Reverse detail from Kakelbont MS 1, a fifteenth-century French Psalter. This image is in the public domain. Daniel Paul O'Donnell

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English 3601: What I did/did not know about Chaucer, his age, contemporaries, or culture

Posted: Sep 07, 2013 16:09;
Last Modified: Sep 07, 2013 16:09




Read the historical and biographical sections of the introductions to your textbooks, search for “Chaucer,” “Middle English,” “Medieval England” on the internet, look around in the library, and otherwise do some preliminary research to familiarise yourself with Chaucer and his age. Then write a brief essay discussing something about Chaucer, his age, contemporaries, or culture that intrigues you. This might involve

The precise choice and number of sources you use should be determined by your approach and the nature of your argument.


The goal of this project is to help you organise your thinking about Chaucer and his age by helping you discover what you do and do not know. It will also help you learn about various research tools for the study of the period and perhaps identify areas you will like to explore more thoroughly in some of your subsequent work.


This is an informal assignment. If the work looks like a good faith effort has been made, you will receive 100% (for the calculation of your formative grade) and a letter grade (for calculation of your bonus). In assigning a letter grade, I will be looking for evidence of engagement, good research and research problems, and clear, effective writing.

There is no length requirement, though most people tend to submit two to four pages (i.e. between about 600 and 1200 words). That is the kind of depth I would recommend, but you can be shorter or longer.

Due date.

See the syllabus for the due date. You will submit the essay on Turnitin.





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