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1 FRESHMEN FINAL - IN CLASS ESSAY (This is worth one-third of your final exam.) Part of your final exam will be an in class essay. You will be given time to prepare three different topic outlines on three different topics; you will bring your topic outlines to class with you on the day of the final. You will not know which essay you will get on the day of the final. You may use your book, notes and outline to write your essay. However, you may NOT write out your whole essay prior to the final. Check the JCP handbook for the Academic Honesty policy. Grading an in class essay is different. I understand that you are writing under a time constraint and so it can be an imperfect art. However, I do expect clear, thought-provoking ideas and good evidence from the text. This is worth 30 points. This is one-third of your final exam. How to write an in class essay: 1. Prepare beforehand. I will be checking to see if you prepared three different outlines. 2. Prepare beforehand and pick out clear quotes (evidence) that will support your ideas. 3. Practice. If you are nervous, try writing out an essay within 50 minutes and see how you do. Then, jot down some of your weaknesses. Work on those issues prior to the final exam. You may come see Dr. Achettu about your weaknesses. We can work on them together. In addition, class time will be devoted to the writing process prior to the final. 4. Write neatly. Skip lines. Don t panic if you make a mistake. If you want to cross out a sentence or phrase, you can. Avoid scribbling, erasing, and dark splotches. I prefer typed papers, but if you lose your paper while you type, then you will lose time. We will be in the computer lab for those that would like to type the essay. Only one window on your screen should be open to type your paper. You may not do research. 5. Don t fall into the quantity vs. quality dilemma. Focus on being concise and direct. Time is critical. A real danger of the in-class essay is rambling. If you stick to your focused outline (key words/phrases), and perhaps add a few key words in the margin that you need to consider, your essay is more likely to stay focused and on topic. 6. Budget your time. Spend the most time on explaining your clear evidence from the text. (Think of the E in the ICE method.) 7. Craft your thesis carefully. I will not expect the deft touch of an essay that is assigned out-of-class, but it will be to your benefit to create a clear thesis. Doing so will also help establish your knowledge of the subject and keep you on track in the paragraphs that follow. 8. Allow a few minutes for editing. Give yourself a few minutes to review your writing. Does it make sense to you? If not, you can be certain that it will not be clear to me! Adapted from: Audience: teacher/students/people (already read the play) Your three possible essay questions: Essay Topic 1: Choose a character who had an important role in the play. Describe and examine the character s decisions and how they impacted the outcome of the play. Essay Topic 2: At the end of Romeo and Juliet, the Prince says: Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished (V, iii, 307). Who do you think should be pardoned and who should be punished? Essay Topic 3: Take one theme and explain its significance in the play: love, hate, light, time, destiny/fate, marriage, family, gender roles (role of women or masculinity)

2 How to write a topic outline: Romeo and Juliet Argumentative Essay Outline this portion will be done in class prior to the final exam. Bring your topic outlines with you on the day of your final. I. Introduction A. Hook some way to ease the reader into the topic and capture their interest 1. author s name (Shakespeare) 2. title of work in italics or underlined B. Thesis somewhere in first paragraph, usually one sentence for 9th/10th grades II. Topic reason 1 (key words) III. Topic reason 2 (key words) III. Topic reason 3 (key words) IV. Conclusion (key words) A. What was proven? (More than restates the thesis) B. Informs the reader of the broader significance of the topic (societal implications) (key words) MLA IN TEXT CITATION FOR PLAYS -MLA format says that for an in-text citation you need to provide three things: 1. Act Number 2. Scene Number 3. Line Number(s) So, for instance if you were quoting from Act 3, Scene 2, Line 45 the citation would be (3.2.45). If you are quoting more than one line, for instance lines 45-50, if would be ( ). NOTE: The sentences below show the I in Introducing a quote, and the C in Cite. (example from Romeo and Juliet) Shakespeare uses light imagery throughout the play, But soft, what light through yonder window breaks/ It is the East, and Juliet is the sun/ Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon (Romeo and Juliet ). NOTE: This shows Act III, Scene ii, Lines

