ENG 231: WORLD LITERATURE I
REVIEW EXERCISE GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
Closely follow the review prompts below and, observing at least the minimum requirements
for length and content...
—Compose your responses in paragraph form in an MLA-formatted document. Do not
reproduce, in whole or in part, the individual review prompts in your final submission;
—Number your responses flush with the left margin using Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3…) and hit a
single hard return between responses. This marks a notable exception from the standard MLAbased formatting we have discussed to date;
— ‘Save As’ a Word file (if it isn’t a native .doc or .docx) with a filename that includes your
LAST NAME, FIRST INITIAL, and the ASSIGNMENT CODE. The assignment code appears
below and just about anywhere else assignment-related you might look. A student named
Thorvald Hammerstein would do it like so:
HAMMERSTEIN T RE1.doc
Though it is fairly obvious, none of us are Thorvald Hammerstein. The file extension (.docx
or .doc) should automatically populate under default conditions. If it does not, verify under file
options/information that file extensions are not hidden before attempting an upload. Typing in
one’s own file extensions will prove both silly and ineffective;
—Upload your MLA-formatted Word document to WebCampus via the ‘File Upload’ tab under
the ‘Submit Assignment’ link. Though the options will present themselves, do not upload from
Dropbox or Google Drive. If you should happen to upload an incorrect or incomplete document,
use the ‘Resubmit Assignment’ function to upload the correct(ed) file prior to the deadline.
REVIEW EXERCISE ONE (RE1): The Epic of Gilgamesh
You may consider all review exercise items open-book unless specifically stated otherwise: Use
your primary text, course formatting guide, and even the RE scoring rubric if you find it helpful.
That said, the use of secondary sources (i.e.: anything that does not originate directly from The
Epic of Gilgamesh as presented in the NAOWL, 4E) or our in-class discussions is not permitted
under any circumstances.
Unlike the multiple-choice items on the reading quizzes, which typically ask you to recall what
happened in the narrative, these short-essay review items are more interested in why you think
those events occurred and how you comprehend their significance within the text as a whole. If
the prompt does not explicitly request a narrative summary, do not summarize or paraphrase at
any point in your response.
Some prompts require citation support from the primary text. Responses to these items that do
not incorporate correct and effective MLA citations (including a Works Cited page paginated
with the document) will not be scored, resulting an incomplete submission. Where direct citation
seems like a good idea but is not explicitly required, it couldn’t hurt. This may incite boos, but
direct citations, paraphrases, and WC entries are not included in required minimum word counts.
Response prompts appear on the following page.
1. Who are Gilgamesh’s parents? Directly citing the text, explain how the king of Uruk’s
lineage defines his complicated attitudes toward masculinity and kingship. [minimum 150 words,
not including citations]
2. Describe the creation of Enkidu. Based on your description, in what ways is he similar to
Gilgamesh? In which highly significant ways is he different? [minimum 200 words]
3. CLOSED BOOK: Using only your best memory of the text, summarize EITHER the
encounter of Gilgamesh and Enkidu with Humbaba, the Guardian of the Cedar Forest OR
their battle with The Bull of Heaven. [minimum 200 words]
4. I don’t know anything about The Epic of Gilgamesh: What in the hell is an “Old-ManBecomes-Young-Again-Man”? Directly citing a few lines from earlier in the text (select
passages in Tablets 2, 5, and 10 come highly recommended), relate your explanation to a broader
theme of The Epic of Gilgamesh. [minimum 200 words, not including citations]
15 Dec 2018
Formatting Essays in the MLA Style
Much of what follows may seem obvious. Nonetheless, the number of students who
complete the composition sequence without retaining (or sufficiently valuing) these skills is
staggering. If your formal, written submissions for this course resemble this document and meet
or exceed requirements for length and content, I will review and grade them on their own terms.
