American Literature End of Course Test Study Guide Condensed Version Source This PowerPoint is an adaption of the 2008 American Literature and Composition Study Guide which can be found at the Georgia Department of Education website: www.doe.k12.ga.us The EOCT at a Glance
The EOCT will serve as your final exam for American Literature and is, therefore, averaged as 15% of your final course grade The EOCT will be administered over two days in two 60 minute sections Each of the two sections will consist of 40 multiple choice questions All of the informational and literary reading passages will either be pieces from American literature or pieces about American literature The Day of the Test Eat a good breakfast Dress appropriately
Arrive on time! If you miss the test and do not make it up on the makeup day, you automatically fail the course Leave prohibited electronic and cellular devices at home. Your test proctor will collect these before beginning the test, but an electronic or cellular violation can invalidate your test scores and cause you to fail the course Suggested Strategies During the EOCT Focus on the test. Try to block out whatever is going on around you. Take your time and think about what you are asked to do. Listen carefully to all the directions. Budget your time. Be sure that you allocate an appropriate
amount of time to work on each question on the test. Take a quick break if you begin to feel tired. To do this, put your pencil down, relax in your chair, and take a few deep breaths. Then, sit up straight, pick up your pencil, and begin to concentrate on the test again. Remember that each test section is only 60 minutes. Use positive self-talk. If you find yourself saying negative things to yourself such as I cant pass this test, it is important to recognize that you are doing this. Stop and think positive thoughts such as I prepared for this test, and I am going to do my best. Letting the negative thoughts take over can affect how you take the test and can influence your test score. Mark in your test booklet. Mark key ideas or things you want to come back to in your test booklet. Remember that only the answers marked on your answer sheet will be scored.
Suggested Strategies During the EOCT Read the entire question and the possible answer choices. It is important to read the entire question so you know what it is asking. Read each possible answer choice. Do not mark the first one that looks good. Use what you know. Use what you have learned in class, from this study guide, and during your study sessions to help you answer the questions. Use content domain-specific strategies to answer the questions. In the TEST CONTENT section, there are a number of specific strategies that you can use to help improve your test performance. Spend time learning these helpful strategies so you can use them while taking the test. Think logically. If you have tried your best to answer a question but you are not sure, use the process of elimination. Look at each
possible answer choice. If it does not seem like a logical response, eliminate it. Do this until youve narrowed your choices. If this does not work, take your best educated guess. It is better to mark something than to leave it blank. Check your answers. When you have finished the test, go back and check your work. Content Domains The American literature EOCT is designed to test four major areas of knowledge, called content domains. The domains are as follows: I. Reading and American Literature II. Reading Across the Curriculum/Listening, Speaking, and Viewing
III. Writing IV. Conventions A Note on Reading Passages Here is a short sample of what an informational passage might look like. The Dime Novel What were people reading in the latter half of the 19th century? One popular type of book was known as the dime novel. Dime novels were typically cheaply made paperback books that cost about a dime. Dime novels were popular from 1860 to around the turn of the century. These short novels were often historical action adventures or detective stories. The stories tended to be sensational and melodramatic. When Beadle and Adams
published the first dime novel, it quickly became a huge success, selling over 300,000 copies in one year. A Note on Reading Passages The information in the passage above is strictly factual. Literary passages, however, will tell a story or express an idea. Literary passages (fiction) often have characters and a plot structure. Examples of literary writing include: short stories novels narratives poetry
drama Content Domain I: Reading and American Literature Content Domain I The following types of passages may be used: Essay (literary, persuasive, instructional) Workplace documents such as job applications; consumer documents such as advertisements and Web pages Biography Autobiography (including memoir and personal narrative) Expository (informational) Narrative (fiction and nonfiction) Speech
Poem Drama Review of Literary Terms Literary Terms 1. Alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of identical beginning consonant sounds. You may have been introduced to alliteration with the tongue twister, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. The repetition of the consonant p makes this line memorable. Alliteration adds emphasis to meaning and a rhythmic quality to a line of poetry or a sentence in
a short story. Literary Terms 2. Flashback. In flashback, the author interrupts the scene of a narrative to tell about earlier events. The event is often told from a particular characters point of view, perhaps as he or she recalls an event from memory: Lana thought back to her first visit to the beach. This technique allows writers to reveal more about character and plot without disturbing the momentum of the story. Look for time order words such as when, after, before, and earlier to help you detect flashback.
Literary Terms 3. Foreshadowing. An author often gives hints or clues as to what will happen in a story. This technique is called foreshadowing. Foreshadowing prepares the reader for what is to come, at the same time creating suspense. For example, as a boy is packing for a camping trip, the author may describe a multi-tooled camping knife in great detail. That same knife will become significant later as a tool for making a fire when the boy finds himself alone in the wilderness. The author has left a clue as to its importance. Literary Terms 4. Hyperbole. Pronounced hi PER
bowl lee, hyperbole simply means exaggeration. Authors use hyperbole for emphasis or humorous effect. The sentence She tramped through the house like an elephant thundering through the jungle is an example of hyperbole. It creates a vivid but exaggerated picture of how a girl moves through a house. Literary Terms 5. Irony. Does it seem like it always rains on the weekends, never on weekdays? Thats ironic. There are three types of irony. When things happen that are in direct contrast to what we expect (or would like to happen), situational
irony occurs. When people say one thing but mean the oppositesuch as saying Isnt this a lovely day? on the rainy Saturday you had hoped to play a baseball gamethey use verbal irony. The third type, dramatic irony, happens when the reader knows something the character doesntthat the character is about to have a surprise party, for example. Literary Terms 6. Metaphor. Metaphor is one of the most commonly used literary devices. A metaphor compares two things directly, without using the words like or as. One famous metaphor comes from William Shakespeares As You Like It : All
the worlds a stage, And all the men and women merely players. Here, and throughout the rest of this speech, Shakespeare says that daily life is pretty much like a stage play. Metaphor is a sort of shorthand, allowing an author to convey a lot of information in a very condensed way. Extended metaphors continue the comparison throughout the work. In the novel A RiverRuns Through It, Norman Maclean uses the river as an extended metaphor for life. Extended metaphors are a common structure in poetry. Literary Terms 7. Onomatopoeia. Splash, fizz, honk, whoosh, buzzall of these words are examples of onomatopoeia (ah no
MAH toe PEE uh), or the technique of forming words that imitate specific sounds. Onomatopoetic words precisely fill a void, bridging a critical gap between sound and written language. Literary Terms 8. Paradox. A paradox is a statement that at first seems self-contradictory but that upon reflection makes sense. The phrase less is more is an example of a paradox. In poetry, paradoxes are used to provoke fresh insight from old ideas.
