Essay Paper

Essay Paper

The topic is up to you, but it should be manageable in 4-5 pages. You are welcome to use one or more of your responses as a starting point. If you do an analytical essay, be sure to link your evidence and claims explicitly in the essay, have an arguable thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph, and use transitions and topic and concluding sentences. Here are a few possible paper topics:

1) Creative Option #1. Can you write a “lost” or “missing” scene or part of a scene for one of the works of literature we have read this semester? Alternatively, you could change an existing scene. As you write your scene, you might think about what fresh perspective your contribution adds to the work or how it might lead us to rethink a character’s motives. It is up to you whether or not to do your scene or part of a scene in modern or contemporaneous language, but the former (modern) should have a minimum of 70 lines and the latter (contemporaneous) a minimum of 40 lines. It should be a total of 4-5 pages, with the remaining space devoted to a discussion of the new scene in relation to the existing work of literature. It is fine to fill the entire 4-5 pages with lines (that is to say, no discussion) if you prefer.

2) Creative Option #2. Act out a scene from one of the works that we have read this semester. You may either do it in person in front of the class or film it and play the video for us. Both the in-person and film possibilities can be done individually or in groups. You should memorize your lines. Props and costumes are optional, but they would enhance the performance.
3) Creative Option #3. Put together a presentation for the class (maximum 15 minutes) about one of the works of literature that we have read this semester. What interesting information can you tell us that we have not already heard? Feel free to include art, music, comedy, or other attention-getting devices. PowerPoint presentations would be especially welcome.

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4) Analytical Writing Option #1. Write an essay that analyzes one or more works of literature that we have read this semester. You may, but are not required to, focus on “the journey” as a theme or the ways in which Franciscan values fit with those works of literature. In other words, you can do one of the options from the first paper assignment prompt with different works of literature. The previous paper prompt is pasted below in case you are interested:

Pick a Franciscan value and write an essay that answers this question: to what extent does the value that you chose show up in a work of literature that we have read this semester? Keep in mind that polytheistic Greece and Rome in the eighth and first centuries B.C.E. had a number of cultural and social differences from St. Francis’ Assisi (Italy) in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries C.E. Some Franciscan values are: compassion, reverence, diversity, peace, respect, service, and joy.


Choose a character in one of the works that we have read so far and analyze his or her journey. Some questions you might answer for this topic are: what do specific geographical locations represent for a particular character? What type of journey does the character undergo (psychological, spiritual, physical, martial, romantic, emotional, intellectual – or some combination thereof)?
5) Analytical Writing Option #2. Analyze a film, musical, or comic adaptation or allusion to a work of literature that we have read this semester.

The rule of thumb for analytical papers is two quotations from the work of literature per body paragraph, and paragraphs that are 3/4 of a page long. Essays should be in 12-point, double-spaced, Times New Roman font. Please keep plot summary to a minimum (less than 10% of your paper). Outside research is unnecessary for this essay, but if you do use sources other than your text book, please cite them in the proper MLA format. If you decide to do one of the creative options that will take place in class, please let me know in advance so that I can allow sufficient time for your presentation. You must hand the paper in during class on the due date. No e-mail attachments will be accepted. The due date and late paper policy are on the syllabus.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by EssayPro