In the course research paper, you will be researching Beowulf from both a formalist and contextualist approach.
In the paper, students will complete three key goals. First, the student will identify and describe cultural conditions of England in which the work was first created and written. If the narrative began as an oral tradition, the student should discuss any changes or transitions that occurred during the process of committing the work to paper. Next, students will discuss major themes in the work and how these themes are a product of/relevant to the environment that created the work in the first place. In this section, student should attempt to establish a clear purpose the author had for the work and discuss whether or not the author was successful in this purpose. Finally, students should discuss the universal applications of the work. In other words, students should attempt to explain why the work is still relevant today. As a bonus, students may explore how the work has influenced or continues to influence modern popular culture.
All sources listed on the final bibliography must be cited in the research paper and documented on the Works Cited page according to MLA guidelines. Resources for successfully accomplishing such citation and documentation will be provided and practiced in subsequent weeks. Source material should be used sparingly as evidence to support the writer’s opinions and thesis. Source material (either quoted or paraphrased) should not exceed 20% of the total paper. In other, words the vast majority of the paper should be the writer’s original thoughts on the topic.