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Thillman 1
Sophomore English Final Exam Study Guide 2012
1. Review the major literary periods we’ve covered 2nd semester—the civil war literature,
regionalism, realism, naturalism, the transitional poets, and finally 20th century authors
(modernists). Be able to place an author/piece of literature in his/her specific time
period (i.e. show how Jack London’s writing illustrates naturalism, etc.). Don’t
memorize when an author was born or when he died, but rather what time period he is
associated with and what elements of his writing/life are reflected in his literature.
2. Review all literary terms we have covered thus far and be able to identify their use in a
piece of literature. (Example: Identify the tone of the following passage. Indicate what
type of figurative language is used here, etc.)
3. Review any old tests/quizzes we have taken on the material. Some test questions will
come directly from old tests.
4. The Great Gatsby – novel we read in class
5. Grammar – Types of sentences (Simple, Compound, Complex, Compound-Complex),
distinguishing between clauses (dependent and independent), correct use of pronouns,
comma usage, parallel structure, active passive voice. Questions may come directly
from those exercises. Review work sheets/tests. Take online quizzes.
6. The research process – review the steps/methods of research paper writing. Know how
to use MLA citation. Some questions will deal with how/when to cite material, etc.
7. Reading Comprehension/Critical thinking skills. You will be asked to read a short story
and answer questions based on your reading.
8. Essay writing – responding to a piece of literature. Students will be asked to write an
essay responding to literature. Students will be assessed on their thesis,
organization/structure, examples used, mechanics, etc.
1. 5-paragraph essay format
2. TTEB paragraph writing
In short, memorization is not going to be as helpful as your ability to apply what you know. For
example, rather than memorize the definition of a simile…be able to pick out a simile in a
passage and explain what is being compared.
Test Format
Approximately 100 questions - Objective (Scantron)
Thillman 2
Literature of the Civil War
Authors/Literature/terms to review:
From Romanticism to Realism 1855 – 1870 p. 495 – 503
Selections to study/Authors to study
1. Poetry - Walt Whitman
―Song of Myself‖
―I Hear America Singing‖
―A Noiseless Patient Spider‖
―Beat! Beat! Drums!‖
―O Captain, My Captain‖
―O Me, O Life‖
Leaves of Grass
Key ideas – free verse, parallelism, cataloging, enjambment, anaphora
2. Poetry - Emily Dickinson
―Because I Could Not Stop for Death‖
―I heard a fly buzz‖
―Hope is a thing with Feathers‖
Key Ideas – slant rhyme, syntax, quatrain, inventive punctuation
3. Slave Narratives ―Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass‖ by Frederick Douglass
**―Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl‖ by Harriet Jacobs
We read excerpts only.
Key Terms – Style
Figurative Language (Simile, Metaphor, Personification)
Conflict (external vs. internal)
Characterization (Direct vs. Indirect)
4. Abraham Lincoln –
―Gettysburg Address‖ – speech
Emancipation Proclamation – proclamation
5. Voices from the Civil War (Letters, Diaries, Speech) p. 570 – 574
Key Idea – Primary sources
6. ―An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge‖ – Ambrose Bierce
Key Terms
Realism p. 576-577 in textbook
Point of View (1st person, 3rd Person Omniscient, 3rd Person Limited)
Thillman 3
Regionalism, Realism and Naturalism
(1870 – 1910)
p. 618 – 627 in textbook
Regionalism and Local Color Writing
Regionalism - Outgrowth of Realism (p. 632 – 633)
Mark Twain
―The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County‖
The greatest ―American‖ novel – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn p. 670 - 671
Key terms: tall tale, understatement, irony (dramatic, situational, verbal)
Brett Harte – Local Color Writing
―The Outcasts of Poker Flat‖
Female Authors
Willa Cather ―A Wagner Matinee‖
Kate Chopin ―The Story of an Hour‖ and ―A Pair of Silk Stockings‖
Edith Wharton ―April Showers‖
Jack London ―The Law of Life‖
Transitional Poets
Edwin Arlington Robinson
―Richard Cory‖
―Miniver Cheevy‖
Edgar Lee Masters
Spoon River Anthology – collection of 244 dramatic monologues
Example - ―Lucinda Matlock‖
Carl Sandburg
Robert Frost
―Acquainted With the Night‖
―Nothing Gold Can Stay‖
―Out, Out—―
―The Death of the Hired Man‖
Literary Terms
Meter (monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter
Thillman 4
Iambic vs. Trochaic
Free Verse
Poetic Form
Figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
-review open note quizzes and assignments
The research paper process/MLA citation
Vocabulary – 5 lists
Types of Sentences (Simple, Compound, Complex, Compound-Complex)
Clause (independent vs. dependent)
Identifying Subjects and Predicates
Pronouns – nominative, objective, possessive case; agreement with antecedent;
Comma Usage – after items in a list, and
after introductory elements:
Dependent clause
Transitional Words and Phrases
Verbals (Infinitive and Participial Phrases)
Introductory Prepositional phrases
Parallel Structure
Active/Passive Voice
Thillman 5
Essay topics:
1. Using examples that we have read in class this semester and selections from your
research paper, explain the relationship between American history and American
2. American author Gertrude Stein once said to Ernest Hemingway about the artists of
the1920s, ―You are all a lost generation.‖
a. Explain what it means to be ―lost‖ in this context, and
b. Analyze how characters in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby are representative of the
lost generation of the 1920s and 1930s in America. Support your answer with as
much evidence from the novel as you can.