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Exam Prep

By qwertywilson Nov 18, 2014 12417 Words

Preparing for English 30-1 Diploma Examinations

— some help from Alberta Distance Learning Centre

The package is designed to assist students in preparing for the Diploma Examination in English 30-1. Publications such as The Key: Diploma Preparation Guide (published by Castle Rock Research Corp) may also be useful.

Contents:

1. Introduction
a. Distribution of marks in English 30-1
b. Part A: Written Response
c. Part B: Reading

2. Topics of Former Diploma Exams

3. Part A: Written Response - Readers Response to Literature Assignment a. Suggestions and Cautions
b. Summary of Evaluation
c. Tutorial

4. Part A: Written Response - Literature Composition Assignment a. Suggestions
b. Summary of Evaluation
c. Planning Guide A: Outlining
d. Planning Guide B: Using an Idea Diagram
e. Idea Diagram
f. Planning Guide C: A Demonstration
g. Tutorial
h. Sample Student Essay

5.Part B: Reading
a.Strategies
b.Sample Assignment

6.Glossary of Literary Terms

Introduction to English 30-1

The “final mark” in English 30-1 is a blend of three scores. 1. “School-based mark” is 50%.
2. Diploma Exam Part A: Written Response is 25%.
3. Diploma Exam Part B: Reading is 25%.

Students are not credited with a final grade until Alberta Learning has received all three marks. “Mature students” receive the higher of the blended mark or the combined diploma exam marks.

The Diploma Exam in English 30-1 has two parts.

Part A: Written Response (2 1/2 hours, with another 1/2 hour, if necessary)

Although infinitely varied, the essay has become a standard format for the expression of ideas. A dictionary, thesaurus, and/or handbook are permitted. Students may use a word processor, attaching printed documents to the booklets.

The English 30-1 Diploma Examination requires students to write 1. a “Personal Response to Texts Assignment”, worth 20%, and 2. a “Critical/Analytical Response to Literary Texts Assignment”, worth 30%.

Part B: Reading (2 hours, with another 1/2 hour, if necessary)

This exam provides a “Readings Booklet” and a “Questions Booklet”; choices of answers are indicated in pencil on an answer sheet. A dictionary or thesaurus is NOT permitted. Each of seven readings, first seen during the exam, is followed by six to twelve questions, for a total of seventy questions.

“The questions explore thought, idea, form, and technique in each selection, and require you to examine how these features affect what each selection communicates to the reader.” (A Guide for Students, Alberta Learning)

Topics of January 2004 Diploma Exam

PERSONAL RESPONSE TO TEXTS ASSIGNMENT – January 2004
Suggested time: approximately 45 to 60 minutes
Carefully read and consider the texts on pages 2 to 4, and then complete the assignment that follows. The photographs and commentaries on the first two pages are from a brochure from the City of Edmonton Archives. Public concern over the growing loss of historically significant information led to creation of an Archives Committee by the City of Edmonton in 1938. Documents and photographs recording Edmonton’s early history were acquired and preserved in liaison with the Northern Alberta Pioneers and Old Timers Association (N.A.P.O.T.A.). Twenty years later the City opened the Historical Exhibits Building in cooperation with N.A.P.O.T.A. Essentially a museum, one room was devoted to archival materials. The City assumed control over the facility in 1966, and by 1971 had established the City of Edmonton Archives as the official repository for civic government records. Two years later, the building was devoted entirely to documents and photographs relating to Edmonton’s history. In 1992 the Archives moved to the renovated Prince of Wales Armouries. Modern techniques of storage and preservation ensure the availability of our documentary heritage for future generations.

Still and Moving Images
Over 100,000 historical photographs, dating from the 1880s, are kept in the Archives. Of these, approximately 3,200 were inherited from N.A.P.O.T.A. The more than 70,000 slides currently housed here are of a more contemporary nature. Much of our collection consists of negatives, slides, moving images, and prints. Newspapers

We provide a large collection of local newspapers including the Edmonton Bulletin, from 1880 to 1951, the Edmonton Journal, from 1903 to the present, as well as editions of the Strathcona Plaindealer and the Edmonton Capital on microfilm. An extensive collection of newspaper clipping files, dating from the late 1920s, is also available. Maps and Architectural Drawings

Over 300 current and historical maps of the Edmonton area, dating from 1882, provide a unique geographical guide to Edmonton’s development. More than 25,000 plans and architectural drawings of significant buildings and bridges from the City Architect’s Department and other sources are accessible to researchers. Oral Histories

A series of oral histories of prominent local citizens is available to augment the researcher’s understanding of Edmonton’s past. Current and Historical Publications
Our non-circulating library of current and historical books and periodicals supplements our clients’ needs. City of Edmonton Archives. “Preserving Our Past for Our Future.” Edmonton: City of Edmonton Community Services Dept., 2003. Used with permission.

This excerpt is set in Ireland.
from FOUR LETTERS OF LOVE
At twelve, then, the world changed. My father came home in his grey suit one evening, sat to tea and listened to my mother tell how all day she had waited for the man to come to repair the leak in the back kitchen roof, how I’d come home from school with a tear in the knee of my pants, how Mrs. Fitzgerald had called to say she couldn’t play bridge this Thursday. He sat in that rumpled, angular quietness of his and listened. Was there a special glimmering of light in his eyes? I have long since told myself I remember there was. It cannot have been as simple and understated as I see it now, my father swallowing a second cup of milky tea, a slice of fruit loaf, and saying, “Bette, I’m going to paint.” At first, of course, she didn’t understand. She thought he meant that evening and said, “Grand, William,” and that she would tidy up after the tea and let him go along now and get changed. “No,” he said quietly, firmly, speaking the way he always spoke, making the words seem larger, fuller than himself, as if the amplitude of their meaning was directly related to the thinness of himself, as if he were all mind. “I’m finished working in the office,” he said. My mother had stood up and was already putting on her apron for the dishes. She was a petite woman with quick brown eyes. She stopped and looked at him and felt it register, and with electric speed then crossed the kitchen, squeezed my upper arm unintentionally hard and led me from the table to go upstairs and do my lessons. I carried the unexploded fury of her response from the kitchen into the cool darkness of the hall and felt that gathering of blood and pain that was the bruise . . . coming. I climbed six steps and sat down. I fingered the tear in the knee of my trousers, pushed the two sides of frayed corduroy back together as if they could mend. Then, my head resting on fists, I sat and listened to the end of my childhood. Niall Williams (1958– )

Williams lives in Kiltumper, Ireland,
with his wife Christine and their two children.
Four Letters of Love, Williams’ first novel,
is being made into a film.
Williams, Niall. Four Letters of Love. London: Picador, 1997. Used by permission of Macmillan, London, UK.

PERSONAL RESPONSE TO TEXTS ASSIGNMENT
Suggested time: approximately 45 to 60 minutes
The Assignment
In the excerpt from the novel Four Letters of Love, the narrator recalls a vivid memory of a significant event that was clearly fixed forever in his mind. The photographs and commentaries from the City of Edmonton Archives brochure recount some of the formal ways that we preserve memories of the past. What do these texts suggest to you about the significance of our memory of the past? Support your idea(s) with reference to one or more of the texts presented and to your previous knowledge and/or experience. In your writing, you should

select a prose form that is appropriate to the ideas you wish to express and that will enable you to effectively communicate to the reader discuss ideas and/or impressions that are meaningful to you

CRITICAL/ANALYTICAL RESPONSE TO LITERARY TEXTS ASSIGNMENT

Suggested time: approximately 1½ to 2 hours

Reflect on the ideas and impressions that you discussed in the Personal Response to Texts Assignment concerning the significance of our memory of the past.

