ENG 242 Essay#1 assignment (Graded A+) - use as a guide only - 26942

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Essay #1 Assignment

The Romantics



v  To remember literary devices.

v  To apply critical thinking skills in analyzing and interpreting a text.

v  To understand how an author’s use of literary devices within the text (such as character development) communicates thematic concerns.

v  To evaluate literary texts in terms of literary devices and themes.

v  To create a literary analysis with a thesis expressing a meaning in the text and then support that statement through a clear, thorough, well-organized synthesis and examination.

v  To remember, understand, and apply the rules of standard English and MLA format.



Your first paper is a research paper on a work or works we study in class of one of the poets from the Romantic period.  The goal of your paper will be to present a clear, argumentative, substantive, analytical thesis on the ways in which the poet and his work represent his era.  Questions to prompt your thinking include the following: What traits of the Romantic era does this poet/work exhibit?  What poetic devices are used that support these traits? What themes are present in the work, and how are they supported by the traits and poetic devices? Etc. The traits of the Romantic era are attached.  Understand that merely pointing out that the traits are present is not an analytical discussion of the work.  You must do more than merely say that they are there.

Use the materials I gave you about literary elements and critical approaches to help you.  The thesis must be analytical in nature, not summary.  You must assert an idea about the work, then support your assertion in the paragraphs to follow.  Refer to specific passages in the work or works and to literary criticism to reinforce your points.  However, keep in mind that your audience for this essay is someone who has read the work; therefore, neither supplying the entire work in your essay nor summarizing it is necessary or desirable.

You will include a minimum of 2 (maximum of 4) secondary sources (journal articles or books) in addition to your primary source (the literary work), all of which will be listed on a Works Cited page following MLA conventions.  For journals, use only full-text articles; stay away from excerpts found in the Gale series (Use these, perhaps, to determine whether or not you might want to use the full article.  If so, go find it!)  Internet sources must be full-text and credible journal articles.  Include highlighted photocopies of these sources with your final draft.  Sometimes criticism is hard to find and challenging to read.  Give yourself time to do both!

As you have successfully completed the prerequisite courses for ENG 242, my expectations for your essays are that they will exhibit all the skills acquired in those courses.  Your writing will be clear, thorough, organized, analytical, substantial, sophisticated in thought, and interesting; your essays should also be free of grammatical and punctuation errors that interfere with successful and clear communication.  Your in-text documentation and Works Cited list should conform to the conventions and guidelines set forth in the MLA Handbook.  Do not forget to list the poet or poets on your works cited list;  since you are analyzing the poetry, you will be quoting from it, and the poets then become sources that  you must document.  Failure to do so is plagiarism.  MY ADVICE:  Using the Writing Center is advisable for all stages of essay writing.

This paper will be 4 – 6 typed, double-spaced pages.  No cover sheet is required.  Follow the conventions of formal writing set forth by the MLA Handbook and The Handbook for Writers (spacing, 1-inch margins, etc.).  Use Times New Roman font in size 12.  The final project to be turned in will include any rough draft (including any seen by the Writing Center), Writing Center documentation if you visited to work on this paper, a final draft, a copy of the grading rubric, and a receipt from the submission to Safe Assign, all presented in a clean, plain, pocket folder.  The essay will not be accepted unless all items are included: late penalties will apply until the packet is complete.

            Be sure to submit your paper to Safe Assign on or before the due date.


A few extra guidelines:

·         Use the present tense when writing about literature and when incorporating the source material.

·         Write in third person exclusively.  Focus on the analytical ideas of the literature itself, not your speculations of what “the reader” perceives, understands, visualizes, etc.  In fact, keep “the reader” out of your discussion altogether.  The essay is about the literature, not the reader of the literature.  Also, avoid weak expressions like “I think” or “I feel”; be assertive of your ideas!

·         Write formally.  Avoid casual and inappropriate expressions that compromise the sophistication of your essay, such as using words like “huge” when “significant” is a more accurate and appropriate choice.  Also, do not use expressions like “the poet paints a picture” when you can discuss “images” he “creates” instead.  Your writing should be analytical and sophisticated, not elementary in expression and ideas.

·         Refer to the authors by their full names when you first mention them.  After that, use only last names.  This includes the authors of the critical works as well as the poets.

·         Make sure quotations are used accurately, effectively, and fit smoothly and grammatically into your text.   Be sure to use attribution sentences the first time you refer to a source to establish the author and his/her credibility.

·         Use the Writing Center.  There, you can receive assistance with brainstorming, planning, development, mechanics, MLA format, etc.


Traits of Romanticism



Characteristics common to Romantic thinking:


  • individuality
  • imagination, emotion over logic
  • nature (and its goodness) as focal point
  • importance of commonplace
  • intellectual freedom
  • nonconformity/revolution
  • unlimited possibilities—faith in the endless resources of human spirit and imagination
  • experimentation
  • sensuous detail




Common beliefs:



  • classlessness
  • nobility of man (basically good, not evil)
  • man controlled fate
  • charity brought good things
  • nature represented God’s work
  • gentleness/compassion for the weak and innocent
  • innate wisdom of children
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ENG 242 English - British literature.doc
ENG 242 English...