Below I have suggested topics for the first writing assignment. You may write on your own topic as well, but you must clear it with me by Mon., Feb. 12. I will not accept a paper written on a topic that I have not OKed. You must discuss at least one work since the last paper, although you can compare that work to one of the earlier ones. Papers should be 5-7 pages long, double-spaced, typed, clipped or stapled, 12 point font, with appropriate margins. First drafts are required and due Tue., Feb. 13 (NOTE CHANGE FROM SYLLABUS). Final papers are due Wed., Feb. 21. Final papers MUST be submitted in a folder with the draft with my comments on it. See the policy statement for the penalties on late work and for guidelines on citing sources correctly.
As with the last paper, keep in mind that topics below are just that – topics. You will need to turn your topic into a thesis. A thesis makes an argument about a work; it presents a point of view. The rest of your paper should present the evidence (examples and quotations) that proves your analysis is legitimate. Resist making value judgments about which text or texts are better—consider instead differences between what texts are doing. Please see the last assignment sheet for an example of the difference between a topic and thesis
When I grade your paper I will consider:
· Is this a clear thesis that makes a significant and interesting point about the text(s)?
· Is the thesis adequately defended with evidence (well-chosen quotations & examples) from the text(s)?
· Is this paper well-organized, with strong paragraphs and good transitions, as well as a good introduction and conclusion?
· Is the writing clear and grammatical?
· Are sources (if any—and that is up to you) used well and correctly, with proper MLA documentation?
1) Compare the preface of Geoffrey’s History to Caxton’s Preface. What techniques are these writers using and why?
2) Discuss the use of magic in Malory. This is a LARGE topic, and you will need to narrow it down and come up with a thesis. You could consider the intersections of magic and gender, magic and religion, magic and power, etc.
3) Discuss the character of Kay in at least two of the works we have read (one since the last paper). What differences do you see? How do those differences reflect the different priorities of the texts?
4) Discuss the role of men in one or two of these texts. How are men portrayed? Another way of asking the question: how is masculinity defined?
5) Consider the interlace structure of Chrétien and Malory’s
texts. How and why do these authors use this technique? Are
there significant differences, and how do those differences reflect the
priorities of the texts?