This assessment of a student's knowledge of rhetorical devices was originally designed as a mid-term exam for an AP English Language & Composition class. It is a great companion to Rhetorical Analysis for Every Student.
Although a student’s understanding of irony, detail, organization, and allusion are difficult to assess objectively; syntax, diction, figurative language, point of view, and tone are so rich in terminology that an objective summative assessment is possible.
For syntax, figurative language, and point of view, students simply match each term to an example. For tone, students read a passage and use context clues to choose the correct word for each blank. This section does not test a student’s ability to identify the tone in a passage but rather tests for understanding of word meaning. Answers may vary wildly on the tone section, and several possibilities are offered for many of the blanks. For diction, students choose among several short-answer prompts. For Part III of this test, my students used a passage and most of the relevant questions from the 2010 Course Description for the course (“A major attraction at the Paris Exposition of 1867 . . .”), so the answer key for the test reflects the answers for questions 44 through 51 that follow this passage. The final section requires students to respond to a released style analysis prompt. The instructor will need to choose a suitable one.
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