Ger 278 Papers: Examples of what we expect from your papers. These illustrate the style and structure required

Each essay will be graded as follows:
Must be typed, with at least 1" margin on all sides, at least 12 points letter size. Bring the print-out to class when paper is due. Submit also in electronic form to the dropboxes in D2L in time before the due date, though only the paper copy will count for the grading. Keep in mind that each paper will be automatically examined as to the degree of similarities with other papers by yourself, your classmates, published studies by scholars, and online material (turnitin software!). You will always receive an automatic confirmation from dropbox that you have submitted your paper. Make sure to keep that alert as proof that your submission has worked well. If your paper is not in the dropbox, I cannot help you, and you will lose all your points. When there is suspicion of plagiarism, I will call you in for a conference, and the consequences for plagiarism might be very harsh. Do not write your paper together with a classmate, though you can, of course, discuss the topics with him/her, or with one of the preceptors. If you copy from another paper/chapter/article in print or online, without acknowledging the author and without indicating the extent to which you have copied by means of quotation marks and references, you commit plagiarism. Even if you quote and indicate so, limit this to a minimum because only your own work/words will count.

Thesis: Concisely developed, clear concept, well formulated (avoid paraphrase!) -  20 pts. Always provide a title that captures your thesis. Keep the thesis statement in bold.

Argument: Good use of original text to illustrate the thesis; complex argument based on a solid knowledge of the text; convincing organization; engage with one outside source: 50 pts. If you do not engage with a critical secondary source at all, loss of 15 points, if only fleetingly or superficially, loss of 10 points.

Conclusion: Convincing connection with the thesis, good summary of the argument, final comment on the outside source (negatively or positively), concise formulation; 20 pts.

Outside Sources: Each time you must engage with at least one pertinent outside source, i.e., a critical study of recent vintage (not from prior to 1960!). This must be a solid piece of scholarship, published in a reputable journal, edited volume, or the like (no webpage articles, unless it's an online journal by its own right). Bring in the author's opinion and use it either to support your own argument or demonstrate why you believe that that other opinion misreads the text. Loss of points if no source used, or if inappropriate. Pertinent means that the scholar writes about the text you are discussing. You can lose up to 10 points if this does not happen systematically in your paper. Mostly, this will show in the argument!

Format: Write down your first last name, SI, class, instructor, term, year on the top of your paper. Next follows the title. Next the thesis in bold.

At the end of your paper write a statement and sign it that this is your own piece of work and that you did not receive outside help.

Stylistics10 points: Correct use of grammar and diction, sophisticated use of vocabulary, complex sentence structure.
 
LENGTH: first paper should consist of ca. 1/3 p. for thesis and 1/3 page for conclusion, with ca. 1 pages for the main body of arguments (ca. 500 words); double that for second paper (1200 words), and ca. triple for third paper (1600 words).

Again: Always submit a hard copy and upload a version to the dropbox on D2L! You must do both! We will grade only the hard copy, while the electronic version serves only to check your work regarding plagiarism issues.

Online databases: Modern Language Bibliography, Iter, International Medieval Bibliography, Regesta Imperii, JSTOR, etc.

HOW TO WRITE A GOOD PAPER: OBSERVATIONS FROM GOOD EXAMPLES BY STUDENTS

EXAMPLE 1

Title

1st paragraph:

Introduction to your paper, the topic. This part should include your thesis.

Example: In this paper I will examine that friendship is the basis of love, and love has the potential of lasting forever after that. Love is evident in Boethius, Spiritual Friendship and the parables by The Stricker. These works show great compassion for love in many different settings and help the audience grow a stronger fondness for the word love and what it really means in life.

2nd paragraph:

Argument: discussion of your thesis that should include quotes. It is important that you analyze and explain your quotes in terms how they relate to your thesis. This is the body and longest part of your paper.

Example: The word love has many different definitions and meanings to people all around the world. A few definitions of love include a strong, positive emotion of regard and affection, beloved person, or any object of warm affection or devotion. While Boethius was locked up in confinement, he spoke to different ideals about his broken road and loss of faith, he also spoke of love: "love is unto itself a higher law" (Boethius). Love is the basis of human life. It makes the world go around and gives people hope for amazing life and a fruitful future.