The Assignment

Consider how the significance of memory of the past has been reflected and developed in a literary text or texts you have studied. Discuss the idea(s) developed by the author(s) about the significance of our memory of the past.

Personal Response to Text Response:
What does the poem suggest to you about …?*
Critical/Analytical Response to Literary Texts Assignments: What idea(s) does the writer develop regarding …?*
1988Januarythe struggle to come to terms with human isolation
Junethe struggle to maintain identity through a commitment to a belief, cause, or goal 1989Januaryturning points
Junethe effect of external or internal limitations on people’s lives 1990Januaryself-discovery
Junethe outsider
1991January the influence of an ideal on individual behaviour
June the influence of imagination on people’s lives
1992Januarythe manners in which individuals respond to challenge
June the basis for and impact of individual choices
1993Januarythe factors that contribute to and result from an individual’s desire to escape
Juneindividual responses to significant dilemmas
1994Januaryhuman isolation and its effect on individual lives
Juneinfluence of dreams, goals and ideals in individual lives 1995Januaryeffects of adversity on the human spirit
Junethe individual in the face of threatening forces
1996Januarythe impact of significant experience
June the individual in the midst of conflict
1997Januarythe consequence of the individual’s response to risk-taking
June the nature and effect of a ruling passion in an individual’s life 1998Januarythe significance of the individual’s response to challenge
Junethe impact of a turning point upon an individual
1999Januarypersonal resourcefulness
Junethe pursuit of ideals
2000Januarythe significance of an individual’s perspective
Juneperseverance
2001Januaryadaptation
Junecircumstances that compel us to respond
2002Januaryresponses to circumstances beyond familiar experience
June
2003Januaryresponding to individual differences

*Years previous to 2004 were exams for English 30, similar to 30-1, but without multiple texts. Alberta Education’s English Language Arts 30-1 curriculum was updated for 2004, resulting in the new learning strand – Representing – and additional curriculum outcomes relating to visual literacy being addressed both in the course and on the final exam.

The Personal Response assignment was expanded to address several texts as possibilities for use in the student’s response. Students are directed to refer specifically to details in at least one of the supplied texts as well as to their personal views, experiences, and/or observations when creating the response.

Current Personal Response to Texts Assignments will include a preamble that provides a possible focus for each text, the topic to which students must respond, and directions for students to: refer to one or more of the texts presented and to their previous knowledge and/or experience use a prose form

connect one or more of the texts provided in the examination to their own ideas and impressions

Personal Response to Text Response:
What do these texts suggest about …?

2004 January the significance of our memory of the past
June the effect that determination has on our approach to the pursuit of a goal 2005 January finding opportunities for self-fulfillment in the context of a new reality June the ways in which the desire for independence and the need for security shape an individual’s identity

2006 January how a new perspective influences an individual’s interpretation of the world June the role self-preservation plays when individuals respond to competing demands

2007 January the role self-respect plays in an individual’s response to injustice June an individual’s response to the constraints of convention or circumstance 2008 January the interplay between fear and foresight when individuals make life-altering choices

The Critical/Analytical Response To Literary Texts Assignment has been broadened to recognize a greater variety of possible texts, including short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, poetry, films, and other literary texts such as non-fiction books and articles.

Critical/Analytical Response to Literary Texts Assignments: Discuss the idea(s) developed by the text creator in your chosen text about…

2004 January the significance of our memory of the past June the significance of determination in our lives

2005 January an individual’s attempt to secure the satisfaction of self-fulfillment June an individual’s attempt to reconcile the desire to act independently with the need for security

2006 January the effect an individuals perspective has on personal beliefs June the role self-preservation plays when individuals respond to competing internal and external demands

2007 January the role self-respect plays when an individual responds to injustice June the significance of an individual’s attempt to live unconstrained by convention or circumstance

2008 January the interplay between fear and foresight when individuals make life-altering choices

Personal Response To Texts Assignment

In English 30-1, a ‘Personal Response” is not necessarily an essay. The response should be at least a page in length, most commonly presented as one paragraph. Suggested time on the Diploma Exam is 30-1 to 45 minutes. Multiple texts with a common theme including poem or prose excerpt is given and a question demands a response. The assignment does not ask for an interpretation or your opinion of the selection.

Look again at January 2004’s topic, as above.

Suggestions on how to write a PERSONAL RESPONSE TO TEXTS ASSIGNMENT:

SUGGESTIONS

1. Analyze the preamble and the question carefully. Focus on the key word (significance, circumstances, potential, values, identity, etc.) and the aspect(s) to be discussed (memory of past, compel us to respond, struggle with, basis for, contributing factors, nature and effect, etc.).

2. Answer the question. A strong beginning topic sentence/thesis provides the focus demanded

3. Explain the author’s apparent idea of assigned key concept/phrase coherently, using direct quotes and specific details from the work to support your opinion. Embed short quotations (words, phrases) within your own sentences. The more specific reference to the work, the more credible your viewpoint.

4. Conclude your response by returning to your contention, giving it due emphasis and giving your composition a sense of closure. CAUTIONS

1. Avoid entering personally into the response (I think / In my opinion). The question asks for your response; no emphasis upon your willingness to think is necessary.

2. Do not try to “tell all” ideas or “use all” details of the selection. Focus on your direct answer to the question, supporting your contention of the writer’s apparent position on the topic.

3. Do not emphasize the author’s use of devices and techniques such as characterization, irony, mood, setting, structure, imagery, description). If they are outstanding in developing meaning, reference to them and their role may be useful in expanding your answer to the assignment. Focus on the author’s message, not technique.

4. Providing a conclusion can help reinforce your points and show a definitive end to your argument.

Personal Response to Texts Assignment

Summary of Evaluation Descriptors used for English 30-1 Diploma Assignment (Markers consider the complexity of the response and the circumstances under which it was written.)

Ideas and Impressions
The student is required to reflect and explore ideas and impressions prompted by the text(s) and the topic. Presentation
The student is required to select an appropriate and effective prose form to convey impressions, to explore ideas, and to create a strong unifying effect and voice. The student is required to communicate clearly. When marking Ideas and Impressions, the marker should consider: the quality of ideas, reflection, and exploration of the topic the effectiveness of support

When marking Presentation, the marker should consider:
the effectiveness of voice and its appropriateness to the intended audience of the prose form the student has chosen the quality of language and expression
the appropriateness of development and unifying effect to the prose form Consider proportion of error to the complexity and length of response. Excellent
E/5
Perceptions and/or ideas are insightful, carefully considered, and confident.  Support is apt and thoughtfully selected. Excellent
E/5
The writer's voice is engaging and the tone is effective.  Stylistic choices are precise and effective.  The unifying effect and development is skilfully sustained and fluent. Proficient
Pf/4
Perceptions and/or ideas are thoughtful or considered.  Support is relevant, purposeful or thorough. Proficient
Pf/4
The writer's voice is distinct, and the tone is well-considered.  Stylistic choices are specific.  The unifying effect and development is coherently sustained and generally fluent. Satisfactory
S/3
Perceptions and/or ideas expressed are appropriate.  Support is straightforward and generally focused.  Satisfactory
S/3
The writer's voice is matter-of-fact and the tone is appropriate.  Stylistic choices are adequate.  The unifying effect and development is clear, conventional, and maintained generally, but coherence may falter. Limited

L/2
Perceptions and/or ideas expressed are incomplete, superficial, or unaware.  Support is inappropriate and/or repetitive. Limited
L/2
The writer's voice is ineffective and the tone is inappropriate.  Stylistic choices are inappropriate and/or imprecise.  The unifying effect and development is unclear and/or ineffective, and coherence falters. Poor

P/1
Attempts to express perceptions and/or ideas are only marginally relevant, confused, or underdeveloped.  Support is lacking and/or random. Poor
P/1
The writer's voice is confused and there is no discernable attempt to address the intended audience.  Stylistic choices impede communication.  The unifying effect and development is absent and/or irrelevant and is frequently unclear and not fluent. Suggested Prose Formats For Personal Response To Texts Assignment

The Personal Response to Texts assignment requires students to respond to an idea suggested by the texts (poem, excerpt from short story or novel, visual image) selected for the exam. The ideas are personal but the response must refer to details in at least one presented text, as well as to students’ personal experiences and observations. The Personal Response to Texts assignment is not an opinion question - ideas must be supported through discussion and development.

