2 Texts

Fall 2005

In-Class Essay 3

Please answer one of the following questions:

1.  Did Amy Tan struggle in school because of any of the “four kinds of pressures” (291) Zinsser describes?  What does her choice to be a writer say about these pressures, and others?


2.  Is William Buckley encouraging Americans to have “wilder tongues”?  Be sure to use Gloria Anzaldua to help you answer this question.

One hour.




In-Class Essay 2

Answer one of the following questions:

1.  How are Cornel West (“Blacks and Jews”) and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (“Delusions of Grandeur”) in dialogue?


2.  How are George Orwell (“Shooting an Elephant”) and Jesse Ventura (“Hunting and Conservation”) in dialogue?

35 minutes.  You may use your book.



Comparison and Contrast

In-Class Essay: Compare and Contrast

Mukherjee, “Two Ways to Belong in America”

Rodriguez, “Aria”

McCourt, “From ‘Tis: A Memoir”

Prepare for both essay topics.  I will choose one on the day of the exam. You may use outlines in class, but no other notes. I recommend that you determine a thesis for each possible essay, main points and a conclusion. You may be as detailed on your outlines as you wish.

When preparing for either essay topics, first identify each author’s main argument, which will help you compare or contrast the two essays.  Then, determine which author uses the rhetorical strategies that we have discussed in class to most effectively make his or her point.

You may also use your Rhetorical Choices book during the exam in order to quote from it. Be prepared to use in-text citation and include a “Works Cited” notation in your exam blue book.  

You will have 50 minutes to write your essay, so plan on having enough points in your outline to write a thoughtful, in-depth, analytical essay.

  1. Compare and contrast Bharati Mukherjee’s essay, “Two Ways to Belong in America” with Richard Rodriguez’ essay, “Aria.”  Consider how the two authors view the costs or benefits of their assimilation in the United States, either through language or citizenship. Note their use of rhetorical techniques to make their arguments, such as personal history, anecdotes, specific details, quotations, diction, sentence rhythm, and, of course, their own use of comparison and contrast to make their points. 
  2. Compare and contrast Richard Rodriguez’ essay, “Aria” with Frank McCourt’s essay, “From ’Tis: A Memoir.”  Examine the two authors’ attitudes about teaching (or learning) language, and consider the educational practices described by each author. Compare how each author structures his essay, and give examples of the writing techniques they used to make their points.