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ENGL 2330
Classical Influences
Term Paper Prompt
For this course’s lone paper, its only formal writing assignment, you will need to
choose a work that goes beyond our course readings – either a film or a work of
literature – to which you will apply the genre theory that we have been considering
throughout the course.
In many respects, this assignment is similar to the midterm exam, in which you were
asked to write about assigned works through the lens of our course’s genre theory.
In this assignment, however, you will be making the selections – both the selection
of the imaginative work and the selection of the theory that you will apply.
– In choosing a work (piece of literature or film) to analyze, you will need simply
to clear your selection with me. Please start making your selections as soon as
– Concerning the genre theory, anything in the four critical essays by Louise
Cowan can be used as a means of analyzing your chosen work. However, just
as the midterm required that you consider each genre through the “lens” of
particular, fairly brief passages (the quotes on the prompt), you will want to
limit yourself to specific points in Cowan essay(s) through which you will
examine your work carefully, critically, and attentively.
Finally, the due date for the rough draft makes it likely that most students will
choose to focus on works that fit within the genres we have already studied (i.e., epic,
tragedy). If, however, you are interested in comedy or lyric, you are free to work
ahead and to choose to apply comic/lyrical concepts to an acceptable work.
Your paper must have a clearly crafted thesis that at the very least outlines the
structure of your essay. The paper is to be a short essay – 1300 words minimum,
2000 words maximum. To keep the paper under 2000 words, you will need to be
very focused and concise in your writing. No outside sources, beyond the Cowan
essays, are required for this paper.
All essays must be in standard MLA format.
Rough drafts of essays, which are to be at least half the length of the final
draft (650 words minimum) must be uploaded by 11:59 PM on Friday,
July 22.
Final drafts of essays must be uploaded by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, July
Student justifies claims,
reasoning, procedures, or
Student communicates ideas
through an organized
Student uses grammar,
usage, and style
SLO 4 (possible n/a)
Student format appropriate
to assignment (i.e. MLA, APA,
Chicago, etc.).
~55 (or lower)
Purpose not
established clearly or
support does not
directly connect to
Reasoning attempts to
support the overall
established purpose but with
very little specificity (i.e.
unsupported reasoning or
only supports a small
portion of the text despite its
Shows difficulty in
presenting purpose in an
organized sequence
appropriate for audience.
Reasoning supports the
overall established purpose
but specificity focuses only
on certain, sporadic points,
with little complexity. (i.e.
sporadic support with little
or no commentary).
Reasoning logically supports
the overall established
purpose with specificity
focused throughout a
majority of the text but with
some complexity. (i.e.
frequent support with
Successfully develops the
purpose by following a
coherent sequence
appropriate for audience
although some restructuring
would benefit.
Reasoning logically supports the
overall established purpose with
insight and specificity focused
throughout the entirety of the text
(i.e. frequent support with
commentary which displays the
ramifications of the essay).
Grammar, usage, and
style disrupt reading
and often obscure
Grammar, usage, and style
are not well-executed.
Although it may not obscure
meaning, it substantially
detracts from the text.
Grammar, usage, and style
are not well-executed yet do
not obscure meaning or
detract from the text.
Grammar, usage, and style
are mostly accurate. What
errors present are infrequent.
Grammar, usage, and style are
nearly flawless.
Fails to cite and
documents sources.
Citation and documentation
of sources have major
formatting issues.
Adequate grasp of citation
and documentation
although inconsistent
formatting issues occur.
Consistent citation and
documentation of sources
throughout with minimal
frequency of formatting
Detailed attention to and
successful citation and
documentation of sources
Shows no
understanding of
organization or
purpose appropriate
for audience.
Adequately develops the
purpose by following a
coherent sequence
appropriate for audience,
yet major restructuring
would benefit the work.
Develops the purpose
exceptionally well through a
coherent sequence appropriate for
audience with very minimal or no

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