Responses must be created in a prose format – NO poetry

The ideas are personal and individual but the response is most often fiction.

Suggested prose formats include:

Personal essay discussing ideas and experiences
Personal essay looking back on past experiences
Critical essay analyzing details from the text(s) in conjunction with personal experiences Short story involving ideas on the topic
Speech
Diary entries – from a personal perspective or the perspective of a fictional character, a character in one of the supplied texts, etc. Journal entries over a period of time - from a personal perspective or the perspective of a fictional character, a character in one of the supplied texts, etc. Letters – to and/or from people, possibly those associated with a text (adopt the character’s persona) Script – for a play or for a movie (screenplay)

Conversation between people – may include both dialogue and thoughts Monologue
Letter to the editor providing an opinion on the assigned topic Editorial discussing an opinion on the topic
Memoirs
Autobiography
News report – may be in print, radio, or television format

Regardless the format chosen for the response, the conventions for the chosen format must be adhered to. For example, a scripted screenplay should commonly refer to stage directions necessary for creating/conveying sound, mood, and other effects that enhance the idea. Whether responding in a series of diary entries, a speech, or a letter, the conventions that apply to the format must remain consistent.

Improving “Voice” in Personal Response

An effective writer’s voice can help readers connect more strongly with your ideas. Depending on the format chosen, the following suggestions can be used to enhance and improve voice in the response.

Create a response to which the reader can relate. Write about common, ordinary situations that we have all shared, such as childhood events and experiences. Telling a simple story – what happens – may not create effective voice. Include thoughts, feelings, reflections, emotions, etc. of the characters. Provide as much relevant specific detail as possible. Generalized detail (“One time, at band camp…”) does not guarantee effective writer’s voice. As much as possible, create a realistic and genuine scenario or situation. Avoid far-fetched and exaggerated responses. Avoid the essay or story that is simple and predictable. Avoid sweeping generalizations that offer definitive conclusions and advice for the readers to follow. For example, a scenario in which one faces great challenges and overcomes them because he really tried hard is too straightforward and easily seen as a “canned” response.

TUTORIAL: Personal Response to Texts Assignment

The English 30-1 Personal Response to Texts Assignment “provides you with an opportunity to write about your reading of a given selection as it relates to a given topic.” (A Guide for Students, Alberta Learning) The assignment does not ask for your opinion or for your interpretation of the selection. A typical question provides a poem, prose, and/or images (in any combination), with a common theme or concept. A brief preamble suggests a connection of the selection to a general topic. You are expected to develop and support a response to the assigned question with reference to detail from the selection(s) given. Details from your personal experience or knowledge may be used also.

Sample assignment:
Instructions
Because the Personal Response to Texts Assignment will prepare you for the Critical/Analytical Response to Literary Texts Assignment, read both assignments before you begin. Read “Lies” carefully and thoughtfully before you start the writing assignments.

          LIES
Telling lies to the young is wrong.
Proving to them that lies are true is wrong.
Telling them that God’s in his heaven
and all’s well with the world is wrong.
The young know what you mean. The young are people.
Tell them the difficulties can’t be counted,
and let them see not only what will be
but see with clarity these present times.
Say obstacles exist they must encounter
sorrow happens, hardship happens.
The hell with it. Who never knew
the price of happiness will not be happy.
Forgive no error you recognize,
it will repeat itself, increase,
and afterwards our pupils
will not forgive in us what we forgave. 
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
(translated by Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi, S.J.)
(reprinted from Iveson, M., Literary Experiences II, 1993, p96) Personal Response to Texts Assignment 
In the poem “Lies” the speaker implies that withholding truth for any reason causes hardship.  What do the texts suggest about the effect of an alternative viewpoint on communication? Support your response with reference to detail from the texts. Part 1: A Demonstration

This series of steps will help you develop a procedure upon which you may confidently build. Following the procedure may produce a proficient response, but excellence will result from your insights expressed in your own clear writer’s voice.

Step 1: Read the preamble given with the assignment. Usually this is one sentence aiming to assist you to connect topic and selection. Ex: “In the poem “Lies” the speaker implies that withholding truth for any reason causes hardship.”

Step 2: Connect the assignment to the selection before you read the selection.

Identify the key words or phrases in the question.
Demonstration
alternative
viewpoint
communication

Step 3: Understand the question. Realize that you are to answer a specific question.

1. Does the question have more than one part (by using “and”)? 2. Does the question give any options (by using “or”)?
3. Does the question have words you should check in a dictionary?

Step 4: Read the selection(s) several times. During an exam, read slowly as if you were reading aloud to give the words time to ‘expand’ into thoughts. Aim to listen to yourself!

Once: to gain a general impression
Twice: to ‘connect’ the selection to the topics and texts …and again: to highlight or underline words and phrases that suggest connections

Step 5: Connect the text(s) and the question. What details in the texts connect with the key words in the question? How do the texts tie together?

alternative – truth vs. lies; Forgive and not forgive
viewpoint – The young know what you mean, our pupils—us communication – Tell them many difficulties of present and future, obstacles exist, sorrow happens, hardship happens, How does the associated image tie to the poem’s message?

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Step 6: Answer the question. In one or two sentences give your direct answer. (This will become your topic sentence.)

The poem suggests that misrepresenting truth to protect youth leads to mistrust and scorn when they learn the truth.

Step 7: Support your answer by using specific details from the selection.

The poet forcefully insists that youth know or quickly learn to separate lies and truth. He is convinced anyone who lies to youth is misrepresenting life because “obstacles exist…, sorrow happens, hardship happens”. Not only will youth be poorly prepared to meet those challenges, they will resent the deception even if adults were trying to protect them. Disillusioned youth will have little tolerance for parents, teachers, or any who glossed the truth. Instead, they will “see with clarity these present times”. If our society, our world is to improve, honesty is the foundation. In the light of errors, hindsight allows us to see the better world that may have existed. To insist forcefully upon truth and to expose “errors you recognize” is the route to improvement—perhaps even peace. The poet may have us begin with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as forerunners of more serious deceptions of politics and war. Facing challenges directly without the masks of lies may reveal potential consequences in all decisions.

Step 8: Conclude the composition.

Then, when we become grandparents, our young people may bring more love and light into our nursing homes and we may be able to trust them more fully.

Steps 5, 6, 7, and 8 produce the “Finished Work” for the assignment. A few minutes to proofread and polish will produce the best product possible and show evidence of care and attention.

Time limits do not allow more than plan well, write once, and proofread carefully.

Part 2: Your Turn!

Step 1: Read the preamble given with the assignment. Usually this is one sentence aiming to assist you to connect topic and selection.

Step 2: Connect the assignment to the selection before you read the selection.

Identify the key words or phrases in the question.
Your Practice
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Step 3: Understand the question. Realize that you are to answer a specific question.

