Graphic Novel Essay

Designed by: Kisha G. Tracy, Fitchburg State University
Category: Beowulf
Notes: There are a number of good graphic novels that pair well with medieval texts. A useful place to start is The Graphic Canon, vol.1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons.



Assignment Outcomes
  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of both the original text and the graphic novel version of Beowulf.
  • Students will be able to articulate how the written and visual mediums work together (to positive, neutral, or negative effect).
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to develop a thesis based upon their own observations while reading.
  • Students will be able to apply instructor and peer feedback during revision and drafting process.
Relevant Course Outcomes
  • Students will be able to identify and analyze the textual, historical, and cultural contexts of works of literature.
  • Students will be able to read works of literature closely and thoroughly.
  • Students will be able to develop insights effectively through written communication, particularly via essay.



Instructions
Write a response to our graphic novel version of Beowulf by Gareth Hinds. In particular, focus on the medium of graphic novels and the relationship between text and image. Does the graphic novel help to illuminate the original text? Does it help you read the original? How? Be sure to quote directly from the textbook at least once.
Be as focused as possible in this response - choose a specific aspect to discuss (i.e. do not try to cover everything). In other words, pick ONE topic.

Note: Be sure to convince me you read the graphic novel carefully.
Note: You will have at least two sources: the graphic novel and the textbook. Thus, there should be a Works Cited with at least two sources in it.


Gareth Hinds, Web Site: http://thecomic.com/

external image SLJ1409w_FT_GN_opener.jpg

Link to article about "Teaching with Graphic Novels"

Review of Beowulf (from site):
The New York Times Book Review - link

"...graphic novelist Gareth Hinds has reimagined “Beowulf” as a kind of superhero tale... great stretches of this “Beowulf” take place with no words at all, except the occasional “SMASH,” “SSWACK” and “SKUTCHLP.” Hinds stages great fight scenes, choreographing them like a kung-fu master and then drawing them from a variety of vantage points, with close-ups, wide angles and aerial views. In its way, the result is as visceral as the Old English, which was consciously onomatopoeic, and by changing his palette for each of the poem’s three sections he evokes its darkening rhythm."

BlogCritics - link

"Interestingly, the book traces Beowulf's life in just two events, in both cases dealing with monsters that are troubling his friends or his people. In the first half, he is full of vigor, confidence and agility and is able to easily take on monsters at will. In the second half, though regal, he is old and doubts if he will return alive from the dragon's lair. Hinds...is able to make us aware of the fickle nature of life using the story of the rise and fall of even a great, mythical warrior. He evokes wonder and pity for the same character by judicious use of imagery that will stay with us long after we have put down the book."


Rubric: Graphic Novel Essay
Criteria
A
B
C
D
Position/
Controlling Idea
(20 points)
Defines and communicates a specific, clear, thoughtful, and deliberate position that is appropriate in scope for the assignment
Communicates a specific, clear, solid position that is manageable in scope for the assignment, although it may lack in detail
Communicates a position, although may be generic or self-evident and tend towards having too broad a scope to manage within the assignment
Relies on a superficial position too broad in scope to manage within the assignment
Analysis and Evidence
(40 points)
Provides careful and in-depth analysis of position, including appropriately-selected evidence to develop main and supporting points
Provides solid analysis of position, including appropriately-selected evidence to develop main and/or supporting points
Provides basic analysis of position, including potentially irrelevant choices for evidence to develop main and/or supporting points
Provides little, repetitive, or faulty analysis of position, including a lack of evidence to develop main and supporting points
Organization
(15 points)
Demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization
Demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization
Demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary
Demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization
Citation
(10 points)
Employs correct and consistent MLA citation in-text and Works Cited format; meets/exceeds source requirement (at least textbook and graphic novel)
Employs mostly correct and consistent MLA citation in-text and Works Cited format; meets source requirement (textbook and graphic novel)
Employs recognizable MLA citation in-text and Works Cited format with errors and inconsistencies; does not meet source requirement
Employs unrecognizable in-text citation and Works Cited format with confusing errors and inconsistencies; does not meet source requirement
Mechanics
(15 points)
Utilizes the mechanics of writing and grammar both correctly and with effective, deliberate (potentially even elegant) purpose; adheres to course Writing Expectations
Utilizes the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and deliberately, though may contain some errors; demonstrates solid understanding of course Writing Expectations
Tends not to use the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and contains noticeable errors; demonstrates basic awareness of course Writing Expectations
Does not use the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and deliberately and contains noticeable errors; demonstrates little awareness of course Writing Expectations