Directions: You will write an analytical and research-based essay on



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N. Williams and R. Reiser English III 2014-2015

Beowulf Essay Assignment 2014-2015

Directions: You will write an analytical and research-based essay on Beowulf. Your essay must include examples, quotations, and paraphrases from the epic poem and from one outside source.



Prompt

Topic I: Loyalty in Anglo-Saxon Culture

Write a five-paragraph essay evaluating the role of loyalty in Anglo-Saxon culture. Consider the heroic ideal, blood vengeance, and what it means for a society to be structured around these ideas of loyalty, oaths, and revenge. What does it mean to be loyal? What does it mean to be disloyal? What does the adherence to these ideals mean for an Anglo-Saxon individual?

Topic II: Vengeance in Anglo-Saxon Culture

Write a five-paragraph essay evaluating the value of vengeance in Anglo-Saxon culture. How does this value connect to the appreciation of courage and the pursuit of fame, wealth, and glory? Evaluate whether you think this value is sustainable. Is what binds the tribes together also what destroys them?

Essay Requirements:


  • Your essay must make a claim in the form of an arguable thesis

  • It must have at least three body paragraphs

  • You must prove your thesis with examples, primary source quotations, and secondary source quotations, and paraphrasing

    • Primary quotations = text from the novel

    • Secondary quotations = text from another source that furthers and supports your argument

  • Your conclusion must restate your thesis, review the points in your body paragraphs, and offer a closing statement that wraps up your argument.

  • Your essay must be written in 12 pt. font; have your name, class period, and date; and have a creative title that is centered at the top of the paper.

  • You must complete the steps of the essay and the essay itself on their due dates. Failure to do so will result in your grade being lowered.

October 2014

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

6

Grammar; merging ideas about primary and secondary sources; thesis brainstorm

HW: finish thesis brainstorm


7

Drafting an essay: writing an introduction and body paragraphs; work on essay

HW: work on filling in template


8

In Lab 323

Drafting an essay: writing the conclusion; time to type essay

HW: write intro and body of essay


9

In Lab 323

Type first draft of essay


HW: finish 1st draft of essay



10

First draft of Beowulf essay due; peer review; time to revise and work

HW: revise essay for polished 2nd draft



October 13

No School – Columbus Day

October 14
Beowulf Essays Due!

October 15

Unit 2

October 16

Unit 2

October 17

Unit 2

Thesis Brainstorming (50 points)

  1. Create 2 guiding questions about your text and the topic you chose, using your topic as the basis. A guiding question answers, “What do I want to know more about?” Example: Why is it important that Hrothgar helped Beowulf’s father?

1)

2)


  1. Use your critical reading skills to determine 2 approaches to the prompt – two different ways to look at your topic. If all else fails, simply answer the above questions.

1)

2)


  1. Now brainstorm 2 working thesis statements. These may be about similar aspects as you learn how to craft the wording, may be about a variety of ideas, or may include a bit of both. Note: these are working thesis statements; they might not be the final thesis for your essay. Here’s a template to help you write your thesis statements: The role of ___________________ in Anglo-Saxon society suggests _____________________ because _____________________.

1)

2)



Evidence Brainstorm (50 points)

Use this blank page to brainstorm the supporting evidence for your essay. This evidence must directly prove your thesis and must include ideas from the text of Beowulf and your secondary sources.

By the end of your brainstorm you will have the support and evidence that you need to construct your essay.

General Essay Template

Below is the format for your essays that I expect you to follow for every essay assignment. You should use this template to write your Beowulf essay. Write directly in the boxes below

If you use this format to write your essay you should at least get a C+/B- on the paper. If you are a confident writer, and you have received an A from me on an analytical essay, then you may stray from this format.

Every paragraph must contain the components below; it is up to you to be creative in how you put it all together.



Introduction

Lead that reveals topic of the essay to the reader*




Background information that defines idea introduced in lead and gives historical overview




Claim in the form of an arguable thesis that takes a specific position on the topic




*The topic directly relates to the thesis.

