Readings: Before the midterm, you must read and take notes on the following essays:
Paul Krugman “The Death of Horatio Alger”
Thomas L. Friedman “Globalization: The Super-Story”
Barbara Ehrenreich “Nickel and Dimed”
Robert Reich “Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer”
Purpose: Often, as writers, you have to be able to write about things that you may know little about. In these cases, writers have to do a crash course of reading in order to get up to speed. Your topic for the midterm essay will be on economics, a subject most Americans really do not understand. The essays from chapter 8 in the textbook are long, difficult, and yet still very readable. You will have seven days to crash yourself through them.
The question you will be asked on the midterm will be directly related to these essays. If you have not read them before class, you will be at a severe disadvantage!
The day of the midterm: With the book and whatever notes you can muster, you will have 90 minutes to answer a question about economics using the essays. You may use a blue book, if you like, but stapled notebook paper or directly writing on your laptop will be fine. The question you will be writing on will be derived from these articles, so, if you have done the pre-exam work, this should be fine.
Pre-Exam Work: Before you walk into class, do the following:
Make an MLA works cited page for these four essays
Take notes in the margins of the book
Write a brief summary of the argument of each essay
Make a list of main points from each essay
Pick out notable quotes from the essays and have them ready to “drop” into your exam
Pre-exam work will count for half of your grade. If you choose not to do pre-exam work, you will be graded only on your essay. Make sure you have a way to turn in your pre-exam work.
The exam is open book, open note, open computer. If you do not read and do the work before the exam, you will not benefit from the open policy.