Midterm examination format

English 306, Fall 2015, Bradley Dilger

Our 50-point midterm exam will have two parts, one in and one out of class.

Part One: Definitions & short answers (in class)

Provide short answers to questions and/or define key concepts. I will name and/or describe some important things you should know, and you will provide short answers (a few sentences). For example, I might ask: “Rhetoric is contingent. Explain.” Or I might ask, “Why is beneficence a critical ethical area for writing research?”

There won’t be any questions like, “Name all six of the characteristics of rhetoric,” but I might ask you to define one or more of them. Nor will I ask you to identify names of sources from our texts. In other words, the goal here is not memorizing concepts, but being able to use them to get work done.

For part one, you will be able to skip a few questions and still get the full number of points allowed. This portion of the exam will be on paper only—no computers allowed.

You should have enough time to finish the short answer part in class and begin work on part two.

Part Two: Midterm memo (out of class)

You will select one prompt, write a memorandum which answers the prompt, and submit the memo in to me by Friday at the end of the day (so I can read them first thing Saturday AM). I will expect a detailed, specific answer which mobilizes our readings carefully and accurately. Electronic submission only: create a new Google Doc called “Lastname 306 Midterm Memo” and share it with me.

As you write your answer, keep in mind that synthesizing multiple readings and concepts is critical: your answer must work across our texts.

  1. Describe the roles genre can play in an activity theory understanding of networks.
  2. Select one of the specific techniques which Redish offers for writing user-centered web content. Describe the connections to the social functions of rhetoric as described by Herrick.
  3. Power emerges as an important part of rhetoric, actor-network theory, and ethics, crossing many of the texts we've read. What trends in thinking about power do you see at this point in the course?
  4. The heart of Kleon's Steal Like an Artist is arguably his reliance on inspiration from others. Distill its most important theoretical concept and describe the best way to apply it to practice.

I strongly suggest you plan carefully before diving in to write. I have blocked out some time Thursday after class, so if you email me a request before the end of class, I will review and comment on your plans for the memo before 3:00pm Thursday.

English 306, Fall 2015, Bradley Dilger