Literary Terms 9. Personification. Personification gives human characteristics to animals, objects, or ideas. Youve probably read some of Aesops fables. In fables, the animals exhibit human qualities such as greed, compassion, cleverness, and wisdom, usually in order to teach a lesson about life. Personification helps us relate the unfamiliar to the familiar and strengthens the meaning of a poem or story. Literary Terms 10. Pun. Puns are plays on words that have similar meanings, as in the
following example: When you step on a scale and discover you have gained ten pounds, its time to scale back your eating habits. Although puns are usually clever and witty, they often make us groan when we understand the double meanings of the words. Authors use puns most often to add humor, but also to call attention to dialogue or to illuminate character. Literary Terms 11. Refrain. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh! This is probably one of the most famous
examples of a refrain, a word, phrase, or series of lines that is repeated, adding rhythm and emphasis to a song or poem. Speechmakers also use refrains to make speeches more dramatic, rhythmic, and memorable. Literary Terms 12. Repetition. Repetition is simply the act of repeating words and phrases throughout a work, or repeating literary devices such as metaphors, symbols, or types of imagery. Repetition calls attention to the idea that is being repeated and gives it added importance. For example, an author may use an image of a watch several times during a story. The image
may be emphasizing the idea that time passes by swiftly. You can be sure that whatever is being repeated in a story or poem is essential to understanding its complete meaning. Literary Terms 13. Simile. Like a metaphor, a simile compares two things. The difference is that a simile uses explicit words to make the comparison, such as like or as. Similes have the same effect as metaphors: they say a great deal using very few words. Here is an example: The ants trailed under the canopy of leaves like a train moving slowly into the station. Note that the comparison is unexpected; we dont usually associate ants with trains. Yet the comparison
helps us picture the ants moving at a slow, steady pace, one after the other, like the cars on a train. Literary Terms 14. Symbol. A symbol is a person, place, or object that has significance beyond its surface meaning. Symbols are common in everyday life; people use flags to represent countries, doves to represent peace, roses to represent love. In literature, symbols are usually not so obvious. For example, on a literal level a plow is just a farm tool, but it can take on deeper significance depending on its context. In a story about a family establishing a farm during the 1800s, the plow may come to symbolize the demanding
and endless drudgery of pioneer life. Literary Terms 15. Tone. The tone is the emotion created by the authors use of language or by a characters words and actions. It is also the authors attitude or feeling toward a person, a thing, a place, an event, or a situation. For example, the tone may be formal, informal, playful, ironic, optimistic, or pessimistic. Varying the words and punctuation can change the tone of a characters speech dramatically. Dialogue Tone Will you give me the key? he pleaded. Begging May I please have the key? he asked. Polite Give me the key right now! he screamed. Angry
Literary Terms 16. Understatement. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole. It minimizes or lessens the importance of what is meant. For example, if you are sweltering in 100-degree heat in Atlanta and you say, Its a little warm here, you have made an understatement. Chronological Order The most common structure of a novel or story is chronological. The story is arranged in order of time from the beginning to the end. The
structures that follow are less common. Epistolary Novel An epistolary novel is a novel written in the form of letters, diary/journal entries, postcards, or e- mail. There may be several letter writers, but the author is omniscient. Alice Walkers The Color Purple is an example of a contemporary epistolary novel. Frame Narrative In a frame narrative, a story is told within a story. A narrator
often relates the story. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving, is an example. In medias res In medias res is a Latin term for in the middle of things. The novel or story begins with a significant moment. The rest of the novel fills in the events leading up to the significant moment. Flashback is used extensively in this novel structure. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, is written in this structure.
Literary Influences In addition to knowing the structure of a novel or short story, you will be asked to identify the influences on American literature. The standard Relate American literary works to other literary documents or non-literary documents from their historical period or setting will provide you with the necessary background on influences from American literary periods. You should also review Greek and Roman myths and literature. The chart of gods and goddesses on the next slide should get you started. Books on Greek and Roman mythology can give you more of a background. Gods and Goddesses
Greek Name Roman Name Description Zeus Jupiter, Jove King of the gods Hera
Juno Aphrodite Venus Goddess of love Apollo Apollo God of music, poetry, and prophecy Ares
Mars God of war Athena Minerva Eros Cupid God of love Hades
Pluto God of the underworld Poseidon Neptune Goddess of fertility; wife of Zeus Goddess of wisdom God of the sea
Sample Question Questions for this standard might look like this: Which quote by Henry David Thoreau BEST reflects transcendentalist ideals? A. It is never too late to give up your prejudices. B. Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. C. On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning. D. Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. Sample Question To answer this question, you need to remember that transcendentalists believed in the unity of all beings, the
innate goodness of humans, and the divinity found in nature. Choice C, which mentions all three of these aspects, is the BEST answer. The other three quotes make strong statements, but none discuss the ideas of nature and connectedness as well as C. Sample Question Read the sample passage below and answer the sample question that follows from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The sun was up so high when I waked, that I judged it was after eight oclock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade, thinking about things and feeling rested and
ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out at one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the freckled places swapped about a little, showing there was a little breeze up there. What does the imagery in the passage BEST suggest? Sample Question In the passage, Huck knows what time it is by the location of the sun, and he knows there is a breeze in the treetops because the freckled places move on the ground. He is a good
observer of nature, and the fact that he is laying in the grass thinking about things suggests his is trying to understand larger issues. The correct answer choice, A, best describes the function of the imagery in the passage. The other answer choices are all inaccurate: he is clearly comfortable in the woods; in spite of the distant sunlight the overall scene is cool and gloomy; and he has obviously slept well because he is rested and ruther comfortable. Sample Question The questions for this standard may be based on any type of nonfiction material. You will be asked to analyze and explain the structures of
nonfiction works such as letters, journals and diaries, speeches, and essays. A question that addresses nonfiction may look like this: Which statement BEST describes a main difference between journals and diaries? A. A journal is more likely than a diary to be published. B. A journal mostly contains secret thoughts and feelings. C. A diary mostly records a specific event or period of time. D. A diary is more formal and carefully written than a journal. Sample Question The question specifically draws on your knowledge of diaries and journals. A diary is an autobiographical record of the writers actions, feelings, and thoughts. Written to remain private, a diary can include very personal and frank information.
