Instructions The essay must be 3 (full) to 5 pages long, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. It will be one of your tasks to find a focused, arguable (both contestable and defensible) thesis

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Instructions

The essay must be 3 (full) to 5 pages long, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. It will be one of your tasks to find a focused, arguable (both contestable and defensible) thesis statement that is based on a topic addressed in one of the prompts below.

You are not expected to use any other sources besides the Inferno and Beowulf (this especially includes summaries or online analyses). You may, however, use online searchable versions of the texts in order to find supporting quotes–only if you then use the translation used in class to type out those quotes (Do not cut and paste from a different translation). Use parenthetical citation according to MLA format, noting line numbers for Beowulf, and canto and line numbers for the Inferno. Choose short, pithy quotes to make your point rather than long summative passages. Analyze; do not summarize. Assume the reader of your essay has already read the texts and doesn’t need to know what happens next in any particular passage. Instead, your task is to convince your reader of a certain interpretation of the text.

Regardless of the prompt you choose, you must mention and quote both Beowulf and Dante, but you may organize your essay in such a way that you devote more space to analyzing one over the other. The space you devote to each character must take up at least 1/3 of your essay.

Remember to distinguish between Beowulf the hero and Beowulf the poem by using italics correctly. Also, remember to distinguish between Dante the Poet and Dante the Pilgrim in your essay.

Choose 1 of the following prompts to write your essay:

Prompt 1, About Modern Heroes:

Which is the more modern hero, Beowulf or Dante the Pilgrim? Keep in mind that, although we covered Dante first in class because it nicely follows the Aeneid, Beowulf is the earlier written poem. This doesn’t however, mean that Dante must be the more “modern” hero. With the proper support, you could write a successful essay arguing either perspective, but be sure to choose one. It may benefit you to consider a few characteristics of modernity and then spend a paragraph or two on each of these characteristics as portrayed by Dante and Beowulf. As always, keep your argument focused, organized, and well-supported with evidence from the text.

Prompt 2, About Christian Heroes:

Which is the better example of a Christian hero, Beowulf or Dante the Pilgrim? As always, keep your argument focused, organized, and well-supported with evidence from the text. With the proper support, you could write a successful essay arguing either side, but be sure to choose one. It may benefit you to consider a few characteristics you think a Christian hero should have and then spend a paragraph or two on each of these characteristics as portrayed by Dante and Beowulf.

Please check to make sure your essay meets the guidelines for argument, organization, mechanics, and style to be found in the Writing Help Document and the “6 Rules for Good Writing” document posted on Blackboard.

Submit your assignment by 11:59 p.m. (CT) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.

Further advice and instructions for your essay:

Let’s say you want to argue that Beowulf is a better example of the modern hero than Dante is, because Beowulf has more of x, y, and z. You could fill your essay with an organized argument that Beowulf has more of x, y, and z, but that’s not enough to address the prompt. Early on in your essay, or at the beginning of your discussion of each particular characteristic, you need to provide some quick proof that that characteristic is associated with the ideal under consideration. In other words, in an essay on Beowulf as a Christian hero, it’s not enough to prove that Beowulf is generous… you would also have to explain why generosity is an aspect of Christian heroism. Or in an essay on Dante as a modern hero, you could develop an argument for Dante being teachable, but you’d first need to lay the groundwork for the idea that being teachable is an attribute of the modern hero. This step can be done quickly, but it cannot be ignored.

You have a lot of work to do and only a few pages to present your argument, so this is a good occasion to practice citing and quickly referring to short passages and phrases from the text. Remember that one instance of bravery doesn’t necessarily mean that the character has mastered the virtue of fortitude, just as one instance of fear does not mean the character is a coward.

One way to accomplish a lot in a little space is, for each trait and each paragraph, to examine one of two instances of a hero’s expression of a particular trait, and then reinforce your case with citation (but not quotation) of other passages that further support your claims.

