You are on page 1of 4

NAME ______________________


The test will follow the same basic structure as this study guide. Part A will be all multiple choice. Part B will ask you to write a
MEAL paragraph about whether you are ready to go on from 8th grade to high school.
The test will be on Thursday, May 14 and Friday May, 15. It is 15% of the grade for the quarter (the rest of the test grade
comes from MAP practice = 5%, real MAP test = 5 %, open book test on writing an academic paper = 5 %). This will be the final
grade that I put into the gradebook.

Do you know the stages of plot as described on p. 26 of the textbook?
Be sure you know how to identify exposition, rising action, climax,
falling action, and resolution. This considered the traditional plot
structure of most stories.
We will analyze the short story The Elevator (p.27-31, Q1-11) to
practice using these key terms.

However, not all stories follow this traditional five-part

structure. For example American Born Chinese has three
connected stories, although each of the individual stories
could be analyzed using this pattern. The books storyline is
so unusual that we needed to draw our own diagrams to
understand how the ending works!

Stories told in flashback could be said to start at the climax (if start with an action scene) or the resolution (if the
mood is more reflective) and they jump back to the exposition.

Some stories refuse to give us a satisfying resolution. They are open-ended. For an example, see The Lady, Or The
Tiger? (p.691-684). When we do this in class we will analyze the story using questions on p.292 (not all the questions,
just Q1-4, 8 and 9).

For the definitions of the terms below go R102-112.

Internal conflict
(see definition for conflict,

External conflict
(see definition for conflict,




Example: Anne Frank asks herself, Am I
lucky or unlucky to be in this situation?
Why I am sometimes treated as a child
and others times as an adult?
Jin Wang in ABC asks himself, Do I
have to give up the Chinese part of
myself to be accepted as an American.
In Anne Frank the biggest external
conflict is, will the Nazis discover the
families hiding place?
Some examples from ABC: Monkey King
fights with the other immortals
constantly; bullying of Jin Wang by
classmates; Dannys embarrassment by
If time allows, we do a review activity on
irony using the movie-musical My Fair
If time allows, we do a review activity on
allusion using the movie O Brother
Where Art Thou?





Taking someones else work and passing it off as
your own.
(Note: it can be accidental, such as copying specific
wording and not putting the words in quotes)
Copying someone elses words and putting them in
quotation marks.
(Note: using this strategy methodically is the best
way to avoid plagiarism)
restating someones else ideas in your words, but
using about the same number of words as the


restating someones else ideas in your own words,

but using fewer words than original


To cite means to show where your information

comes from


Where you go to get your information.

Double spacing

(Note: books and online articles are the usual

sources for your own work, but some I Search
papers used personal interviews and YouTube clips
as sources.)
The standard way to format a typed academic

We have not talked about it much this
year but in high school and college, a
single instance of plagiarism is enough
to fail a course. It is also called academic
fraud or theft.
Do not be put off by the word copying
in the definition it is absolutely fine to
copy from elsewhere, as long all copied
words are in quotation marks and you
acknowledge your source.

If your summary is as long as the

original, it is, by definition, not a
Not to be confused with sight or site
words with identical pronunciations but
different meanings (homophones)
We did not do the I-Search paper this
way, but sometimes you are asked to
use at least 5 sources, or to ensure you
use a mix of both print and online
Double spacing looks like this with a
space between each line. It allows space

(The extra space allows someone to easily makes

comments and correction on the printed page)


The correct way to format the name of long works

of art (book, albums, TV shows)

for someone to write in corrections.

By contrast, single spacing looks like this
See below for examples

(If you are handwriting your paper, you can

underline the words instead)
Quotation marks

The correct way to format the name of short works

of art (short works of art poems, songs, individual
TV episodes)

Examples: John Steinbecks novella Of

Mice and Men gets its title from a line in
a famous poem called To A Mouse.
Pharrell Williams song Happy can be
found on his record G I R L.
Mr. Woodcock showed the class an
episode called Vincent and the Doctor
from the British TV show Dr. Who.

