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Write an analysis of a piece of art, architecture, or literature from the pre-Renaissance period

Instructions (Please read these carefully)

Sample paper attached (Please write like the sample paper/ it is a previous paper that was submitted to this professor)

An analysis of a piece of art, architecture, or literature other than Notre Dame from the pre-Renaissance period.  Using at least one acceptable outside source (see below), choose a piece of art, architecture, or literature that, in your opinion, had a significant impact in the pre-Renaissance period.  Your paper structure should be the following:

  • A brief (2-3 pages, approximately 600 to 900 words) biography of the individual responsible for the piece of art, architecture, or literature or the ruler/noble who commissioned the art;
  • A description (2-3 pages, approximately 600 to 900 words) of the piece of art, architecture, or literature.  You might want to answer some or all of the following questions (but you are not limited to these):
    • What is it?
    • What is its construction/format?
    • What materials were used to create it (if relevant)
    • What does it look like?  (Pictures are welcome)
    • Why was it created, and for whom?
  • An analysis (3-5 pages, approximately 900-1500 words) of the significance of the piece of art, architecture, or literature, both in the pre-Renaissance period and beyond.  Questions that you might answer include the following:
  • Did it inspire other artists?
  • Did it serve as a model?
  • Did it influence society?
  • What role did it play?
  • Why is it still relevant (if it is still relevant) in this century?

For the purposes of this paper, your piece of art, architecture or literature must have been created, built, or written between 700 and 1400.   Papers which do not meet this criteria will receive a 0/100 = F grade.   If you are not certain if your choice meets the requirements, please check with me prior to beginning your paper.

Some possible subjects for your paper include the following:

  1. Westminster Abbey in England
  2. Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne
  3. The Bayeux Tapestry
  4. The Book of Kells
  5. The Poem of the Cid
  6. Ibn Sina’s The Canon of Medicine
  7. The poems of William of Aquitaine

These are just the most obvious examples, and you are probably going to be happier (and make me happier!) if you write on something unusual or slightly less well known than the above choices.  If you have problems coming up with a topic, let me know and I can suggest some options.




Additional Instructions

  1. You must use at least one academically appropriate source other than your textbook and the modules.  Do not use another textbook, an encyclopedia, or other reference materials as your only source(s).  Internet sources may be used but should be used in conjunction with other sources and should be from reliable web sites; this includes the use of online journals.  A document with types of appropriate sources is listed under the resources tab on the course site; be certain to read it!

Textbook: Hunt, et al, The Making of the West / Lecture slides attached separately.

  1. Plagiarism is the passing off of another’s ideas and words as your own.  This includes, but is not limited to, copying web sites without citing them in the body of your paper, borrowing another person’s paper and passing it off as your own work, or purchasing a paper and submitting it as your own work. This includes submitting a paper that was previously submitted by another student in an earlier section of the course.  DO NOT PLAGIARIZE:  chances are very good that your plagiarism will be discovered and you will receive an F for the assignment.  Trust me, it is not worth the risk.  If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, let me know.  If you are uncertain as to how to paraphrase, I would suggest checking out the following web site, which is produced by the Writing Center at the University of Indiana: Indiana University Writing Center
  2. All papers should be a minimum of 2100 and a maximum of 3000 words long, double spaced, SPELL CHECKED, with normal 1″ margins and in a 10 or 12 point font.   Papers which contain less than 2100 words of text or more than 3000 words will be penalized a minimum of10 points.  The 2100 words of textdo not include pictures or descriptions, graphs, a title page, or your bibliography.
  3. Papers must be submitted through this website through the “Assignments” area, using a .doc, a .docx, or an .rtf attachment.  Papers submitted in alternative formats will not be accepted and will be returned with a 0/100 grade.
  4. Papers must be submitted as a single file; papers submitted as separate files (for example, the bibliography is submitted separately) will only be graded on the primary file and will be penalized accordingly.
  5. Papers are due on the day noted.  Late papers will be accepted for four days beyond the due date, with a penalty of 5 points per day that the paper is late.  Papers will not be accepted more than four days past the due date.  If you choose to auto-submit your paper, or do not follow the submission instructions, your paper will be submitted on the last possible date, which will result in a 20 point penalty.  Papers that are submitted after 9:00pm on the due date will be marked down accordingly; the only valid instrument for submission of the paper is the time stamp on the ETUDES website.
  6. You must cite all source(s) using the University of Chicago notes and bibliography citation format.  (For information regarding this format, see the University of Chicago Manual of Style website at Failure to use the correct format will result in a penalty.  While endnotes are acceptable, it is generally preferable to use footnotes in citing your sources in the body of your paper.  Parenthetical citation is not acceptable.  There is also a “cheat sheet” on University of Chicago style under the “Resources” tab of the course site.
  7. You must submit a bibliography; failure to do so will result in a minimum 10 point penalty.  You must cite your sources, both in the bibliography and in the body of the paper itself; failure to do so may be considered plagiarism and may result in your receiving a failing grade on the paper.  As mentioned above, your bibliography must be included in the paper file; you should not submit multiple files.
  8. A rubric, showing the specifics of how the papers will be graded and the expected elements of the paper, is available below; be certain to look the rubric over so that you know what to include in your paper.
Element of Paper  

Total Value

Effective description and thesis that clearly indicates the topic, including a summary of the area of influence (politics, law, religion, or culture) that you are analyzing.  



Strong analysis clearly demonstrating the significance of this influence, both in the contemporary period and beyond.  




Detailed examples illustrate your points.  At least one outside source is effectively integrated into the body of the paper and is properly cited in University of Chicago formatting. Sources are academically acceptable as per the provided guidelines.  Bibliography is also correctly cited in University of Chicago formatting and is included in at end of paper.  




Paper has been proofread and is written at a college level.  There are very few grammar and spelling errors, paper is constructed logically, and is formatted properly.  


Paper Total           /100


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