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Your assignment is to write a short paper of 750 words (700-800) double-spaced with standard fonts and margins-only have typing on the front side of each page. The topic for your paper is as follows:
How is the conflict between good and evil portrayed in Beowulf?
I want you to have only 2, preferably interrelated, specific points of analysis.
Points you might consider, but are by no means restricted to in composing your paper, include the symbolism associated with Beowulf as the epic hero and the “monsters” (addressing no more than 2 monsters), the role of the Christian transcriber, early Germanic cultural notions of virtue and evil, and both Christian and pagan allusions in the poem.
1) Most important, remember you are writing a literary analysis, not a plot summary.
2) Have a very specific thesis statement for your paper. Your entire paper should relate in some way to your thesis.
3) Have specific topic sentences for your paragraphs. The topic sentence serves the same function for a paragraph as the thesis statement does for the entire paper.
4) Avoid using contractions and abbreviations in formal literary analysis.
5) Avoid overusing “easy” verbs such as to be, to use, and to do in your paper. Try to employ a variety of precise verbs and synonyms in formulating your ideas.
6) Citations should account for no more than 10% of your paper. However, have a few short quotes citing by line, not page numbers. Generally avoid citations in your introductory and concluding paragraphs.
7) Do not make modern-day comparisons in your paper. Instead, focus on the specific cultural, historical, and social settings of the poem itself.
8) Related to the previous point, strive to frame your analysis in terms of the specific historical, literary, and cultural terms, briefly defining such a concept when you introduce it. TERMS ARE AS FOLLOWS: scop, wyrd, kenning, comitatus, wergild, thane, embedded narrative, epic epithet.
(Be sure to use these in paper)
9) Have a specific title for your paper
10) Avoid using first person (I, me, my, and we) and second person references (you and your) in formal literary analysis.
11) Avoid cliches (stock expressions) and colloquialisms (informal phrasing and diction) in formal literary analysis.
***THE BOOK WE USED IN CLASS IS: THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY ENGLISH LITERATURE – THE MIDDLE AGES – VOLUME A. NINTH EDITION.
BEOWULF TRANSLATED BY SEAMUS HEANEY
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