Cahsee writing review



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CAHSEE WRITING REVIEW

  • On the California High School Exit Exam you will be expected to write one essay. The essay will be one of four types of writing.

4 TYPES OF WRITING

  • NARRATIVE
  • PERSUASIVE
  • EXPOSITORY
  • LITERARY RESPONSE

WHAT IS A RESPONSE TO LITERATURE?

  • When you write a response to literature you show that you have read the entire passage/story and you completely understand the text. But an effective literary response essay IS NOT just a summary of what happened in the story. An effective literary response essay must include specific examples of significant ideas, themes, or literary devices that are ANALYZED to show deep understanding of the text.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A LITERARY RESPONSE?

  • The main goal of writing a response to literature is to demonstrate thoughtful comprehension of a literary passage BEYOND the basic plot and explain the UNDERLYING meaning of the text.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AS YOU READ THE TEXT

  • What are the main ideas of the text?
  • What is the theme of the text?
  • What is the author’s purpose for writing this passage?
  • What are possible hidden meanings/messages?
  • How do the characters and setting affect the passage?
  • What literary devices are used and how do
  • they affect the passage?

TO SUCCESSFULLY RESPOND TO LITERATURE, THE WRITER MUST…

  • Carefully read and address ALL parts of the writing task
  • Create a meaningful and interesting thesis about the text BASED ON THE WRITING TASK
  • Provide TEXTUAL EVIDENCE and EXPLAIN how the details help to SUPPORT the thesis
  • Draw thoughtful conclusions and global connections about the text
  • Explain how the author’s use of literary devices affect the author’s purpose of the text.
  • Discuss the ambiguities and complexities within the text.

SAMPLE RESPONSES TO LITERATURE TOPICS

  • Explain how the setting affected the story.
  • Explain how the author depicts the character as the person he/she is.
  • Discuss how two characters in the story relate to each other.
  • Determine the author’s purpose in the text.
  • Explain what a person might learn from this passage.
  • Discuss what the main character learned about life and connect this lesson to people in general.

SAMPLE RESPONSES CONTINUED…

  • Describe how the ending was ironic and how the author surprised you with this ending.
  • Write an essay in which you describe the theme of the story and how it related to people in general.
  • Explain how the author’s use of figurative language added to the reader’s understanding of the passage.
  • Write an essay in which you explain how the events in the story motivated the main character.
  • Explain how the main character changed throughout the story and explain why.
  • Write an essay in which you explain the meaning of the title of the passage.

7 TYPES OF LITERARY RESPONSE

  • CHARACTERIZATION
  • THEME
  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • MOTIVES
  • CONFLICT
  • SYMBOLISM
  • IRONY

CHARACTERIZATION

  • DEFINITION:
  • Describe how a character reveals certain personality traits
  • EXAMPLE from The Odyssey:
  • Describe how Odysseus reveals courage and demonstrates leadership.

THEME

  • DEFINITION:
  • Explain how specific events relate to the theme (the message of a literary work that offers insight about life and human nature).
  • EXAMPLE from Of Mice and Men:
  • Identify one theme (dreams, friendship, loneliness) from the story and explain how specific events reveal that theme.

RELATIONSHIPS

  • DEFINITION:
  • How characters interact and treat each other in a story.
  • EXAMPLE from Romeo and Juliet:
  • Analyze how Juliet’s relationship with her parents affects her decisions.

MOTIVES

  • DEFINITION:
  • The reasons why a character makes certain decisions.
  • EXAMPLE from Romeo and Juliet:
  • Select one character in the play and explain how his or her decisions affected that character and others.

CONFLICT

  • DEFINITION:
  • External Conflict- a struggle or problem that a character has with an outside force Internal Conflict- a struggle that a character has with him/herself (a difficult decision)
  • EXAMPLE from The Pearl:
  • External:
  • Explain how the conflict between man and society is illustrated in the story.
  • Internal: Explain how Kino’s internal struggle about keeping the pearl affects his relationship with Juana.

SYMBOLISM

  • DEFINITION:
  • When an object represents, or stands for some abstract idea. Like how the U.S. flag symbolizes freedom & opportunity.
  • Example from The Pearl:
  • Explain what the pearl symbolizes when Kino first discovers it. How has its meaning changed at the end of the story?

IRONY

  • DEFINITION:
  • VERBAL Irony- a contrast between what is said and what is meant (sarcasm)
  • SITUATIONAL Irony- a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens
  • Example from The Pearl:
  • Explain how Kino’s decision to throw the pearl back into the ocean at the end of the story is ironic. Explain how the use of irony enriches the story and its message.

TIPS

  • Write in present not past tense.
  • Use relevant quotes to strengthen your ideas.
  • Support your thesis-
  • ANALYZE NOT
  • SUMMARIZE the plot.
  • Identify the characters, include full names, and spell correctly.
  • Use accurate and specific details.

LITERARY RESPONSE FORMAT

  • INTRODUCTION
    • Hook
    • Give title of text, author, and brief plot summary
    • Thesis statement
    • 2 or 3 BODY PARAGRAPHS
    • Must support thesis-
    • do not just give a plot summary
    • CONCLUSION
    • Restate thesis using different words
    • Lesson learned from the story/global connection
    • Clincher (relate to hook)


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