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09/04/2019

I made a small but possibly huge mistake on my final?

QUESTION
I made a small but possibly huge mistake on my final?
Okay, so today I took my New York regents English exam, I felt confident after I took it. However, when I went home I realized I made quite a big mistake. On the critical lens essay question I had to reference two literary works, one of which was Harper lee’s “To kill a mockingbird” I wrote in all about the plot and everything so it DEFINATLY proves that I’ve read it- but what the mistake was, was that every time I mentioned the title I said “HOW to kill a mockingbird” instead of “TO kill a mockingbird”. Will this take a lot of points off, regardless of a good structured outline of the story? Or is it no big deal?

*those who will be grading my essay are other English teachers in the school besides my own.

ANSWER
The critical lens is scored on a scale of 1-6. A 1 usually means you barely wrote a paragraph about something that may have nothing to do with the English Language Arts curriculum. A 6 means you wrote an extraordinary essay that uses sophisticated language to provide a detailed analysis of the lens.

According to the grading rubric, an essay with a score of 6 can still have minor errors in it. Your essay will be graded based on the content you provide in relation to the lens and the literary devices you integrated into the essay. Most of the criteria are far more important than if you goofed up the title of one of the literary selections you chose. This little error is not significant enough to skew your grade up or down a whole point. If the grading teacher is fair and ‘calibrated’ to the state’s rubric and scoring standards, this should not affect you significantly.

However, what should concern you is how much plot summary you did. The purpose of the essay is not to prove that you read the literature you’re writing about. That is assumed. The purpose of the essay is to use your knowledge of a piece of literature to analyze and interpret the lens, and to support or refute it with evidence and literary devices from your chosen literary works. It is okay to have some plot summary, so long as you meet the other requirements of the essay.