The Final Paper will be an analysis of a formative work of English literature. For this paper, you will create an in-depth analysis of a central work that was studied in the course.
Choose a primary text studied during the course. Analyze how your chosen text is both influenced by and influential to the cultural values of the time in which it was written. Also, analyze how the author uses literary conventions to address political, philosophical, and religious trends of the historical period.
Some possible topics:
- Beowulf: How do elements of religion/spirituality in Beowulf connect to political and philosophical systems of the Middle Ages?
- “The Wife of Bath”: How does the Wife’s behavior (as well as those of the characters in her “Tale”) reflect and/or reject common ideas and practices of Chaucer’s era?
- Paradise Lost: What can we learn from Satan, Adam and Eve, the angels, and God about the way Milton viewed the human condition and 17th century British society?
- Renaissance Love Poetry (Sidney, Spencer, Shakespeare, Marlowe, etc.) : What do the Renaissance poets teach us about the major issues of the day such as the status of women?
- A Modest Proposal: What does Swift teach readers about the relationship between the impoverished Irish Catholics and their wealthy British landlords?
- The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself: How does Equiano use his own experiences to shed light on the British slave trade as well as society in the late 18th century?
Note: Many of the works above are read during the weekly readings as excerpts. In the interest of writing a more robust character essay, you may want to read more than the excerpt of the literary work to which your paper pertains.
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length (excluding the title and references pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least five scholarly sources, including a minimum of two from the Ashford University Library.
- Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
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