A journal is a record of events and ideas, but of a less personal nature. Someone traveling around the world might keep a journal detailing all the sights and sounds of her voyage. Upon her return, she might share her journal willingly with others. Choice A is the only choice that correctly describes a main difference between journals and diaries. Because they are less private and more likely to be shared with others, many journals are published as reflections and memoirs of a certain time or experience. Choice B is incorrect because it confuses journals and diaries; it is diaries that are more private. Choices C and D also confuse the two genres; diaries are generally not limited by time or topic, and the writing is casual and personal. Since they are usually for the writers own eyes, the writing can be relaxed and informal. Fact vs. Opinion
A fact is a statement that can be proven. An opinion is a statement that cannot be proven because it states a writers belief or judgment about something. Read the two sentences below. Which states a fact, and which states an opinion? 1. For dinner, we had meatloaf, carrots, and green beans. 2. For dinner, we had the most mouthwatering, delicious meal ever. Fact vs. Opinion Sentence 1 is straight forward. The facts could be checked and verified. Sentence 2 is a judgment. It expresses the authors opinion
about the meal. Another dinner guest may not have liked the meal or may have thought it was only average. Deciding whether or not a statement is a fact or opinion often comes down to a single question: Can you prove it? If you can prove a statement somehow, then it is a fact. If not, its an opinion. Poetry For the poetry part of this standard, you will have to identify and respond to the literary devices reviewed earlier in this standard. You will also have to answer questions about devices and structures that are more particular to poetry. For example, you will need to know about sound devices that make
poetry sound the way it does. You will also need to identify the topic of the poemwhat its aboutand its themewhat statement it makes about life or society. Then youll need to identify how the poet creates the topic and the theme. As you read poetry, you hear the writing in your mind. Sound devices make poetry sound better in your mind. These sound devices include that follow. Poetic Rhyme Rhyme. Rhyme is the repetition of sounds, most commonly heard at the ends of lines in poetry, as in Twinkle, twinkle, little star / how I wonder what you are. Rhyme can occur at every line, every other line, or wherever the poet decides. Not all poems rhyme, nor do they
have to, but rhyme can emphasize ideas or images and unify thought, as well as add a musical quality to a poem. When you read a poem that has rhyme, look at the rhyming words and see how they contribute to the overall meaning of the poem. The chart on the next page will explain some of the different types of rhyme. Types of Rhyme Type Definition End rhyme
Rhymes that occur at the end of a line of poetry; the most common type of rhyme My Dog was bad, Now I am mad Rhyme occurring within a line of poetry The first line from Edgar Allen Poes poem The Raven: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and
weary, Also called a near rhyme, half rhyme, or off rhyme. The final consonant sounds are the same but the vowel sounds are different parable and shell green and gone bone and moon A kind of slant rhyme. Words have the same beginning and ending
consonant sounds but a chitter and chatter spoiled and spilled Internal rhyme Slant rhyme Consonance Example Poetic Form While sound devices and figures of speech are important in poetry, the structure of a poem is often its most
distinctive characteristic. Poems are written in stanzas, or lines. These stanzas are in fixed form or free form. Fixed form is what most people consider typical poetry: its written in traditional verse and generally rhymes. Some fixed form poems have specific requirements on length, rhyme scheme, and number of syllables. A sonnet, for example, is a 14-line rhymed poem. Free form, or free verse poetry, follows no specific guidelines about rhyme, meter, or length. Free verse tries to capture the cadence of regular speech. Some stanzas may rhyme but not in a regular scheme. Blank verse is a poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter, a pattern of five iambic feet per line. An iambic foot is one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.
Types of Poetry The subject matter of poems is also important. Some poems are narrative poems. The main purpose of a narrative poem is to tell a story. A ballad is a narrative poem, often of folk origin, intended to be sung. It consists of simple stanzas and usually has a refrain. Lyric poetry expresses a persons thoughts or feelings. Elegies, odes, and sonnets are types of lyric poems. A sonnet is a 14- line poem with a fixed rhyme scheme. There are two main types of sonnets, each with its own distinctive rhyme scheme. A Petrarchan sonnet is divided into an octave (the first eight lines) and a sestet (the next six lines). The rhyme scheme is abbaabba cdecde. The rhyme scheme of an English, or Shakespearean sonnet, is abab cdcd efef gg. A Shakespearean sonnet is written in iambic pentameter. The final part of the poetry standard asks you to
sort and classify poems according to these forms and structures presented on the previous pages. Sample Question You will have to answer questions like the following: Why is this poem considered a lyric? A. B. C. D. because it expresses the poets love for Greece because it tells the story of the poets trip to Greece because of its abab rhyme scheme because it is meant to be sung
Sample Question Choice B describes a narrative poem. Choice C describes the rhyme scheme, which identifies the poem as fixed verse but not necessarily a lyric. Choice D confuses the meaning of lyric with the meaning of lyrics. Choice A is the correct answer since a lyric poem expresses thoughts and feelings. Figurative Language Questions for this domain will also test your ability to identify types of figurative language that are often
found in poetry, but that can also be found in texts of all genres. You have already familiarized yourself with personification, simile, and metaphor. You should also review the terms that follow. Figurative Language Allusion: An implied or indirect reference to a person, place, or thing that is fictitious, historical, or real. For example, if you call a situation a catch-22, you are alluding to Joseph Hellers novel Catch-22, which describes a problematic situation in which there is no right
or easy answer. Figurative Language Conceit: An elaborate or extended simile or metaphor. Colonial poet Anne Bradstreet used a conceit when she compared her husband to the sun. Figurative Language Metonymy: A figure of speech where the name of a thing is being substituted for another word or term closely associated with it. For example, we may use the White House to refer to the president.
Figurative Language Synecdoche: A figure of speech closely related to metonymy. A part is used to represent the whole or vice versa. Examples include using hands to refer to sailors (all hands on deck), wheels to represent car (buy some new wheels), or Central to refer to the members of the Central High School basketball team (Central won the tournament). Figurative Language Some questions in the poetry portion of this standard will ask you to
understand these mechanisms of figurative language in a poem. If you become familiar with these terms and their definitions, you will more easily be able to answer these questions related to works of poetry. Sample Question Daffodils By William Wordsworth I WANDERD lonely as a cloud That floats on high oer vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretchd in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazedand gazedbut little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils. Sample Question Which feature of William Wordsworths poem Daffodils is an example of conceit? A. B. C. D.
Daffodils are described as a crowd. Daffodils are described as happy. Daffodils are compared to stars. Daffodils are compared to dancers. Sample Question The correct answer is choice D. The daffodils are compared to dancers throughout the poem. Wordsworth describes them as dancing in the breeze and tossing their heads in sprightly dance, and describes them as more gleeful than the dancing waves. The other descriptions/ comparisons are examples of metaphor (choice A), personification (choice B), and
simile (choice C), and the comparison to dancers is an extended metaphor, or conceit Drama The last part of this standard focuses on drama, or dramatic literature. You will need to identify and analyze types of dramatic literature. The two most common types are tragedies and comedies. A tragedy is a serious play that ends in disaster and sorrow. A comedy is a lighthearted play intended to amuse the audience. Comedies usually end happily. Types of Drama
Tragedies and comedies are not the only kinds of drama. Heres a short list of the other kinds of drama youll be expected to recognize. A political drama is a drama or play with a political component, advocating a certain point of view or describing a political event. Modern drama, like all modern literature, explores themes of alienation and disconnectedness. Modern drama, which became popular in the early 1900s, strives to let the audience feel as if it is peering in on real- life situations and experiencing real- life emotions. The theatre of the absurd refers to plays written in the 1950s and 1960s with the basic belief that human existence is absurd, or without meaning. The play itself often lacks the usual conventions of plot, character, or setting. Edward Albees The American Dream (1960) is considered the first American absurdist drama.
