English 475.001 - Old English
Spring 2008 - Edwin Duncan


Assignment: Write a position paper on some aspect of Old English life, language, or literature that will enhance your classmates' understanding of the subject. If you are not sure that your tentative topic is acceptable, please discuss the matter with me before proceeding. Sources from both books and periodicals should be consulted, and at least some sources should be relatively recent, i.e., from the past decade or so.

Length: 1200-1600 words of text.

Due Date: The beginning of class on Thursday, April 24.

Format: The submitted copy must be typed, double-spaced, on 8 1/2" x 11" typing paper. Margins for text should be approximately 1" on all sides. A cover sheet will not be necessary. Unless the sheets of the paper are fastened with a staple or paper clip in the top left-hand corner, one-third of a letter grade will be deducted from the overall paper grade. Do not put your completed paper in a folder or plastic cover, and do not include fly sheets (i.e. sheets with nothing on them).

Citations: Use the MLA (Modern Language Association) parenthetic documentation style for citations instead of endnotes or footnotes. Include a Works Cited sheet at the end of your paper. Details concerning MLA style can be found in The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (1984 or later) or in post-1985 handbooks of writing style—or by clicking here.

Late Papers: One letter grade will be deducted for each class meeting that the paper is late.

Plagiarism: Failure to document sources properly will definitely hurt your grade and could result in a grade of F for the course. See Towson's Student Academic Integrity Policy.


Old English Research Possibilities

Manuscripts (script, illuminations, production, runes, etc.)
Warfare (armor, tactics, codes of honor, etc.)
Christianity (conversion, pagan influences, charms, spells, monasteries, orders, etc.)
Daily Life (dress, roles of women/men, children, food, work, entertainment, etc.)
Society (social structures and hierarchy, law, economy, etc.)
Learning (medicine, philosophy, etc.)
Literature (poetry, versification, epics, rhythmic prose, sermons, homilies, etc.)
History (Viking raids, the Danelaw, Norman Conquest, etc.)

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