Grade English Honors Essay Prompt 1

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Mr. Valentine’s 12th Grade English – Honors – Essay Prompt 1

Essay Question: How does Beowulf successfully exemplify (is an example of) the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon hero?

This is a question that you will answer with your paper, by writing an informative essay to a general audience, focusing on three of the Anglo-Saxon traits that Beowulf demonstrates in the poem. Before you start, you may wish to brainstorm by looking up / listing the things that Anglo-Saxons valued first (pg 14 of EoL). Then, as you read Beowulf and see words / actions that fit some of those qualities, jot down the page and line number to find them more easily when you begin to write.

Please follow these directions:

  1. Introduction About ½ page

First Start with a hook, then summarize the basic story line of Beowulf.

Second List the traits of the Anglo-Saxon hero in general.

Third End with this thesis statement (main point of your essay): Beowulf exemplifies an Anglo-Saxon hero because he shows... (add qualities here that you will examine in-depth in the body paragraphs, in the order you will discuss them).

  1. Body Paragraph 1 About ½ page, maybe longer with quotes.

First Introduce the trait that you want to discuss first. Discuss how Beowulf uses or shows this trait in the poems.

Second Find a quote that supports, or goes with, the trait and what you have said.

Third Copy the quote exactly, using quote marks around it and the / symbol between lines of poetry. At the end of the quote, put the title in italics and the page and line number in parenthesis. Then discuss what that quote means, how it fits.

Fourth Repeat with a second quote about your 1st trait. Remember to end the paragraph with your own words, not a quote. Comment on the quotes you use. Tie them in to your discussion.

  1. Body Paragraph 2 Same as above.

Follow the exact same instructions, but discuss the second trait you have chosen.

4. Body Paragraph 3 Add a third body paragraph to discuss a third trait, following the same style.

5. Conclusion At least five sentences long.

First Re-Cap the two-to-three traits that you already discussed.

Second Mention that Beowulf also showed many other traits, and that is why he was such a great hero.

Finally End with a universal statement about heroes / reflection on what you have said / some parting thoughts, etc…

Length / Format: 2 to 2.5 pages typed, 12pt font, black, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, double-spaced. Include a full header on the first page and a last name and page number on all pages.

Due Date: Turn in the final draft on or by September 26th, 2014, typed and in the correct format. Rough drafts must be brought with you to class September 22nd-23rd, 2014.

Paper 1 Rubric


Addresses Prompt




Introduction w/ Thesis




Body Paragraphs












Use of Examples w/ Quotes




Presence of In-Text Citations








Grammar / Mechanics







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