4. Does the question have more than one part (by using “and”)? 5. Does the question give any options (by using “or”)?
6. Does the question have words you should check in a dictionary? Your Practice ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Step 4: Read the selection several times. During an exam, read slowly as if you were reading aloud to give the words time to ‘expand’ into thoughts. Aim to listen to yourself! Once: to gain a general impression

Twice: to ‘connect’ the selection to the topic
…and again: to highlight or underline words and phrases that suggest connections

Step 5: Connect the poem and the question. What details in the poem connect with the key words in the question?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Step 6: Answer the question. In one or two sentences give your direct answer. (This will become your topic sentence.)

Your Practice
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Step 7: Support your answer by using specific details from the selection.

Your Practice
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Step 7: Conclude the composition.

Your Practice
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ LITERATURE COMPOSITION ASSIGNMENT

The English 30-1 Diploma Examination requires an expository essay. Students are expected to explore the author’s ideas in an outline or plan.

Topic from June 2001:

The resulting expository composition will show the student’s confidence in explaining and expanding the ideas of the chosen author. Although students are not restricted to one piece of literature, supporting details from one piece of literature allow emphasis of the depth of understanding of both idea and literature. This is not a personal essay; formal and controlled writing is expected.

Successful essays require effective planning. Plan well, write once, and proofread carefully!

The following general plan promotes success. This is not a prescription, but it may be a beginning strategy to ensure excellence as you develop your own voice and creativity.

SUGGESTIONS:

Introductory Paragraph
Introduce the topic/concept. Make some general statements indicating complexity and/or significance of the concept. Identify the idea that you contend the author suggests. Provide a thesis (controlling purpose) that is now yours to develop. You may introduce author and title, perhaps character(s) as part of your thesis, but the danger is that you will lapse into a plot summary in your developmental paragraphs.

Each Developmental Paragraph
Focus on one aspect of the thesis in a topic sentence.
Avoid focusing upon a character or some part of the plot.
Connect idea to the chosen literature.
Support the idea from the piece of literature. Use details purposefully and carefully. Conclude the aspect of the thesis, and provide transition to next paragraph.

Concluding Paragraph
Re-affirm the idea of the thesis. (Do not simply re-state it.) Connect the idea to society and/or life; challenge the reader to think beyond the limits of the topic. An outline or Idea Diagram (next page) may be useful as a planning mechanism. Time spent planning is not wasted; it produces a composition obviously crafted to fulfill the assignment. Literature Composition Summary of Evaluation Descriptors used for English 30-1 Diploma Essay (Markers consider the complexity of the response and the circumstances under which it was written.) Thought and Detail

- concepts, ideas, details
The student…
Organization
- thesis, topic sentences, logic
The student…
Matters of Choice
- diction, sentence structure, style
The student…
Matters of Correctness
- sentences, usage, grammar, mechanics
The student…
Excellent:
• develops insightful ideas
• chooses precise support
• shows perceptive interpretation
Excellent:
• constructs an inviting introduction
• develops an explicit controlling idea
• creates an excellent conclusion
Excellent:
• writes skillfully and fluently
• chooses precise diction
• uses polished structures
• makes impressive stylistic choices
Excellent :
• demonstrates confident control
• shows impressive absence of error
• produces precise and controlled
communication

Proficient:
• develops thoughtful ideas
• chooses appropriate support
• shows sensible interpretation
Proficient:
• constructs a directing introduction
• develops a coherent controlling idea
• creates an effective conclusion
Proficient:
• writes competently
• chooses specific diction
• uses effective structures
• makes competent stylistic choices
Proficient:
• demonstrates competent control
• shows a few minor errors
• produces clear and
inviting communication
Satisfactory:
• develops relevant ideas
• chooses predictable support
• shows adequate interpretation

Satisfactory:
• constructs a general introduction
• develops a mechanical controlling idea
• creates a functional conclusion
Satisfactory:
• writes conventionally
• chooses adequate diction
• uses few complex structures
• makes few stylistic choices
Satisfactory:
• demonstrates basic control
• shows some errors
• produces clear communication

Limited:
• develops superficial ideas
• chooses weak and/or unsatisfactory support
• shows incomplete interpretation

Limited:
• constructs a limited introduction
• develops no clear controlling idea
• allows ideas to remain undeveloped
• creates an adequate conclusion
Limited:
• shows an inadequate language repertoire
• uses imprecise or inappropriate diction
• uses awkward structures
• produces redundant and/or unclear writing
Limited:
• demonstrates faltering control
• shows many errors
• produces blurred communication

Poor:
• does not develop adequate ideas
• fails to choose appropriate support
• does not show relevant interpretation
Poor:
• constructs no related introduction
• develops no controlling idea
• allows conclusion to be obscure or absent

Poor:
• shows inadequate language choices
• uses inaccurate diction
• uses confusing structures
• produces unclear writing

Poor:
• demonstrates lack of control
• produces impaired communication

Planning Guide A:
Outlining a Literature Composition

The following demonstration may be useful to review basic outlining of an expository essay.

Sample Topic:

Introductory Paragraph

Introduction - generally addressing the topic; other sentences leading to thesis.

Thesis - one or two sentences that reveal the opinion the writer is attempting to explain E.g.: Awareness of beliefs and values may be hindered by miscommunication.

Body Paragraphs

1st subtopic
first aspect of complexity in position stated in complete sentence
E.g.: To protect the innocent, important information is often kept from others. details from chosen literature to support this aspect
concluding statement about this aspect

2nd subtopic
second aspect of complexity in position stated in complete sentence
E.g.: Eventually secrets will be revealed, causing turmoil for those being protected. details from chosen literature to support this aspect
concluding statement about this aspect

3rd subtopic
third aspect of complexity in position stated in complete sentence
E.g.: Truth, although harsh, may be the best course of action initially. details from chosen literature to support this aspect
concluding statement about this aspect

Concluding Paragraph
one or two sentences that reaffirm the thesis
E.g.: Discovering that flawed beliefs hurt those being protected reinforces the need to openly communicate even when that is threatening. perhaps an acknowledgment that the topic is complex and/or demonstration of the effect this could have on society or the future Planning Guide B:

Procedure for using Idea Diagram for an Expository Essay

Explore
1. Identify the topic. You may have a choice or you may be given a topic. Reduce it to one word or phrase. 2. “Brainstorm” for thoughts and details related to the topic. Make notes of these as they occur to you, making no attempt to organize or structure them.

Plan
3. Decide upon 3 categories (or more, if you wish) of the details or subdivisions of the topic. 4. Organize the sub-topics and details onto the Idea Diagram.

Focus
5. For each sub-topic grouping, write a topic sentence for the paragraph in which you will use the selected details for support. 6. When you have listed the details and have identified a topic sentence for each developmental paragraph, construct a thesis (often called the controlling purpose) that will control the direction of the essay. It also predicts for the reader the direction of your essay. The thesis is the key of the expository essay; it tells you (the writer) that you know where you are leading the reader.

Write
7. Introduction:
Introduce the topic in a general way to arouse reader’s interest. Narrow the broad topic to force it to become manageable.
State the thesis: it will focus attention, forecast the development, and ensure adequate pursuit of the topic. 8. Developmental paragraphs (usually 3 or 4)
Begin with topic sentences that will announce and control the contents of the paragraph. Provide support and development for that specific idea in some logical order. Conclude with a statement that will “wrap it up” as well as provide smooth transition to the next paragraph. 9. Concluding paragraph

Reaffirm the thesis. This is the last chance to make your position clear and forceful! Give the reader reason to respond with “This makes sense.” Allow the reader to keep thinking about the issue if not your position. (Push him forward into the dark!)

Edit
10. Read and re-read. Look for ways to “say it better”. 11. Ensure that vague concepts expressed with such as good or nice are made more precise. 12. Ensure that WRITER has taken READER on a journey of thought, which has a clear destination.

