Exam 3

Dr. Diane Thompson, NVCC, ELI

Bring the following to the Testing Center of your choice:

Your Exam Pass (see left menu on Blackboard Forums page) and a photo ID
Your emplid
An outline, or notes for your essay (optional)
Printouts from WWW sources that you want to refer to in your exam
Your textbook or other print sources for stories that you want to discuss in your essay

You will write this exam in the Testing Center using the Blackboard testing system. There is no time limit, so be sure that you enter the Testing Center early enough to allow yourself as much time as you think you may need. An hour or two should be plenty. You may use a dictionary. Be sure to proofread your essay carefully before posting it to the Blackboard Exam Message Box. I will consider both the quality of the writing and the quality of the content when I grade your essay.

After you have completed the exam, it will be sent to ELI, where I will read it. I will mail your grade to you with my comments on your exam. Allow about one week for turnaround. You will not receive the exam back, nor will you be able to get back any papers you bring to the exam. I will keep a copy of your exam for one year, so you may refer to it if necessary.

This exam will ask you to select one of the groups below, or you may make up your own question. Pick any three (or more) pieces of literature that you have read in this course (you may include one text from ENG251 if you wish). You must include at least one reading from either Unit 3 or Unit 4 of ENG252.

Now, identify some interesting, relevant character, theme, issue or whatever that they have in common and write an essay comparing and contrasting them. Be sure there is some point to your comparisons, some answer to the question, "so what?" Be sure, also, to use plenty of examples from the three or more texts you have selected to support your comments.

You may use background material from your Activities in this essay. This material can include web site printouts, notes and outlines, but not the completed Activities. This print material will be collected at the Testing Center and not returned. You may bring your textbook, which will not be collected. The goal is to write an interesting essay that compares/ contrasts some issue, characters or theme from the readings you select for the exam.

Note: there may be questions on this form that are not on the form in the Testing Center, but don't worry about that. Any question on this form, or any good question of your own that deals with the relevant material, is ok.

Possible topics might include:

Thea (Hedda Gabler), Matryona, and The Mother (Six Characters): women who give their lives to their men and families

Elmire (Tartuffe), Thea and Hedda Gabler (Hedda Gabler), and Dido (Aeneid): women who try to get their way; some do and some don't
Things Fall Apart, The Breast Giver and Six Characters: dysfunctional family lives
Faust, Okonkwo (Things Fall Apart) and Roland (Song of Roland): (heroic?) men with goals and the trouble they cause others
Job (Hebrew Bible), Faust, and "Breast-Giver": varieties of human suffering in a "divine" context
Mephistopheles in Faust, the demon in "Bewitched," and "La Belle Dame sans Merci": different sorts of demons (you could add selected demons from Dante's Inferno if you wanted to)
Candide,  Six Characters, and "Breast-Giver": bitter satires on the human condition
Tartuffe (Candide), Mephistopheles (Faust), possibly Medea or Clytemnestra (Agamemnon), and Hedda Gabler: evil characters?
Okonkwo (Things Fall Apart), Turnus (Aeneid), possibly Achilles (Iliad) and Satan ("Et nox facta est"): destructive, doomed heroes

Select a group you have some interesting ideas about.

  • State your thesis at the start of your essay.
  • Develop your ideas into an essay of about 800 words.
  • Use plentiful, specific references to support your ideas.
  • Remember--your essay should have a point to it, it should be able to answer a reader's question: SO WHAT?

Contact me at Diane Thompson to explain your plans for this exam before you take it; I can be helpful at this point.

Plan to write about two hours; you may have longer if your wish. You should develop an essay of not less than eight hundred words; it may be longer if you need to say more about your topic. Be sure to support any statements you make with examples from the texts themselves. The purpose of this exam is to encourage you to demonstrate your own understanding and thinking about what you have read; there is no simple, single answer to any really interesting question.


Exam 3 is worth up to 200 points.


You develop a topic of comparison/ contrast that is relevant to the readings you select.
You contact me and discuss your proposed topic before taking the exam.
You state your topic of comparison/ contrast in a clear and complete manner at the start of your essay.
You develop your ideas into a coherent essay of about 800 words.
You use plentiful, specific references to your selected readings to support your main points.
You make sure your essay has a point (e.g. an answer to the reader's question, SO WHAT?)
You write your essay in clear, correct English.

Remember--your essay should have a point to it, it should be able to answer a reader's question: SO WHAT? If you are not sure how to do this, see A.Taormina's instructions on "How to Write a Literary Comparison Essay," which is linked to our home page.

(c) Diane Thompson: 11/14/1998; updated: 08/12/2008