CRITICAL ESSAY EXEMPLARS for REVIEW:
*Even if you don’t know the TEXT, a good critical essay should have you feel like you know it well enough – under the lens of the prompt. But notice that the strong critical essays do not just RETELL (say) of the plot; strong critical essays argue a strong opinion/idea/insight about the prompt – using the text as the examples to support their claims.
*Notice how the critical essays are really a psychological analysis of the character and their circumstances in relevance to the prompt.
Review Critical Essays by deconstructing others’ essays:
1) does the writer answer the prompt?
2) do they know the text well -with precise, specific, relevant examples?
3) do they explain how their examples are relevant to the prompt/their thesis?
4) what works?
5) how does their essay fit the outline, the template?
6) what is their thesis and topics?
7) How do they weave (embed) their evidence/quotes into the paragraph?
8) How do they offering MEANING and MATTER to the evidence – relative back to the prompt?
9) Does their essay have unified and coherent structure that flows?
10) Is their style of writing effective? Is there a variety of sentences? Do they weave strong images or symbols from the text into their analysis and style of writing – i.e. the “chess” reference in Shawshank Redemption, or light/darkness imagery?
11) How clean and correct is the writing with GUMPS?
12) Is the essay written with clarity – or does it get too wordy and confusing or lose its direction?
https://www.alberta.ca/writing-diploma-exams.aspx – look under: Exemplars, examples of students’ writing and practice questions 30-1 (scroll through the PDF to find the E, Pf, S exemplars for each CRITICAL prompt)
CRITICAL ESSAY EXEMPLARS:
Prompt: the role self-perception plays when individuals seek to reconcile the conflict between illusion and reality. (June 2014)
A Streetcar Named Desire – Ziyana
A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche) compared to The Picture of Dorian Grey (Sybil) – Hope (but a comparison/contrast analysis)
Picture of Dorian Grey – Tarannum
Prompt: The role of honesty when an individual experiences tension between optimism and reality.
A Streetcar Named Desire – Hijab
A Streetcar Named Desire – Ibukun
A Streetcar Named Desire – Claire
Prompt: …the interplay between how individuals perceive themselves and are perceived by others
A Streetcar Named Desire – Sara
Prompt: the ways in which an individual’s resilience is shaped by empathy. (June 2015)
Frankenstein – Queeny
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Megan
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Vanessa
Frankenstein – Siddharth
Richard III – Alissa
Prompt: an individual’s attempt to live unconstrained by convention or circumstance (June 2007)
Death of a Salesman – Maria
Death of a Salesman – Abhay
Death of a Salesman – Nazeefa
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Luca
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Nimrat
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Petrina
Death of a Salesman – Zaid
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zaid
Pride and Prejudice – (comparison 2 paragraph essay) – Claire B.
Prompt: ways in which individuals struggle to restore honour and certainty (Jan 2009)
Hamlet (Ophelia) – Alysha
Hamlet(Hamlet) – Lauryn
Hamlet (Hamlet) – Jieo
Hamlet (Ophelia) – Ziyana
Hamlet (Ghost) – Tarannum
Hamlet (Ophelia) – Hijab
Hamlet (Hamlet) – Carmen
Prompt: …the role emotional courage plays when an individual experiences separation.
Hamlet (Ophelia) – Maria
Hamlet – Ophelia – Petrina
Prompt: the significance of idealism and truth in an individual’s life (June 2009)
Frankenstein – Ziyana
Frankenstein – Rehman
Prompt: – the ways in which individuals take responsibility for themselves or others (June 2010)
Death of a Salesman – Shyla
Death of a Salesman – Alysha
Death of a Salesman – Jieo
The Great Gatsby – Yasmeen
Prompt: the role adversity plays in shaping an individual’s identity. (June 2011)
Prompt: an individual’s capacity for self-sacrifice in the face of compelling circumstances. (June 2013)
Prompt: …the nature of motivations that direct an individual’s course of action.
Frankenstein – Nimrat
The ways in which individuals pursue or compromise their happiness. (Jan 10)
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Nazeefa
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena) – Judy