksheets (this is another GOOD thing to do with your teacher on Reading Day!) 

3. Essay

Write a multi-paragraph thesis/support essay on a general question. It'll be the same question for ALL classes, no matter what book you read.  

The form (i.e., following the rules of structure and organization) matters as much as the substance (i.e., what you say about the book).  DO NOT write a good intro and conclusion and then fill the space between with plot summary.  All of the examples you give from the text should support the position you are taking.  Don't go on tangents.  Stay focused.

a) review organization rules for intro, body PP, and conclusion
b) make a list of themes
c) formulate thesis sentences for themes and make bullet point outlines

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