How are these themes used by More

Write a 6-7 page paper on Nicholas Mann’s essay “The Origins of Humanism”(in The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism) and Book I of Thomas More’s Utopia. Show how information about Italian Renaissance Humanism supplied by Mann (secondary source) helps us understand Utopia, Book I (primary source), as a humanist work. (Only the material in Mann on Renaissance Humanism, pp. 5-17, is relevant.)

Some guidelines: Consider some of the main Renaissance Humanist issues discussed by Mann: language skills, rhetoric, classical imitation, service to the public (the court, the prince, the commonwealth, society, or the state). How are these themes used by More; how do they apply to the main issue of Book I, the debate between Raphael and More concerning service to the king and the commonwealth? Consider that the literary works of the Renaissance investigate how the ideals of Humanism are worked out in actual social and political situations.


This paper must be both posted on Blackboard and submitted in class in hard copy.

Typed, double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins.


1. THESIS: The paper must have a FOCUSED THESIS that states a connection between Mann’s essay and More’s Utopia. The paper must also have a conclusion. Be prepared to revise your thesis as you proceed with your writing. You will not be able to finalize your thesis until you have the rest of the paper in place.

2. DEVELOPMENT AND MAIN BODY: You can develop and substantiate your thesis by dividing your paper into two parts: Part 1 on Mann; Part 2 on More.

You may use class notes, but do not use any secondary sources other than Mann’s essay. Do not use material from the internet.

Make sure your development is based on specific references and QUOTATIONS to the text of both the secondary and primary source. Your paper should not be a series of unsubstantiated assertions and generalizations.

You MUST use quotations from the primary and secondary texts to substantiate your argument, but weave the quotations into your own writing. Do not use long quotations, including block quotations. Paraphrase in your own words and quote key words and phrases. All quotations must be less than a full sentence. Always remember: allusion to, paraphrase of, and use of information from any sources, even without direct quotation, must be attributed to a source through citation.

Citations must be referenced using the MLA format of parenthetical citation keyed to a bibliography of works cited. The MLA format is available in the MLA Handbook and online.

Using any outside sources without attribution is plagiarism. Using someone else’s words without attribution, even if you change some words, is plagiarism. This holds true whether the copied source is a printed book or article, or the internet. Plagiarism will be treated with strictness. You are responsible for knowing the information, definition, and policy about plagiarism in the Brooklyn College Student Handbook, 17-21 (available online at

Papers will be graded on the following basis:
1. Content: focused thesis; specific explanation of ideas supported by reference to text through paraphrase, quotation, and citation. There are many good answers to the question. Grades will be based on how well you support your argument.

2. Writing: correct grammar, clarity of expression, and effective organization. No paper can receive a grade of B or better if it contains serous grammatical errors, especially sentence structure errors (comma splices, run-ons, fragments, incoherent syntax) or verb errors.

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