PART IV: LISTENING AND WRITING FOR CRITICAL ANALYSIS & EVALUATION What To Do During The Exam 1) Read the exam prompt carefully. Make sure that you understand what the Critical Lens statement means. If there is a word in the statement that you do not understand, do not panic. Try to figure out the word from context. If that fails, simply try to figure out the general gist of the Critical Lens statement. 2) Before you begin to write, make a chart or an outline that focuses on each work of literature to give you examples that you will develop in your body paragraphs. 3) Write the introduction. The introduction should contain the following parts: a. begin with a statement that restates the Critical Lens and gives credit to the author: According to John Steinbeck, “It is the responsibility of the writer to expose our many grievous faults and failures and to hold up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams, for the purpose of improvement.” b. next, restate the Critical Lens in your own words: This means that… c. finally, state whether you agree or disagree with the Critical Lens, and relate your statement to it. You should include the authors and titles here: This occurs (does not occur) in John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men and the short story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst. d. create a thesis statement that connects both literary works to the Critical Lens statement: In both cases the authors illustrate… 4) Devote at least one body paragraph to each work of literature, showing how the work proves or disproves the Critical Lens. Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence that relates the work to the Critical Lens. John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men includes many flawed characters who live on the ranch to teach the readers how to improve their lives. OR Similarly, in Hurst’s The Scarlet Ibis, Brother’s flaws and “dangerous dream” for Doodle help the reader learn how pride can destroy a loving relationship. Be sure to support each topic sentence with specific evidence from each literary work. Do not make the paragraph a plot summary, but rather prove your ideas with regard to the critical lens by referring to literary elements, such as character, irony, structure, tone, symbol, theme, etc. Include quotations from the work that help support your ideas as well. You will use the chart we created to help you accomplish this. 5) Write the conclusion: a. The conclusion should restate your thesis statement and your position with regard to the Critical Lens. b. Be sure to recap how both literary works chosen help to prove or disprove the Critical Lens. c. Close off with a statement that connects the two works you discussed (ex. comparison/contrast) or comments more seriously on the issue presented in the Critical Lens. (This idea is important, for it….) 6) Proofread carefully. Check that names and titles are capitalized and punctuated properly. (Underline the titles of novels and plays, and “quote” the titles of short stories such as “The Scarlet Ibis.”) Check for spelling, and be sure that you have followed all of the grammar rules that you have listed in your writing section of your notebook.