How to write and answer CAT Questions Independent Reading Project & short answer questions
Independent Reading Project • Your Independent Reading Project (I.R.P.) is due the last school day of each month. It asks you to choose three CAT Questions and provide six details for each answer. • You also answer CAT Questions on a daily basis when studying a novel or short story. These generally ask for two details. • The High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) asks CAT Questions too. That’s why it is so important for you to add details to your answers.
Theme • Decide what idea/emotion is an overall idea in the text • Add two separate details that support that idea.
What is a main theme in Of Mice and Men A main theme in Of Mice and Men is cruelty because Curley assumed Lennie was too stupid and was also jealous of Lennie’s size. Curley was very short and comparatively weak. When Curley fought Lennie, Lennie took the punches without fighting back until George told him to fight. That’s when Lennie crushed Curley’s hand.
What is a main theme in this act? Act II’s theme is love because Malvolio is in love with Olivia and receives a love letter from her. The problem is, the letter is really from Maria who wrote it to get revenge on Malvolio for being a goodie-two-shoes.
Summary • Topic sentence that vaguely summarizes. • Detail 1 • Detail 2 • Detail 3 • All details are spaced throughout the text (usually beginning, middle, and end)
Summarize Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a play about young love gone wrong. Romeo and Juliet fall in love, but they cannot be together because of the Capulet and Montague feud. In the middle, they secretly marry each other. The feud causes Romeo’s exile, and the couple kill themselves.
Summarize “The Most Dangerous Game” The story is about a crazy man who is bored with hunting animals. A hunter swims ashore to find himself on an island where the owner hunts people instead of animals. Rainsford is sent into the forest to try surviving being hunted. At the end, Rainsford traps his hunter, General Zaroff and kills him.
Inference • Educated guess! • What can you infer about Orsino’s character? I can infer that Orsino is very attached when he falls in “love.” He uses his servants to send messages to Olivia. He is very persistent even when his messengers, like Cesario/Viola, are told to stop sending messages.
Inference • Educated guess – a hypothesis • What can we infer about Lennie based on his behavior? I infer that Lennie is mentally disabled because George acts like a brother who has to take care of him. George has to tell Lennie where to meet in case Lennie causes something bad to happen again. Lennie also seems special because he kills soft things without really noticing; for example, he kills mice and Curley’s wife and the puppy.
Prediction • An inference about the future • How do you predict the plot of Twelfth Night will end? I predict Orsino’s servant Cesario/Viola will reveal her “Viola-side” and he will fall in love with her. She has said in an aside using dramatic irony that she loves Orsino very much. Olivia has said she will never love Orsino, and Orsino’s first monologue mentions pretty music with violets (Viola).
Prediction • An inference about the future • Based on the troubles Romeo has in this scene, how do you predict this play will end tragically? I predict killing Tybalt will result in death and a tragic ending because Romeo was banished to Mantua. This causes Romeo and Juliet to be separated and they could die of sadness. Their secret marriage was a bad idea because of their family feud. Friar Laurence wants to fix the feud with the marriage.
Literary Elements • Literary elements include foreshadowing, figurative language, suspense, and conflict (plus many, many more)
How does Shakespeare create conflict in Twelfth Night? Shakespeare creates conflict in Twelfth Night with the disguises, miscommunications, and love triangles. For example, Viola is disguised as a boy named Cesario who is in love with Orisono who is in love with Olivia who is in love with Cesario. It gets very complicated!
How does the author create suspense in “The Most Dangerous Game?” The author creates suspense when Rainsford is being hunted by General Zaroff. Rainsford jumps off a cliff so we worry he will die, and when he returns to the castle he attempts to kill Zaroff. We worry again that he will lose his life.
Compare and/or Contrast • Comparing is finding similarities • Contrasting is finding differences
Compare Viola and Olivia • Viola and Olivia have several similarities. For one, Viola’s brother drowned (as far as she knows) and Olivia’s brother died recently; both women are very sad about that. Both characters are also in love with people who don’t love them back: Olivia loves Cesario (Viola), and Cesario (Viola) loves Orsino.
Contrast Feste and Malvolio The differences between Festeand Malvolio are their cleverness and personalities. Feste is smart and uses wit to make characters think more. For example, Feste’ssongs to Toby and Orsinoinclude advice. In contrast, Malvoliodoesn’t agree with Feste’s advice. For example, he did not like Feste calling Olivia a fool. This is because he doesn’t understand the Fool is being clever.
Cause & Effect What is the effect of Toby’s lies? The effect of Toby’s lies is more conflict. When he told Cesario that Andrew is a master fencer who is going to kill “him,” Cesario was scared. Toby also told Andrew that Viola/Cesario was a master fencer for the Sophy, and Andrew was intimidated. These were all lies that added conflict.
Cause & Effect • What is the effect of Lennie’s choices at the end of Of Mice and Men? The effect of Lennie’s choices toward the end of Of Mice and Menis that he is euthanized like Candy’s dog. Lennie isn’t good at making decisions and thinking things through, so he accidently kills Curley’s wife while petting her hair. The result is Lennieruns to the safe place to meet George, and George kills him while he’s happily distracted. This is much better than letting Curley’s mob do it.
Author’s Purpose • The reason the author might have written what or how s/he did • What is Shakespeare’s purpose for Viola’s disguise? Shakespeare’s purpose for Viola’s disguise is to create conflict and comedy. It creates conflict because she looks like her brother Sebastian – it tricks Antonio. It creates comedy when she says she lacks a “thing” before the duel.
Author’s Purpose • What is the author’s purpose for ending Of Mice and Men they way Steinbeck does? Steinbeck’s purpose for ending the novel how he does is to show that George had to make a difficult choice. George had to kill Lennie the same way Candy should have killed his old dog. It is an impossible decision, but letting someone else like Carlson or Curley do it is worse.
Evaluate Decisions • Judging and giving opinion • Evaluate Orsino’s ability to take no for answer. Orsino is not very good at taking no for an answer. Olivia told Cesarioto tell Orisino she’s not interested in him, but Orsino sends Cesario back to repeat the message. He even sends Olivia jewelry in Act IIIand goes to Olivia’s on his own in Act V.
Evaluate Decisions • Judge and give opinion • Evaluate George’s decision to kill Lennie. George’s decision to kill Lennie was a good one because he was looking out for him. After Lennie killed Curley’s wife, Curley led a group to kill and perhaps torture Lennie. George did a good thing making Lennie happy, talking about the rabbits and the farm, before he shot him.
Drawing Conclusions • Usually this type of question is asked at the end of a book or at the end of a scene. It’s asking you to sum up your thoughts on a topic. • What conclusion can you draw about Viola’s feelings. I conclude Viola probably feels helpless because she loves Orsino yet he loves Olivia. She needs the job, but it is difficult to do his errands at Olivia’s. She is probably excited to think her brother Sebastian may be alive. Antonio called her Sebastian, so she must have hope.
Drawing Conclusions • It’s a lot like inferences with opinion added; it sums up your thoughts on a specific topic • What conclusion can you draw about Curley’s wife? I conclude that Curley’s wife was lonely because was flirty with Lennie and all the farm hands plus she told Lennie she was lonely and wants to get a job as a movie star.