If your papers do not meet the specified requirements, you will lose points otherwise built in to
I formatted this document with 1.00” margins in 12-point Times New Roman. Because this
TrueType font is standard-issue for current word-processing programs and favored by the MLA
style manual, I have chosen it as the official typeface of ENG 231. Setting it as your body text
and page header defaults now will prevent the realization—after the fact—that your uploaded
submission is incorrectly formatted. Wider margins are undesirable unless the document is
destined to be printed, bound, and published. One full page in this format generally runs from
325 to 350 words, regardless of the word processing program it has been composed in. The text
of review exercises and other papers, from that Document Heading (Your Name, Instructor
Name, Course & Section and Submission Date) through the body text to the Works Cited page
should be double-spaced, but there should be no extra spaces or text breaks between paragraphs.
If these appear in the document in spite of your intentions, adjust paragraph spacing (distinct
from line spacing) to 0pt.
Often set as a default, Orphan/Widow repagination tries to keep lines together it thinks
belong together, often leaving a large gap at the bottom of the page. In Word for Mac, you can
deactivate repagination by clicking ‘Select All,’ then choosing ‘Format/Paragraph.’ Click off the
check-box for ‘Repagination’ and you will have one less formatting issue to worry about. In the
Windows version, this option is located in ‘File/Page Setup.’ The vast array of secondary
features in recent Word processing programs lead writers to believe that they need only write
stuff and their computer will magically sort it out. The average computer knows only what it is
taught. If a word is underrepresented in its lexicon, your options are hardly limited to the
ineffective (and sometimes inappropriate) suggestions in the drop-down menu. When in doubt,
check the word or spelling against the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), accessible online via
the UNLV Library System’s vast selection of databases. Spell-check will not alert you to a
homonym typed in place of the word you intended; grammar checks might detect incorrect
usage, but they are incapable of revising anything on their own. These features are most useful
after you have written, revised and proofed every sentence of every paragraph to the best of your
ability. The machine might then uncover something you overlooked.
In the upper right corner of this page, you will notice a Page Header, not to be confused with
the Document Heading mentioned earlier. Consisting only of your last name, a single space, and
the “inserted” page number, the Header is required on all pages except the first—where it is
somewhat redundant—and should appear at 0.50” within the ‘Header’ space of your document.
The Header is always right-justified, and its font and point size should match the document. In
most word processing programs, Header and Footer access is available under ‘View’ or ‘Insert.’
Select ‘Different First Page’ (under ‘Page Setup’ in the Windows version of Word) to eliminate
the redundant header on the first page.
The precise formats for MLA Works Cited entries vary depending on the sources
themselves. Though the primary basis of in-text citation is typically the author’s surname, MLA
provides certain authors and works (notably Shakespeare, Chaucer, and the Bible) specific
abbreviations for that purpose. While these official title abbreviations appear on the syllabus,
writers may not create their own abbreviations for works which lack them, such as The Thousand
and One Nights. To illustrate a few primary-text citation possibilities, I have drawn examples
from Canto 3 of Inferno as it appears in The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Instructions
are set in italics only to set them apart from examples:
EXAMPLE: Dante inscribed “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” on the gate of Hell. So
must any intelligent being while navigating an aggregated newsfeed these days (Inferno 3.9).
Here the parenthetical citation accounts for the title of the work (required when you refer to
multiple works in an essay, not required when the title is implicit), Canto (3) and the line or lines
referred to (9). When line numbers are provided, always use them as the basis for in-text
citations; page numbers are not a substitute for line numbers, nor should they appear in the
same parenthetical reference with them.
EXAMPLE: In Inferno, Dante the pilgrim finds an echo of his personal crisis inscribed
upon the Gate of Hell, “ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE” (3.9).
In this example, I have duplicated the all-capitals typeface of of the primary text. While the
first example was more of a casual appeal to the reader’s knowledge of Dante, this example uses
Dante’s words to support an idea about the text they come from. Accuracy is key when citing any
text (literary or otherwise); the more accurately you present the text in a review response, the
more likely it will have the desired impact on the reader. As a rule, the punctuation of your
sentence overrides the terminal punctuation of any direct citation you incorporate into them.
Note in both examples how the terminal punctuation always follows the parenthetical citation.