For example, let’s say you think humility is a specifically Christian virtue. You first explain why humility is an aspect of Christian heroism. You then may note two passages where Dante the Pilgrim demonstrates humility in The Inferno. After exploring those two passages in detail, you could make a more general statement about humility, noting that the words “humble” and “humility” occur nowhere in The Inferno. You discovered this by doing a quick search for the word on the Princeton Dante Project website, and since this is an argument from absence, you do not need to provide citation. You then search for the word “Proud” and discover three occurrences in The Inferno. You first consider the circumstance in which each instance of the word occurs. You could economically conclude your paragraph with the following sentences:

Virgil suggests that Pride caused both the fall of Troy and Satan’s rebellion against God (Inferno 1.75; 7.11-12). In Canto 15, Brunetto Latini tells his former pupil that Florence has also been corrupted by “a people greedy, envious and proud” (l. 68). Dante the Poet consistently assures us that Pride is the sin that disturbs and destroys good cities. Since Brunetto Latini then instructs Dante to “stay untainted by their ways,” the reader may conclude that Dante’s humility that distinguishes him from the citizens of hell, and marks him as a Christian hero (15.69).

Whether or not you agree with the argument above, this is a model for supporting an argument with quick reference to several supporting passages. Quotations do not need to be extensive, but you should cite several instances of support.

