Final Exam

Final exam Dec. 5 – 9


Step One:

You will bring this document to class for the exam.

The Word document contains four sources, all dealing with radiation. The sources are two newspaper articles, and two Wikipedia entries. Each of the Wikipedia entries must be separately and correctly referenced.

The two newspaper articles are fairly in-depth, and they illuminate two sides of the CT-scan issue:

  • CT-scans are dangerous
  • CT-scans save lives.

Read each source. Remember, you’re not trying to become an “expert,” you’re trying to gain some personal authority on the subject. Think about the material, and make sure you understand what is being said. Since you will be bringing these papers into the exam, you can highlight various sentences, make margin notes, or mark them up in any fashion you want.

Step Two:

Write the essay or work out a plan or outline. If you think that the evidence points towards a particular conclusion, then show why. But if you can’t decide one way or the other, then explain what problem you have with the information and how it stops you from coming to a decision.

Remember: A large part of what this is testing is your ability to read source material, and summarise the relevant parts for your argument.

And of course you will properly cite all material used.

Step Three:

Set up your Cheat Sheet.

The “Cheat Sheet” is not really cheating — it’s just a name we give it. It’s basically just a preparatory sheet for the exam. In this case, your cheat sheet should include an outline or plan of how you want to write the essay.

If you want to write the entire essay out during the week, and then create an outline that will allow you to essentially recreate it during the exam, that’s fine. Or you may prefer to work out an outline during he week, and then write the essay for the first time at the exam.

In the exam, you will be required to format your essay in APA style, or at least as close as possible while doing it by hand.

This means double spacing, proper punctuation, capitalisation, grammar, and sentence structure. It also means citations and references.

So prepare your references before hand, and include them on the cheat sheet. As for citations, they generally consist of something like this (Smith, 2009), which is the first word or so of the actual reference, and the year. Sometimes there will be a page number, if dealing with books or magazines.

With all that we’ve talked about references and citations, and with the resources available on the class website, you should be able to do a good job on them.

Now bring that to class on the day of the exam.

Step Four:

Write the exam.

The exam essay should only be about 500 words. Double spaced, this is roughly four pieces of lined paper.

You have a cheat sheet that already has the references properly formatted, and a plan or outline of your essay. You also have the documents themselves, and whatever notes you’ve written on them.

With all this material, you then have the full class time to write your essay.

For my part

I will not be overly demanding of spelling. Without the computer to help, it can be very hard. But that’s not an excuse to be careless and misspell common words. And of course, any words from the articles should definitely not be misspelled, since you have them right in front of you. But if you’re careful, you’ll do fine.

I will also not be overly demanding on structure, although I do expect you to have some. The essay should make sense and follow a logical flow in which one thing leads to another.

I will also be looking for signs of improvement, and giving credit for it.


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