Drama As with other literary genres in this standard, you will need to analyze the characters, structures, and themes of dramatic literature. In order to answer these questions, use what you know about these elements in other genres to answer the questions related to dramatic literature. You also need to review terms that are more specific to drama. Dramatic conventions are rules in which the actors and audience engage during a play. Some conventions relate to how the audience and the actors interact. For example, the audience knows to become quiet when the lights dim. Another example is the fourth wall, the imaginary wall that is supposedly removed to allow the
audience to peer into a room to see the drama unfold. Drama Expressionism refers to both a type of drama and the way it is portrayed on the stage. This dramatic style exaggerates reality. On the stage, expressionism is known for its use of bright lights, loud sounds, colorful scenery, and expressive dialogue. Minimalism is the opposite of expressionism. It relies on sparse scenery and limited dialogue. Dramatic irony is a situation in which the audience knows more than the character onstage. A character does or says something
of greater importance than he or she knows. The audience, however, is aware of the meaning and importance of the act or speech. Drama Unlike other literary genres, dramatic literature requires that some direction be given to the characters. These stage directions might include how and where to move onstage. Playwrights give directions in relation to the actors and the physical stage. For example, stage left is the actors left as he or she faces the audience. Playwrights also offer stage directions on how a character should act or how a set should appear. These directions are written in italics and included in brackets in the text of the play. Stage directions might be as detailed as this: [Unbuttoning his overcoat and stepping away from the stove, he
turns to face his son.] Or the stage directions might be as simple as this: [The father enters stage left.] The final part of this standard asks you to identify and analyze how dramatic conventions support and enhance interpretation of dramatic literature. To answer questions in this section, you will need to apply what you have learned about dramatic conventions. Sample Question A question for this part of the standard might look like this: Which situation is an example of dramatic irony? A. A characters secret is overheard by someone hiding in the room. The audience
can see the eavesdropper, but the character cannot. B. A character finishes a task and then says, Thanks so much for all your help to someone who has not offered any help. C. A play is staged with a three-walled set depicting a living room. The characters are unaware of the audience viewing the action through the missing wall. D. A play consists mainly of dialogue, spoken between two characters who sit in chairs upon an empty stage. Sample Question The situation described in choice A is correct. Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows something that a
character does not know; viewers are in on a secret of which the character is unaware. Choice B is an example of a different kind of irony: verbal irony, or sarcasm, involves saying one thing and meaning another. Choice C is an example of the fourth wall, and choice D is an example of minimalism. Theme The theme is the central idea of a text. It refers to universal views on life and society that can be discerned from the reading of a text. The theme is not the same as the main idea, which focuses strictly on the content. The theme is also not the same as
the plot. Most literary works have one or more themes that are expressed through the plot. To help you identify a works theme or themes, you might ask yourself: Why did the author have this happen? What point do you think the author was trying to make? What greater significance might this event have? Theme Still Confused About Themes? Here are some more points to consider: Does the title suggest the theme? How does the main character change by the end of the passage? Does the change reflect the theme?
Are there any symbols in the work? (Symbols are often clues to the theme.) Theme Questions in this standard will also ask you to analyze and compare universal themes characteristic of American literature. These include American individualism, the American dream, cultural diversity, and tolerance, as well as other themes covered in your class. Theme in American Literature
American individualism is one of the most pervasive themes in American literature. The colonists who first arrived in North America came seeking freedom to practice their individual religion. Others came looking for opportunities that they could not get in closed, class-based societies. Since those early days, Americans have celebrated individual ambition and achievement. The self-made man is a common theme in American literature. American individualism is closely linked to the American dream, the idea that anyone in the United States can become whatever he or she wants to become. Generally, the American dream includes achieving a certain level of prosperity through hard work, determination, and perseverance.
Theme in American Literature Cultural diversity is also a universal theme in American literature. Although there are examples to the contrary, America has always welcomed individuals of diverse backgrounds to the United States. A central metaphor for the United States is that of the melting pot, where different groups of people come together to become Americans. Some people argue that the United States is more like a salad bowl, where each element retains its separate identity while making up part of the whole. Whether you are a melting pot or a salad bowl believer, you cannot
deny that American literature reflects this cultural diversity. Theme in American Literature Tolerance is another theme found in American literature. Religious tolerance was one of the earliest principles in American life. Much of American literature discusses how well America and its citizens have done in their quest for tolerance. Questions for this standard might include paired passages. You may be asked to compare and contrast the presentation of universal themes in the paired passages. For
example, one passage might be from Ralph Ellisons novel Invisible Man, about an African Americans struggle to regain his identity. Sample Question From Ralph Ellisons Invisible Man I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization that everyone else seems to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself. Another passage might be an excerpt from Kate Chopins The Awakening, a novel about a womans awakening to her identity.
[Mr. Pontellier] could see plainly that [his wife] was not herself. That is, he could see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world. Sample Question A question related to both passages might look like this: Which universal theme of American literature is MOST apparent in both passages? A. B. C. D.
individualism American dream cultural diversity equality Sample Question Both passages discuss the main characters search for meaning and identity in their lives. They want to create their own lives outside of societys norms. Choice A is correct because both passages focus on the characters quest for individualism. Choice B is incorrect because neither character is particularly focused on the economic prosperity often associated with the American dream. Both works certainly reflect the cultural diversity of America, but that
diversity is not what motivates the characters. Therefore, choice C is incorrect. Choice D is incorrect for similar reasons. Remember that you must always choose the BEST answer, not just a good one. Periods of American Literature A literary period is an artistic attitude of shared characteristics. These characteristics may include the style of writing, the genre, or the subject matter. The work of a certain literary period may be a response to historical events, but it is not the
same as the historical period. Periods of American Literature American fiction began with the oral histories of Native American and the writings of early explorers and settlers of North America and extended through the Colonial and Romantic eras. Literary output increased with the start of the Westward Expansion and Industrial Age. The two world wars of the twentieth century impacted the styles and themes of American fiction in profound ways. The beliefs and values of the Cold War, Civil Rights and Electronic eras continue to influence experimental as well as traditional
writers of contemporary American fiction. Periods of American Literature The chart below gives an overview of the important movements and periods in American literature. Study the approximate dates and characteristics of each so that you are able to classify a work of literature based on its style and content. Literary Movement Time Period Characteristics
of the Movement Representative Writers Native American Period Pre-16201840 Celebrates the natural word Oral tradition; original authors and words are
largely unknown Colonial Period 1620-1750 Focuses on historical events, daily life, moral attitudes (Puritanism), political unrest William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Jonathan Edwards, Edward Taylor
Revolutionary Period and Nationalism 1750-1815 Celebrates nationialism and patriotism and examines what it means to be American Political writings by Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas
Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison Romanticism and Transcendentalis m 1800-1855 Celebrates individualism, nature, imagination, emotions Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Emily
Dickinson, Walt Periods of American Literature Literary Movement Time Period Characteristics of the Movement Representative Writers
Realism 1850-1900 Examines realities of life, human frailty; regional culture (local color) Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Kate Chopin Naturalism
1880-1940 Views life as a set of natural laws to be discovered Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, James T. Farrell Modern Period 1900-1950 Themes of alienation,
disconnectedness; experiments with new techniques, use of irony and understatement T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck Postmodern Period
