my comp II students are writing their final exam. I'm trying not to fall asleep on the desk. I must not drink diet coke in my evening class since then I stay awake until 1 or 2 am.
the final is one I've used before: one section they describe a discussion among some of the authors they've read about how to approach literature. One of our texts promotes intertextuality and how everyone is part of the conversation. Other authors advocate more hierarchical approaches to the canon.
A second question asks them to consider how our course is organized and outline 3 different ways of writing essays about a poem they have not encountered previously. Most of the students who have been attending regularly just pull out the syllabus and describe 3 of the units we've done (reader response, close reading critical analysis, contextual: literary, historical, biographical -- a researched approach). Others look around as though the question is in a foreign language.
The final section is short answers to terms they probably know (and it's open book).
I like this exam because I think it helps them synthesize and articulate a fairly complex approach to literature. Even those who don't get to that point understand that there are many ways of thinking about literature.