Exam 1

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 Genesis, Gilgamesh and other stories that you may want to discuss in your essay; any papers your bring will be collected and sent to me. You will not get them back. However, if you bring books, they will not be collected.

You will write this exam in the Testing Center using the Blackboard Exam 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. Allow about two hours. Be sure to edit your writing before submitting it to the Blackboard Exam Box. You may use a dictionary.

After you have completed the exam and submitted it to Blackboard, I will retrieve and read it. I will email your exam grade with my comments to your college email account. Allow several days 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 your exam on file for one year.

This exam will ask you to write an essay comparing and contrasting some aspect of Gilgamesh and one story from the Hebrew Bible that interests you. You may select a question from the list of the Activities questions comparing  Gilgamesh and the Hebrew Bible, or you may make up your own question. You may use background material from your Activities on Gilgamesh and the Hebrew Bible in this essay. This material can include notes and outlines, but not the completed Activities.

Possible topics might include:

1 Gilgamesh and Job - two heroes who struggle with divine power
2 The Flood story in Gilgamesh and in Genesis from the Hebrew Bible - two versions of a divinely caused flood
3 The story of the Fall in the Hebrew Bible and the story of Enkidu's development from part animal to all human - two explanations of how people become human, both involving sex and knowledge.
4 Ishtar and/or the Harlot in Gilgamesh and Eve in the Hebrew Bible - females who cause problems for men
5 Gilgamesh and Jonah (not in your textbook, but in any Hebrew Bible) - two journeys to the underworld fleeing from the duties and limits of human existence
6 Joseph and Gilgamesh - struggles of culture heroes in different cultures
7 Gilgamesh, Enkidu and Joseph - three dreamers of true dreams
8 A question of your own based on the reading for this unit. You must include both some aspect of the story of Gilgamesh and a single narrative or character from the Hebrew Bible. Do NOT try to write about the entire Hebrew Bible! If you want to make up your own question, send it to me via email a couple of days in advance so I can advise you whether or not to proceed with it.

Remember--your essay should have a point; it should be able to answer a reader's question: SO WHAT?

Here is a link to a site  "How to write a literary comparison" by Dr. A. Taormina. You may find it helpful when you prepare for your exam.

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

Plan to write about an hour; you may have longer if your wish. You should develop an essay of not less than five hundred words; it may be longer if you need to say more about your topic. You may bring notes and articles to the testing center; the notes and articles will be stapled to your test and returned to me. You may also bring your textbook and course guide to the testing center. You may not bring a draft of the essay, or completed Activities. 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 of these questions.


Exam 1 is worth up to 100 points.


I grade holistically, so I cannot assign specific points to specific elements of the essay. However, these are the criteria I consider when grading essays:

You develop a topic of comparison that is relevant to both Gilgamesh and the Hebrew Bible
You contact me and discuss your proposed topic before taking the exam.
You state your topic of comparison in a clear and complete manner at the start of your essay.
You develop your ideas into a coherent essay of no less than 500 words.
You use plentiful, specific references to both Gilgamesh and the Hebrew Bible; 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.


 (c) Diane Thompson :11/14/1998; updated: 07/06/2011