Book name The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volumes 1A, 1B, and 1C (4th Edition)

Book name   The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volumes 1A, 1B, and 1C (4th Edition)


Essays must be in MLA typewritten format, and in black 12 point Times New Roman font). This includes a typed heading, assignment title, and page header.  If your paper does not meet this standard, it will not be accepted and is late—no exceptions. Essay Length: 750-1000 words
Essay Topic 1due by July 29,2015

Essay 1 Topics
Choose your subject from the following list. You do NOT have to answer all of the question listed under a given topic when you write your paper. These questions are designed to help you come up with a POINT to explore and support. Think about them as you decide what to focus on and what interpretation you will argue in your paper. Remember: these are ONLY topics; unless you have something to PROVE about the topic, your paper will have no thesis.  Be sure to consult the Basic Steps in Writing a Literature Paper as you work on this paper.
1. Write an analysis of The Dream of the Rood which explains how and why the lines between savior and warrior are blurred. Your paper should answer a question that requires thoughtful analysis, not just summary, for example, how and why is Christ depicted as a warrior in Dream of the Rood?  (How does this characterization serve the author’s purpose? Does this characterization help explain why the epic was written down by a Christian scribe?)
2. Describe and analyze the fusion of pagan and Christian values, elements and beliefs in The Dream of the Rood.  In order to keep this analysis from being purely descriptive, be sure your essay presents a thesis concerning, for example, what the author is trying to achieve and why the familiar story of the Crucifixion must be changed to make it relevant to his target audience (which you should clearly identify). Elements to consider: the characterization of Christ; the characterization and function of the Rood; ways in which the poem mediates between pagan and Christian beliefs; the role and function of the Dreamer.
3. Compare/contrast what constitutes a hero or the notion of heroism in the Old English and Middle English periods. Draw your examples from two texts: eitherThe Dream of the Rood, Lanval, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What makes the central figures heroic? How is their respective heroism similar? How does it differ, and why? (Possible reasons include differences in genre, in the texts’ messages or the purposes for which they were written, in the target audience or in that audience’s or the author’s world view.)  Your thesis should account for both the similarities and the differences between the two works.
4. Discuss the didactic and moral aspects of ONE of the following: The Dream of the Rood, Lanval, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What is the author trying to achieve? Who is his/her target audience?  What imagery does the author use to get his/her point across or to make the events depicted relevant to the target audience? Does (s)he achieve his/her purpose? Choose your textual evidence carefully so as to illustrate an important point that is the focus of your thesis.

A few reminders before you write. . .
•    Your paper will NOT necessarily answer all the questions in the prompt. These questions are designed to get you THINKING. You must decide what to focus on and what INTERPRETIVE POINT to argue.

•    A topic is not a thesis.  A series of observations that are true but not debatable may be excellent notes for a paper, but they are not (yet) interpretive analytic writing.  Until you say something debatable about the topic which can be supported by textual interpretation, your paper has no interpretive focus (there is no debatable thesis).

•    Be sure that your essay conforms to the standards outlined in the Basic Steps in Writing a Literature Paper and on the ESSAY EVALUATION CHECKLIST (which I use when grading written work).  PROOFREAD CAREFULLY to ensure that you do NOT make the mechanical or stylistic errors listed on the checklist!

•    Your essay should be approximately 750–1000 words and have a title which suggests the topic/thesis of your paper and should include citations from the literary texts for support. See Basic Steps in Writing a Literature Paper for proper format and information to include.

Essay Evaluation Check List

________________________________________    ________________________________________    Paper has a title which suggests topic/thesis of paper    THOUGHT
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Paper takes a position on a debatable point (not just observation/description)
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Thesis makes sense (is defensible)
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Paper presents a logical argument in support of its thesis
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Important ideas/concepts are addressed
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Textual evidence is well chosen
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Textual evidence is followed by analysis (interpretation of quoted passages)

________________________________________    ________________________________________    Introduction provides context and direction    ORGANIZATION
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Clear thesis statement is found at or near end of 1st paragraph    AND
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Paragraphs are unified and coherent     DEVELOPMENT
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Purpose of each paragraph is clear (represents a logical step in argument)
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Transitions between paragraphs are logical
________________________________________    ________________________________________    All necessary steps in argument are included (no leaps in logic)
________________________________________    ________________________________________    There is adequate textual support for each step in argument
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Points are made in logical order (e.g. most general/simple/obvious to most specific/complex/subtle)
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Summaries are provided only to make a point
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Paper is of appropriate length for assignment
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Concluding paragraphs are emphatic, relevant, logical

________________________________________    ________________________________________    Margins and line spacing are correct    MECHANICS
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Citations are woven smoothly into your prose (e.g. no fragments, clear pronoun references)    AND
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Sources are documented consistently and accurately in both foot/endnote and text    STYLE
________________________________________    ________________________________________    Evidence is properly quoted (slashes between verse lines, indented block quotations, final punctuation)
________________________________________    ________________________________________    1st & 2nd person references are avoided (whole paper is your thought; present it in a neutral way)

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