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Focus on the theme of boasting in ​Beowulf​ Look at specific examples of the word’s occurrence, and say what the poet is suggesting about “boasting.” Keep in mind the there are two Old English words often translated to boast.

Prompt for Final Paper​:

Choose ​one​ of the following prompts:

  • A. Focus on the theme of “boasting” in ​Beowulf​, Look at specific examples of the word’s occurrence,
  • and say what the poet is suggesting about “boasting.” Keep in mind the there are two Old English
  • words often translated “to boast.” See handout on Blackboard.
  • B. Consider kingship and heroism in ​Beowulf​. Can a person be both a great hero and a great king? Or
  • does one mutually exclude the other?
  • C. Is Grendel’s mother villainous in ​Beowulf?​ Take into account Seamus Heaney’s translation when answering this question.
  • D. Consider the roles of women in ​Beowulf​. How does the portrayal of women in the poem compare to
  • the portrayal of women in the ​Iliad ​and/or ​Odyssey​?
  • E. Compare Odysseus with Beowulf. Explain what makes each character seem great, taking into account
  • the flaws of both. Conclude by explaining which of the two heroes seems better to you and why.

Thesis Statements​:
Include a clear thesis statement in your introduction. Every body paragraph should support this thesis. Examples​:
-Although Dante and Aeneas both (​fill in the blank​), their journeys differ in their final purpose.
-Whereas Dante the pilgrim (sometimes/never ​etc​) pities the damned, Dante the poet (​fill in the blank​) -Dante the pilgrim begins the journey as (​fill in the blank​), but he learns to (​fill in the blank​) by journeying through Hell, thereby (​fulfilling what goal if any? fill in the blank)​
-Fame is important to (​every character, some characters?​) in the ​Inferno​, but in the end, ​(___’s view is the right one? Dante the poet believes fame is significant in this way...​)

Double-spaced, 1-inch margins. Times New Roman 12-point font. Page numbers in Top Right corner; page numbers should begin with 1 ​after​ the cover page.
3-4 pages—Papers less than 3 full pages or more than 4 full pages will be penalized (the cover page and Works Cited page do not count)
Include a cover page with the paper’s title, your name, my name, and the date (example on back) Include a Works Cited page at the end (see “Citation and Quotation Requirements”)
Citation and Quotation Requirements
1. IMPORTANT Cite ONLY Dante’s ​Inferno,​ Fagle’s ​Aeneid,​ or Heaney’s Beowulf. 2. Cite in the following ways:
a. Use slashes between verses when you are quoting short passages. Put the page number, book, and lines in parentheses within the body of the paper. Put your own punctuation after the citation.
e.g. Aeneas says to his mother, “I am Aeneas, duty-bound, and known / Above high air of heaven by my fame...” ​(p. 17, 1.519-21).
b. Use the original lineation (no slashes), indent, and *single-space* block quotations. Put the page number, book, and lines in parentheses just below the quotation. Use the punctuation of the original text. Block quotations should be used rarely, if a quotation would take more than 4 lines in your paper.
e.g. Dido laments her own death with these words:
I die unavenged, ...but let me die.
This way, this way, a blessed relief to go Into the undergloom. Let the cold Trojan, Far at sea, drink in this conflagration
And take with him the omen of my death! (p. 120, 4.915-19)
c. Paraphrase, then give the lines you reference in parentheses.
e.g. Dido debates only briefly before giving in to her sister’s persuasion ​(pp. 95-97, 4.9-78). 3. Incorporate all quotations into your own sentence structure. “Never write something like this.”
4. List Dante’s ​Inferno​ (and other sources used—see point 1) in a Works Cited page in Turabian style:
Dante Alighieri. ​The Inferno.​ Translated by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander. New York: Anchor Books, 2002.

Grading Rubric
Thesis and Introductory Paragraph
A: The first paragraph captures the reader’s attention, presents a clear thesis, and indicates the direction and organization that the paper will follow.
B: The first paragraph presents a thesis and gives some indication of the paper’s organization, but it leaves the reader without a clear understanding of how the paper will proceed.
C: The thesis is either unclear or illogical; there is little indication of the paper’s argument or organization.
D: There is no thesis and little indication of the paper’s argument or organization.
F: The first paragraph does not “introduce” the paper at all, but it contains mere summary or irrelevant information.
A: Clear organization guided by an excellent command of the text, with natural flow of arguments and good, smooth transitions. ​Includes topic sentences for every body paragraph and concluding sentences when appropriate​.
B: Competent form, but either a little too mechanical or a little too loose, though not really disorganized. Perhaps somewhat abrupt at beginning or end, ​and some topic sentences are unclear or lacking​.
C: May exhibit one or the other of two opposing faults: either a structure so rigid that the essay reads more like an outline than an essay, or a noticeable tendency to ramble/no clear distinction made between grappling with textual interpretation and one’s own argument. No real effort to make the essay flow from beginning to end. ​Topic sentences are unclear or irrelevant or lacking.
D: Some semblance of a structure and paragraph breaks, but no clear distinctions made between what is said in the texts and the writer’s personal argument.
F: Essentially disorganized.
Grammar and Syntax
A: Well written, free of significant errors, and pleasant to read. Has been proofread with care, beyond “spell-check.” Follows the rules in Strunk and White’s ​Elements of Style​.
B: Competently written, with relatively few errors in word choice or grammar, and not unpleasant to read. Follows most rules in Strunk and White’s ​Elements of Style;​ no more than 5 proofreading errors.
C: Readable, but flawed by some significant stylistic or grammatical errors. Not proofread. Apparently ignores the rules in Strunk and White’s ​Elements of Style.​
D: Hard to read, vitiated by serious errors, all but incoherent. Not proofread.
F: Virtually incomprehensible text due to major grammatical and syntactical errors, such as a lack of subject/verb agreement, rampant misspellings, and general confusion about parts of speech.
A: Clear, sharp line of argument that displays a degree of insight into the topic and even possibly notes opposing viewpoints. Smoothly incorporates and interprets passages from the text that are relevant to the argument. Recognizes the distinction between interpreting a passage of the text and giving one’s opinion about a passage (both of which are acceptable).
B: Competent argumentation, perhaps lacking deeper engagement with the text. Incorporates some relevant passages and interprets them clearly, but ​other​ ​passages may be poorly explained or irrelevant or forced to fit the argument​. There may be some confusion between the writer’s personal argument and the viewpoint of the characters or author of the text.
C: Not really a careful argument, but more an assertion of opinions with textual citations interspersed or a summary of the story or a repetition of what was said in class. ​Most passages are poorly explained or irrelevant or forced to fit the argument​. May have faulty reasoning, but the argument could be defended if expanded more creatively. D: An argument is attempted, but it is egregiously fallacious or under-supported.
F: No developed argument, but merely a series of quotations or assertions presented without connection or justification.

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