Prelim Paper Outline

Last week you were given a brief introduction to thinking about our first essay assignment. Below, you will find more specific directions. And as time passes, you’ll receive more information to draft, revise, and edit your first academic paper for this class.

Writing Prompt

Choose one of the assigned readings for class (Beowulf, “Zlateh the Goat,” or “Scheherazade”), and write an academic essay in which you explain Joseph Campbell’s concept of the Hero’s Journey and provide at least three strong examples (including quoted evidence from the chosen text) about how that story reflects (or deviates from) established stages of the Hero’s Journey. Aside from the story and sources about the Hero’s Journey provided in Canvas, students are not expected to do additional research for this assignment.

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Sometimes facing a writing assignment is a daunting task. That’s when it’s reassuring to revisit the writing process, which we’ll do next. .


Please write the thesis and topic sentences of your essay–no paragraphs, just sentences. State the main argument and the topic sentences for the body paragraphs of your essay. Keep in mind that the thesis will drive all decisions made about the content of the essay, and the topic sentences will guide and limit your decisions about the content of the paragraphs.

This is your chance to begin sharing your discoveries about how the Hero’s Journey is reflected in the stories assigned for class.

Please write in complete sentences.

I look forward to reading your preliminary outline!

Grading Criteria:

When creating your outline, keep in mind that points will be assigned for the following:

  • Clearly stated thesis with a subject and argument
  • Clearly stated topic sentences for all body paragraphs
  • Topic sentences are general statements with NO details
  • Logical order of topic sentences to guide readers through the Hero’s Journey as it’s reflected in the story
  • Complete, correctly written sentences


The associated rubric will be used to provide feedback–please be sure to review the rubric before starting AND before submitting your assignment.

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