Monday, March 9, 2009

Macbeth Essay Assignment

Choose one of the following topic choices and explore it in a 600-800 word essay. Set up your essay with an introduction that contains a focusing idea (thesis statement) that speaks to the theme choice you are responding to. Include at least three specific examples, points, or arguments that you explain in detail and support with cited evidence from Macbeth in the body paragraphs of your essay. You will want to finish with a thoughtful conclusion that ties your essay together.

You will have two days to write a draft, one day to make revisions, one day to upload the essays to your class blogs and begin comments, one day to make changes based on the comments, and one last day for any final edits you need to make to ensure your essays are as good as they can be before I begin reading and grading them.

Macbeth themed topic choices – Pick one:

I. Things aren’t always what they seem
II. Blind ambition leads to one’s downfall
III. Power corrupts
IV. Superstition affects human behavior

These themes are found in Macbeth, but perhaps more importantly (and interestingly, depending on your perspective), they can be found in present-day society and our lives. One might consider them truisms, as these maxims seem to have stood the test of time.

Essay formatting: 1) 600-800 words, 2) single-spaced, with one space between paragraphs, 3) Georgia size 12 font, 4) organized into paragraphs of roughly four to eight sentences.

Essay criteria checklist:

______ Your essay’s introduction contains a focusing idea (thesis statement) that takes a stance on the theme you are responding to, and the conclusion is thoughtful and ties your essay together.

______ There are at least three correctly cited and clearly explained examples from Macbeth that serve as evidence and analysis for your chosen theme: Introduce the line you’re going to cite with a sentence or two. “Put the lines of verse in quotes like this. In parentheses, put the act, scene, and line numbers, in that order, followed by a period” (5.3.21-22). Then, be sure you’ve explained the significance of the passage in two or three sentences.

______ Your writing is enticing, engaging, and uses specific, appropriate language to get your points across.

______ Your paper is free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Your essay will be graded according to the SHHS School Writing Rubric.

Late essays will not be accepted without penalty (10 points per day). After three days, your essay will not be accepted for credit. You’re responsible for saving and keeping track of all your work, including notes, drafts, and electronic files. Save your work often and in multiple locations, as you will only be submitting an electronic copy via your blog. I am available to help while you’re writing your essay. Please let me know how I may best assist you.

Essay schedule:
FRI, 3/13 – Begin draft
TUES, 3/17 – Finish draft by end of class
WED, 3/18 – Bring completed draft to class, make revisions with peer editing sheet
TH, 3/19 – Post to blog, begin making comments
MON, 3/23 – Three comments due at start of class, read comments, make changes
TUES, 3/24 – Make last edits, final essay posted to blog by end of period


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