Re-Write and Proofread
13. Prepare your final draft.
14. Proofread very carefully. Wait a day after writing so that you will “hear” any errors that remain. Idea DiagramTopic/Subject/Concept: _____________________

Sub-Topic:

Sub-Topic
Sub-Topic
Details: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………….………… Details: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………… Details: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………………….…………………………………… Topic Sentence: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Topic Sentence: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Topic Sentence: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Thesis: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Conclusion: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Planning Guide C:

Demonstration of a Literature Composition

Sample Assignment:

Introductory Paragraph

The topic is introduced generally, perhaps using the key words in the topic. The thesis is the last sentence in this paragraph.

Sample thesis: Awareness of flawed beliefs and values may be hindered by miscommunication.

Key words here are “beliefs and values”, “hindered” and “lack of communication”. An appropriate introduction could be as follows:

Sample Introduction:
Because experience is different for everyone, beliefs are shaped by individual history. Living with shame teaches the notion that personal mistakes should be hidden. Privacy, which is valued as a protection against ridicule and judgment, is sought above all else. In seeking to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones, we determine what information should be known and sometimes neglect to share details, which results in ambiguous interpretations of reality. Awareness of flawed beliefs and values may be hindered by miscommunication.

The literature used for support is sometimes introduced briefly after the thesis: This was discovered by Suyan Woo in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

Body Paragraphs

The topic sentence introduces the focus of the paragraph so that it applies universally. Support from literature is then used to clarify the idea.
A clincher sentence summarizes the main idea and leads discussion into the next paragraph.

Sample paragraph:
To protect the innocent, important information is kept from others. In the novel, Suyan was ashamed of abandoning her babies in China many years earlier. She did not want them to suffer because of superstitious beliefs and went off to die, leaving them with all her valuables on the side of a busy road. Believing the babies had died, Suyan regarded herself as a bad mother and didn’t want her American daughter, June, to know of her two half-sisters. Suyan chose not to explain the circumstances of the event because, in raising June, she wanted a chance to make up for the wrongs she believed she had committed in China. Despite good intentions, shielding someone from important information can lead to turmoil.

Sample paragraph:
Eventually secrets will be revealed, causing turmoil for those being protected. In the novel, June learned of the abandonment and criticized her mother harshly, using her incomplete knowledge of the situation to condemn Suyan as an unfit caregiver and role model. Believing this, Suyan could not discipline June appropriately and their relationship grew distant. Suyan suffered by not telling June the truth, and June was kept from enjoying a close mother-daughter relationship. The result of veiled truth is pain for all involved.

Sample paragraph:
Truth, although harsh, may be the best course of action initially. June’s dad and aunties, who knew all details of Suyan’s past, admired her courage and perseverance in attempting to find the children she lost more than 25 years ago. They supported Suyan’s quest even posthumously in ensuring that June met her half-sisters. On the other hand, the swan feather, representing a close bond that Suyan had hoped to share with June was left unappreciated until after Suyan’s death. Believing her mother inferior prevented June from realizing Suyan’s love and hope for her. When the truth had been revealed, June believed she was a failure as a daughter. To compensate for her hasty judgment, she determined to complete the mission her mother had started; she brought the swan feather to the half-sisters who longed for any representation of their mother. Shameful facts may be difficult to share but, once revealed, they will never resurface to cause harm.

Concluding Paragraph

Conclusion -the opinion is reaffirmed and conclusions are drawn regarding the effects this could have on society or the future.

Sample Conclusion:
Discovering that flawed beliefs hurt those being protected reinforces the need to openly communicate even when that is threatening. Only then can problems be addressed effectively with appropriate adjustments and recompense; only then can individuals focus on the future rather than the past.

Title

The last step is to choose an appropriate title that helps the reader understand your point of view. The Joy Luck Club is not a fitting title for this essay because it is the title of the novel. The assignment is about values, beliefs and communication. Literature is used to further explain the essay writer’s position. “Secrets and Misconceptions” would support the writer’s thesis more effectively.

Sample of Completed Essay

Secrets and Misconceptions

Because experience is different for everyone, beliefs are shaped by individual history. Living with shame teaches the notion that personal mistakes should be hidden. Privacy, which is valued as a protection against ridicule and judgment, is sought above all else. In seeking to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones, we determine what information should be known and sometimes neglect to share details, which results in ambiguous interpretations of reality. Awareness of flawed beliefs and values may be hindered by miscommunication. This was discovered by Suyan Woo in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

To protect the innocent, important information is often kept from others. In the novel, Suyan was ashamed of abandoning her babies in China many years earlier. She did not want them to suffer because of superstitious beliefs and went off to die, leaving them with all her valuables on the side of a busy road. Believing the babies had died, Suyan regarded herself as a bad mother and didn’t want her American daughter, June, to know of her two half-sisters. Suyan chose not to explain the circumstances of the event because, in raising June, she wanted a chance to make up for the wrongs she believed she had committed in China. Despite good intentions, shielding someone from important information can lead to turmoil.

Eventually secrets will be revealed, causing turmoil for those being protected. In the novel, June learned of the abandonment and criticized her mother harshly, using her incomplete knowledge of the situation to condemn Suyan as an unfit caregiver and role model. Believing this, Suyan could not discipline June appropriately and their relationship grew distant. Suyan suffered by not telling June the truth, and June was kept from enjoying a close mother-daughter relationship. The result of veiled truth is pain for all involved.

Truth, although harsh, may be the best course of action initially. June’s dad and aunties, who knew all details of Suyan’s past, admired her courage and perseverance in attempting to find the children she lost more than 25 years ago. They supported Suyan’s quest even posthumously in ensuring that June met her half-sisters. On the other hand, the swan feather, representing a close bond that Suyan had hoped to share with June was left unappreciated until after Suyan’s death. Believing her mother inferior prevented June from realizing Suyan’s love and hope for her. When the truth had been revealed, June believed she was a failure as a daughter. To compensate for her hasty judgment, she determined to complete the mission her mother had started; she brought the swan feather to the half-sisters who longed for any representation of their mother. Shameful facts may be difficult to share but, once revealed, they will never resurface to cause harm.

Discovering that flawed beliefs hurt those being protected reinforces the need to openly communicate even when that is threatening. Only then can problems be addressed effectively with appropriate adjustments and recompense; only then can individuals focus on the future rather than the past.

TUTORIAL: Planning and Writing a Literature Composition

The English 30-1 Literature Composition requires an explanation of the author’s ideas about some aspect of life or mankind. The assignment does not ask for the student’s opinion. A typical question begins with a preamble that suggests a few complexities of the main topic and ends with the question or focus of the assignment. The details of the piece of literature are expected to be secondary and used to support the student’s explanation of the author’s position.

This is a sample topic:

Ideas are more than concepts. They are concepts with the author’s attitudes attached. To help you to identify and state ideas, some questions may be useful. The key concept of the sample topic is “threatening forces”.

Some questions occur immediately:
What questions occur to you?
What makes any force “threatening”?
Could these forces be internal or external to the person?
Are these forces completely beyond the power of the individual? Is the resistance to threats worth the results?

The following planning procedure may produce satisfactory or proficient organization, but excellence will result from your adaptation to reflect your voice and insights. Planning the Introduction:

Paragraph 1: Introduction
1. Choose the key words or phrases in the question.
2. Arrange these word or phrases from most general to most specific or from least to most significant. (Number in order.) Demonstration
individual (1)
threatening(3)
forces(2)
Your Practice — Paragraph 1

__________________________________( )
__________________________________( )
__________________________________( )

3. Choose the literature you intend to use for the assignment.

Demonstration
Selection: “The Glass Roses”
Author: Alden Nowlan,

Your Practice — Paragraph 1
Selection: _____________________________________
Author: _______________________________________

4. Identify the author’s position or thesis about the assigned topic. Demonstration
By choosing to confront unpleasantness and adversity, individuals benefit from alleviating threats to well-being.

