Journal Article

Journal Article outcomes: Students will be able to…
  • demonstrate the product of engaging actively in the research process;
  • sustain a thesis and argument throughout a lengthy and in-depth piece of writing;
  • support a thesis and argument with multiple points and methods of evidence, including close readings and analysis of sources;
  • emphasize own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points but not allowing them to overwhelm original ideas; and
  • present thesis and evidence with an understanding of academic audience, a consistency of style, appropriate grammar, organization, and clarity.

Submission information:
Feudal Endeavor is a journal of essays authored by undergraduates and focused on general literary studies of the Middle Ages. Feudal Endeavor articles are well-researched and explicate interesting ideas related to the field of medieval studies. Authors are held to high standards of academic thought, research, correct citation, and presentation. All articles will be assessed by the general editor.

Contributors to Feudal Endeavor should double-space manuscripts and format them according to the most recent edition of the MLA Manual of Style, including in-text citations. Works Cited should be annotated (and should take into consideration previous comments from the editor) and there should be a minimum of six (6) sources (not including primary texts). We do not accept web sites as sources unless previously approved. Only articles meeting the minimum length of eight (8) pages will be accepted. Manuscripts should be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins without excessive spacing between paragraphs. We expect authors to act as their own proofreaders before submitting. Please see our Writing Expectations for further insight into our style. Articles that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered; see our policies.

We also require that a cover letter accompany your manuscript. This letter should reflect on your research process, specifically choices that you made concerning secondary sources used to support your arguments. It should articulate the effort put into the article. We are not looking just for facts concerning lists of articles or specific search words used; instead, we are interested in the thought that occurred throughout the research process. Cover letters should be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, single-spaced, with 1-inch margins. We ask that they be at least one page in length (may need to be longer to be thorough) without excessive spacing. Please include cover letter in the same file as manuscript.


Rubric: Journal Article/Cover Letter

Criteria
A (19-20/56-60)
B (16-17/48-54)
C (14-15/42-46)
D (12-13/36-40)
Thesis/
Controlling Idea
(20 points)
Defines and communicates a specific, clear, thoughtful, and deliberate thesis that is appropriate in scope for a minimum of 8 pages
Communicates a specific, clear, solid thesis that is manageable in scope for a minimum of 8 pages, although it may lack in detail
Communicates a thesis, although may be generic or self-evident and tend towards having too broad a scope to manage within a minimum of 8 pages
Relies on a superficial thesis too broad in scope to manage within a minimum of 8 pages
Analysis and Evidence
(60 points)
Provides careful and in-depth analysis of a text or texts (primary and secondary), including appropriately-selected direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and supporting points
Provides solid analysis of a text or texts (primary and/or secondary), including appropriately-selected direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and/or supporting points
Provides basic analysis of a text or texts (primary and/or secondary), including potentially irrelevant choices for direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and/or supporting points
Provides little, repetitive, or faulty analysis of a text or texts (primary and secondary), including a lack of direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and supporting points
Organization
(20 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
Academic Discourse
and Personal Voice
(20 points)
Demonstrates notable awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; emphasizes own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points but not allowing them to overwhelm writing
Demonstrates an awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; attempts to demonstrate own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points
Demonstrates lack of awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. tends towards the informal); demonstrates little personal voice and allows other voices/scholars to overwhelm writing/voice
Demonstrates a poor understanding of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. is informal); demonstrates no personal voice in writing
MLA Citation
(20 points)
Employs correct and consistent MLA citation format, both in-text and Works Cited
Employs mostly correct and consistent MLA citation format, both in-text and Works Cited
Employs recognizable MLA citation format with errors and inconsistencies, both in-text and Works Cited
Employs unrecognizable citation format with confusing errors and inconsistencies; missing in-text citations and/or Works Cited
Ann Bib w/ Min of 6 Credible, Relevant, Academic Sources
(20 points)
Meets/exceeds secondary source requirement (6+); sources are credible and relevant; annotations demonstrate engagement with the sources’ arguments and how they interact with each other
Meets secondary source requirement (6); sources are credible and mostly relevant; annotations demonstrate understanding of the sources’ arguments and some understanding of their relationship to each other
Does not meet secondary source requirement (4-5); most sources are credible, but lack relevance; annotations demonstrate basic level of understanding of sources’ arguments and how they relate to each other
Does not meet secondary source requirement (1-3); sources lack credibility and relevance; annotations demonstrate a lack of understanding of the sources’ arguments and how they relate to each other
Mechanics
(20 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
Cover Letter Reflection
(20 points)
Contains a well-organized and thoughtful reflection of the research process, specifically choices that were made concerning secondary sources used to support arguments; reflects high level of effort put in to Journal Article
Contains a clear, solid reflection of the research process, specifically choices that were made concerning secondary sources used to support arguments; reflects solid level of effort put in to Journal Article
Contains a generic reflection of the research process, specifically choices that were made concerning secondary sources used to support arguments; reflects average level of effort put in to Journal Article
Contains a haphazard reflection of the research process, specifically choices that were made concerning secondary sources used to support arguments; reflects below average level of effort put in to Journal Article
*writing that does not meet format or submission instructions will be docked according to the policies outlined in the syllabus



Optional Goal: Preparation for Submission to a Research Conference
36th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum
  • Abstract deadline: January 15
  • Presenters and early registration: March 15
  • Conference dates: April 24-25, 2015
  • Location: Keene State College, NH
  • Call for Papers and Sessions: “Representation, Adaptation, Recollection”
We welcome abstracts (one page or less) or panel proposals that address questions of representation of the self and the Other in the medieval and Early Modern periods or that discuss how the world of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is re-imagined for the present:
  • How did medieval and Early Modern individuals understand themselves and their world?
  • How did medieval and Early Modern Europeans perceive and represent those living beyond the bounds of Europe?
  • How did medieval and Early Modern individuals and groups represent their past?
  • How are the Middle Ages and the Renaissance viewed in the modern period?
  • What function do the medieval and the Early Modern play in contemporary popular culture?
Papers need not be confined to these themes but may cover other aspects of medieval and Renaissance life, literature, languages, art, philosophy, theology, history, and music.
Students, faculty, and independent scholars are welcome. Please indicate your status (undergraduate, graduate, or faculty), affiliation (if relevant), and full contact information on your proposal. Undergraduate sessions are welcome but require faculty sponsorship.

Fitchburg State Undergraduate Conference on Research and Creative Practice
  • Abstract deadline: TBA Spring semester
  • Conference: TBA
  • May submit for a poster display or an oral presentation

Conference of your choice!