bEnglish 315: Chaucer
Due: by 10:00pm Monday, December 7,
Research Essay: Fall 2009
Length: 5-7 pp, double-spaced 12 pt font Times New Roman
or 4-5 pp, double-spaced 10 pt font Times New Roman
The Riddles of Chaucer’s
Follow these format directions: offer a title for the essay, but no title page. Single-space
your name, YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, the date, the course and the topic number you are
answering on the top left or right hand corner of the first page. Single-space block quotes. The
rest of the essay should be double-spaced. Number each page of your essay except the first one.
Follow MLA format for quoting text. Additionally, you will be expected to use at least
critical sources in your paper. These critical sources may be essays from an edited collection,
material from a scholarly book, or a journal article. These may be sources you found for the
bibliographic exercise. General reference texts such as encyclopedias or dictionaries like the OED
or MED may be used, but do not count as sources for this paper.
However, you may search
online for sources and use printed sources that are also on the Internet, through sites like JSTOR.
Librarians can help you with this search process.
Cite your primary text, along with your
secondary sources, on a Works Cited page.
Submit your essays in class, to the English Department (UH 322) , to my office (UH
434), or by email attachment. If sending your essay by email, please put your text in 10 pt Times
New Roman font to conserve paper when I print it out. Essays will be returned before the final.
1. Although we might assume that a poet would relish the playfulness, ambiguity, and subtlety of
language, Chaucer ends
The Canterbury Tales
with a Retraction, repenting the writing of most of
his works including “the tales of Canterbury, thilke that sounen [lead] into sinne” (X, 1085).
Comment on Chaucer’s attitude about language and the practices of language. Is the Retraction a