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University of North Alabama Heroism in Beowulf Essay

University of North Alabama Heroism in Beowulf Essay

Question Description

The following guidelines and topic choices are meant to aid you in the creation of the course essay.

Please read all directions carefully before beginning this assignment. If you have questions about my expectations of your essay, email, stop by Chat during my posted office hours, or make a Zoom appointment.

Your essays should be a minimum of 3 typed, double-spaced pages. You should follow MLA guidelines for formatting and documentation. If you have questions about formatting and documentation, contact me through email or through Chat during my posted office hours. You can also make a Zoom appointment. I will be posting sample Work Cited entries for the texts we are using in class to help you accurately document sources.

  • Focus only on the work or works we have read in this course. In some cases, we may have only covered a specific selection from a longer work; your essay only needs to cover the selections we read.
  • Do not make use of essays from the Internet, Cliff Notes, SparkNotes, etc.
  • Refer to specific passage in the work to prove your point.

Essay Options:

You have several options to choose from for this assignment. Your paper should focus on ONE topic only.

Option One: In your essay, explore how a literary term can be explained using examples from one or more works we have read this semester. In other words, construct a definition essay for a literary term discussed this semester, and use examples from works on the syllabus to illustrate your definition. For example, an essay might define what an epic poem is using examples from Beowulf, or it might discuss the features of an Italian sonnet using the two poems we read by Francis Petrarch. Use the work actively (through summary, paraphrase, and/or quotation) in creating your essay.

Option Two: When reading something unfamiliar, most readers come away with one or two questions about what they have read. Those questions might be about why certain characters behave in the way they do or how the work reflects the period in which it was written. Other questions might stem from passages that were confusing. Craft a question about one of the works we have read and construct an essay that answers it. For instance, as lyric poets both Sappho and Catullus craft poems meant to leave readers with a lingering impression about some idea at the center of the poem. What sort of impression do the poems we read leave a reader with?

Option Three: Over the course of centuries, scholars, teachers, readers, and writers have considered the works we read this semester important. In your essay, discuss why a specific work is or should be considered so important. Alternatively, you may choose to discuss why the work should NOT be considered valuable. Refer to specific details from the work to prove your point. NOTE: Avoid critiquing the work solely based on personal preference. Saying the work is not valuable because it was long or boring or difficult does not make for helpful analysis.

Option Four: Choose your own adventure. For this option, you can create your own topic. Before you begin writing, email me with your ideas regarding the focus of the essay. The only requirement is that you must make an argument about the work or works you are discussing. Go back and review the materials in Reading and Writing about Literature for help in generating and narrowing a topic for a literature paper. This page and its accompanying handout (Links to an external site.) from Purdue OWL can be helpful as you think about creating your own topics.

End of Term Essay Guide

End of Term Essay Guide

Criteria Ratings

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIntroduction and ConclusionThe author begins by establishing the context of the discussion of the work in the introduction and clearly ties together the evidence discussed in the body to the thesis in the conclusion.

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesisThe author outlines their point of view regarding the text in question in a focusing sentence (thesis).

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEvidenceThe author makes active use of the text in proving their point through the appropriately documented use of summary, paraphrase, and/or quotation.

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalysisThe author works to connect the text to other texts, people, places, and/or ideas outside of the text. These connections may be between sections of the text (an analysis of foreshadowing for instance), between the text and the essay’s author (how the author connects to the text through shared experience perhaps), one text and another (an analysis of the similarities between two works), and/or the text and the historical moment in which it was written. Author works to make clear the connections between evidence and assertions.

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeTone and Word ChoiceThe author maintains an objective point of view and uses language that engages the reader but also takes into account the formal nature of the essay.

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeUnityThe author focuses consistently on the work in question and on the particular interpretation of the work outlined in the thesis. The essay uses an organizational pattern that creates links between the body paragraphs and the author’s overall point.

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStandard American English GrammarThe essay conforms to the rules of Standard American English Grammar.

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