1950present Nontraditional topics and structures; embrace of changing reality Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oats, J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, Theodore Periods of American Literature
Questions may ask you to identify the time period during which a work was written or to identify characteristics that illustrate why a work belongs to a particular time period. Questions for this standard may include paired passages. You might see questions like these: Which detail from the passage informs the reader of the time period? The poem is characteristic of which period in American Literature? Which characteristics of the Modern Period are found in both the story and the poem? Sample Question A question for this standard may look like this:
from Little Women by Louise May Alcott Laurie lay luxuriously swinging to and fro in his hammock one warm September afternoon, wondering what his neighbours were about, but too lazy to go and find out. He was in one of his moods; for the day had been both unprofitable and unsatisfactory, and he was wishing he could live it over again. The hot weather made him indolent, and he had shirked his studies, tried Mr. Brookes patience to the utmost, displeased his grandfather by practising half the afternoon, frightened the maid-servants half out of their wits by mischievously hinting that one of his dogs was
Sample Question Which line best illustrates the passages gloomy tone? A. Laurie lay luxuriously swinging to and fro B. the day had been both unprofitable and unsatisfactory C. he had frightened the maid-servants half out of their wits by mischievously hinting that one of his dogs was going mad D. he had flung himself into his hammock, to fume over the stupidity of the world in general Sample Question The tone of the passage is gloomy, but the line that BEST illustrates this is choice D. Lauries action (flung himself) and thoughts (fume over the
stupidity) show the grumpiness and negativity that run throughout the passage and contribute to its gloomy tone. Choices AC all suggest a feeling of discontent, but choice D is the best answer because it most thoroughly and vividly reflects the overall tone. EOCT Strategy As you are answering questions on the EOCT, you should always try to answer the question BEFORE you read the answer choices. Once you have decided what the answer is, you should look at the choices. Are there any choices close to your answer? That is probably the correct answer. Looking at the answer choices first,
before you have a clear idea of the correct answer, may confuse you. Some of the answer choices will be close to the correct answer, and if you are unsure of the correct answer, you may choose the close, but wrong, answer. Citation For this standard, you will also be asked questions on formal works cited and bibliographies. You should know whether it is necessary to include a bibliography or a list of works cited with a piece of writing. If the ideas you are writing about or the words you are writing are not your own, you need to acknowledge where those words and ideas originated by including a
bibliographic citation. Citations give credit to the author of the original idea and help readers find more information. Sample Question For example, you might be asked to decide if a bibliography is required: Which student paper would most likely include a bibliography? A. B. C. D. a story for a creative writing class a letter to the school newspaper
a research paper about cloning an essay about a personal experience Sample Question The correct choice is C. For a research paper, you will need to read from other sources and include references to those sources in your paper. Personal letters and essays do not usually require bibliographies, and a creative story (fiction) will consist of your own words and ideas. Although they both cite outside sources, there is a difference between a bibliography and a list of works cited. For more information about when to use each one, see the section Documenting Your Sources on page 68 in Content Domain
III. Vocabulary Some questions for this standard will ask you to understand and acquire new vocabulary words that are appropriate for high school students. You will be asked to use your knowledge of mythology, the Bible, and various works of American and British literature to determine the meanings of new words. Items will also test your ability to use dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias. Idioms
To demonstrate your knowledge of vocabulary, you will need to be familiar with certain terms. Idioms are phrases or expressions that are peculiar to a particular language. The meaning of the idiom does not correspond to the literal meaning of the words. For example, if you look like the cat who swallowed the canary, have you really become a cat or swallowed a canary? Instead, you are satisfied with something that happened or have experienced a great success. Cognates Cognates are words that have the same origin or are related in some
way to words in other languages. You can use your knowledge of other languages to help you understand the meanings of certain words. Examples of cognates are night (English), noche (Spanish), notte (Italian), and nuit (French). All are derived from an Indo-European language. Figurative Language Like idioms, figurative language is understood by not simply defining the words in the phrase. You will need to distinguish between literal and figurative meanings of words and phrases. (Literal refers to the primary meaning of a word or phrase.) For
example, if someone tells you to open the door, you can be fairly confident that you are, in fact, to open a physical portal. If someone tells you to open the door to your heart, you are not expected to find a door in your chest. Instead, you are to open up your feelings and emotions. Identifying Word Meaning The English language was not created from scratch. It consists of borrowed words and word parts from many different languages. In particular, many words are formed from combinations of Greek or Latin prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. You can use your
knowledge of these word parts to help you determine the meaning of a word. To answer questions for this standard, you will also have to use your knowledge of mythology, the Bible, and other works of literature to help define new words. Sample Question A question may look something like this: Which word is derived from the Greek name for the god of war? A. B. C. D.
martial panic titanic volcano Sample Question From your review of Greek mythology in the first standard of this domain, you know that Mars is the Greek god of war. Therefore, choice A is correct. Martial means relating to war. The remaining answer choices are also derived from Greek mythology. Can you name the god or gods for choices B, C, and D? Answers: B. Pan C. Titans D. Vulcan.
Identifying Word Meaning Here are some other examples of words based on Greek mythology. Word Greek Origin narcissism mercurial echo cereal
Narcissus Mercury Echo Ceres Reference Sources Questions for this standard will also test your ability to use reference materials. Which reference book would you consult to find a definition for the above vocabulary terms? As you know, a dictionary is your best source for the definition and spelling of words. You can also discover a words origin or etymology in a dictionary.
Reference Sources Which reference source would you use to learn about the Greek myth behind the term? To get more detailed information on subject areas, you can look in an encyclopedia. If you need help with diction or just dont want to keep using the same word over and over, you should turn to a thesaurus to find synonyms and related words. Domain II: Reading Across the Curriculum/
Listening, Speaking, and Viewing Sample Question Questions for this standard measure your ability to use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. The tested words are ones that high school students are not likely to know. Short phrases may also be tested under this standard. A question may look something As it is used in paragraph 4, the word truncated most like means this: nearly A.
B. C. D. modified added shortened replaced Sample Question Truncated is a difficult word. But you can use context clues to help determine its meaning. The context of an unknown word is simply the words that appear before and after it. Understanding the words around an unknown word should help give you clues to
its meaning. Look at the words around Everyone couldin tell it had once been a huge tree. The roots truncated the sample below: at its base were as large as a grown person. When the tree died, someone had used a chainsaw to cut away most of the tree. All that was left was a truncated
stump of wood. The stump made a picnic table that could seat eight people around it comfortably. Sample Question The words around truncated should give you a good idea about what it means. There was once a large tree; what happened to it? Most of it was cut down, leaving only a truncated stump of wood. What remained could best be described as a shortened, or truncated, piece of wood. Therefore, choice C is the right answer for the question.
EOCT Strategy When you are faced with an unknown word, go back to the passage. Start reading two sentences before the word appears, a nd continue reading for two sentences afterwards. If that does not give you enough clues, look elsewhere in the passage. By reading the context in which the word appears, you may be able to make an educated guess. EOCT Strategy To answer questions for this standard, look at the answer choices. Does one seem the most likely? Try plugging it into the sentence to
replace the word in the question. Does the word from the answer choice make sense in the sentence? If so, it is probably the correct answer. If not, try plugging in another answer choice. Mass Media What is Mass Media? Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites are all different channels through which Americans can receive information. Since some or all of these media are available to the majority of Americans every day, a large mass of people use them as their source for information. Taken together,
all these different modes of communication television, radio, newsprint, etc.are often referred to as mass media. Common Modes of Rhetoric 1. Narration. Narrative writing tells a story. This story can be true (like a firsthand account in a magazine article) or completely made up (a short story with talking dragons). Narrative writing usually has a story with a plot, a climax, and a resolution of events in the story.