Your Practice — Paragraph 1
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

5. Begin with a sentence about the most general key word or concept in the question (such as individual).

Demonstration
Many individuals are incapable of confronting threatening forces because the physical and emotional effects appear to be negative, eroding confidence and enhancing self-doubt.

Your Practice — Paragraph 1
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

6. Follow with a sentence about the next important key word (forces).

Demonstration
Many individuals choose to escape rather than deal with threatening forces, hoping that this alternative will alleviate the matter effortlessly. Your Practice — Paragraph 1
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

7. Provide another sentence about the next important key word (threatening).

Demonstration
Attempts to escape generally hinder the individual, producing more threats as well as enhancing existing threats.

Your Practice — Paragraph 1
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

8. Conclude with a strong statement as the answer to the question. This is the thesis.

Demonstration
In choosing to confront unpleasantness and adversity, individuals benefit in the long run by alleviating the forces that threaten well-being.

Your Practice — Paragraph 1
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Planning Developmental Paragraphs:

To plan the body of the essay, divide the topic into at least three elements. You could consider aspects of the thesis. Perhaps the author has considered causes and/or consequences of the concept, each warranting some explanation. You could consider the character’s growing awareness if such will lead to the author’s idea: initial belief/position, conflict/development, outcome. Each aspect becomes a separate paragraph, using support from literature to clarify that subtopic.

Planning the First Developmental Paragraph: Paragraph 2

Topic sentence: a generalization about the first aspect of the process involved in the topic—perhaps a cause or consequence of the key concept

Demonstration
Because threatening forces appear to produce adverse emotional and physical effects, individuals frequently become insecure and doubt their abilities to accomplish basic tasks.

Your Practice — Paragraph 2
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Support: details and direct quotes; perhaps character’s situation and initial perceptions

Demonstration
Details Sentences
Stephen –
adolescent in lumber camp with father
teased/mocked for youth and puny body
feels weakness and disappointment to father
realizes worth of ‘finer things’ of life
frustrated, unhappy
Stephen, the main character of “The Glass Roses”, is an adolescent boy struggling to find his place within his environment. He is continually faced with set backs in the form of scorn and belittlement from his peers and his father. “You got to start actin’ like a man...” Being painfully aware of his less than man-like physical appearance, Stephen begins to doubt that he will ever resemble his muscular and burly father and feels that he is not acceptable as a human being. Rather than viewing life only in the practical manner of his father, Stephen appreciates the aesthetical aspects of life. This further alienates him from his father’s image of a ‘real man’. Consequently, Stephen desperately tries to alleviate the threat of his father’s disappointment by working himself to exhaustion as a lumberjack, a job which is neither fulfilling to his needs as an individual nor within his abilities to accomplish successfully. Therefore, he is unhappy in all that he does and increasingly convinces himself of his unworthiness.

Your Practice — Paragraph 2
Details Sentences

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________

Clincher Sentence: conclusion about the complexity of this aspect of the concept; introduction to next subtopic Demonstration
All individuals generally experience such an outcome when attempting to overcome unpleasantness through false pretences.

Your Practice — Paragraph 2
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Planning the Second Developmental Paragraph: Paragraph 3

Topic sentence: a generalization about the second aspect of the process involved in the topic—perhaps a cause or consequence of the key concept, perhaps character’s conflict

Demonstration
The initial response to threatening forces is to escape because the individual fears the negative outcomes that are frequently overwhelmingly obvious. Escape is an easy alternative, and it offers security.

Your Practice — Paragraph 3
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Support: details and direct quotes; perhaps the character’s conflicts and circumstances

Demonstration
Details Sentences
Stephen –
escapes in Leka’s stories
values story of glass roses surviving on mantle during war
differs from glass roses—does not break/shatter
finds ways to overcome unpleasantness
hides feelings; shares them only with Leka

For Stephen, escape is found in the stories Leka, his Polish friend, tells him of adventures in Leka’s hometown. One story about glass roses is outstanding to Stephen. The glass roses are fragile and do not seem to belong in an area torn apart by the conflict and adversity of war. As such, they represent all individuals faced with adversity; specifically, they are Leka and Stephen. However, Stephen differs from the glass rose, in that he does not break and shatter under extreme situations. He continuously finds other means of overcoming unpleasantness, even if this is escape. However, Stephen realizes that he is restricted by the escape he has chosen. He forces himself to hide his feelings, sharing them only with Leka. He finds he is unhappy and can never fully reveal his true self to others.

Your Practice — Paragraph 3
Details Sentences

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Clincher Sentence: conclusion about the complexity of this aspect of the concept; introduction to next subtopic Demonstration
Although escape appears to provide a solution, this solution is often only temporary when dealing with threatening forces. Most threatening forces can be alleviated only through confrontation.

Your Practice — Paragraph 3
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Planning the Third Developmental Paragraph: Paragraph 4

Topic sentence: a generalization about the third aspect of the process involved in the topic—perhaps a cause or consequence of the key concept; perhaps the outcome of the character’s actions/decisions

Demonstration
In confronting the forces that threaten well-being, individuals experience a strengthening of character; this strengthening provides the means through which confidence and self assurance can be restored.

Your Practice — Paragraph 4
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Support: details and direct quotes; perhaps character’s decisions and perceptions of outcomes

Demonstration
Details Sentences
Stephen –
nearly breaks when confronted by his father
desires to retain relationship with Leka
realizes need to be genuine rather than pretend
demonstrates source of strength of character
Similar to the glass roses, Stephen nears his breaking point when he faces extreme threatening forces: confrontation with his father. His father criticizes his relationship with Leka, the one thing Stephen enjoys and feels comfortable with. At this point Stephen realizes that his father and his peers are not such a strong threat as he had feared because their opinions and beliefs differ from his own. He is able reach out to his friend. He understands that trying to become that which he can never be only worsens existing problems; it is the opposite of what he is striving for. As a result of this realization, Stephen finds the courage within himself to defy his father, to keep the strong bonds he has developed with Leka. We as society can benefit from the lesson that Stephen has learned in that we too are strong individuals, possessing the ability to overcome threatening forces.

Your Practice — Paragraph 4
Details Sentences

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________

Clincher Sentence: conclusion about the complexity or outcome of this aspect of the concept

Demonstration
Society can benefit from the lesson that Stephen has learned. Alleviating the forces that threaten strengths character; thus, future threats will be easier to confront.

Your Practice — Paragraph 4
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Planning the Conclusion

The concluding paragraph will reaffirm the author’s position. It may then explain how this may affect the future of the individual, society, or mankind. A strong conclusion gives the reader reasons to say “This makes sense!” or “That’s worth considering!”

Concluding Paragraph:

Topic sentence: reaffirmation of the author’s position, the thesis

Demonstration
Possessing the ability and the courage to overcome threatening forces is imperative because facing threats and adversity is an aspect of existence that every individual faces throughout life. Your Practice — Concluding Paragraph

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Support: summary and/or generalization of the effect the topic may have

Demonstration
Nevertheless, most frequently, individuals choose to elude rather than face adversity because of the negative situations that are threatening. Yet, facing and overcoming threatening forces is beneficial in that it enables the development and the strengthening of character that facilitates the successful confrontation of threatening forces in the future.

Your Practice — Concluding Paragraph
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Clincher Sentence: the ‘last chance’ to push the reader forward, to encourage continued thinking

Demonstration
Then, and only then, is complete contentment and success in life attained.