3 (example from Hamlet) In his famous advice to the players, Hamlet defines the purpose of theater, "...whose end, both at the/ First and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere/ The mirror up to nature" ( ). Writing Rubric Adapted from ACT Rubric Used with Sample Papers (ACT Website) Score of 1 1. This essay shows little skill in responding to the writing task. Writer takes a position in the beginning; the rest of the discussion does not convey reasons to support position Writer minimally develops many different ideas in general, repeating ideas rather than explaining them At times, statements supporting claims are not understandable No discernable organization to the essay other than a minimal introductory statement o Ideas are not logically grouped o No conclusion is offered. Sentence structure and word choice are consistently simple Language usage errors are frequently distracting and contribute to difficulty understanding some portions of the essay. Score of 2 2. This essay demonstrates inconsistent skill in responding to the task. Development of ideas is thin with general statements to explain ideas Some indication of an organizational structure o Discernible introduction with some ideas o Conclusion is minimal; not clearly separated from discussion of the writer's second idea Sentence structure shows some variety Word choice is appropriate to the discussion Score of 3 3. This essay shows some understanding of the writing task. The writer takes a position on the issue and offers some context for discussion by repeating the prompt as an introduction. By using the prompt as part of the essay, the writer acknowledges a counter-argument but does not discuss it o Two main ideas are developed to support the writer's position o Discussion of each idea is limited to general statements that are never illustrated by specific reasons, examples, or details o Essay maintains focus on the specific issue in the prompt o Organization is simple and clear but provides no evidence that ideas in the essay are logically sequenced within the discussion o Simple transitions connect the paragraphs without making meaningful connections between ideas o Introduction and conclusion are clearly discernible as intentional frames for the discussion, but are underdeveloped Language use shows some sentence variety and appropriate word choice Some errors distract but do not impede understanding. Score of 4 4. This essay demonstrates adequate skill in responding to the task. Writer takes a position and offers some context for the discussion Essay also shows some recognition of complexity by acknowledging multiple perspectives and providing some response to counter-arguments to the writer's position o Development of ideas is adequate, with three ideas discussed and with some movement between general statements and specific examples and details o Focus on the specific issue in the prompt is maintained throughout the essay. o Organization of the essay is apparent but predictable, with obvious transitions o Introduction and conclusion are both clear and somewhat developed. Writer demonstrates adequate ability with language, using a variety of sentence types and some appropriate word choice as well as some inaccurate and distracting word choice Other errors also distract the reader but do not impede understanding Score of 5 5. The essay demonstrates recognition of complexity with discussion of the complications of the issue in the fourth paragraph. The essay thus demonstrates an ability to treat the complexity of the issue without undermining the essay's

4 position or logic. Development of ideas is specific and logical. The essay moves between general ideas and specific example o Some ideas are developed fully as the writer draws critical conclusions from the discussion o Essay has a simple structural organization, but generally demonstrates logical progression of ideas o Transitions between ideas are well crafted between paragraphs and within paragraphs to make logical connections between ideas Language use in the essay is generally clear, although misspellings of homophones are distracting Some incorrect punctuation is also distracting, but the mistakes do not impede understanding Some precise vocabulary Variety of sentence constructions are used effectively throughout the essay Score of 6 6. This essay demonstrates effective skill in responding to the writing task. The essay takes a position on the issue and offers a critical context for discussion o Development is ample, specific and logical, discussing most ideas fully in terms of the resulting implications o Clear focus on the specific issue in the prompt is maintained. o Organization of the essay is clear though predictable. Most of the essay demonstrates logical sequencing of ideas o Transitions are used throughout the essay o Conclusion and especially the introduction are effective and well developed Essay shows a good command of language, with precise and varied sentences and word choice There are few errors to distract the reader.

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