A Question for the Final Exam

The following question will be asked on the final exam:

We have indicated that our task this semester is to understand the variety of response to human events, the critical role of language forms in selecting and coordinating that variety, and the way in which this linguistic process shapes the coalition and conflict of human activity. You are to demonstrate your understanding of these processes by dealing with the "Clinton/Lewinsky/Impeachment" complex of events (the behavior of Lewinsky and Clinton, the Starr investigation and the testimony within, and the impeachment inquiry). Describe 2 or 3 different motives that you find in discourse framing the talk about these events. What vocabulary is characteristic of each motive? How do the motives describe different realities of the same events? How does each strategically accomplish its evaluation of various characters, events, and actions? What action is appropriate within the view of each motive and how does the dramatistic process frame this appropriateness?


  1. This is not a "take-home" test. You will write your answer in the classroom on Monday. No notes may be brought into the exam. But you can do whatever reading and other preparation will help you prepare for the exam.
  2. After you receive this exam question, the instructor will not answer any substantive questions that bear on the answer. If you have any questions to clarify what you take as ambiguities in the question, you may email me. Any substantive answers that the instructor thinks will help anyone answer the question will be emailed to everyone on the class listserv.
  3. You can study with others. I urge you to do so. Submissions by anyone who wants to use the class listserv will be passed through within 24 hours.
  4. This question does not require that you view everything and read everything related to the events in question. Obviously you will need to view enough or read enough to see a variety of responses. Your answer will be evaluated on your demonstrated understanding of the perspective of the course and your ability to apply it, not on the depth of your knowledge of the events.
  5. The answer you write on Monday will be 1/3 of your grade. That should mean that you can complete writing it in about 40 minutes.

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