REGENTS TASK 4 The Critical Lens Task 4 Task 4 is the second task of the second day of the NYS Regents exam. Like the other three tasks, it requires you to write a 4-5 paragraph essay. Like the other essays, it is graded on meaning, development, organization, language and conventions. It is also graded on a 0-6 scale. There is one major difference however… The Task 4 essay is the only essay that requires you to base your essay on outside information. For this essay, you must discuss two appropriate works of literature and certain literary elements relevant to those pieces of literature. You should come into the test with four pieces of literature that you are very familiar with and would like to use for this essay. So what is the critical lens? The Critical lens is a quotation through which you can examine two pieces of literature. For example: “You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it” - Yann Martel Life of Pi (August 2007 Regents) The task requires you to agree or disagree with the lens using two pieces of literature to prove and support your position. Your introduction paragraph should follow this formula R E A L Repeat the quotation: Yann Martel once said, “ blah blah blah…” Explain the quote: “This means….” Agree or Disagree: Do not use “I”! Try something like, “This statement is true.” Literary Works: Name the literary works and elements that you will write about. So your intro should look like this… Yann Martel once declared, “You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.” Simply stated, this quote means that it is solely up to each person to do their best with the circumstances presented in life. Two works that support this thematic idea especially well are The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and Night by Elie Weisel. These two works of literature both use the literary elements of characterization and setting to prove that it is the individuals responsibility to make the best of whatever challenges life may present. Let’s try our hand at a few past critical lenses, in order to get a better sense of what is expected and what is to be expected The most difficult part of this task is analyzing and interpreting the critical lens and choosing appropriate literature and literary elements. Complete the following exercise quietly in order to become more familiar with this practice.