EXAMPLE: When using three or more lines of text (especially text set in verse), it is ideal
to present the citation in block format. Block quotes are double indented and double-spaced, do
not add quotation marks, and closely replicate the format of the primary text including
To situate his inner turmoil within the spiritual conflicts of eternity, Dante the pilgrim
lingers at the Gate of Hell:
ONLY THOSE ELEMENTS TIME CANNOT WEAR
WERE MADE BEFORE ME, AND BEYOND TIME I STAND.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.
These mysteries I read cut into stone
above a gate. And turning I said: “Master,
what is the meaning of his harsh inscription.” (3.7-12)
Having found the guide he has been seeking since the opening lines, the pilgrim defers to Virgil,
his poetic mentor and Classical authority, for an explanation. This strategy proves useful in
navigating Hell and ensures Dante’s survival throughout the increasingly hazardous descent.
Note that the parentheses contain the range of lines, not merely the start or end line of the
passage. Again, lines 7 through 9 appear in all caps only because that is how they appear in the
primary text. A word of advice: Only use long quotes when your essay requires them to make its
point and you are prepared to deal with every word of them in some way or other. There are
techniques for trimming long quotations down, so please do not use long passages merely to fill
space. When you quote two or three lines of poetry unblocked, separate the lines with slashes,
EXAMPLE: Not yet able to puzzle the inscription out himself, the pilgrim admits to Virgil
and reader alike, “These mysteries I read cut into stone / above a gate. And turning I said:
‘Master, / what is the meaning of his harsh inscription?’” (3.10-12).
It is rarely necessary to quote a long passage in its entirety at any point in a short paper or
short-essay response. Sometimes a citation can be so unwieldy as to overwhelm the discussion it
is intended to support. I recommend breaking such passages down in your initial draft, dealing
with each line or idea on its own terms. This approach will begin to uncover layers of meaning
that might not be readily apparent when considering the passage as a whole. Refer to the Works
Cited page at the end of this document for the citation that should accompany the usage of any of
the above entries in your review exercise, Adaptation essay, or final exam. While this fact has
surprised many a student, a Works Cited entry for Inferno by Dante Alighieri cannot stand in for
other works on the syllabus, such as The Odyssey or Othello.
Click an assignment title to access its ‘Submit Assignment’ link (green button, upper right).
Papers are officially due not later than 2359 on their respective due dates and will only be
accepted in a current MS Word format (.docx or .doc). Load directly from your hard drive or
other storage device; do not attempt to load files from the Dropbox or Google Drive tabs. Should
a SafeAssign or TurnItIn prompt appear, be sure to click the appropriate box before uploading
your document. In case of an erroneous or incomplete submission, students may request one
resubmission per assignment prior to the late submission deadline. That said, more than three
such requests from a given student this semester may result in denial of this accommodation.
Alighieri, Dante. Inferno. Trans. John Ciardi. The Norton Anthology of World Literature,
Vol B. Ed. Martin Puchner et al. 4th ed., W.W. Norton, 2018, pp. 394-548.
REVIEW EXERCISE SCORING RUBRIC, FALL 2018
To make the most sense of your scores, carefully review your review exercises alongside the checklists and rubric
below. Should you need further clarification, consult our course formatting guide. Give this review process your
full attention, correct what is within your powers to correct, and contact me with any unanswered questions.
QUANTIFICATIONS OF QUALITY
Exceeds expectations for this Review Exercise
Meets expectations, but could always improve (no more than two minor issues)
Expectations not met (one major issue backed by one or more minor issues)
Significant issues throughout diminish your credibility (two major, three or more minor issues)
Seems oblivious to Review Exercise prompts and formatting guidelines
* * *
[D] DOCUMENT FORMATTING (Checklist)
Mostly MINOR, these formatting issues will become MAJOR if not corrected between review exercises.
