Literature Question

Literature Question. Required Length: At a minimum, the essay ends somewhere on the fourth and the works
cited page comprises the fifth page. The maximum length for this essay is seven full pages plus
a works cited page as page eight. (Essays outside this range may be penalized.)
(The article are in the files “Dream of The Rood” and “Holy Sonnet 4”. I know there are other Holy Sonnets but I chose just NUMBER 4.
Present your answer to the
central question as an interpretive thesis, included in an introductory paragraph. Focus your
response on the text (or texts) named in the prompt you have chosen. Persuasively support
your thesis through close reading (careful analysis of specific textual details).
Observations about the text are useful as evidence; paraphrases are not the same as
interpretations. If you attempt to summarize or even to analyze too many parts of your
chosen text, you will almost certainly do too little close reading and analysis of specific
details to be successful. Make sure that you are confining yourself to a specific interpretive
focus.
Prompt: Choose one poem by John Donne and any other text that you have read which
has a religious element. Compare what these two texts emphasize about religion. (Note:
just because a text emphasizes one element of religion, this does not mean that it denies
other elements.)
For my essay I chose the “Holy Sonnet IV” by John Donne and “Dream of the Rood”. Both of these readings contain a religious element in their articles.
The thesis will
depend a lot on whether you are comparing two similar emphases or two different ones.
Answer either How does having two different ways to emphasize this element
complicate a reader’s understanding of it? or How do these two different elements
work together to provide a fuller picture of religious belief?
YOUR ESSAY WILL BE STRONGEST IF IT ENGAGES PRIMARILY WITH THE
BOLDED QUESTION.
Whichever option you choose, you are presented with a “why does it matter” question. The
best thesis sentences will answer this question but will not simply say “it matters because X.”
Suppose that your draft thesis sentence is: It matters that knowledge can be defined as beauty
because this shows that gaining it requires thinking outside the box.
Research and Secondary Sources: This paper does not require you to do any research, and I
strongly recommend that you not take on any hunting for explanations or published criticism.
However, should you make use in any way (even just reading them to help your thinking) of
any sources (e.g. a Wikipedia entry, a paraphrase, a work of literary criticism), then you
absolutely must document your use in accordance with MLA citation practices. Failure to do
so constitutes plagiarism and will earn a zero for assignment. A works cited page is
required for this essay, whether or not you use secondary sources.
How to get a “A” on this essay.
A. 100% The essay displays a sophisticated analysis of the assigned and chosen text in support
of an insightful thesis which makes an interpretive claim responsive to the bolded question
in the chosen prompt. Well-chosen evidence is specific, skillfully integrated into the essay,
and analytically developed to show a supportive relationship to the thesis. Each paragraph is
coherently focused and logically organized; each paragraph’s topic is clear and specific;
transitional devices and effective paragraph organization facilitate logical flow within each
paragraph and throughout the essay. MLA citation style (in text citations and works cited
page) is followed without error. Sentences demonstrate control and skillful variation. Diction
is precise, vivid, and in an appropriately formal register (including maintaining academic
formality by avoiding contractions, passive voiced constructions, and the second person
pronoun). The essay has been carefully edited and has no or very few errors in grammar,
punctuation, typography or spelling.

Literature Question

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