Sunday, November 25, 2012

Semester exam: 50 questions plus a brief comparison essay

Semester exams span Dec 18 to 21.

Geography class exam comprises -
a) 50 multiple-choice questions taken from quizzes posted on the class blog. An open-notes test, some of the questions will have been tweaked to add an element of rigor to this test of reading comprehension.

Answered and scored on Scantron forms.

b) Brief comparison essay of any two not-ordinarily-relatable topics. Examples:
- Rolls Royce and Lake Michigan.
- Chief Tarshar and the Empire State Bldg.
- Venice, California, and the Gulf Stream.

If you have a comparison essay question, ask my approval during class - write it in your notebook and I will initial it - or via email.

The rubric (required elements) that will guide essay writing:
1. Colorful opening. There are 3 recommended ways to create an interest-getting opening: a) use a quote b) ask a question c) write with vivid description.
2. Blend the topics continually in the paper. Do not write a block of material about one topic and then write a separate block about the other topic. Integrate the topics as you offer insight and evidence.
3) Use comparison terms:
* different from,
* the same,
* both,
* similar to,
* Neither, ... nor,
* like X is (adjective),
* ... than X is (adverb) than.
* both, ...
* either...or
* likewise
* similarly
* although,
* but neither...
* nor
* however
* on the other hand
4. Specific examples must be used to support generalities. An example: generality - The Incredibles was an awesome movie. specific - The Incredibles appealed to me because the characters (especially the mom and the teen sister) were believeable. They sounded like people I know.
5. Grammar counts.
6. Spelling, too. When in doubt, see a dictionary or ask me.
7. Punctuation is paramount. Again, ask me or your Grammar Check software.
8. Include documentation via "according to ...". This means include your source - from World Book to your little brother - in the body of your writing. Usually you place it at the end of the first or second sentence, says Grammar For Today.
9. Write a snappy title. Ways to make a title fun are to tweak a song or movie title or use alliteration. Also, write an explanatory subtitle. Example: "Dinkas are Incredibles;" "Many refugees from the Sudanese Dinka tribe have moved from poverty in east Africa to comfort in the US."

Finally, please don't put quotation marks around your title - unless you are quoting someone.