Common Modes of Rhetoric 2. Description. As its name suggests, descriptive writing uses language to describe a person, place, or thing. Descriptive writing is often filled with colorful, precise language, since the goal of good descriptive writing is to make a person, place, or thing come alive in the mind of a reader. A character sketcha picture of a person captured in wordsis one example of descriptive writing. Common Modes of Rhetoric
3. Persuasion. Persuasive writing is designed to influence the readers thoughts in some way. Politicians use persuasive speeches to convince voters to cast their ballots for them. Editorials in local newspapers are written to convince readers that one particular viewpoint is better than the other. Common Modes of Rhetoric 4. Exposition. Expository writing is used to provide information on a topic or to explain something. A common encyclopedia entry is a
good example of expository writing. Common Persuasive Techniques You should also review certain persuasive techniques used in the mass media. These include the bandwagon technique, which appeals to people s desire to fit in and be part of the group. The basic premise is youre either with us or against us! Common Persuasive Techniques Card stacking refers to the
persuasive technique of only presenting information that supports an idea. Negative or contradictory information is not presented. Common Persuasive Techniques Stereotyping creates a simplified picture of a complex situation, individual, or group. Most advertisers and writers today use stereotyping sparingly because of the negatives associated with it. Common Persuasive Techniques
Writers might also use rhetorical questions , or questions to which no answer is needed, to try to force readers to agree with them. To prepare for questions on this standard, you should analyze the mass media you encounter every day and see if you can identify the type of persuasion being used. Sample Question Questions for this part of the standard may look like this: Read the following description of an advertising Arguably the most famous of Dr Peppers advertising campaigns was
campaign their Be a Pepper series. These commercials referred to fans of Dr Pepper as Peppers and often featured crowd dance scenes with elaborate, over-the-top choreography. One popular ad jingle was: Im a Pepper, hes a Pepper, Shes a Pepper, were a Pepper, Wouldnt you like to be a Pepper, too? Be a Pepper ~ Drink Dr Pepper The strongest evidence of the bandwagon technique in this advertising campaign is that A. it encourages people to become part of an in crowd. B. it asks a question that has no certain answer. C. it includes a catchy song. D. it appeals to the senses.
Sample Question The correct answer is choice A. This ad campaign is a very literal example of the bandwagon technique. The ad suggests that by drinking Dr Pepper you will become part of a special group; you will be a Pepper. Learning the proper names and definitions of major rhetorical styles narration, description, persuasion, and expositionis also necessary to answer questions for this standard. Domain III: Writing
Domain III Since the American Literature and Composition EOCT is a multiple-choice test, you will not have to do any actual writing. Instead, many of the questions in this domain will provide you with samples of writing, and your task will be to distinguish the good writing from the poor writing. Some of the questions will present a single sentence for you to evaluate, while others will present a short passage with numbered sentences. The key to answering these questions is to distinguish the good writing traits from the poor writing traits. Overall, you want to make
sure the writing in the passage is precise, well organized, and easy to understand. Organizing a Writing This standard is Sample one of the shortest on the EOCT, but it may also be one of the most difficult. You must apply what you know about grammar, usage, and style to create an organized writing sample that sets a context and engages the reader, maintains a coherent focus throughout, and signals closure. You will be tested on a variety of passages such as letters, reports, essays, journals, and newspaper articles. Most people write because they have something
to say. Journalists write newspaper articles to inform readers about a particular event. Fiction writers create stories that entertain readers and stimulate their imagination. Even a simple poem about roses is written for a reason. Main Idea Tips for Finding the Main Idea and Subordinate Ideas The questions for this standard will be based on informational passages. Authors of informational text often use a traditional outline approach: first stating the main idea, then addressing all the supporting ideas, and ending by restating the main idea. See the
example outline in the box. Main Idea The main idea can often be found in one or more of these places: The title The thesis statement The conclusion The subordinate, or supporting, ideas of a passage can often be found in one or more of these places: The topic sentence of each paragraph The body paragraphs Main Idea
The main idea can often be found in one or more of these places: The title The thesis statement The conclusion The subordinate, or supporting, ideas of a passage can often be found in one or more of these places: The topic sentence of each paragraph The body paragraphs In a well- written passage, youll find evidence to support main and subordinate ideas in the body paragraphs. This evidence might include the following: Anecdotes Descriptions Facts Statistics
Main Idea The questions on the EOCT that address the main idea or subordinate ideas in a passage may look like this: Which sentence does NOT fit with the main idea of the report? Which sentence is the BEST thesis for this passage? EOCT Strategy A gifted writer knows that there are many ways to organize information. Different topics require different structures. Some of the more common ways to organize a passage include:
Chronological order Cause and effect Compare and contrast Asking and answering questions A writers choice of structure depends on the point he or she wants to make. A persuasive essay, for example, may start with Why should you recycle? and then be followed by the answer in a series of well-supported paragraphs.
Word Choice A writers choice of words also influences the effectiveness of his or her writing. You have already reviewed specific mechanisms for achieving certain literary effects. Questions for this standard will focus more on the nuts and bolts of effective writing. For example, good writers use precise language. Compare the following sentences: Jill brought stuff to the beach. Jill brought a beach towel, a blanket, and a mystery novel for a day at the beach. The first sentence is vague, while the second sentence provides detailed information that makes the writing more engaging.
Active Voice Good writers also use action verbs in active rather than passive voice. Here again are two sentences to compare: Money was stolen from the bank by a man wearing jeans and a baseball hat. A man wearing jeans and a baseball cap robbed the bank and stole its money. In the first sentence, the passive voice makes an exciting and potentially dangerous event seem dull. Bank officials might issue a statement using a sentence like this one to downplay the seriousness of the event. The active voice and action verbs in the second sentence provide a greater sense of urgency. A newspaper reporter might write a sentence more like
the second one. Active Voice In sentences written in active voice, the subject of the sentence acts. It performs the action expressed by the verb. In sentences written in passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. The actor performing the action may be introduced with a by phrase or may not be mentioned. In the examples given above, the first sentence includes a by phrase by a man wearing jeans and a baseball hat. An easy way to change passive voice into active voice is to look for that by phrase and make it the subject of the verb, as in the second sentence.
Parallelism Questions for this standard will ask you to identify and use rhetorical devices, such as parallelism, repetition, and analogy. Parallelism is the repetition of similar parts of a sentence or of several sentences to show that the phrases or sentences are of equal importance. (In Content Domain IV, you will be asked about parallelism as it relates to verb tenses and phrases.) In order to be parallel, the phrases or sentences must share the same grammatical structure. Parallelism also provides a certain rhythm to the work. The sentence I came, I saw, I conquered would not make quite the impact if it were rewritten I came, saw, and conquered.
