Final Exam Study Guide


Final Exam Study Guide

World Literature – Mrs. Hagburg

Fall Semester 2015

Vocabulary TEST is on Wednesday, Dec 16


All words from Lists #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (50 total)

 a word bank will be provided for fill-in-the-blank sentences

 you will NOT need to identify the parts of speech as used in the sentences, but will need to know how a word may have different variations/forms, depending on the context

 you will NOT need to know your SSR words

 you will have 60 minutes

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FINAL EXAM is on Thursday, Dec 17

th and will include…

Myths & Folktales

- What are the differences between a myth and a folktale?

- What are the purposes of myths?

- Archetypes

Grammar: Style and Language Mechanics

-- MLA format of a typed paper

-- Definition & identification of adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, conjunctions

The Odyssey

 Epic poem characteristics, invocation to a muse, “in medias res”, epithet, Homeric

 similes, and events

An in-class mini-essay chosen from a selection of prompts

The Odyssey

Mini-Essay Response

You will write on one of the prompts provided. On the day of the test, your choice of essay questions will be limited (by me) to three of the listed questions. Therefore, in preparation, you should carefully read all of the possible questions. You may also want to jot down some initial thoughts or ideas for answering each of the questions, but may not bring in any pre-written work with you on the final exam day. On the day of the test, you may utilize the text/story, if needed, but nothing else other than your preparatory brainstormed ideas comes into the room.

No matter which option you choose from the prompts provided, your mini-essay will need to be a well-developed 3-paragraph response.

I. Introduction paragraph must include:

 hook / intriguing lead-in as a topic sentence (that which is not a question)

 brief context of the epic poem, character(s), and topic to be discussed thesis statement: specific, arguable/debatable, and thought-provoking

II. ONE well-developed body paragraph must include at least three quotations from the epic poem, effectively and gracefully woven into your essay – no

“drive-by quote bombs”! Be sure to correctly cite your quote MLA-style, which is including the author’s last name, page #, part #, and line #.

Penelope admits that she “could not welcome [Odysseus] with love on sight! [She] armed [herself] long ago against the frauds of men, impostors who might come” (Homer 1017.4:166-169).

 this body paragraph must provide specific, detailed evidence from The

Odyssey (in the form of quotations, paraphrases, or references to specific events or other details) to support and elaborate on each of the main points.

III. Conclusion must be an effective wrap-up to your argument

 including a restatement of the thesis (reworded) and ending with a sentence or two of broad reflection on the significance of your topic

Prompts for Mini-Essay


Discuss Odysseus' wanderings as a series of temptations throughout his ultimate journey. Think about both the literal and the symbolic nature of these temptations.

Explore how they really parallel the sorts of temptations most people face on their journeys through life. If possible, give some personal examples to support your answer.


It would be easy to apply our 21 st

century value system to The Odyssey and conclude that Homer’s world is extremely misogynistic and sexist. Far more productive, however, would be to look at Homer’s world objectively and simply make observations. Trying your best not to pass judgment, analyze how gender roles are portrayed in The Odyssey .


An epic hero possesses the character traits most valued by the society in which the epic originated. Based on The Odyssey , what character traits seem to be the most admired in ancient Greece? Provide thorough evidence and analysis of your examples.


From what you have read of The Odyssey , to what extent does Odysseus control his own destiny, or is his fate determined by the gods?


Homer probably lived in Greece around 800-700 B.C.E. The world he describes in The Odyssey dates from 300-500 years earlier. Looking at the ancient Greek world as described in The Odyssey as an anthropologist or historian might, what are some of its most striking social, political, or cultural aspects or characteristics, in your opinion? Point to specific passages to illustrate the chosen aspects or characteristics. Your essay may also draw parallels between the ancient Greek world and the modern world.


Important themes of The Odyssey concern loyalty, recognition and reunion, maturation and self-discovery, and hospitality and civilization. Write your essay on one of these themes and on how it is communicated by the characters and events of The

Odyssey . (Remember, a theme is not a word or phrase, it is a general statement or insight about life that a literary work communicates. Your first task in writing an essay on theme is identifying what the theme is. For example, what is Homer’s “general statement” or insight about loyalty, as conveyed by the characters and events of The Odyssey ?)

Preparing & Writing Your Mini-Essay

~ Carefully read the question to ensure you understand it fully and are prepared to answer all its parts with thoughtful elaboration.

~ Gather your evidence. First, jot down your initial ideas for responding to the question. Then, spend some time gathering specific evidence in support of your answer.

~ Bringing together these initial ideas and your supporting evidence, draft a thesis statement. Your

thesis is a direct, one sentence, arguable statement/response to the question or topic – it appears as the last sentence of your introductory paragraph. It is a statement of your opinion, but it should not include such phrases as “I believe,” “In my opinion,” etc.

~ Return to your list of evidence. Are your supporting points directly relevant to your thesis? Do they provide sufficient support to your thesis? Do you need to add more evidence?

~ Arrange your supporting points into a logical order. Plan how you will arrange your supporting points into the body paragraph of your essay.