Creating an American Mythology – Introduction

Graded Assignment ENG303A/ENG304A: American Literature | Unit 4 | Lesson 1: Creating an American Mythology – Introduction

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Graded Assignment “Rip Van Winkle” and the Emergence of an American Mythology This document provides an overview of the tasks and time line for completing this assignment.

Assignment Instructions As you have learned, the stories that make up a nation’s mythology share several characteristics:

• They are set in the past, often in remote or exciting places and times. • They are filled with remarkable, strange, or exaggerated characters. • They feature incredible, heroic, impressive, magical, or mysterious events and their consequences. • They convey a positive message about a nation or its people.

After reading Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” consider it as a story that helped create an American mythology. Then answer the following question in the form of a short essay. Your essay should consist of at least five paragraphs: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. How does Irving incorporate at least three of the above characteristics into “Rip Van Winkle”? What is the impact of these characteristics on the story or on the reader’s experience of the story? Be sure to cite specific examples from the text in your response. Process You should always use a process for your writing that includes planning and drafting. To complete this assignment, you will do the following: • Review the assignment instructions and grading criteria thoroughly. The writing assignment you complete in

this unit will be graded against a rubric that assesses the essay in a number of categories. These categories focus both on the essay’s contents and its clarity.

o Read the rubric on the last page of this document. Keep the criteria listed on the rubric in mind as you complete the writing assignment.

o Remember to write in standard formal English and use the third person (no personal opinions) and the present tense.

• Read and study “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving. As you study the work, you will gather information and

start to plan your approach to the essay. • Complete a plan for your essay. • Begin drafting your paper, using your plan as a guide. • Review and revise your first draft. You should try to have another person read your work and give you

feedback as part of your revision process. • Write the final draft of your project. Be sure to follow these requirements and recommendations when

completing your draft: Open a new Microsoft Word document. Type your name, your teacher’s name, your school name, and the date at the top of your document. To help your teacher know from whom the project came, save the file as: ENG303A/ENG304A_04_01_Rip_Van_Winkle_Essay_FirstInitial_LastName.doc

Example: ENG303A/ENG304A_04_01_Rip_Van_Winkle_Essay_M_Smith.doc

Type your project in the document you create.

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Graded Assignment ENG303A/ENG304A: American Literature | Unit 4 | Lesson 1: Creating an American Mythology – Introduction

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Time Line You will complete this project over the course of eight school days.

Task Start Complete Print and review assignment instructions. Day 26 Day 26

Read and study “Rip Van Winkle.” Day 26 Day 28

Complete a plan for your essay. Day 28 Day 29

Draft and revise your essay. Confer with your teacher if necessary.

Day 29 Day 33

Submit final draft for a grade. Day 33

Grading/Point Values Assignment Point Value: 200

Required Final Draft Length Pages: 1–2

Word Count: 250–500

Graded Assignment Answer Key ENG303A/ENG304A: American Literature | Unit 4 | Lesson 1: Creating an American Mythology – Introduction

“Rip Van Winkle” and the Emergence of an American Mythology Grading Rubric 5 4 3 2 1 Criterion

Purpose The literary essay fulfills its purpose of explaining how “Rip Van Winkle” reflects the emergence of an American mythology. The essay contains a complete analysis of the characteristics and explains how these characteristics affect the story and the reader’s experience of the story.

The literary essay explains how “Rip Van Winkle” reflects the emergence of an American mythology, but the analysis of the characteristics is not complete. The essay presents more summary than analysis. The writer’s appreciation of how the characteristics affect the story and the reader’s experience is not always clear.

The purpose of the literary essay about “Rip Van Winkle” and the emergence of an American mythology is not entirely clear. The essay provides some analysis of the characteristics, but there are significant gaps that leave the reader questioning. The writer may or may not explain how the characteristics affect the story and the reader’s experience. The essay contains irrelevant information, which makes the reader question the main purpose of the essay.

The literary essay about “Rip Van Winkle” and the emergence of an American mythology does not fulfill its purpose because it lacks significant analysis of the characteristics, or contains irrelevant information, or is mostly a summary of the story.

This essay is not a literary essay about “Rip Van Winkle” and the emergence of an American mythology. It does not contain an analysis of the story’s characteristics, and it does not convey the writer’s understanding of the story, the characteristics, and the effect of those characteristics on the reader.

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Graded Assignment Answer Key ENG303A/ENG304A: American Literature | Unit 4 | Lesson 1: Creating an American Mythology – Introduction

5 4 3 2 1 Criterion Ideas and Content

The literary essay presents a valid thesis and contains examples of three of the four characteristics of stories that participate in a nation’s mythology:

The literary essay does not present a valid thesis, and the writer discusses only one of the specified characteristics. The writer is unable to make convincing connections between the analysis of the characteristics and the emergence of an American mythology. The writer does not use paraphrases, examples from the story, or quotations to support his or her analysis. The writer draws conclusions for which he or she offers no evidence. The writer does not explain the effect of the characteristics on the story or the reader, and the essay presents more summary than analysis.

The literary essay does not have a valid thesis, and the writer does not discuss the characteristics. The essay shows no insight into the story and its contribution to an American mythology and does not use any paraphrases, quotations, or examples from the story to support an analysis of the story’s effect on the reader and its contribution to an American mythology.

The literary essay presents a valid thesis and contains examples of three of the four characteristics of stories that participate in a nation’s mythology:

The literary essay presents a valid thesis and contains examples of fewer than three of the four characteristics of stories that participate in a nation’s mythology:

• They are set in the past, often in remote or exciting places and times.

• They are set in the past, often in remote or exciting places and times.

• They are set in the past, often in remote or exciting places and times.

• They are filled with remarkable, strange, or exaggerated characters.

• They are filled with remarkable, strange, or exaggerated characters.

• They are filled with remarkable, strange, or exaggerated characters.

• They feature incredible, heroic, impressive, magical, or mysterious events and their consequences.

• They feature incredible, heroic, impressive, magical, or mysterious events and their consequences.

• They feature incredible, heroic, impressive, magical, or mysterious events and their consequences.

• They convey a positive message about a nation or its people.

• They convey a positive message about a nation or its people.

• They convey a positive message about a nation or its people.

The three chosen characteristics are clearly supported by evidence in the form of relevant paraphrases, quotations, and examples from the story. The writer explains the connections between the evidence and the creation of an American mythology. The writer concludes by explaining the effect of the characteristics on the story and on the reader.

The three characteristics are mostly supported by relevant paraphrases and quotations from the story. The writer explains the connections between the evidence and the creation of an American mythology, but some points remain unsupported, or the writer does not make a convincing connection between evidence presented and conclusions drawn. The writer concludes by explaining the effect of the characteristics on the story and on the reader.

The characteristics are sometimes, but not always, supported by relevant paraphrases and quotations from the story. The essay includes some irrelevant or tangential content. The writer does not always explain the connections between the evidence presented and the creation of an American mythology. The writer may fail to conc

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