Monday, January 11, 2010

Instructions for Take Home

Here are the instructions for the take-home final exam. We will discuss in class when and how you can request the questions.

There are two options for the exam:

1. You may choose three of the following questions from the list below (do not answer more than one question on a single work).

2. You may choose one of the questions below, and use that to address (more comprehensively) the issues which we have discussed in class together. If you choose this option, it would make sense to choose a question which a. will lend itself to a discussion of more than one author, or b. will lend itself to a comprehensive discussion of the works of John Donne. This is to say, you might produce an exam which focuses exclusively on Donne, though you should not produce an exam which focuses exclusively on Marvell or Crashaw.

In any event, you should use the exam to synthesize the materials (texts and discussions) from the term. To that end, be sure to use all of the resources at your disposal—class notes, as well, as, of course, the texts themselves. The more details you bring in your answers (including citations from the text), the more effective your exam will be. Finals should be approximately between nine and twelve pages in length.

Don’t be afraid to address the questions on your own terms. That is to say, answer the questions in such a way so that you can give detailed and comprehensive answers. If you find that your understanding of a question has led you to a very brief or superficial answer, then you can be sure that you have understood the question in a less than satisfactory way. This means that in some sense the quality of your exam will be reflected on how you understand the questions (you may actually have to foreground that understanding in the opening paragraph of each essay). Choose questions in such a way that you can show off the depth and detail of your knowledge.