Your Practice — Concluding Paragraph
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Sample Student Essay (November, 1995)

A student has kindly allowed the use of her essay on a diploma exam simulation as an exemplar.

Notice what happens if we separate thought (in black regular print) from story details (in gray italics), or, in other words, we separate generalization from support. This will allow you to visualize the role of literature in supporting an idea.

ESSAY REGARDING THREATENING FORCES

Be not afraid, I go before you always in times of trouble.
Come follow me and I will give you peace.
(A hymn, Catholic Book of Worship, p. 647)

Although confronting threatening forces is an inevitable aspect of reality, many individuals are incapable of accomplishing such a task because initially, the physical and emotional effects resulting from threatening forces appear to be negative, eroding confidence and enhancing self-doubt. Consequently, many individuals choose to escape, rather than deal with such aspects, hoping that this alternative will alleviate the threatening force effortlessly. However, such a decision only proves to be a hindrance upon the individual, resulting in as well as enhancing already negative situations. Therefore, in choosing to confront unpleasantness and adversity, individuals benefit in the long run, alleviating the forces that threaten well being.

Threatening forces initially appear to produce adverse effects regarding the individual emotionally and physically. As such, individuals frequently become insecure and lack self-confidence, doubting their abilities in accomplishing basic tasks. “The Glass Roses”, a powerfully intense story depicting the insecurities that plague individuals faced with adversity, conveys this idea through emphasis of the effects of alienation. Stephen, the main character of the story, is an adolescent boy struggling to find his place within his environment. He is continually faced with set backs in the form of scorn and belittlement from his peers and his father. “You got to start actin’ like a man...” Being painfully aware of his less than man-like physical appearance, Stephen begins to doubt that he will ever resemble his muscular and burly father and feels that he is not acceptable as a human being. Rather than viewing life in a practical manner as his father does, Stephen appreciates the aesthetical aspects of life and is further alienated from his image of a ‘real man’. Consequently, Stephen desperately tries to alleviate the threat of his father’s disappointment by working himself to exhaustion as a lumberjack, a job which is neither fulfilling to his needs as an individual nor within his abilities to accomplish successfully. Therefore, he is unhappy in all that he does and increasingly convinces himself of his unworthiness. All individuals generally experience such an outcome when attempting to overcome unpleasantness through false pretences.

The initial response of the individual when faced with threatening forces is to escape because he fears the negative outcome that is frequently overwhelmingly obvious. Escape is security and is a quick and easy alternative to dealing with threatening forces. For Stephen, escape is found in the stories Leka, his Polish friend, tells him regarding Leka’s adventures in his home town. One story in particular, a story about glass roses, stands out in Stephen’s mind. The glass roses are fragile and do not seem to belong in an area torn apart by conflict and adversity. As such, they are representative of all individuals faced with adversity, more specifically, of Leka and Stephen. However, Stephen differs from the glass roses, in that he does not shatter and break under extreme adverse situations. He continuously finds other means of overcoming unpleasantness, even if this other means is escape. However, Stephen realizes that he is restricted by the escape he has chosen. He forces himself to hide his true feelings, sharing them only with Leka and as such, he finds he is unhappy and can never fully reveal his true self to others. Although escape appears to provide a solution, this solution is only temporary when dealing with threatening forces because threatening forces can only be alleviated through confrontation.

In confronting the forces that threaten well-being, individuals experience a strengthening of character; this strengthening provides the means through which confidence and self assurance can be restored. Similar to the glass roses, Stephen nears his breaking point when he faces extreme threatening forces: confrontation with his father. His father criticizes his relationship with Leka, the one thing Stephen enjoys and feels comfortable with. At this point Stephen comes to the realization that his father and his peers do not pose such a threat because their opinions and beliefs differ from his own. He understands that trying to become that which he can never be only worsens existing problems, the opposite of what he is striving for. As a result of this realization, Stephen finds the courage within himself to defy his father, to keep the strong bonds he has developed with Leka. We as society can benefit from the lesson that Stephen has learned in that we too are strong individuals, possessing the ability to overcome threatening forces. Alleviating the forces that threaten us as individuals strengths character, thus making future threats easier to confront.

Possessing the ability, the courage to overcome threatening forces is imperative in that facing threat and adversity is an aspect of existence that every individual faces several times throughout life. Nevertheless, most frequently, individuals choose to elude rather than face adversity because of the negative situations that define threat. Yet, facing and overcoming threatening forces is beneficial in that it enables the development, the strengthening of character which facilitates the confrontation of threatening forces in the future. Then, and only then, is complete contentment and success in life attained.

What are some strong features of this essay?
The writer took a creative risk in using a quotation as an attention device. She introduced the concept and idea before using details of her choice of literature. (She has explored the literature earlier; this essay is, therefore, expository—showing the reader evidence of logic and rhetoric.) She controlled her focus very carefully.

She answered the question of the assignment explicitly, leaving no place for the reader to deviate and/or draw his own conclusions. She kept ideas in the star role; story details fulfilled their supporting role. Each paragraph has a ‘life’, fulfilling obvious and specific purposes. She concluded by re-affirming her position, leaving the reader with something to think about beyond the literature. She used specific diction and carefully constructed sentences that show relationships of ideas.

What aspects of the essay need improvement?
Some sentences are so complicated that they produce some uncertainty. A few spelling and grammar errors exist, but they do not impede communication. Preparing for Part B: Reading
Multiple Choice Examination

Many students like multiple-choice questions because no writing is required. Each question is usually worth only one mark so you should answer as many of these as you can. Skip those you are unsure of until later when you have time left in the exam.

A multiple-choice question has two parts. The stem is that part which asks the question, such as the following from the January 1996 English 33 Diploma Examination by Alberta Learning: The writer’s use of the word “enchanted” in his description of Eileen’s house as “enchanted territory” (line 9) suggests that, when he was an adolescent, he viewed Eileen as A.

B.
C.
D.

The choices are the options given after the stem, such as
a magical figure
an exceptional beauty
a sophisticated debutante
an enthusiastic neighbour

Several strategies may be helpful in improving your scores on a multiple-choice exam.

1. Focus your attention before reading.

Sometimes students cannot recall many details after reading a selection on the exam. Usually that happens because they did not have a focus or purpose for reading except to answer questions that come after. You can focus your reading and thus remember specific details by reading the stems of the questions before you read the selection. You will notice key words and phrases from the questions as you read the selection. This awareness will keep you from concentrating on insignificant details and help you focus on important information.

2. Use logic before reading the selection.

Before reading the selection or looking at the choices, highlight or underline key words and phrases in the stems. Often the information given here will direct your thinking, without being clouded by details in the selection, to a correct answer or an elimination of two choices.

For example, what do you think about when you read the following stem?
The writer’s use of the word “enchanted” in his description of Eileen’s house as “enchanted territory” (line 9) suggests that, when he was an adolescent, he viewed Eileen as

“Enchanted” and “enchanted territory” make the reader think of something magical. When the writer was young, he regarded Eileen’s house as a magical place. Perhaps he thinks of Eileen as magical or someone special as well.

After engaging in that thought process, you may proceed to the given choices looking for one connected with the idea of something magical.

The choices for the question are:
A. a magical figure
B. an exceptional beauty
C. a sophisticated debutante
D. an enthusiastic neighbour

You would probably choose A as the correct response, but you would read the selection to verify your choice.

Here is another example:

The statement “I simply herded Eileen back all the long, dreary way to Mount Vernon” (lines 107-108) conveys the writer’s

If the writer is “herding” Eileen, and the way home is “long” and “dreary”, his experience with the girl was unpleasant. That would lead you to believe that the date was horrible, so you would look for an answer that indicates that reaction.