Body Paragraph

Main Idea

Topic sentence that connects to thesis



Example

Sentence with an example that supports the topic sentence




Example

Primary quote or paraphrase that supports the example

(line _______ to ________)

Link

Explanation of primary quote




Example

Sentence with an example that supports the topic sentence




Example

Secondary Quote or paraphrase that supports the example

(include author’s last name)



(_______________)

Link

Explanation of secondary quote




Conclusion

Sentence that connects ideas in paragraph to the thesis statement





Body Paragraph

Main Idea

Topic sentence that connects to thesis



Example

Sentence with an example that supports the topic sentence




Example

Primary quote or paraphrase that supports the example

(line _______ to ________)

Link

Explanation of primary quote




Example

Sentence with an example that supports the topic sentence




Example

Secondary Quote or paraphrase that supports the example

(include author’s last name)



(_______________)

Link

Explanation of secondary quote




Conclusion

Sentence that connects ideas in paragraph to the thesis statement





Body Paragraph

Main Idea

Topic sentence that connects to thesis



Example

Sentence with an example that supports the topic sentence




Example

Primary quote or paraphrase that supports the example

(line _______ to ________)

Link

Explanation of primary quote




Example

Sentence with an example that supports the topic sentence




Example

Secondary Quote or paraphrase that supports the example

(include author’s last name)



(_______________)

Link

Explanation of secondary quote




Conclusion

Sentence that connects ideas in paragraph to the thesis statement






Conclusion

Restatement of thesis (in different words)




Summary of topic sentences and points made in body paragraphs.




Closing statement that acts as last statement about topic of essay – Make a statement about the topic and what it reveals about the Anglo-Saxons as a whole.






How to write an introduction and a Conclusion: some thoughts

Introductions:

1. Reveal your topic to your reader

2. Provide necessary background information

3. Stimulate your reader's interest in the paper.

4. Direct the reader’s interest towards your thesis, which contains your argument.

Conclusions:

This paragraph should begin by echoing your thesis without repeating the words verbatim. Then, the conclusion should broaden from the thesis statements to answer the “so what?” question your reader may have after reading your essay.

The conclusion should do one or more of the following:


  • Reflect on how your essay topic relates to the book as a whole

  • Evaluate how successful the author is in achieving his or her goal or message

  • Give a personal statement about the topic

  • Make predictions

  • Connect back to your creative opening

  • Give your opinion of the novel’s value or significance


Example Introduction Paragraph:

For centuries philosophers have debated the question of whether man is innately evil. William Golding poses this question in his realistic novel Lord of the Flies. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the novel begins when schoolboys from Great Britain are being flown to safety and their plane is shot down. No adults survive, and the boys are left to govern themselves and get rescued. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses symbolism in the form of the conch to represents the concept of society. The boys’ evolving relationship with the conch illustrates Golding’s theme that humans, when removed form the pressures of civilized authority, will become evil.






Background Info:

  1. Defines idea introduced in lead

  2. gives background of novel.

Lead: Reveals topic to reader




Thesis:

  1. States literary work and author

  2. author’s purpose

  3. takes specific position that is arguable

  4. provides specific points from the work to support position.






Example Conclusion Paragraph:

Golding uses the conch shell to show the slow slide of the boys into savagery, thereby exemplifying the theme that humans have the capability to turn evil. At first, the conch brings everyone together; then, as its power erodes, the group breaks into two. Finally, the destruction of the conch signals the plunge into total savagery. By following the role of the conch in the story, the reader sees how Golding uses it to unify the central events of the story around his theme of inevitable evil. Golding is an artist, not a philosopher, but through his art he answers the question debated for centuries by philosophers: Is man innately evil? According to Lord of the Flies, he is.



**Note: this essay is an example of a student essay. Ms. Williams severely frowns upon writing questions anywhere in an essay!**




Echo of the thesis




Reviews body paragraphs’ topic sentences that support thesis




Evaluates success of author in achieving purpose


Claim and Focus

Score (Out of 30)

  • The essay makes a sophisticated claim that maintains focus.

  • The essay thesis is debatable, strong, not author focused, and doesn’t list the evidence.

  • The essay maintains focus on central thesis throughout the entire essay.




Evidence

Score (Out of 30)

  • Strong and relevant evidence is incorporated from Beowulf and research material.

  • Evidence is incorporated smoothly with sophisticated transitions and context.

  • All quotes are punctuated and cited correctly




Critical Analysis

Score (Out of 30)

  • Your analysis in each paragraph gives ample reflection on how evidence supports the thesis.

  • Your analysis provides an original and sophisticated response to the text and does not simply summarize plot elements or author’s stance.

  • Your analysis includes a reflection on how themes and concepts apply to Anglo-Saxon society.




Mechanics and Presentation

Score (Out of 10)

  • Language is used effectively, without errors in grammar conventions.

  • Your essay is typed in size 12 Times New Roman font and double-spaced.

  • You have included at least five nonessential clauses.




Total Score

/100

Beowulf Essay Rubric



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