Repetition Repetition is part of parallelism. Good writers may repeat words or phrases throughout their writing to emphasize a point. Be careful not to overdo this rhetorical strategy. If you repeat the same words and phrases too much, your writing becomes dull, not emphatic. Analogy Analogy is another important rhetorical device. Like a simile, an analogy compares two items. An analogy, however, can be more extensive than a simile. A good writer may use an analogy
to help convey difficult ideas by comparing them to things or ideas most people know. For example, an expository piece on maintaining your health might compare your body to a car. Most people know that cars need fuel, just as the body needs food. A car needs to have its oil checked regularly, just as humans need to have their blood pressure checked. This analogy might continue throughout the article. Some Steps in the Research Process 1. Deciding on a Topic. When determining a topic for a paper, be sure to keep the scope in the proper range. Most students pick topics
that are too broad to cover in the number of pages they have been assigned. For instance, they might decide to write a three-page paper on American authors of the past hundred years. This topic is just too broad for a threepage paper (or even a three-volume series). It would be better to pick a single author, like Eudora Welty, for your paper. Three pages are enough for a very brief introduction to Weltys life and works. Some Steps in the Research Process Students can also experience the opposite problema topic that is too narrow in scope. For example, it would
probably be a stretch to write three pages about Eudora Weltys favorite animal. The EOCT might ask you to select the best research topic among several choices. You would need to consider which choices are too broad or too narrow and eliminate those. Some Steps in the Research Process 2. Locating Primary and Secondary Sources. Once you have decided on a topic, you need to locate sources. Primary sources are records of events by people who participated in or witnessed the events. For an English paper, an authors work, like Weltys Delta Wedding, is
a primary source. Personal interviews and newspaper accounts are also primary sources. Secondary sources are records of events by people who did not participate. A textbook is a secondary source, as are literary reviews and criticism. The growing popularity of computers and the Internet has changed the way research is conducted. One of the best ways to begin to gather information on a topic is to go to an Internet search engine and type in some key words. You can find primary and secondary sources online. For instance, simply typing in Eudora Welty will bring you a number of links to different Web sites. Some Steps in the Research Process
Using additional key words, however, will help you refine your search. If you are interested in writing about Weltys life, entering the key words Eudora Welty and biography or early childhood should lead you to sites that discuss her life. However, if you are interested in one of her works in particular, you would be better off typing in Eudora Welty, The Optimists Daughter (one of her novellas) and then perhaps review or criticism. Using these key words should give you links to sites where people discuss or review The Optimists Daughter. The Internet should not be your only research tool. A question on the EOCT may ask you to choose the best source for a given topic. These sources may include books, journals, microfiches, almanacs, documentaries, or CDROMs. See the next section for more detail.
Some Steps in the Research Process 3. Paraphrasing Information. Research papers would be a lot easier if you were allowed simply to copy down, word for word, exactly what your source material said. This is plagiarism, and it is illegal. Instead, you need to take the information you read and rewrite it in your own words. This process is known as paraphrasing. Questions on this aspect of the research process might ask you to select the correct way to quote material from sources.
Common Reference Materials Read all about it Here is a list of some common reference materials: Dictionary Thesaurus Atlas
Almanac Encyclopedia Library catalog Here is a list of some less common reference materials: Microfiche Speeches Journals Technical documents
Plagiarism Plagiarism is taking someone elses words or ideas and presenting them as your own. You may only use another persons words (either the exact wording or a paraphrase) if you cite the source (give credit to where you found the information). If you use the exact same wording as the original, you need to put these words in quotation marks. Anecdotal Scripting But using note cards is not the only way to organize information. Depending on what information you need and how you need to use it, you may find other systems of
organization more effective. These might include anecdotal scripting, a term for recording the events in a literary work. As you read a novel, particularly a long one, you might find yourself forgetting the order in which events occurred. Keeping a list or timeline of events will help you remember what happened. A simple way to do this is to summarize an event and write down the page number(s) on which it occurred. You may want to record dates, if given. If an author uses flashback regularly, you should also develop a method for noting if the event described on page 145 actually occurred before an event on page 35. If you are reading nonfiction, a timeline might be more beneficial. Be sure to include page numbers for the events. An index can help you locate these events, but your own record is better. When you begin writing your research paper on a novel, for example, anecdotal scripting will make it easier for you to locate
important events that you want to discuss in your paper. Annotated Bibliography Another system for organizing and recording information is an annotated bibliography. As you compile the list of resources youve consulted, add more information about each book. The annotation should contain the following: Brief summary of the workYour summary should include the thesis and main supporting evidence. Evaluation of the authorDoes this author have the background to support the work? For example, is a book providing medical information written by a doctor or someone without medical training? Intended audienceFor whom was this book written? A story about Pocahontas written for elementary school students might
not be the best source for your biography of Pocahontas. Evaluation of usefulnessHow will this book or article help you with your research topic? Is this book a good source for anecdotes or statistics? You should put this kind of information in this last category. Other systems for organizing information include outlines, mindmaps, charts, and graphs. You should try a few methods and see which one works best for you. Sample Question A question might look like this: Which is the best source to consult for an overview of American poets of the nineteenth century? A.
B. C. D. an unabridged dictionary a textbook of American history a collection of experimental poetry an encyclopedia of American literature Sample Question The correct choice is D. An encyclopedia of American literature will give an overview of literary movements and time periods; it will also list and describe writers of each time period. An unabridged dictionary, choice A, might include some poets in the biographical section, but will
not categorize them by century and nationality. A dictionary will give only brief information. The history textbook in choice B might also mention some poets, but the focus will be on history and not on the details of literature. The poetry collection in choice C might contain brief background information, but will include poems from other time periods and will also not go into much detail about individual poets. The Writing Process Steps in the Writing Process Step 1. Prewriting: Gathering ideas, organizing your thoughts Step 2. Drafting: Creating a rough version of the paper, often more than one
Step 3. Revising and Editing: Looking at your draft with a critical eye and making improvements Step 4. Proofreading: Polishing your paper to make sure it is free of errors Step 5. Publishing: Sharing your finished paper with others The Writing Process Questions for this standard will be based on a passage. For this example, only the first sentence of the passage is included. (1) Arriving late at the movie someone else was in our seats. Which, if any, would be the BEST way to revise sentence 1?
