Prepared by Dr. Lisa Di Bartolomeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last modified 2001-12-11
The exam will consist of twenty-five multiple choice questions followed by three short-answers questions. You must answer all three questions. Each short-answer question must be answered with at least three-four sentences and is worth five points. The short answers will be graded according to the following point system:
Overall quality of the answer. Points will be awarded or deducted depending on whether or not:
Completeness and thoughtfulness of the answer. Points will be awarded or deducted depending on whether or not:
Organizing a short-answer essay on an exam must be done quickly and without an opportunity to check one's notes. As you prepare to answer the question, consider the most important points you wish to emphasize; writing short notes in the margins of your exam may help you recall the ideas you wish to highlight.
When appropriate or specified by the question, provide a clear, well-elaborated example. For instance, when interpretation is called for, do not simply name a tale or a critical approach as evidence, but illustrate how your example fits in with the central idea under discussion.
Because the short-answer format is of necessity brief, you must express your thoughts in a concise and targeted way. Do not ramble in the hope that the more you say, the better your answer will look. Answer the question and move on.
The short-answer questions will tend to ask for interpretive and analytic skills that we cannot easily test in the multiple-choice section. This means that the more you have considered the meaning and significance of both critical and primary texts we study in class, the better you will do.
Sample question: Identify the leshii in the context of Russian folk belief.
Sample answer: The leshii, or wood spirit, is a trickster spirit who lives in the forest. His appearance varies: he may appear as large as an oak tree or as small as a mushroom, and he might appear furry like an animal, or in the garb of a fugitive soldier. Leshii were fond of leading drunken Russians astray in the forest, and often kidnapped women to serve as their nannies or even to be their wives. Leshii could be defeated or warded off by flipping a button at them, drawing a magic circle around oneself, or by laughing at the spirit.
Evaluation: The above answer covers all manner of information about the topic, including location, appearance, activities, and interaction with people. Translation of the name is also a good idea, as it displays knowledge of both the original Russian term and its English equivalent. Other possible topics to mention might be: the leshii’s later conflation with the devil in Russian folk belief (reflected in alternative appearances), or reference to a specific illustration taken from a particular folk tale that mentions the leshii.