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Paper #1: Poetry & Victorian Society
Required Length: 3-4 double-spaced pages
Due Date: June 19th Sources: Utilize at least one outside source to supplement your analysis
For your first major paper in this course, you will select one of the following poets and explain what his or her poetry can teach us about some aspect of the Victorian Era.
For example, both Thomas Hardy and Lord Tennyson write about war. While there are similarities in how they choose to approach the subject (both focus on the men actually fighting the battles, for instance), there are sharp differences in how they portray war and (Hardy tends to be somber and critical while Tennyson can be seen to glorify the sacrifices of those involved, etc.).
Students should highlight and analyze specific passages from the poet’s work, though direct quotes should be kept fairly brief. Do not include large blocks of lines copied from the poems themselves. Rather, quotes should merely be used to support and illustrate the writer’s point.
Papers will be graded on how well they demonstrate the following:
An ability to “unpack and explain”—explicate—the deeper meanings within particular passages, images, symbols, word choices, etc.
An ability to support claims and interpretations with textual evidence from the primary source and secondary sources.
An ability to write in an academic style that is clear, precise, mechanically correct, and sophisticated.
An ability to create a paper following MLA formatting guidelines.
An ability to create an original interpretation and analysis that doesn’t depend heavily on idle summary and/or quotes from other sources.
Detail and Depth of Explication
The explication’s specific detail, depth, and development, including fulfilling page requirements with purposeful text
Excellent development & depth
Essay displays excellent detail, depth, and critical thought, along with a sophisticated and thorough analysis.
Good development & depth
Essay displays good specific details, depth, and critical thought, though misses some opportunities for greater development.
Somewhat developed and in-depth
Essay displays sufficient detail and depth but misses several opportunities for greater development or presents some superficial analysis.
Somewhat insufficient development & depth
Essay displays insufficient development in several sections and/or presents an overall superficial analysis.
Insufficient development and depth
Essay provides little detail and/or depth, and presents a highly superficial analysis.
How well the essay uses evidence from primary and secondary sources to support and illustrate explication/analysis.
Excellent use of evidence
Essay makes highly effective use of evidence to support and illustrate points
Good use of evidence
Essay makes good use of evidence to support and illustrate points but may have left some areas insufficiently supported.
Problematic use of evidence
Essay either leaves several areas with too little supporting evidence or overuses evidence/quotes.
Insufficient use of evidence
Essay includes far too little or no evidence, or greatly overuses evidence/quotes from others.
Mechanical Accuracy and Style
Grammar, punctuation, transitions, flow, and academic style.
No significant errors
Essay displays no or very few small errors, none of which interfere with clarity.
Essay does display some repeated errors but none seriously interfere with clarity.
Essay displays errors that often interfere with clarity and/or accuracy.
Essay displays serious and repeated errors that often interfere with clarity.
MLA Formatting & Citations
The accuracy of the essay’s formatting and citations.
Essay displays no significant errors in formatting or citations.
Essay displays some errors in formatting and/or citations.
Essay displays many errors in formatting and/or citations.