Mid Term Study Guide

American Lit

Midterm Study Guide

Ms Gareis




What should I expect?


It will include a matching portion, short answer portion, reading comprehension portion, MLA formatting portion and essay portion.


Honors students will have two extra questions in each section as well as be required to write an extra paragraph on the essay.


The total possible score for all versions will be 100 pts. There will be one extra credit question (valued at a possible 5 pts).


The exam will be CLOSED book, any reading material needed to complete the exam will be provided for you during the exam period.


It will cover the following material.




Review all of the vocabulary for Catcher and Crucible. Use your powerpoints to guide you.


The vocab portion may require you to match, create sentences, write definitions or any combination of these three tasks.




Review the rules associated with comma splices, run-ons and fragments. Know how to identify subordinate and main clauses, subordinate conjunctions and coordinating conjunctions. For review use the Grammar Bytes site http://www.chompchomp.com/exercises.htm


The grammar potion may require you to match, correct, list, create sentences, write definitions or any combination of these tasks.


MLA Formatting


Be familiar with the basics of MLA formatting and style.


The MLA formatting portion may require you to match, correct, or create a first page, in text citation, or works cited page or citation for a single author book, webpage, image, or periodical.



Reading Comprehension


You will be provided with a short reading passage and several questions that you will respond to directly and in complete sentences. Grammar, spelling and content will be all be factored into the grading of this portion. The passage will be related to either Catcher in the Rye, The Crucible or Coming of Age.


Be prepared to

  1. Read the passage
  2. Answer questions regarding the passage
  3. Formulate a strong and arguable thesis



The Stories and Novels


You should be prepared to accurately identify and discuss protagonist, antagonist, foil, round character, flat character, dynamic character, static character, plot; including conflict, inciting incident, rising action, falling action and resolution, theme, motif, symbol, tone, mood, setting, diction, irony, epiphany, metaphor in the following poems, novel, play and stories:


A& P by John Updike, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Indian Education by Sherman Alexie, Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Half-Hanged Mary by Margaret Atwood, and the poems of Robert Frost. Links to all short stories can be found on the class blog www.amlitg.wordpress.com


You should understand and be able to clearly explain how and why the following stories and novels are examples of coming of age literature.


A &P by John Updike, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Indian Education by Sherman Alexie, Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, and The Crucible by Arthur Miller


You should understand and be able to identify and discuss the connections between:


The Crucible and Half-Hanged Mary


You should understand and be able to identify and discuss the ways in which the authors lives influenced the authors’ works in the following novels:


The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger and The Crucible by Arthur Miller


The story and novel potion may require you to match, write definitions, directly respond to short answer questions or any combination of these tasks.






Essay Question


Possible essay questions:


  1. Arthur Miller said, ‘I think works of art change the consciousness of people and their estimates of who they are and what they stand for (” New York Times”, 11/30/96). Can a work of art, such as a play or a film, change anything? Explain your reasoning and give at least two concrete examples to support your claim. One of your examples must relate to The Crucible.


  1. Preserving one’s reputation is a prevalent theme in The Crucible. Examine one character in detail who is concerned with their reputation. How does this affect how they act? Is a good name more important than the truth?


  1. Salinger weaves a variety of symbols into The Catcher in the Rye, including (but not limited to) the red hunting hat, the ducks in Central Park and Allie’s mitt. Select and analyze one symbol that Salinger uses in the book. Explain how Salinger develops this object as a symbol throughout the story. Discuss the symbol’s meaning and significance and explore its contributions to the overall message of the novel.


  1. How does Holden’s language (his diction, syntax, mannerisms, way of organizing his thoughts, etc.) reinforce the novel’s themes?





Story Board Assignment

You will create a storyboard summary of chapters 18-21 for Honors SECTIONS and 12-15 for Regular Sections and Honors Contracts.

Follow these steps:

1. Identify the main events, characters, symbols and motifs present in the chapters. These will determine how many cells you need and what you will fill them with. Color, characterization, syntax, diction, mood…these will all be important during this process.

2. Choose at least one direct quote (this can be dialogue, phrases, descriptions) from each chapter to use as headings…no more than three consecutive sentences.

3. Decide how you will create your story board. You may either print copies of the paper templates that are available on this post, draw your own boards from scratch or use the storyboardthat.com website.

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EXTRA CREDIT! Banned Books (valid from 9/26-10/6)

Catcher In the Rye has spent more time on banned book lists than most books.

What other books have been/are banned somewhere in this country?

Why were they banned?

Do a quick internet search to discover a banned book. List it, it’s author and the reason for the ban.

Do not to list a book that has been listed already.

You will ONLY receive credit for ONE book and ONE comment. Please don’t spam this post with multiple comments.