Instructions The essay must be 3 (full) to 5 pages long, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. It will be one of your tasks to find a focused, arguable (both contestable and defensible) thesis
Essay 2 Instructions The essay must be 3 (full) to 5 pages long, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. It will be one of your tasks to find a focused, arguable (both contestable and defensible) thesis statement that is based on a topic addressed in one of the prompts below. You are not expected to use any other sources besides the Inferno and Beowulf (this especially includes summaries or online analyses). You may, however, use online searchable versions of the texts in order to find supporting quotes–only if you then use the translation used in class to type out those quotes (Do not cut and paste from a different translation). Use parenthetical citation according to MLA format, noting line numbers for Beowulf, and canto and line numbers for the Inferno. Choose short, pithy quotes to make your point rather than long summative passages. Analyze; do not summarize. Assume the reader of your essay has already read the texts and doesn’t need to know what happens next in any particular passage. Instead, your task is to convince your reader of a certain interpretation of the text. Regardless of the prompt you choose, you must mention and quote both Beowulf and Dante, but you may organize your essay in such a way that you devote more space to analyzing one over the other. The space you devote to each character must take up at least 1/3 of your essay. Remember to distinguish between Beowulf the hero and Beowulf the poem by using italics correctly. Also, remember to distinguish between Dante the Poet and Dante the Pilgrim in your essay. Choose 1 of the following prompts to write your essay: Prompt 1, About Modern Heroes: Which is the more modern hero, Beowulf or Dante the Pilgrim? Keep in mind that, although we covered Dante first in class because it nicely follows the Aeneid, Beowulf is the earlier written poem. This doesn’t however, mean that Dante must be the more “modern” hero. With the proper support, you could write a successful essay arguing either perspective, but be sure to choose one. It may benefit you to consider a few characteristics of modernity and then spend a paragraph or two on each of these characteristics as portrayed by Dante and Beowulf. As always, keep your argument focused, organized, and well-supported with evidence from the text. Prompt 2, About Christian Heroes: Which is the better example of a Christian hero, Beowulf or Dante the Pilgrim? As always, keep your argument focused, organized, and well-supported with evidence from the text. With the proper support, you could write a successful essay arguing either side, but be sure to choose one. It may benefit you to consider a few characteristics you think a Christian hero should have and then spend a paragraph or two on each of these characteristics as portrayed by Dante and Beowulf. Please check to make sure your essay meets the guidelines for argument, organization, mechanics, and style to be found in the Writing Help Document and the “6 Rules for Good Writing” document posted on Blackboard. Submit your assignment by 11:59 p.m. (CT) on Sunday of Module/Week 7. Further advice and instructions for your essay: Let’s say you want to argue that Beowulf is a better example of the modern hero than Dante is, because Beowulf has more of x, y, and z. You could fill your essay with an organized argument that Beowulf has more of x, y, and z, but that’s not enough to address the prompt. Early on in your essay, or at the beginning of your discussion of each particular characteristic, you need to provide some quick proof that that characteristic is associated with the ideal under consideration. In other words, in an essay on Beowulf as a Christian hero, it’s not enough to prove that Beowulf is generous… you would also have to explain why generosity is an aspect of Christian heroism. Or in an essay on Dante as a modern hero, you could develop an argument for Dante being teachable, but you’d first need to lay the groundwork for the idea that being teachable is an attribute of the modern hero. This step can be done quickly, but it cannot be ignored. You have a lot of work to do and only a few pages to present your argument, so this is a good occasion to practice citing and quickly referring to short passages and phrases from the text. Remember that one instance of bravery doesn’t necessarily mean that the character has mastered the virtue of fortitude, just as one instance of fear does not mean the character is a coward. One way to accomplish a lot in a little space is, for each trait and each paragraph, to examine one of two instances of a hero’s expression of a particular trait, and then reinforce your case with citation (but not quotation) of other passages that further support your claims. For example, let’s say you think humility is a specifically Christian virtue. You first explain why humility is an aspect of Christian heroism. You then may note two passages where Dante the Pilgrim demonstrates humility in The Inferno. After exploring those two passages in detail, you could make a more general statement about humility, noting that the words “humble” and “humility” occur nowhere in The Inferno. You discovered this by doing a quick search for the word on the Princeton Dante Project website, and since this is an argument from absence, you do not need to provide citation. You then search for the word “Proud” and discover three occurrences in The Inferno. You first consider the circumstance in which each instance of the word occurs. You could economically conclude your paragraph with the following sentences: Virgil suggests that Pride caused both the fall of Troy and Satan’s rebellion against God (Inferno 1.75; 7.11-12). In Canto 15, Brunetto Latini tells his former pupil that Florence has also been corrupted by “a people greedy, envious and proud” (l. 68). Dante the Poet consistently assures us that Pride is the sin that disturbs and destroys good cities. Since Brunetto Latini then instructs Dante to “stay untainted by their ways,” the reader may conclude that Dante’s humility that distinguishes him from the citizens of hell, and marks him as a Christian hero (15.69). Whether or not you agree with the argument above, this is a model for supporting an argument with quick reference to several supporting passages. Quotations do not need to be extensive, but you should cite several instances of support.
Instructions The essay must be 3 (full) to 5 pages long, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. It will be one of your tasks to find a focused, arguable (both contestable and defensible) thesis
