Monday, October 27, 2008

The Quest for the Green Knight

Ok bros,

It’s that time again.

What’s the theme gonna be? Chauvinism, Lust, Courtly Love, Chivalry, Heroism, Courage, Bravery, Humanity, Imperfection, Christianity? You tell me…in five paragraphs or more to get that high score.

You may use help from another source, just be sure to cite it appropriately—whether by paraphrase or direct quotation--with the author’s last name and page number in parentheses, followed by the period.

Be sure to make reference to specific parts of the plot to back up your main points regarding the theme of your choice. Be sure to incorporate at least three examples taken directly from the story.

You should underline Sir Gawain and the Green Knight when referring to it as a title.

Word up. Questions? As ‘em. If need be, you may take this home and give it to me tomorrow.

God love you as you journey through the dark forest en route to that Green Chapel.

Lord Peach

Sunday, October 12, 2008

JSTOR, Sir Gawain, and the Green Knight


I would like each of you to:
  1. print out one scholarly article chosen from the following list of articles and
  2. submit a one-paragraph “abstract”—a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.—on that article to the blog or on hard copy, being sure to indicate the title of the article as well as its author.
Article List
(you can find and print in full any one of these articles by clicking the title and, once in the new window, the PDF link):

DUE DATE: Monday, October 20, 2008

Please be sure to submit your article with the proper format (as with the previous abstract assignment).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An Elegy for a Hero: Beowulf Essay Quest

An Elegy for a Hero:
An In-class Essay on Beowulf

During the last three weeks, we have gone into some depth picking out themes of Beowulf.

With your scholarly article from JSTOR in hand, your Beowulf fun-pack, your “Writing about Fiction” fun-pack and your weapon of choice (pen or pencil):

  • Construct a well-developed, five paragraph essay in which you consider a theme discussed in your research and its application to the story of Beowulf.
  • Make a thesis statement in which you form a general assumption that can branch into three specific ideas or examples from the poem that address or demonstrate the overall issue (be it about Christianity in Beowulf, the historical roots of Beowulf, the language used in Beowulf, or otherwise).
  • Make your claims regarding the theme by using the scholarly article to back you up. You can do this by quoting directly from, paraphrasing, or summarizing your article of choice.
  • Remember that with each claim you make regarding the theme and its application to Beowulf, you should construct a respective paragraph that revolves around that claim.
  • Each of your body paragraphs should include a specific example from the poem that demonstrates the theme on which your thesis statement is based.
  • If you are quoting or paraphrasing an instance from the text or from your article, you can begin with a transitional phrase such as: For example, For instance when, As [last name of scholar] states, etc.
  • Be sure to refer to all events from the poem in the present tense (i.e. Beowulf fights the she-monster…, rather than, Beowulf fought the she-monster…).
  • Lastly, end with a conclusion—this can be your fifth paragraph—that further illustrates the theme you discussed with the help of a scholarly article/author.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beowulf Criticism


Available now in the library is an internet research database called JSTOR. As noted on the website,

JSTOR is a not–for–profit organization dedicated to helping the scholarly community discover, use, and build upon a wide range of intellectual content in a trusted digital archive. Our overarching aims are to preserve a record of scholarship for posterity and to advance research and teaching in cost–effective ways. We operate a research platform that deploys information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. We collaborate with organizations that can help us achieve our objectives and maximize the benefits for the scholarly community.

The goal of JSTOR is to introduce students and scholars to the wide world of literary criticism.[see footnote below]

It is also ideal for modeling how to write works of literary criticism. To familiarize yourself with how to use the system, I would like each of you to search and print out one scholarly article pertaining to Beowulf and submit a one-paragraph “abstract”—a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.—on that article to the blog, being sure to indicate the title of the article as well as its author.

You can access JSTOR from the library or from home by clicking the link to the left. Each of you will have to register individually with an easy-to-remember personal username and password (record them in your journals so that you do not lose them).

DUE DATE: Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Please be sure to submit your article with the proper heading:

Your Name
My Name
ENG 141 / British Lit
Due Date

Article Title:
Article Author:

literary criticism
1. a written evaluation of a work of literature [syn:
2. the informed analysis and evaluation of literature