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Paper Format Sample
Abstract Sample | Analysis Outline Sample | Annotated Biliography Sample | Proposal Sample

Paraphrase
Write a paraphrase of Cynewulf’s “The Dream of the Rood”. Your paraphrase should be no more than 200 words long.

Grading: Paraphrases will be graded according to the following rubric: elucidation of lines 1-26 (10%), lines 27-77 (20%), lines 78-156 (30%), transitions between main ideas (15%), grammar/spelling (15%), and length (10%)

The best paraphrases will:
• Capture the main ideas and thought process of Cynewulf’s poem.
• Rewrite Cynewulf’s poem in new words and phrasing.
• Use transition words to show how the main points are connected.
• Avoid using the same words or phrasing as Cynewulf.
• Avoid citing Cynewulf’s poem.


Summary
Write a summary of Cynewulf’s “The Dream of the Rood.” Your summary should be no more than 50 words long.

Grading: Summaries will be graded according to the following rubric: elucidation of the main point (50%), grammar/spelling (30%), format of paper (10%), and length (10%).

The best summaries will:
• Capture the main idea of Cynewulf’s poem.
• Be as concise as possible.
• Avoid using the same words or phrasing as Cynewulf.
• Avoid citing Cynewulf’s poem.


Analysis
Introduction: The analysis essay is a common college assignment across many different majors. Analysis focuses on describing how something works by deconstructing and examining its various components. In this analysis essay, the object under study will be a long poem or a selection of short poems. To perform this analysis, students will use three outside sources and at least one of three advanced reading strategies:

1. Rhetorical Analysis (exploring how genre, tone, diction, audience, appeals, and other aspects of the rhetorical situation are employed by the author);
2. Close Reading (exploring how the language, content, and context of a text creates and supports its meaning); and,
3. Formal Analysis (exploring how form, metre, rhyme, and other formal poetic considerations affect meaning).

Description: Prepare a formal analysis (1,250-1,500 words) on a topic in a poem of your choosing (see below). The thesis of your analysis must argue for a specific meaning to the poem, in the form of an arguable and disputable claim. Rhetorical analysis, close reading, and formal analysis must be used to strongly support the argument. You must use at least three recent (published after 1980) scholarly articles (not reviews, abstracts, etc.) in your analysis. Your analysis must take into account the argument of the scholarly texts to support your reading: do not cherry-pick the article for general or out-of-context quotes.

All papers in this course must employ formal, academic language and conform to MLA or Chicago style; and, be typed in Microsoft Word and submitted in .doc/.docx format, using 12-point Palatino/Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1″ margins, on an 8.5″x11″ page. Papers which do not meet these requirements will not be accepted.

Poem Criteria: You may not write on any poem that we have discussed in class. If you wish to use a poem outside of the assigned readings or text, you may use any other poem that has been (a) physically published by a reputable publisher (i.e. no vanity presses, self-published texts, or internet-only works), and then (b) approved by the instructor. You must use a reputable physical copy of the poem in constructing your paper, and you must cite that physical copy in your bibliography. That citation of the poem text does not count as an outside source.

Academic Sources: Use only the scholarly article databases JSTOR or Project MUSE to find peer-reviewed, academic sources which address a topic of interest in the poem that you have chosen. Papers must use a minimum of three scholarly sources; papers using fewer sources or non-academic sources will result in a 10% (one full letter grade) reduction in the paper’s grade for each invalid/missing source. The Oxford English Dictionary and the source for the poem text do not count towards the scholarly source requirement.

Tips: Although your paper should present a central argument, you should also support it with detailed readings of the poem in question. Remember that you must focus not on what the poem means, but rather on what information the poem provides about some larger topic. The best analyses will include attention to one or more, but not necessarily all, of the following aspects of poetry (definitions found in The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms): speaker, tone, imagery, meter, rhyme, sound devices (alliteration, repetition, etc.), form, and word choice. Make certain to consult the Oxford English Dictionary for any unfamiliar words or usages.

Grading:
• Introduction (thesis, methodology, and motivation): 10%
• Depth of Analysis (completion, detail, and support): 40%
• Use of Scholarly Source (relevance and integration): 20%
• Conclusion (thesis, summary, and ramifications): 10%
• Formal Mechanics (grammar, spelling, and style): 20%


Research Project
The final paper in this course is a research project, culminating in an academic analysis paper of 2,000 words (minimum), which employs a variety of textual and scholarly evidence in support of its arguments. You may write either a single poem or a set of poems (by the same author), totalling at least 100 lines in length.

For this project, you may not write on any poem that we have discussed in class. If you obtain instructor approval (on an individual basis), you may write on the poem that you analysed in your Analysis paper.

Poem Critera: You may use any poem that has been physically published by a reputable publisher (i.e. no vanity presses, self-published texts, or internet-only works). You must use a reputable physical copy of the poem in constructing your paper, and you must cite that physical copy in your bibliography. The citation of the poem’s text does not count as a scholarly source.

Research Proposal
Narrow your analytical topic as much as possible and perform some research (using JSTOR or Project MUSE) prior to writing, making note of academic sources that you plan to use. Prepare a 250-word (minimum) research proposal which includes all of the following:
1. A tentative thesis which is clear, arguable, and analytical.
2. A general explanation of your overarching argument, explaining how the poem integrates with, elucidates, complicates, or provides information about a larger topic.
3. A list of three sources, including both articles (from JSTOR or Project Muse) and physical books (from the Wayne State University library), with a brief (1-2 sentences) statement on each, clearly and specifically explaining of how these sources will help to answer your research questions or support your argument.

Annotated Bibliography
Create an annotated bibliography for your project, comprised of at least five scholarly sources including both articles (from JSTOR or Project MUSE) and physical books (from the Wayne State University library). Annotate five of your sources with a single paragraph explanation (minimum 100 words each) of:
1. The central argument of the work.
2. A brief explanation of how that argument is supported.
3. A brief evaluation of the argument on the basis of its scholarly context, importance, and validity/soundness.
4. A statement clearly and specifically explaining how the source is useful for your own analysis.

Research Paper:
Write a 2,000-word (minimum) double-spaced, academically-supported analysis on a topic a poem or poems (by the same author), totalling at least 100 lines, of your choosing, using at least five scholarly sources (both articles and books) which address the poems and topic of analyses; papers using fewer sources or non-academic sources will result in a 10% (one full letter grade) reduction in the paper’s grade for each invalid/missing source. Your analysis must take into account the scholarly texts to support your reading: do not cherry-pick the article for general or out-of-context quotes.

Grading: Research papers will be graded according to the following rubric: thesis (15%), analysis of poem (35%), selection, use, and citation of academic support (15%), introduction and conclusion (10%), topic sentences, synthesis, and organisation (10%), and grammar/spelling/format (15%).

Tips: Remember that you must present your own analysis. The scholarly evidence should be used to support your reading, not mimic it. If your own analysis is too similar to that of your support, then you are not presenting anything new. Think about what novel thing you can say that your articles can further explain or complicate.

 

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