Format: Minimum of 800 words (maximum 1000 words) in doc. or docx. format in 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced, typed, and a separate cover page (student’s name) with a title. Assignment: Choose a composer and a genre for the topical essay. The composers and genres must be found in the textbook unless approved by the instructor. Mozart and the symphony.
Essays must meet the minimum word count or they will receive a zero. No resubmissions will be allowed to add additional words so please double check the word count. Students must complete the topical essay and receive above 70% in order to pass the class. Handouts outlining the criteria for this essay will be available the second week of class through CANVAS and/or through your instructor.
The essay is not a report or a biography of the composer. It must focus on the composer and his/her works within the selected genre. The student will compare and contrast two works found within the selected genre by discussing the background/context of the works, stylistic characteristics (using the elements [Chapters 1-3]) and instrumentation (Chapter 3). If the essay does not meet these criteria, it will result in a failing grade. Viewpoints need to be substantiated, i.e. prove points with intellectual evidence. Citation of three or more credible sources (some internet sources are not reliable such as Wikipedia) by using parenthetical citations or footnotes within the text is required. A bibliography/works cited page must also be included at the end of the document. If the student is not sure how or what to cite, please ask or refer to the “Additional Resources for Topical Essay” handout in their class module. Ignorance is not an excuse and will result in a failing grade.Papers will be evaluated for organization, originality, clarity, coherence and effectiveness as well as grammar, punctuation, and usage of standard written English.Writing Suggestions
Papers should have introductions and conclusions. Break up long paragraphs for better flow. Watch the use of semi-colons and commas.
Underline or italicize major works such as albums or operas. Smaller works such as songs or separate instrumental
pieces are in quotation marks. Be careful with capitalization. Do not end sentences with prepositions. Make sure sentences are coherent and concise. Support opinions with substantiation. Check the spacing in the paper. Look for the use of repeated phrases or words. Please number the pages.
Proofread your paper before submission. Demonstrates a thorough understanding of musical context, audience, and purpose that is responsive to the assigned essay criteria and focuses all elements of the work. Able to identify music terminology and concepts at a superior level. Provides good support of the topic and covers the topic in-depth.Demonstrates detailed attention to and successful execution of a wide range of conventions particular to the music discipline and/or writing task (s) including organization, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices.Demonstrates skillful use of high-quality, credible, relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate for the music discipline. The sources are cited properly within the text and the essay contains a works cited/bibliography page (using APA, MLA, or Turabian format.) Uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to listeners with clarity and fluency. Comprehension and conveyance of musical terminology and concepts is virtually error-free.