A. At the movie, we found someone else was in our seats arriving late. B. We found someone else was in our seats arriving late at the movie. C. Arriving late at the movie, we found someone else was in our seats. D. Leave as is EOCT Strategy Trust Yourself If you cant determine the exact problem with a sentence, dont be afraid to trust your ear and make an educated guess. You can often hear a problem even if you cant explain exactly what is wrong with
the sentence. The Writing Process Try to imagine the intended audience for a particular piece of writing. Is it written for business associates or a group of close friends? Is a teacher going to read it, or does it contain thoughts that the author did not intend to share with anyone? Understanding who the intended audience is will help you understand the purpose of the The Writing Process Generally speaking, you will have to
choose between formal and informal language. Typically, formal language is more grammatically precise and contains longer sentences and more elaborate wording. In contrast, informal language is not always grammatically accurate and it may involve slang words and phrases. The Writing Process The following chart provides some examples of formal and informal language. Informal Formal
Howdy, yall! Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Whats up? How are you? Lets hit the beach. We should choose a seaside location for our vacation. Those are some crazy
threads! Your outfit is very unique. Sample Question This passage is from a book review written for a high school English class. Which phrase is too informal for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the latest passage? novel in J. K. Rowlings Harry Potter series. It is the next-to- last installment in a planned seven-book series. Readers have had to wait two years for this book. This new book begins where Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ends. It pulls together plot lines and story
twists from all the previous Harry Potter books. Dark and twisting, this novel rocks. Which phrase is too informal for the passage? A. B. C. D. Readers have had to wait This new book begins plot lines and story twists this novel rocks Sample Question Remember the audience for this
review: a high school English teacher. A book review is a formal document requiring formal language. Choice D is the correct answer. (You might use this type of informal language when reviewing the book on your blog.) Domain IV: Conventions Domain IV Content Domain IV focuses on your ability to apply the conventions of Standard American English correctly. Questions for this content
domain will ask you to revise texts for organization, purpose, precision of word choice, and correct grammar and punctuation. You will also be asked to demonstrate an understanding of different forms of writing. Standard American English To test your knowledge of Standard American English, you will be asked to identify and correct the grammatical errors in a passage. You may also be tested on different methods of sentence construction.
The list below identifies some of the topics you can expect to see on the EOCT. Main and subordinate clauses Gerund, participial, and infinitive phrases Punctuation marks (e.g., end punctuation, commas, colons, semicolons, quotation marks, ellipses, and hyphens) Verb tense consistency and agreement Proper placement of modifiers Precise word choice Spelling Sample Question What is the correct way to write sentence 5? A Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper, and then had taking a break. B Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper, and then
takes a break. C Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper, and then took a break. D Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper, and then will take a break. Sample Question For this question, think about how often you hear people say, then had taking. If it sounds odd to you, it is because there is no such verb tense. This means choice A is wrong. Choices B and D do not seem right either. The verb tense shifts in both of these sentences. You might not notice this specifically, but you probably sensed
there was something strange about saying Teresa studied and then takes or will take a break. Contrast Sample Question This question also tests parallelism, which states that objects linked together have to be similar in tense and number. In this case, the verbs studied, outlined, and taking are a series of actions joined together by the conjunction and. However, the sentence in the question is incorrect because the verbsstudied, outlined, and takingare not in the same tense. Changing taking to took corrects this
problem because now all the verbs Basic Literary Elements Language Language. Language makes literature. The words and phrases an author uses create literary works. Language and word choices vary with different literary genres. For example, the way you express your thoughts in a poem is very different than the way you express your thoughts in an essay. Diction
One of the first choices a writer makes about language is which word to use. Diction refers to the word choices a writer makes. Read the following sentences and reflect on how changing one word can change its meaning. Sentence 1: Hey, yall, lets go to the store. Sentence 2: Hey, you guys, lets go to the store. Yall in the first sentence and you guys in the second gives you information about Figurative Language Diction is not the only choice to influence writing. Authors employ a
variety of techniques to express meaning and engage the reader. Some may use figurative language, or figures of speech, to convey meaning other than the literal meaning of the word. Metaphors and similes are examples of figures of speech. Imagery Imagery, or description intended to elicit a sensory response, allows an author to show, rather than tell, a reader something. You have heard the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, writers use
imagery to convey more than they could with literal words. Symbolism Symbolism is another way in which writers use language to express something more than the literal meaning of the words. A symbol is something that stands for something else. For example, an object may symbolize an idea. Plot Plot. Literature commonly follows a specific pattern or plot structure. It often begins with exposition that may introduce the
characters, establish the setting, and reveal the problem or conflict. The tension may build through a series of complications (incidents that either help or hinder the protagonist in finding a solution). This is the rising action. The climax is the peak or turning point of the action. The problem is resolved. At this point the reader usually knows the outcome. The denouement or falling action is the part after the climax. It Conflict Conflict. Every plot has a conflict. The conflict is what triggers the action in the story. Here are some common conflicts in literature:
person person person person person vs. vs. vs. vs.
vs. person nature self society machine Character Character development. The plot of a story focuses on the lives of one or more characters. The main character is usually the protagonist, the central character and the one with whom the reader often identifies. The antagonist is a
character (or force) that opposes the protagonist. An author may reveal character through the characters thoughts, words, appearance, and Character An author may also tell us directly what the character is like. Characters that grow or change throughout the story are dynamic or round; characters that seem to stay the same are static or flat. Understanding the characters is a key element to understanding the piece of literature. Here are some common questions about characterization: Who is the main character? Give five traits of this character.
Who are the minor characters? How do they affect the plot? How is one character similar to or different Setting Setting. The setting is when and where a story takes place. You may be asked to determine why the setting is important or how the setting affects the characters. The setting can clarify conflict, illuminate character, affect the mood, and act as a symbol. The setting itself can be an antagonist in a person vs. nature conflict.
Mood Mood. The mood in a piece of literature is a feeling or emotion created by the words and setting. Some authors create the mood by using imagery along with the setting. Mood The example below shows how the mood of a story can change by making a few alterations: Imagine a group of people in an old, three-story house. The people are whispering and walking very slowly. They are easily startled. Some are visibly shaking. The mood created here is one of scary suspense. A reader will wonder what
scared the people and may feel some suspense about the events to come. Now, change the mood by imagining the people talking loudly. They are gesturing at various rooms in the house and whistling appreciatively. They seem excited about the old, colored- glass windows. A reader could assume that these people are about to Irony Irony. Irony is a form of speech intended to convey the opposite of the actual meaning of the words. You are probably most familiar with verbal irony, or sarcasm. The speakers intended message is far different than the usual meaning of the words. For example, a teenager might tell his or her mother, I just
love cleaning up my room, when, in fact, the teenager means that he hates to clean his room. Irony of fate refers to developments tha t are far from what is expected or believed to be deserved. One example of irony of fate would be famed composer Point of View Point of View. The point of view is the perspective from which a story is told. The point of view depends upon who the narrator is and how much he or she knows. Point of View First Person
The events are told by a character in the story using his or her own words. First-person stories have narrators who use I, me, and my throughout the story. The sentence, I knew it was risky, but I was willing to take that chance, is an example of first-person point of view. Second Person The narrator addresses the reader directly using the word you. This perspective is not as common as either the first- or third-person points of view. Third Person A speaker outside the action narrates the events using he, she, and they. In third-person omniscient, the narrator may see and know everything, even the
thoughts of all the characters. In third-person Theme Theme. The theme is the central idea of a text. It refers to a universal statement about life and/or society that can be discerned from reading a text. The theme of a work is not the same as its main idea, which focuses strictly on the content. The theme of a literary work is often the meaning you take away from it. Good luck on your American Literature and Composition EOCT!