2021 Fall midterm

101 Midterm Exam Essay Prompt

For the exam you will read “What Do Professors Do During a Writing Session” by Christine Tulley. The article was published in Inside higher Education on February 18th, 2021. You can access the article by clicking on the link below: 

“What Do Professors Do During a Writing Session”

During your midterm exam, you will write an essay that responds to this reading using your own experience as a writer this semester and in high school.

    • Step 1: Engage with article. Begin by noticing where you find yourself agreeing with the descriptions in the article and where you find yourself disagreeing based on what you’ve observed and experienced. Compare your experience to the article’s ideas.
    • Step 2: Enter the conversation by deciding on a thesis. 
    • Step 3: Think of detailed, specific evidence from your own experience or observation of the world to support your thesis. Do not do additional research.
    • Step 4: Adjust your thesis based on evidence and write an outline (no sentences) on index card.
    • Step 5: Write the exam in class. Be sure to adequately explain your evidence.  Include a works cited entry at the end of your essay.

To the exam you can bring: 1) this prompt, 2) copy of the article with annotations (no full sentences) , and 3) a 3×5 index card with notes or an outline (again no full sentences except for the 1-3 sentence thesis statement).

Checklist for your exam

Content—Does my essay

  • Have a controlling thesis that is clear, focused, and argumentative? It should include both the ideas of the article and your response to those ideas. 
  • Develop the thesis fully with specific, relevant, and fully explained details and examples from observation and first- or second-hand experience?
  • Use textual support from the article sparingly so that the emphasis is on my own ideas? Quotations must be integrated and any paraphrasing must use your own words. Use citations and/or attributive tags when you cite the article. 

Organization—Does my essay:

  • Have an introduction and conclusion that frame the main argument. Include a summary that gives a brief overview of the article’s main ideas
  • Contain paragraphs with topic sentences and transitions that connect ideas 

Style—Does my essay:

  • Contain writing that is clean stylistically with strong verbs and concise and clear sentences?  Sentences should be combined as needed to create sentence variety and clarify logical connections.