A Review Quiz: Applications and Goals


In my 382 discussion section, I originally planned to have periodic pop quizzes to check up on reading. This failed miserably. The students were not prepared, and they hated the quiz and me for giving it. So I scrapped that and came up with an in-class alternative.

This quiz is handed out a week before the test date. Students do prep work in groups of four or five. On due date, they hand in the written portions. The final two questions are performed in class. I give almost no guidance, but most of the written portions of the assignment are based on genres or forms encountered during class reading or lectures: Addisonian sentence, heroic couplet, typological interpretation. Some concepts are totally new to them, such as ekphrasis and tableau vivant, but I let them figure these out on their own. 

The goal is to encourage re-engagement with texts as a form of review immediately prior to the Mid-Term exam. The four-date song re-makes, which reminded students to learn dates in political history, were hilarious.

Work on these in groups of 4 or 5 (4 groups). These compositions (1-8) and performances (9 and 10) are due on Friday, February 20. For 1-8, please provide printed copies (one for each student in the class) of your answers for items 1-8. Items 9 and 10 will be "performed" in class. 8 will also be performed if time allows.

For consistent excellence, the group receives a grade of A. For consistent mediocrity and occasional excellence, the group receives a grade of B. For consistent mediocrity or worse, the group receives a grade of C.

1) In 3 heroic couplets, describe 3 members of Addison's Spectator's Club (6 lines total, for example, one couplet per member).



2) In 1 heroic couplet, describe Locke's distinction between "determinate" and "determined" ideas (2 lines total).



3) In three balanced, poised Addisonian sentences, summarize the plot and larger significance of Pope's "The Rape of the Lock."



4) Write a 50-word letter to the Gentleman's Magazine, by an American Protestant (male or female), who has just completed a trip to Ireland, has encountered Swift's "A Modest Proposal," and who takes it at face value. If under 40 or over 60 words, no credit.



5) Write a 50-word typological interpretation of two current events. For your two explanatory Bible verses, cite verses also cited by the following authors: Rowlandson's A Narrative, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, or Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. If under 40 or over 60 words, no credit.


Attach a one-sentence explanation to your 50-word typological interpretation that identifies the situation and source of the Bible verse in Rowlandson, Stowe, or Bunyan. Provide the page number.

6) In the person of a member of the Spectator's Club, write a 50-word response to Leapor's "An Essay on Woman."



7) Write a short poetic ekphrasis on a scene from Hogarth. You are free to choose any verse style. (up to 14 lines, for example, the length of a sonnet)



8) The scene is a late 18th Century, polite, mixed-company salon in fashionable London. Write the dialog between two or three characters. The characters discuss the exchange between Swift and Montagu. Each character may speak up to 5 lines. This should be submitted on paper. If time allows, we will perform in class. Be prepared to perform, if time allows.


9) Write a 1-minute song re-mix--any genre: pop, hip-hop, country, operatic libretto, jingle--that includes 4 significant dates between 1661 and 1750. You must sing it to the class. Unless your voices are excellent, you may not exceed a minute.



10) In a tableau vivant, depict a scene from Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, from Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room," or from Rowlandson's A Narrative. If excellent, the class can identify your scene. During your performance of the tableau vivant, you must remain silent. You will be allowed a minute to set up, and you must hold your pose for 30 seconds.