B.A. Comprehensive Exam Sample


English B.A. Comprehensive Exam
SampleGeneral Directions:

You have two hours to complete this exam. Please write legibly and in ink. Be sure to write the last four digits of your social security number on each blue book that contains your answers. In evaluating your responses, the faculty will consider the quality of thought, specificity of analysis, and the quality of writing.

I. Short answers. Recommended time: 30 minutes. Your answers should demonstrate solid familiarity with the details of the works. You need not write an essay, compare the works, or integrate your treatment of the various works. Provide a clear indication that you have read the works and possess ready knowledge of the details asked for by the question. Write in clear, coherent sentences.

Answer eight of the following twelve questions with a brief paragraph for each. Please number your answers. (12 questions will follow)

II. Essay.  Recommended time: 45 minutes. Your essay should provide a thesis that is developed with references to the works. Your essay should have the organization, content, and style that demonstrate writing ability, and the depth of understanding that shows mastery of the material.

Examine the theme of _______________in at least two of the following:

(6 or so titles will follow)

III. Explication. Recommended time: 45 minutes.

Write an essay in which you examine the poem's details and language in a close reading. Your analysis should consider how diction, imagery, figurative language, symbolism, structure, rhyme, meter, and other poetic devices create this poem's meaning and effect. Your writing need not have the rigorous organization around a thesis that is expected for the essay in Part II, but you should provide a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the elements of the poem. (A poem will follow).

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Spokane, WA 99258-0018

Dr. Jeff Miller
English Department Chair, Associate Professor
Phone: (509) 313-6676