Name: ______Date: ______Class: ______

Author’s Craft Essay

Directions:Choose one of the prompts below to demonstrate your understanding of author’s craft in Renaissance poetry. Use the annotation worksheets you completed in class as a graphic organizer to compile your thoughts on the essay of your choice. In order to receive full credit for this assignment, you need to complete a rough draft by Wednesday, March 24. Final drafts must be submitted to your h:/drive by Friday, March 26th. Please review the attached rubric for how your paper will be graded. Use of MLA format is understood.

Shakespearean Sonnet Options:

1. Although love is the basic theme of Sonnets 29, 106, 116, and 130, it is treated differently in each one. In an essay, discuss the different treatments of love in these sonnets. Which sonnet do you think presents the truest depiction of love? Why? Support your arguments with examples from the sonnets in question.

2. The idea of time plays a role in the themes of both Sonnet 106 and Sonnet 116. In an essay, contrast the very different concepts of time presented in these sonnets. What is the relationship of time to beauty in each poem? Use examples from the poems to support your ideas.

3. Do writers gain more by accepting or rejecting tradition? Sonnets 29, 106, and 116 present love in traditional words and ideas, but Sonnet 130 is less traditional in its presentation of love. In an essay, explore the ways in which Sonnet130 deviates from tradition and explain the effects. Do its differences make the poem more or less effective in conveying the speaker’s love? Cite examples from the poem to support your main points.

Other Renaissance Poetry Options:

4. Spenser and Sidney use a variety of images in their sonnets to convey the theme of hopeless and painful love. Choose two or three images from the sonnets, and write an essay explaining how each image contributes to this theme. You may use all of the sonnets by Sidney and Spenser in your text to complete this assignment.

5. Spenser’s three sonnets (Sonnet 1, 35, and 75) each describe some aspect of the speaker’s love for his lady, but each focuses on a different aspect or expression of that love. Write an essay discussing these sonnets. What is the subject of each? What are the dominant images? What is the overall impression these three sonnets, considered together, convey about the speaker, his beloved, and their relationship?

6. Do writers gain more by accepting or rejecting tradition? Spenser and Sidney use the traditional form of the sonnet to write about love. In an essay, explore how the sonnet’s form either helps or hinders their purpose. Are they able to create a strong image of love using the sonnet form? Use examples from the poems to support your response.

Author’s Craft Essay Writing Rubric
Weak / Competent / Strong / Total Points
Point Value
Content and Organization
20% / The focus is clearly defined and established early in the essay; the focus is narrow enough for the length of the essay; each part of the essay contributes to this focus. Demonstrates awareness of purpose / 2 – 12 / 13 - 17 / 18 – 20
25% / Consistent and credible evidence with originality and depth of ideas; ideas work well together as a unified whole; main points are sufficiently supported (with evidence); support is valid and specific. / 2 – 15 / 16 - 20 / 21 – 25
20% / Has a clear sense of logical order appropriate to the content and the thesis. Paragraphs are well-developed and appropriately divided; ideas linked with smooth and effective transitions. / 2 - 12 / 13 - 17 / 18 - 20
10% / Clear discernment of distinctive audience; tone and point of view appropriate to the assignment. Visuals and graphics (if used) are appropriate to audience and assignment. Manipulates sentence length to enhance total effect of the essay; uses precise language that expresses complex ideas clearly. / 0 - 6 / 6 - 8 / 9 - 10
Structure and Form
15% / Virtually free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. / 0 - 8 / 9 - 12 / 13 - 15
10% / Internal documentation is present/correct for both quoted and paraphrased material. Works Cited page is correctly formatted. Paper is formatted according to MLA style sheet. / 0 - 7 / 8 / 9 - 10
Total Grade (/100%) ▬►