Check these points against your document:
a. Does your Document Heading include Your Name, Instructor Name, Course/Section, and Submission Date?
b. Are your MLA Page Headers (your last name and sequential page number) positioned in the Header space,
justified against the Right margin, and set to 12pt Times New Roman to match your body text?
c. Are your Margins set to 1.00” all around, including indents?
d. Is your Paragraph Spacing (the space between paragraphs rather than lines) set to 0pt throughout?
e. Is your Line Spacing set to double throughout, including block quotes and WC entries?
f. Is your text set in 12pt Times New Roman throughout, including page headers and WC entries?
g. Are your Title and Works Cited heading centered, with all words but articles and conjunctions capitalized?
h. Have you italicized (or underlined) the titles of major works wherever they appear? This includes MLAabbreviated titles; only the titles of shorter works (poems, short stories, chapter titles) are set in quotes.
i. Are your indents/tabs set to an appropriate width? (0.30”-0.50” ideal)
j. Is there excess white space at the bottom of page, an extra blank page, or dangling text? Any of these could
be a product of Orphan/Widow Repagination
* * *
[C] IN-TEXT CITATIONS AND MLA WORKS CITED PAGE (Checklist)
There really is no wiggle room when it comes to academic citation,—a writer has either nailed the details or not.
a. Are your in-text, parenthetical references complete and correct? (i.e.: Inf. 2.89-95)
b. Do your in-text citations accurately reproduce the text being cited?
c. Is your Works Cited page correctly formatted and paginated with your review exercise?
d. Are your WC entries complete and correct?
e. Have you consulted or cited inappropriate or unauthorized source materials?
f. Do your citations (where required) illuminate your ideas or simply recount the narrative?
g. Have you directly cited the review text where required?
h. Have you presented your citations in the most effective format? (i.e.: in-line, line-separated, or block-quoted)
i. Have you effectively contextualized your citations, including transitions, punctuation, spacing, and length?
[G] GRAMMAR AND MECHANICS
Overall scores below 20 were inspired in part by some combination of the following
Proofing errors/inconsistencies (spelling, punctuation, plural vs. poss., capitalization, character
spacing, cut and paste)
Contains overlong/undermediated or short, underdeveloped sentences/paragraphs
Sentence-level issues: Variety, fragments, run-ons, comma splices
Passive voice and/or passive phrasing
Issues of agreement, tone, and/or parallelism
Syntax convoluted, difficult, or confusing
Phrasing sometimes awkward or ineffective
Some ineffective word choices and/or homonym usage
Verb choices/tenses inconsistent or ineffective
Incorrect usage of commas, hyphens, dashes, semicolons and/or colons
* * *
[F] FOCUS AND THOUGHTFULNESS
Overall scores of 22 or higher resulted from at least two of the following
Strong sense of focus and purpose
Good sense of your specific reading/point of view
Good sense of and interaction with the review text(s)
Lower scores likely demonstrated one or more of the following Focus issues:
Response(s) use terminology or apply concepts not discussed in class or introduced in course materials
Response(s) deploy inappropriate or incorrect literary terminology
Response(s) present underdeveloped or under-informed readings of the review text(s)
Reductive: Tends to generalize where specifics or more detail are called for
Superficial/perfunctory statements or observations
Spelling of proper names or key terms differs from that of the review text
* * *
[S] STYLE, SUBSTANCE, AND CLARITY
Overall scores below 20 suggest at least one of the following issues:
Weak, uncertain, or inconsistent authorial voice
Inappropriate terms of address (forms of second person, inconsistent first person)
Authorial voice is excessively casual or rambling, including the use of contractions
Authorial voice is excessively formal, awkward or inscrutable
Style/grammar sometimes obscures meaning: If your reader has to wonder what your point is, you
haven’t made your point
Audience’s familiarity with the review text ignored
Short of length requirements for individual prompts or assignment, or close enough to raise doubt
Over-written or under-edited
Overall scores below 15 indicate one or more of the following:
“Anachronism”—at least one response deploys concepts or references material outside the cultural
boundaries of the primary text
j. Approaches the text from an inappropriate or ineffective point of view
k. Underdeveloped in thought or execution
l. File format unacceptable OR incorrect/misleading filename
m. Submission does not appear to consist entirely of original work
Purchase answer to see full