take a peek at my exams

Both of my classes had exams last week. Here what they looked like:


English 433/533: Histories of Writing, Reading, and Publishing – Fall 2004
Take-home midterm examination: due on Tuesday, October 12

You may choose to answer only this question. Length should be 1,500 to 2,000 words.
1. Scholars suggest several approaches to studying the history of writing, reading, and publishing. First, assess three methodologies suggested by our texts: What are the similarities? Differences? Advantages? Disadvantages? What might a particular methodology cause us to lose sight of? Should or could one approach be developed to serve all possible inquiries?
Second, apply one of the methodologies to one of our primary texts: what questions would that particular methodology lead to you ask? How would the results of your inquiry be different if you were using a different methodology?
Or you may answer two of these. Each answer should be 750 to 1,000 words.
2. Several of our readings, both primary and secondary, have sought to define what an author is. How do these definitions differ? How is such a definition important? What is gained or lost by establishing such a definition? Discuss at least three readings and be sure to select from both the primary and the secondary texts.
3. Walter Ong and David Olson discuss the effects of writing upon individual cognition and upon culture. How does what they have to say compare to Popeís vision in The Dunciad?
4. Swift, Pope, and Birkerts lament (or lampoon) the passing from one media age into another. Compare what each of these writers has to say about the changes he perceives taking place in his culture. Are they all singing the same tune, or do they have a different understanding of the changes taking place?
Use a word processor, double space, and staple.


English 225 ñ Fall 2004 Test: Rhetorical Analysis
Explain your answers to these questions as fully as possible. No 1- or 2-word answers get full credit.
Always think about audience. 20 questions. 5 points each for a maximum possible score of 100%.
Henry Louis Gates, ìChanging Placesî
1. If all the audience has is the content of essay, what ethos does Gates have? How does his ethos change if the audience knows he is Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
2. What exigence does this essay have?
What rhetorical appeals are at work in the following passages?
3. ìLike many black people who came of age in the 60’s, I’ve always delighted in the mind-bending playfulness of the black vernacularî
4. ìAnd jokes turning on malaprops and double-entendres are among the most vital aspects of black culture.î
5. ìProfessor Labov argues that black Americans have become more monolingual since the 60’s – that fewer of them have a mastery of standard English. That’s the result of residential segregation, the fact that poor blacks tend to live with poor blacksî
6. The paragraph in which Gates quotes African-American novelist James Baldwin.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ìTextbook rewrites slaveryís realityî
What rhetorical appeals are at work in the following passages?
7. ìChildhood innocence doesnít mean childhood ignorance.î
8. The use of quotations from John Snarey
9. ì ëThey understand that it would be unfair if they were made to mow the neighbor’s lawn and didn’t get paid for ití î
Steven E. Landsburg, ìDonít Vote: It makes more sense to play the lotteryî
10. What ethos does Landsburg have?
11. How does Landsburg make use of pathos?
12. What do you make of Landsburg using the word ìyouî so much?
13. How effective is Landsburgís use of logos?
14. What exigence does this essay have?
Timothy Noah, ìThe National Museum of Ben Nighthorse Campbell: The Smithsonianís new travestyî
15. What ethos does Noah have?
16. What exigence does this essay have?
17. What tactics of definition does Noah use?
What rhetorical appeals are at work in the following passages?
18. The first sentence of the essay.
19. The third paragraph.
20. ìI have to believe that those responsible for the museum’s botched debut have felt the sting of public opprobrium and will make changes that encourage the public to take it more seriously.î
For 5 possible extra credit points, answer one of the following questions. Explain your answer fully
1. Which essay makes the most effective use of rhetoric?
2. Which essay makes the most effective use of tactics of definition?
3. Which essay makes the most effect use of epideictic rhetoric?

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