Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

Final Salvo, Part 2

This post covers your final exam, which is in some ways a direct extension of your autodidactic unit. Here is a copy of the overview, including the rubric for Part II:

This information (except for the rubric, which cannot survive the translation to WordPress) is reprinted in full after the jump.


Part I: Basic Argumentation

For this portion of the exam, you will be given a number of statements that are either true or false. You will ascertain the correctness of each statement and indicate it with a “T” or an “F.” Two important notes before anything else:

  1. If any portion of the statement is false, the entire statement is false.
  2. That said, there will be no attempt to trick you.

This is a decontextualized test of a particular skill. It is a review of basic concepts only, and you should know immediately whether a statement is true or false. To prepare, review the following ideas:

  • That argumentation is only one of the modes of discourse
  • That argumentation uses various kinds of evidence to support a position
  • That all arguments have a thesis, whether it is explicit or implicit
  • The ways in which argumentative writing allows for a wide range of choices, from the number of paragraphs to the use of first-person
  • How timed argumentation is different from untimed argumentation
  • The five categories of effectiveness on argument rubrics
  • The general writing process, including basic concepts of  metacognition and reflection

You will be given this portion of the exam during the week of June 3. It will be worth 100 points.

 Part II: Autodidacticism and Authenticity

For this portion of the exam, you will be assessed on the quality of your autodidactic work as revealed through

  1. your performance throughout your own unit of study;
  2. the effectiveness of your final essay; and
  3. an assessment of the Ursus Ephemeris website and its contents.

For the first two, you will need to monitor your individual and group progress reflectively and metacognitively. For the last point, you all share the same goal—the redesign and repopulation of the newspaper website—and final assessment. To put that in context, read the following two articles:

This is about collaboration and divergent thinking—the “stuff of growth” that opened our year and, with some luck and hope, will continue to drive your learning in the future. It is an organic test of your collaborative ability to solve problems through writing. This is very much about how college and the world beyond it function, and it is  a way to begin to prepare for that world.


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