Earnest Essay

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English IV-College Prep, Chandler
2nd Semester (‘08)
The Importance of Being Earnest Essay Exam

PURPOSE OF AN ESSAY EXAM: The purposes of this type of exam complement the purposes of this course: 1. to prepare you for college English and 2. to prepare you to write in all college classes. This essay will require that you synthesize the major concepts in the play we have studied and further develop your writing skills. This type of essay is very common in college. You will frequently be asked to write an exam essay in a 1 to 2 hour test period. Sometimes you will be able to prepare in advance, sometimes not. Believe me, it is better to learn here with me than to learn in college when the semester essay exam can count up to 40% of your total course grade.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS: You are to choose one of the four essay topics which follow to develop into an out-of-class essay response. I expect you to write a 600-word critical analysis on one of the topics covered in The Importance of Being Earnest.

* * * In order to earn an "A" on this essay your thesis statement must reflect an arguable position which you then develop and support. For example if you were instructed to write an essay in which you show how fate is treated in the literature, you could write either a thesis statement that basically reflects fact:

1. In Beowulf fate is a topic of considerable importance. (broad & factual)

OR you could write a thesis which states an arguable position related to the nature of fate in early British literature:

2. In Beowulf the protagonist is in control of his fate. (focused & arguable)

I would consider an essay written on the second thesis statement for an "A". An essay written on a thesis which basically reflects fact, like the first example, would not receive a grade higher than a "B+"

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