3rd paragraph:

Conclusion

Here you summarize your paper and explain how your line of argumentation led to your thesis.

Example: In conclusion we can argue, that the various forms that love come in everywhere, are only minutely represent in these works of literature. There are countless different sources that can be found that say love is truly the basis of everything. Boethius writings, Spiritual Friendship and the parables by The Stricker are wonderful examples of the power of love and what it can and possibly cannot do in some situations to keep relationship glued faithfully together.

EXAMPLE 2

Title

1st paragraph:

Introduction to your paper, the topic.

This part should include your thesis.

Example: This paper will differentiate two varieties of honor: public honor and private honor. The former is specified by society. It is the public decency which bestows respectability in the eyes of the other members of society. Private honor isn’t seen by people at large. It is manifested as integrity and uprightness.

2nd paragraph:

Argument: discussion of your thesis that should include quotes. It is important that you analyze and explain your quotes in terms how they relate to your thesis. This is the body and longest part of your paper.

Example: Even with writers displaced by hundreds of miles and centuries of time, honor remained a central tenet largely unchanged in form. Boethius’s text deals with honor in a subtle and indirect way when he discusses the nature of righteousness. The cure for his woe for his own situation was to be ‘reminded’ about the truth of his position in the word, and the position that himself and others had in the machinery of history. In this process Boethius discovers what was honorable . Knowledge and goodness were at the heart of Boethius’s model of honor, since those who were evil had cause themselves to cease as persons "just as you might call a corpse a dead man, but couldn’t simply call it a man" (Boethius, 91). Those who are honorable are those who seek goodness and therefore achieve power, fame, wealth and the like in the process.

3rd paragraph:

Conclusion. Here you summarize your paper and explain how your line of argumentation led to your thesis.

Example: In conclusion it would be safe to state, that during the Middle Ages, when honor was extremely important, many major pieces of literature cried and echoed how those who are privately honorable, have integrity, and behave decently will have honor outwardly in whatever form it might take. Nothing damaging to the external honor can have a lasting effect if the internal honor remains intact. Conversely, those without private honor will never be able to keep public honor, and will only harm themselves in the end. Honor, though not explicitly labeled as such, is no less important now than it was then, and the same rules apply to our lives today.

EXAMPLE 3

Title

1st paragraph:

Introduction to your paper, the topic. This part should include your thesis.

Example: …Throughout time, people have loved and lost, lived and died too young, and succumbed to grief. Death is nothing prejudicial. No one can escape it, therefore, people dealing with a loss or approaching death should look to others’ past experiences for guidance.

2nd paragraph:

Argument: discussion of your thesis that should include quotes. It is important that you analyze and explain your quotes in terms how they relate to your thesis. This is the body and longest part of your paper.

Example: In the epic poem Nibelungenlied, each character wrestles with death and readers can learn valid lessons from the way characters react to losing loved ones. The epic poem develops a theme surrounding death after the main lady, Kriemhild, losses her husband Siegfried as the result of a deceitful murder. Kriemhild mourns for thirteen years following the death of her husband, feeling incomplete and empty. Kriemhild’s despair is described as, "Lovely, unhappy lady, she sank speechless to the ground and lay there for a while, wretched beyond all measure till, reviving from her swoon, she uttered a shriek that set the whole room echoing" (The Nibelungenlied, 133). In modern times, those who are unable to cope with death turn off their cell phones, draw their curtains tightly closed, and sink under the covers, subsiding further into a form of depression, similar to Kriemhild’s thirteen year mourning period.

3rd paragraph:

Conclusion

Here you summarize your paper and explain how your line of argumentation led to your thesis.

Example: In conclusion it would be safe to state, that if humans accept death before they meet their mortal end, they escape living in the black hole. […] Dealing with death is and always has been one of the hardest parts of life, and more should start to look at medieval text, like the Nibelungenlied, Boethius, and the works of The Stricker for inspiration to move forward.