Dr. Stelze r’s Glamorous (Flossy, Flossy) Writing Help Document (working draft) Argument Thesis Statement  Should be easy to locate . Make this the last sentence of your introductory paragraph unless instructed otherwise.  Should be arguable –that is, your argument should be controversial enough that it is interesting to the reader. You should be able to imagine another person arguing an opposed viewpoint.  Should be significant . Your argument should influence the reader’s interpretation of t he literary work, and/or it should reflect some truth of the human condition that is still applicable today.  Should be supportable with quotes from the text, logic, or observable data.  Should be narrowly focused . The more specific you topic, the better you will be able to present your case within the essay’s limits. If you have a hard time meeting the minimum number of pages for an assignment, this does not usually mean that you need to broaden your topic; usually, it means you need to think more deeply abo ut the specific topic.  Ask: Is it clear? Is it focused? Is it accurate? Is it convincing? Is it worth arguing? Divisio  Should give an itinerary of your argument. This itinerary is the procedure you will take to convince the reader of your thesis statement. The divisio lets your reader know in advance the steps of your argument and it encourages a more apparent organization . Support  See Body Paragraphs under “Organization.” Organization Introductions  Get the reader’s attention.  Set up the significance of your argument, but do not make sweeping generalizations or exaggerated claims.  You might begin with a relevant quotation.  You might provide any necessary background information.  You might present a common opinion opposed to your thesis, to establish the significance and originality of your argument.  Do not give evidence for your argument yet –just explain the issue you will address. Topic Sentences  The first sentence of every body paragraph should inform the reader of the topic unifying the entire paragraph.  Each topic sentence should be a subpoint of your thesis statement (most likely a point in your divisio) .  Don’t put evidence (i.e., a quote) in your topic sentence; save quotes for the following sentences. Transitions  There should be logical connections between paragraphs.  There should be logical connections between sentences in paragraphs. Body Paragr aphs  Generally, you should have at least three body paragraphs.  Each body paragraph should have a thematic topic sentence, then evidence (supporting quotes), then analysis of those quotes.  Each body paragraph should have at least three concise, well -chosen quotes from the text that support your argument.  Cite the location of specific ideas and details you draw from to support your argument, even if these details are not directly quoted. Citing is giving the location of the quote, idea, or statement you borrowed to support your argument; Quoting is reproducing the language of another, using quotation marks. Always cite when you quote, but you don’t need to quote if you paraphrase and cite.  The last body paragraph might be a good place for your refutatio (the part where you try to overturn potential objections to your argument). Your refutatio could also be spread throughout the body of your essay. For example, you might conclude every bod y paragraph with a sentence or two overturning anticipated objections. W hatever you choose, be sure your organization is logical and coherent, and remember that your argument will be strengthened by admitting, addressing, and, where possible, refuting the opposite side of the argument. Conclusion  Do not simply restate your argument.  Draw out the implications or significance of what you just argued, but as in the introduction, avoid sweeping generalizations and exaggerations. Now that you have present ed your case, why is it important?  If you did not do so earlier, you may want to include a refutatio (see above) in your conclusion. Mechanics (see MLA section of The Wadsworth Handbook) Spelling  Spell words correctly. This should be obvious. Use spell check and thoughtfully read over the underlined words.  Thoughtfully revise. Read your essay aloud to catch any typographical errors. Grammar  Use complete sentences! Be able to identify at the very least your main subject, main verb, and any dire ct objects. In the sentence “Yesterday after the ballgame, Joe ate both slices of pizza and a chicken sandwich ,” “Joe” is the subject, “ate” is the verb, and “slices” and “sandwich” are direct objects . (By the way, “of pizza” is a prepositional phrase and “chicken” is a noun that serves as an adjective, which is called an “adjectival noun,” a “noun adjunct,” or an “attributive noun.”)  Once you locate the core of your sentence, ask whether or not it makes sense or needs clarifying. The following sentence is grammatically incorrect: “ The fact that low self -confidence can push one to starve himself or to overeat to the point where it is gluttonous is a sinful act. ” The sentence is complete, but it is nonsensical. The subject is “fact,” the main verb is “is,” a nd the direct object is “act.” But the writer of this sentence didn’t mean that the fact is an act; he meant (I think) that self -starvation or overeating due to low self -confidence is sinful. The sentence needs to be reworded.  Use the active voice! Althoug h it is not ungrammatical to use the passive voice, it often creates other problems with clarity, concision, and precision. See further comments on the passive voice under Style. Punctuation  Introduce quotes with a colon if your introductory remark is an independent clause and the quote itself is an independent clause (may stand on its own as a sentence)  Avoid comma splices! A comma splice occurs when two sentences are ungrammatically mashed together with a comma.  Commas go with Non -restrictive clauses, but not with restrictive clauses. A restrictive clause gives essential information that identifies a noun. Notice the difference: Restrictive: The house that Jack built in the 80s had five bedrooms. Nonrestrictive: My house, which Jack built in the 80s , had five bedrooms. In the nonrestrictive example, the reader knows that the phrase within the commas provides further information about the house, but it doesn’t further specify which house is under consideration. It’s my house. If, let’s say, I own several houses, further specification might be necessary, but then the sentence construction would look something like this: “The house of mine that Jack built has five bedrooms” — or better yet, “The house that Jack built for me has five bedrooms.” In these case s the clause beginning with “that” is restrictive because what occurs before the phrase (in the first sentence “The house of mine,” and in the second, “The house,” needs further clarification. Quotation  Always introduce quotes. Do not let quoted mate rial stand alone as a sentence.  