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 (not more than ten pages!) 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 on the Blackboard testing system.

Call the Testing Center you intend to use well ahead of time to be sure that they will be open when you intend to take the exam.

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 yourself about two hours. You may use a dictionary. Be sure to edit your writing carefully before submitting it to Blackboard.

After you have completed the exam, you will submit it to the Blackboard exam box. I will read it there and mail your grade to you with my comments on your exam. 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. The exam will be retained on Blackboard for one year.

This time you will make up your own reading response question to three selections you have chosen. At least one selection must be from Unit four; the other two may be from any readings you have done during the course. The three texts should have some interesting theme in common that you can examine, noting similarities and differences. 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 texts you have selected to support your comments about them.

First, write out your question, identifying the three texts you have selected. Then, answer your question thoughtfully, using examples from the selection to support your ideas. You may use more than three texts if you wish, but this may make your essay more difficult to compose.

Select at least three works that share some common theme that interests you. Some of these suggestions involve more than three, but feel free to select just three of them if you wish. Possible theme groups include:

Gilgamesh, Odyssey, Aeneid, Inferno and Popul Vuh: journeys to the underworld
Ishtar (Gilgamesh), Athena (Odyssey), Venus (Aeneid) and Beatrice (Divine Comedy: Inferno): divine females
Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Aeneas, Arjuna, Roland, Eliduc: various sorts of heroes
Gilgamesh, Odyssey, Arabian Nights, Inferno, Popul Vuh: interesting monsters
Gilgamesh, Genesis, Job, Popul Vuh, Odyssey, Aeneid, Bhagavad-Gita, Inferno: profound conflicts between human beings and divinity.
Kirke, Medea, Dido, Ying Ying, Guildeluec: rejected women
Gilgamesh, Jason, Aeneas, Eliduc and/or Chang from The Story of Ying Ying: some men who reject women who love them
Gilgamesh, Odyssey, Aeneid, Arabian Nights, Decameron (Ninth Tale of the Fifth Day; Frederigo and Monna Giovanna): parents and the children they love/advise
Oedipus, Aeneid, Arabian Nights, Inferno: fate and free will.
Ishtar, Medea, Kassandra, Clytemnestra, Dido, Brother Alberto (from Decameron), Paolo and Francesca (from Inferno), Ying Ying: from love to misery
Gilgamesh, Agamemnon, Creon, Oedipus, Shahrayar, the Lords of Death (Popul Vuh), various characters in the Inferno: tyrant rulers
Adam and Eve; Utnapishtim and his wife; Odysseus and Penelope; Shahrayar and Shahrazad; Eliduc and his two wives: marriage in different cultures
Job, Oedipus, Aeneas, Arjuna, Roland, Dante's Narrator: trying to do the right thing

You get the idea. There are many more possibilities, depending on your interests.

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 discuss your plans for this exam before you take it; I can be helpful, and I'd like to communicate with you about your ideas. Do NOT send me a full outline or a draft of the essay. I will not read those. However, I will read and respond to statements of the texts/characters/themes you intend to write about and what your "point" will be.

Plan to write for about two hours. You should develop an essay of eight hundred  to one thousand 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 to the testing center. If you are using electronic texts, you may bring up to ten pages printed out to use for the exam; this will force you to plan carefully in advance. 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.

For the exam itself, discuss the group you have selected. Look at the similarities and differences between/among the works in your group. Be sure to ask yourself, "so what?" and try to answer that question. This will help you to focus your discussion. Be sure to use plenty of specific examples from the texts you choose to support your ideas.


Exam 3 is worth up to 200 points.


You develop a topic of comparison that is relevant to the texts you have chosen to write about
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 800-1000 words.
You use plentiful, specific references to the texts you are writing about 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