Info for Alley’s English 2 Midterm Fall 2011

The midterm exam for my English 2 students at Ventura College will have one essay question and several short answer questions which you will respond to in a blue book (available at the book store for under 50c; if you can find a “green” book, one using all recycled content, that’s even better! Photo of student with Blue Book from this site

Possible short answer questions might include a description of the writing process, a definition of what a thesis is and why an academic paper needs one, strategies you can use as a writer to convey your argument, and what reading you’ve done so far this semester has interested you the most (you’ll need the author and the title of the text!)

For the essay, you will choose ONE prompt from two, and write a 1 ½ page or 350-450 word TYPED essay in response to Mark Bittman’s article “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?” You must quote at least TWICE from Bittman’s article and use proper format for in-text citations.

To prepare for the an in class writing exam, I strongly recommend you study the essay and do the following:

–write a paragraph summary of the article that includes the main points
–write a paragraph analysis of the article that focuses on the author’s argument
–write a paragraph response with your opinion about the article
–look up and learn vocabulary words you don’t know
–find a few quotes from the article that support your ideas

You might even pose a question or two to yourself and do a 10 minute writing practice on that topic and see how it goes. (Save your writing practice for credit and your notes for extra credit in your portfolio.)

This is a great strategy to use to prepare for any test, especially one that will require you to write an essay! Studying or reading material won’t help you remember it as well as writing about it will.

If you are not a very good typist, now’s the time to find an online tutorial!

Your final essay which should include

  • o an introduction containing a clear thesis
  • o at least ONE body paragraph (ideally, three)
  • o at least TWO quotations from the reading, cited correctly
  • o specific examples and support for your thesis in your body paragraph(s)
  • o a conclusion
  • o evidence of revisions and proofreading to clarify points and fix errors (this means after you write it and print it, you should look over it and make corrections in pencil)
  • o title

How can you earn an A? Learn how you will be evaluated here.

Good luck preparing for the test! It’s scheduled for next Weds. Oct 26 and Thurs. Oct 27 in the lab in Pod J.

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