Essay Assignment #1
English 101: How to Do Things with Words
Instructions: Write a minimum 750 word essay (approximately 3 typed, double space pages in
12-point font) on Kate Tempest’s Brand New Ancients. Your essay must defend a clearly stated
thesis with evidence in the form of quotations from the text.
Format: Your paper should conform to MLA guidelines for a header format paper. You can
consult these guidelines in Style & Substance or at the Purdue Online Writing Lab
Topics (choose one):
1. Analyze images related to sight and seeing in the poem and explain how they contribute to
Tempest’s theme about the importance of vision in the world. (You will have to have a thesis that
explains the importance of vision in the poem!)
2. Explain the role Tempest creates for herself as a poet and explore how she fulfills this role
throughout the poem, paying close attention to the qualities of her voice as a speaker. (Think
about not only what she says, but how she says it!)
3. What is the difference between a celebrity and a god, in Tempest’s view? Analyze how the
language of the poem differentiates between the two and explain how Brand New Ancients’
unassuming characters qualify as gods.
Late Policy: 5% per day, including weekends. Late papers will receive a grade but no comments.
Weight: 20% of your final grade.
Your essay will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: written expression (40%),
structure and organization (20%), thesis & argument (40%), with up to 3% deducted for not
complying with MLA conventions).
• Your essay includes a title that indicates the topic of your paper
• Your essay begins with an introduction that leads up to a thesis statement
• Your thesis statement is unified, appropriately narrow, and specific
• Your thesis is supported with concrete evidence from the work you are studying
• Your supporting paragraphs are unified, coherent, and well developed
• Your quotations are well chosen and properly integrated into your text
• Your argument is developed in a coherent manner
• Your last paragraph sums up what you have said about the topic and offers a thought for
• Your writing is free of grammatical and stylistic errors
• Your paper has been proofread (i.e., it contains few or no typographical errors)
• Your sources have been properly documented with both in-text parenthetical citations
and a Works Cited page