Sample Exam Questions

Please note that the following are sample questions. This is not a sample exam. The length of the exam you take will be appropriate for a 75 minute classroom period.

Part I: Matching. Match the speaker in the left column with the quotation in the right column. Indicate in the blank line to the left of the question number, the letter of the answer in the right column. (Each answer worth 3 points.)

_____ 1. Benjamin Franklin a. " . . . a certain John Pigg violated the Association [for the purpose of boycotting English goods] by drinking, and making use of in his family, the detestable East India TEA, and also that he the said Pigg had taken uncommon pains in order to defeat the intention of the said Association, by exclaiming much against the measures adopted by the General Congress. . . ."
_____ 2. Pittsylvania County Committee of Correspondence b. "On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the convention, who may still have objections to it would with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name tothis instrument."

Part II: Identification of Rhetorical Tradition. Indicate on the blank line to the left of each element (N) if it is characteristic of the rhetoric of Puritan New England, (V) if it is characteristic of rhetoric on the Virginia Frontier, or (B) if it was characteristic of both. (3 points each)

_____ 3. Viewed planting as a public matter.

_____ 4. Commonly employed passage from the Bible as a form of proof.

Part III: Multiple Choice. Indicate the best response to each question. (3 points each)

_____ 5. Among the factors that both increased the need for a changed rhetoric and provided a method for changing the rhetoric which built the national community was: (a) the Puritan jeremiad; (b) the increase in commerce; (c) the influence of the Scottish Enlightenment; (d) increased pressure from European powers.

_____ 6. Those who opposed the national Constitution: (a) refused to debate those who supported it; (b) wrote their opposition in The Federalist Papers; (c) rejected the ideograph <people> as an organizing principle of government; (d) were only able to win the debate in three states.

Part IV: Short answer. Answer the following questions. You may write on the back of the answer sheet if you need to do so.

7. Contrast "public communication" and "mass communication." (10 points)

8. Some have argued that Puritan rhetoric was marked by its emotion. Others have asserted that it was extremely logical. Which position would you defend? Do you have a different position? Explain why you believe your position best characterizes Puritan rhetoric. (10 points)

Part V: Generate rhetoric. Generate a short rhetorical message that might have been heard in each of these situations. Do not tell me what would have been said, write a message that you might have heard if you had been at the public occasion mentioned. Length is not important; just as long as necessary to demonstrate you understand the characteristics of appropriate rhetoric. You may use the back of the sheets if necessary. (10 points each)

9. You live in Puritan New England and it has not rained for nearly two months. Wells are drying up and crops are near failure. At the meeting house on Sunday, you (the minister of the village) will preach on this subject. Provide an opening paragraph for that speech.

10. You live on the Virginia frontier. Phillip Anderson's mill has burned. Anderson has gone to court to request permission to build another mill. Write the speech you would give to the court in support of (or opposition to) Anderson.

Extra-Credit. Complete the following quotation. (5 points extra-credit)

"Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace -- but there is no peace.





give me liberty, or give me death."

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