Freshman English: Spring Semester Study Guide

During the class before your final exam, I will read aloud a speech by Elie Wiesel titled “The
Perils of Indifference.” We will work with this speech the day of the exam.

When preparing for your exam, please consider where you see examples of indifference in your
life, school, community, nation, and world. You do not need to write down your observations,
but have a clear sense of where you see indifference at work and the results of this indifference.

The day of your exam, please bring the following materials to class:

 several sheets of binder paper

 two or more blue or black ink pens AND a highlighter

 a 3 x 5 card with bulleted facts—and NO OTHER NOTES—relating to your topic

 something quiet to do when you finish your exam

Please review the following things in order to be well prepared for your exam:

 annotation

 similes

 metaphors

 allusions

 parallelism (parallel structure)

 the use of the semicolon, conjunctive adverbs, and colon

 direct address

 the rhetorical question

 appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos

 how to build in sentence variety; how to avoid comma splices, fragments, and run-ons

 thesis statement

 claims and evidence

 adjectival, adverbial, and prepositional phrases

 brainstorm or outline


General reminders for creating strong, vigorous writing:

 Make sure your thesis has an argumentative edge.

 Create transitions between paragraphs.

 Create clear and meaningful concluding sentences in your body paragraphs.

 In your conclusion, go beyond restating your thesis.

 Be specific when providing evidence.

 Develop your ideas.

 Use formal, sophisticated language.

 Be concise: do not use filler words.

 Do not use intensifiers.

 Choose the fresh word, phrase, and idea over the trite and overused. In short: avoid
clichés.

 Avoid slang, except for a purposeful effect.

 Do not use “road maps.” (“This essay will show that . . .”)

 Spell out numbers under ten.

 Avoid “I” and “you” statements.

 Use abundant sentence variety.

 Be bold; be passionate. However, be reasonable.
















Structure for the Persuasive Essay

 Introduction

o Paragraph 1:
 Hook:
 Background on issue:
 Thesis statement (Use a complex sentence: dependent clause,
independent clause):

 Body Paragraphs

o Paragraph 2:
 First claim (first reason in support of your thesis):
 First piece of evidence:
 Analysis:
 Second piece of evidence:
 Analysis:
 Concluding sentence:

o Paragraph 3:
 Second claim (second reason in support of your thesis):
 First piece of evidence:
 Analysis:
 Second piece of evidence:
 Analysis:
 Concluding sentence:

o Paragraph 4:
 Third claim (third reason in support of your thesis):
 First piece of evidence:
 Analysis:
 Second piece of evidence:
 Analysis:
 Concluding sentence:

o Paragraph 5:
 Counterargument: Acknowledge an argument someone or some group
could make against your thesis.
 Rebuttal: Now that you’ve acknowledged the opposing side, why are
they wrong?

o Paragraph 6:
 Conclusion: Ultimately, why is your viewpoint so important? What can
we do about making this change and no longer remaining indifferent?






Brainstorm for Semester Final Essay

Topic: Indifference

Definition of Indifference: a lack of interest or concern

Key Questions: Discuss the following questions with your group. Each group member
should take notes on the ideas generated in the discussion.

 In our society, what do people sometimes show a lack of interest or concern
about?
 Where do we see specific examples of this indifference?
 What are the results of this indifference?
 What can be done to turn this indifference around and improve the situation?

Select a Topic: On your own, circle a topic from your group discussion that interests you
the most. Next, complete a free write in which you explore in greater depth the four
questions above. For example, what facts, statistics, anecdotes, and examples can you
think of that show this indifference? What questions do you have about its effects? You
may use the same paper you used for your group notes.

Research: Next, identify five questions that you will research to provide you with more
information on your selected form of indifference:

1.



2.



3.



4.



5.


On the day of your semester final, you may bring a 3 x 5 note card with facts, statistics,
quotes, and anecdotes in support of your topic. This note card MAY NOT contain any
other notes for the final. If it does, you will receive a zero on the exam.