Sunday, June 12, 2005

Text of the Midterm Exam

For those few of you who were unable to attend class Thursday, this is the text of the take-home mid-term examination I distributed then. You are to hand it in Tuesday morning when you arrive in class. Remember, we are screening a film Tuesday in Room 188 of Dwinelle Hall. Please arrive on time, because the running time of the film demands we get right underway.

You still have plenty of time to complete the exam. It is adapted from an exam I have administered to students in my Rhetoric 10 course, and they are able to complete it, without notes or other resources at their disposal, in under three hours.

Your Name:
Rhetoric 110
Summer, 2005

Midterm Examination

Part I (50 pts., total)

Section 1: Short Answer (20 pts.)

1. Describe the three rhetorical appeals, ethos, logos, and pathos.
2. Name the four Aims of Argument, as we have discussed them in class.
3. Name the four “Master Tropes”
4. What is the difference between a syllogism and an enthymeme?
5. What distinguishes a hypothetical from a categorical syllogism?
6. What is the inductive leap?
7. What is the difference between a scheme and a trope?
8. According to the Toulmin Schema, what is an argument’s warrant?
9. What is the difference between a paradox and an oxymoron?
10. What is the difference between the fallacies of division and composition?

Section 2: Identifications (10 pts. [incl. 2 free pts.])

Identify the form of the inference (the logical argument) in each of these syllogisms, and say whether they are valid or fallacious.

1. P, then q.
Not p.
So, not q.

2. If a, then b.
B is the case.
Thus, so is a.

3. S, then t.
Not t.
And hence, not s.

4. x, then y.
Therefore, y.

5. Circle the antecedent in this proposition:

If you studied for the exam, then I expect you will do quite well on it.

6. Is the following a deductive or inductive argument?

“Self-esteem appears to be at least a necessary condition for happiness. All the happy people I’ve known, whatever their other differences in personality and goals, seem to have basic self-esteem, whereas people who don’t have that trait never seem to be happy.”

7. Which of the following two sentences is a Trope and which a Scheme? Indicate your answer by putting a “T” or “S” in the space in front of the sentence.

“Band-Aids: Your child’s new body-guards.”

“I am stuck on Band-Aids, ‘cause Band-Aids stuck on me.”

8. What type of deductive syllogism is the following argument?

“According to the union contract, either we have to close the plant on labor day, or we have to pay the workers twice the regular pay. But we have too much work to close the plant, so we’ll have to pay the workers double time.”

Section 3: Matching

Matching Fallacies (10 pts. [incl. 1 free pt.])

1. Ad Ignoratiam
2. Ad Populum
3. Ad Misericordiam
4. Ad Baculum
5. Ad Verecundiam
6. Denying the Antecedant
7. Undistributed Middle
8. Petitio Principii
9. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

___ Teacher to Student: “And, finally, in reconsidering your position, you might want to remember who gives out the grades in this course.”

___ Parent to Child: “Fine. Go ahead. Quit school. Why should you care if you are breaking a poor parent’s heart?”

___ Why are you so skeptical about the existence of UFOs? Nobody has ever proved they don’t exist!”

___ Time is money, and time heals all wounds. So, it’s no surprise that money heals all wounds.

___ Anarchy would be a fine and beautiful system for society to adopt, if men were angels. Alas, they are not.

___ The Golden Rule is a sound moral principle, since it’s basic to every system of ethics in literally every known culture.

___ Order is indispensable to justice, for justice can only be achieved in the context of a social and legal order.

___ “I must say I’m not surprised Tara slipped on that banana peel and broke her leg, when not five minutes before I watched her step on a crack, walk under a ladder, cross a black cat’s path, and break her compact mirror without giving it a second thought.”

___ You should buy the new Bottle Blond Boyz Album. All the kewl kids are.

Matching Figures (10 pts.)

1. Prosopopeia
2. Litotes
3. Metaphor
4. Auxesis
5. Hyperbole
6. Metonymy
7. Alliteration
8. Assonance
9. Antanaclasis
10. Oxymoron

___ Summer session courses go on for an absolute eternity.

___ O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! -- John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

___ Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance for the worse. – Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub

___ And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes. – T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

___ The prosecutor was a missile, zeroing in on his culminating point.

___ “Tho’ we’re apart, you’re a part of me still.” – lyrics of the song, Blueberry Hill

___ …and with firm confidence in justice, freedom, and peace on earth that will raise the hearts and the hopes of mankind for that distant day when no one rattles a saber and no one drags a chain. – Adlai Stevenson, acceptance speech, 1952

___ Progress is not proclamation or palaver. It is not pretense nor play on prejudice. It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought nor a promise proposed. – Warren G. Harding nominating William Taft in 1912.

___ It shreds the nerves, it vivisects the psyche – and it may even scare the living daylights out of more than a few playgoers. – Review in TIME, 1966

___ Whales in the wake like capes and Alps Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep. – Dylan Thomas, “Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait”

Part II (50 pts, total)

Section 1: Exercises (15 pts.)

A. Reconstruct the following arguments by identifying their conclusions and their premises. Then identify whether or not the arguments are valid.

1. The TELEBEARS system asks me all sorts of questions when I dial in. And we all know that if a computer were a conscious being it would ask me all sorts of questions. So TELEBEARS must be a conscious being.

2. If the United States completes a missile defense system before the rest of the world does, they wil gain enormous leverage over all other nations in any confrontation. For if the US completes its defensive shield firsdt, they will pose a credible threat of a first strike, and if they pose such a threat they will gain enormous leverage.

B. For each of the following enthymemes: 1. Supply the missing premise or conclusion. 2. Identify whether the missing element is a major premise, a minor premise, or the conclusion.

1. He must be annoyed, because he’s scowling all the time.

2. Mary crossed the picket line, so her lamb must have crossed it too.

3. New Yorkers are well-mannered, and no well-mannered people are uncivilized.

4. True freedom demands responsibility, and that is why most folks dread it.

5. No enthymemes are complete, and so this argument is incomete.

Section 2: Toulmin Schema (15 pts.)

Construct a strategy of support using the Toulmin Schema for the following enthymeme: “”Serpents make vile pets, because they cannot be trusted.” Be sure to identify all the parts of the Toulmin Schema, the claim, the stated reason, and to supply a plausible warrant, qualification, grounds, etc. [By “construct a strategy of support” I mean simply to provide an argument, but one which exhibits all the characteristics the Toulmin Schema identifies for analyzing arguments.]

Section 3: Short Essay (20 pts.)

Write an essay of approximately two pages in length [students who received the handout will probably produce handwritten essays that cover the blank space of the page on which this question appears, plus the back of the sheet, as necessary] analyzing the following passage from Frederixk Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Your essay should identify what you take to be the central claim of the passage, and then discuss how Douglass uses figurative language to make his claim and express it more forcefully.

“It was called by the slaves the Great House Farm. Few privileges were esteemed higher, by the slaves of the out-farms, than that of being selected to do errands at the Great House Farm. It was associated in their minds with greatness. A representative could not be prouder of his election to a seat in the American Congress, than a slave on one of the out-farms would be of his election to do errands at the Great House Farm. They regarded it as evidence of great confidence reposed in them by their overseers; and it was on this account, as well as a constant desire to be out of the field from under the driver’s lash, that they esteemed it a high privilege, one worth careful living for… The competitors for this office sought as diligently to please their overseers, as the office-seekers in the political parties seek to pelase and deceive the people. The same traits of character might be seen in Colonial Lloyd’s slaves, as are seen in the slaves of the political parties.”

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