You’ve read excerpts from secular works written in the medieval period such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Canterbury Tales. Both are quest narratives that reveal much about the social life and codes of conduct followed in the medieval period. Write an essay on one of the topics provided in part A of this task. Follow these guidelines for writing the essay.
Gathering and evaluating sources
Refer to online resources or books in a library on the relevant topic in order to write the essay.
Make sure you look for the date and the author of the resource and check whether the resource provides valid information that is useful in writing the essay.
You can refer to this article or search for other web pages like it to find out more about evaluating sources.
Developing a thesis or argument
Your essay should be built around a thesis statement, or the main argument.
The thesis statement should be well supported by your research and the text you are analyzing.
This article will provide you with more information on thesis statements and developing a topic.
Writing the essay
Consult this resource for guidelines when writing an analytical essay.
The structure and language of your essay should be your own. Read these guidelines on how to avoid plagiarism. Make sure you cite all sources you refer to, using a consistent format for both in-text citations and the Works Cited page. You can use either MLA or APA formats.
Reread your essay to eliminate spelling errors and to rule out grammatical mistakes before turning in the essay.
Choose one of the two topics detailed below for your essay:
A medieval romance is a kind of writing that has a mysterious, supernatural setting, idealizes chivalry and courtly love, and may involve masking a character’s real identity. Usually the hero of a medieval romance is a knight who takes an unusual challenge and whose triumph brings glory to the king and the nation. Reread the selection from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (or you may choose to read more of it from an online source), and write an analytical essay that examines how the poem fits into the genre of medieval romances.
In The Canterbury Tales, pilgrims relate the stories on their way to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. However, the stories often have an irreverent tone. Examine to what extent “The Pardoner’s Tale” or “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” (or another section of another story if you want to read more online) seems to mock aspects of religion in general or Christian beliefs and church practices of the time in particular.