The choices for the question are
A. inability to perceive Eileen’s disappointment
B. state of mind following the disastrous date
C. boredom with the incident
D. lack of good manners

You would probably choose B as the correct response, but you would read the selection to verify your choice.

3.Read all stems for significant information.

Sometimes information given in one stem will help you choose an answer for another. In the January 1999 English 33 Diploma Examination by Alberta Education, the following questions for one selection can be answered correctly by simply analyzing information given in the stems.

The title of the selection (“Equal Opportunity”) immediately encourages you to consider things that are ‘equal’ or have the same status.

The stem “In this situation, the girls are being ‘tested’ (line 11) by themselves and their” makes you focus on the words “girls” and “themselves”. Because of the title, you are thinking about things that are “equal” to “girls” and “themselves” so you will look for that type of connection in the choices.

A. music idols
B. chaperones
C. peer group
D. teachers

The words “girls” and “themselves” are not “equal” to “music idols”, “chaperones”, or “teachers”; “girls” and “themselves” are “equal” to “peer group” so B would be the sensible choice here.

Another stem from the same selection states “That the dancing boys create the impression of a cartoon ‘set in motion’ (lines 21 to 22) means that, to the observer, they appear”. You know that a cartoon makes fun of individuals and events. When you think about “the dancing boys” in cartoon form, you expect them to be the object of humor. Thus, you would look for that impression in the choices.

A. Happy
B. Confused
C. Harmless
D. ridiculous

Choices A and C do not seem to fit the notion that the boys appear funny, so you would immediately dismiss those. “Confused” may apply but when placed next to a stronger implication of amusement, “ridiculous” becomes the obvious choice.

Another stem for this selection is “The poem’s title, ‘Equal Opportunity,’ reinforces the theme that focuses upon the discomfort of”. You know that theme refers to the main idea of the passage. The title, you noticed earlier, suggests something about equality. “Girls”, “dancing boys”, “impression of a cartoon” were mentioned in previous questions, and now you are to think about “discomfort”.

A. boys maturing physically later than girls
B. adolescents risking rejection by their peers
C. young people being influenced by fads in music
D. girls competing among themselves for boys’ attention

A is not a logical answer because it has nothing to do with equality. Not much has been included about fads in music, so D is not applicable. D involves peers – “girls competing among themselves” – but no mention of discomfort for girls has been made previously. Therefore, B is the sensible choice, “adolescents” (both girls and boys) risking rejection (boys looking ridiculous) by their peers (equality).

When you think about the information in the questions before you are influenced by details in the reading selections, you can sometimes choose the appropriate answer on a multiple-choice exam. This strategy does take practice before you will feel confident using it under exam conditions and, of course, you are still encouraged to read the selections to verify your choices.

Sample Assignment

Use the previously mentioned multiple-choice exam-taking strategies for the following questions from the January 1999 English 33 Diploma Examination by Alberta Education. The reading has deliberately not been given; focus on your thinking process.

Explain your thought process as you search for appropriate answers.

The title of the selection, which is not provided for you here, is No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls.

1. The paradox in the lives of teenagers who work is most effectively expressed in A.“They save for summer holidays and for Christmas presents” B.“If they work for pay, they also pay for working”

C. “They must choose between a placement on the night shift and homework” D. “They don’t seem to be at all impressed or depressed by the fact that they are usually paid only a minimum wage” __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2.Lines 41 to 46 indicate that working teenagers view those who do not work with A. envy

B. disdain
C. respect
D. tolerance
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. According to the excerpt, most working teenagers are motivated to work so that they may A. fit in with their peers
B. prepare for the future
C. satisfy their own desires
D. help with the family financing
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4.The article suggests that the employee quality most valued by McDonald’s is A. honesty
B. flexibility
C. conformity
D. punctuality
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. The writer adopts the dialect of the teenagers that she is writing about in A. “This independence scares them to death; next thing they know, she’ll be buying cigarettes and gadding about all hours of the night” B. “She’s on crew at McDonald’s. Three dollars an hour. When you’re sixteen and non-unionized, what can you expect? If you question the arrangement, you can get into trouble” C. “There’s no point in quitting; if you quit and then want to come back on, you start all over again at the minimum” D. “She didn’t want grill because that’s where you have to worry about ugly burns from the fryer, and your hair gets all gross from the steam, and the hats they have to wear are real stupid” ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Glossary of Literary Terms

Act - a major division of a play. Shakespearean drama is normally of five acts; modern is usually three (or less).

Allegory - prose or poetry, symbolic narration or description in which people, objects, and events directly correspond to other meanings, usually abstract, that they are intended to dramatize

Alliteration - repetition of initial consonants or consonant sounds in two or more words of a phrase, sentence, or line of poetry (see assonance, consonance)

Allusion - reference to a historical, literary, or mythical person or event, often used as part of a simile or metaphor

Ambiguity - in the literary sense, the quality of having two or more legitimate meanings that add new dimensions to the word, phrase, or entire work (rather than the more usual detraction from meaning in functional writing)

Antagonist - the character in a work of fiction opposed to the protagonist

Atmosphere - the tone or mood of a literary composition, which indicates the attitude of the writer towards his material

Ballad - short, narrative poem with repetitive form (usually of quatrains. Folk ballad is usually anonymous, sung, colloquial, heavily dependent on dialogue and refrain. Literary ballad is more complex to present a particular effect or theme.

Blank verse - unrhymed iambic pentameter (esp. Shakespeare)

Cacophony - use of unpleasant, discordant sounds for particular effects (see euphony)

Cliché - trite, worn-out phrase or idea to which fresh, active responses are no longer possible

Complication or rising action - in plot, the incident or series of incidents that lead from the point of attack to the climax

Conflict - the struggle between opposing persons or forces in fiction that constitutes the essential element of plot

Connotation - the full range of suggestions, associations, or overtones of meaning beyond denotation

Dénouement - the conclusion of the plot, the outcome of the action along with any explanations necessary

Diction - the choice of words and the manner of their arrangement peculiar to an author

Dramatic monologue - a poem in which a single speaker (who is not the poet) addresses a silent auditor in the hope of achieving a particular purpose and in the process ironically reveals his own character and his hidden motives

Elegy - a lyric poem of lament and praise for the dead

Climax - the point of maximum emotional intensity, or the turning point in the fortunes of the hero

Epic - a long poetic narrative concerned with the histories of one or more heroic characters engaged in an action of great significance.

Exposition - the portion of the plot that introduces the characters, sets the tone, and furnishes whatever information about the situation that is necessary to understand the subsequent action

Falling action - the portion of the dramatic plot that leads from climax to denouement

Figurative language - language that conveys meaning by the use of explicit or implicit comparisons

Flat character - a character with one dominant trait that governs his actions; relatively simple in comparison to round characters

Foreshadowing - an intimation of events to come

Free verse - poetry that does not use rhyme or regularized rhythm as a means of achieving coherence

Genre - a term meaning "kind" or "type" used to label the broad categories of literature (drama, essay, poetry, novel, short story)

Imagery - any figure of speech or description that helps the reader imaginatively see, feel, taste, hear, smell, or experience

Irony -(a) verbal irony - an incongruous relationship of the apparent and the real meanings of a statement
(b) situational (structural) irony - sharp contrast of events or situations (c) dramatic irony - a situation in which the audience more fully understands the significance of words or actions than do the characters

Lyric - an expository poem revealing the personal response of the poet

Metaphor - an implied comparison of some quality of two diverse objects, thoughts, etc.

Meter - the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry, described in terms of the basic unit of the pattern, the foot
(a) iambus (-’)
(b) trochee (‘-)
(c) dactyl (‘--)
(d) anapest (--’)

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