Do not refer to the quote as a quote. Change this: Tartuffe even manipulates Orgon with reverse psychology in this quote: “Ah, no, don’t be deceived by hollow shows; / I’m far, alas, from being what men suppose.” To this: Tartuffe even manipulates Orgon with reverse psychology: “Ah, no, don’t be deceived by hollow shows; / I’m far, alas, from being what men suppose.” Or this: Orgon even falls prey to reverse psychology when Tartuffe obsequiously exclaims, “Ah, no, don’t b e deceived by hollow shows; / I’m far, alas, from being what men suppose.”  If your words introducing a quote form an independent clause (with a subject and a verb, and the possibility of standing alone as a sentence), insert a colon in between your words and the quote. E.g. Hamlet’s disgust at his mother’s actions appears in his first soliloquy: “O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (1.2.156 -57).  If your words introducing a quote form a fragment, be sure that your word s and the words you quote together form a complete, logical sentence. Change this: Milton wants to be an innovator when he says, “Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme” ( PL 1.16). To this: Milton seeks to accomplish “[t]hings unattempted yet in prose or rhyme” ( PL 1.16).  If you change any part of the quote (e.g., when you capitalize or uncapitalize a letter, or when you change a pronoun so that it corresponds to the nouns or pronouns you use in your introductory remarks) be sure to indica te the change with brackets, as in the example above, and in the “Yes” examples below: No: Milton’s God confidently states that “necessity and chance approach not Me, and what I will is fate” (PL 7.172 -73). No: Milton’s God confidently states that “ne cessity and chance approach not him, and what he wills is fate” (PL 7.172 -73). Yes: Milton’s God confidently states that “[N]ecessity and chance approach not [him], and what [he] will[s] is fate” (PL 7.172 -73). Yes: Milton’s God confidently states, “[N] ecessity and chance approach not Me, and what I will is fate” (PL 7.172 -73). Yes: Milton’s God is all -powerful, and He knows it: “[N]ecessity and chance approach not Me, and what I will is fate” (PL 7.172 -73). Parenthetical Citation  Parenthetical citation should occur after the end quotation marks and before final punctuation.  In block quotes (which you should use sparingly) the parenthetical citation occurs AFTER the end punctuation. Other MLA format issues  Are you using Times New Roman 12 pt. font, double -spaced, with one -inch margins throughout the essay?  Is the heading correct?  Does every page after the first have page numbers and a header with your last name in the top right corner?  Do you have a W orks Cited / Consulted page? Style Tone and Diction  Assert. Don’t say “I believe x” or “In this essay I will prove x.” Just state x. Also, don’t ask questions when you can reword your interrogative as an indicative statement.  Maintain a formal tone . The words you use in an academic essay should be different from the words you use when chatting with friends. This means, among other guidelines, you should not use contractions (It’s, can’t, etc.) or 1st and 2nd person pronouns (“I, my, we, our, you, your, etc.).  No overused expressions or cliches (e.g. “putting on a front,” “down for anything,” “going along swimmingly,” “cold hard truth”). Test for cliches by asking, “Is this literally true?” If it isn’t, there’s a good chance this is a cliche. Even if the figurative language you use is not a worn -out expression, it is often advisable to replace the metaphor with a literal phrase –unless, of course, you are explaining a metaphor or symbol in a work you analyze. E.g., “In A Streetcar Named Desire , Blanche continually takes long baths because she fee ls unclean; she wants to wash away the real moral filth that pervades her past.”  Don’t mix your metaphors (e.g. “She just buried herself in a pool of lies.” “You just jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire and dug your own grave.”) Better yet, avoid figurative language in formal academic essays. Save the metaphors for when you write poetry.  Avoid meaningless qualifiers like “very”, “quite,” “really,” or “pretty.” She was “pretty tired”? No, she was “fatigued” or “exhausted.”  Avoid meaningless phrases like “in life” or “in a way” or “in today’s society.”  Concise phrases are superior to wordy expressions.  One idea per sentence.  When you find yourself beginning a sentence with “In” and then proceeding with a passive construction, see if you can re word it. E.g., Change “In a restrictive clause, essential information is given to identify the noun” to “A restrictive clause gives essential information to identify the noun.” Change “In Homer’s Odyssey , a comic portrait of the ideal hero is portrayed” to “The Odyssey presents a comic portrait of the ideal hero.”  Also, when you feel the urge to open a sentence with a phrase beginning with “In” followed by a possessive and then a noun, try to reword. In no circumstances should your antecedent occur in this phrase while its pronoun occurs in the main clause. The main clause should feature the noun, not the pronoun. Thus, “In Homer’s Odyssey, he argues….” is incorrect. Change this to “In The Odyssey , Homer argues…” or better yet, “Homer’s Odyssey presents….”  Use the active voice. Passive verbs have auxilary “to be” verbs. “He observed” is active. “It was observed” is passive. If you have trouble locating the passive voice, just reword sentences that contain the verbs am, is, are, was , and were so that those verbs do not appear. These verbs are colorless, and even if used in the active voice, they rarely add anything beautiful to your language.  Words used as words should be italicized: “The word love covers several disparate concepts and differen t Greek words.”  Titles of short stories and poems short be put in italics. Titles of books, long poems, journals and newspapers should be italicized.  Quotes within quotes use single quotation marks. The outside set of quotation marks should be the standard double quotation marks: Eg.: Professor Lewis concluded, “Every literate person should read G. K. Chesterton’s chapter ‘On Myth ’ from The Everlasting Man .” E.g.: Joe whined, “Mom said, ‘No more cookies!’”

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