Also dont forget the difference between critique (explain what is both good and bad about something; give constructive
criticism) and criticize (look for the problems only)
And: objective statements (facts) vs subjective statements (opinions). The I Search paper was unusual in that it asked you to
write some sections objectively and some sections subjectively.

3. Preparing for a test

Some tests in English ask you respond to a text you
have read previously by recalling details of a story
and its characters. But in many other tests you will
be asked to you respond to texts you have never
seen before. To succeed in this kind of test you
need effective test-taking strategies and to be sure
that you understand exactly what the questions are
asking you to do. As preparation for the MAP test, I
showed you these 12 Powerful Words. You will see
these words in all kinds of tests in the future, not
just 8 grade MAP tests.

some final thoughts
Think of the MEAL paragraph formula as
something helpful as you learn as you become a
more confident writer, like using training wheels
when you are learning to ride a bike. After a time
you do not need the extra help, and yet if you do
continue to do so, you are guaranteed to succeed in
what you are doing! In a test situation, when asked
to respond in paragraph form, I suggest using the
MEAL structure, if you dont have another stronger idea about how to respond to the writing prompt.
However you structure your answer to score maximum points there must be an easily identifiable MAIN IDEA, then some
EVIDENCE supporting your main idea (you could use the phrase for example), and some ANALYSIS (an explanation of why
your evidence is significant). Some writers like to blend the evidence and analysis of the evidence together as they write.
The LINK is least natural sounding/most formulaic part of the structure. Begin with In conclusion and state what it is you have
just proved; in a longer essay the link might make a transition to the next paragraph rather than returning to the paragraph
main idea.
Part B on the test will ask you (for the very last time this year) to write a MEAL paragraph. The topic: Are you ready for high
school English?
Remember: MEAL = Main Idea, Evidence, Analysis, Link

4. Poetry key terms

We recently completed a poetry mini unit and it was up to you
to look up definitions and examples (see p. 578 and R108) for
the following key terms.


As I prepared this unit, I worked on the assumption that you

knew the following distinctions. Heres a reminder.
simile, metaphor. Simile = a figure of speech that makes a
comparison between two unlike things using the word like or
as. Metaphor = same idea but the comparison is achieved
without using like or as.
author, speaker. Author = person who wrote the poem.
Speaker = the voice that talks the poem; similar to a narrator
in fiction. The speaker is not necessarily the author (and could
be even be non-human: an animal, a building etc.)
stanza, verses. Both concepts mean a grouping of lines within
a poem. Stanzas might vary a great deal in length; verses tend
to follow a more regular pattern.
Finally, anything that is not poetry can be considered prose. The related adjectives are poetic and prosaic. (Calling
something poetic is almost always a term of praise. By contrast, the word prosaic has negative associations it
implies that something is without rhythm or musicality; its dull and merely functional).

There will be a final section of the test worth 10 bonus points, which will be drawn from the ideas below.

Foreshadowing a hint early in the story that suggests what might happen later.
In Of Mice and Men when Lennie kills the mouse by petting it too hard, this should bring to mind how Curleys
wife die in the closing chapters.
In the Haddix book what hints are there that there will be a major fire later on?
Etymology is the study of word roots
Some long words are easy to spell: autobiography = auto + bio + graphy. Usually this is because their roots are in
Latin and we are familiar with those spelling patterns.
But words that come from Greek tend to have spellings that are much harder for English speakers to memorize. For
example, onomatopoeia (words that sound like they mean; Mr. W. freely confesses he cannot spell this word!) and
euphemism (making something unpleasant sound appealing, such as when Anne Frank describes the hiding place as a
restful hotel)
homophones (sometimes called homonyms) words that have different spelling but identical pronunciation: cite,
sight, site; theyre, their, their; too, to, two
Elevator pitch a Hollywood term. A summary of your creative idea that can be told in the length of time it takes
an elevator to go from the ground floor to the top. Being able to do a persuasive elevator pitch may be enough to
start your career in the arts.