Does my writing demonstrate a mastery of grammar, creating compelling


Read or re-read the assignment for Essay 3. You’ll need to find relevant, credible sources to support your idea (no blogs).

With this in mind, find one source you think might be a good fit for your main idea. You are not tied to this idea or source; you can change your mind if you want, later.

  1. State what you think will be your main idea for your essay,
  2. Discuss the source you found, why it is relevant and credible
  3. Discuss how the source will be beneficial to your main point (what does it say?).
  4. Cite the source. Full citation.

NOTE: You can use any of this in your essay

Essay 3 Argument/Genuine Inquiry

Finish What You Started

We have read much and through written and verbal discussions responded to critical essays on topics ranging from the “Disney Spell” to the role of the storyteller, to gender, to the idea of childhood, to issues with translation, to the history of the Grimms, and even how to and the ethics of modernizing older stories. This essay can expand on the ideas and discussions begun throughout the semester. Or, develop a new line of inquiry.

Think back to the beginning of the course when I asked you to email me about what it is you wanted to learn about Fairy Tales. Have you answered your own question yet?

Alternatively, consider one of the stories, essays, or discussions that really caught your interest and made you want to know more. Use that inquiry as a starting point for this essay—not knowing the answer yet, or finishing that thought, will become your research question/thesis. This is scholarly research (dig for what you want to know). Follow your curiosity.

Assignment: Using genuine inquiry—meaning you don’t already have a position or know the answer when you begin—research and write an essay that answers a question/makes a scholarly argument. You can use any of the themes, quotes, or ideas presented in one of the fairy tales or critical essays in the textbook or class discussions:

  • Decide which critical essay or fairy tale (quote or question) you wish to respond to, and engage in pre-reflection about why that holds your interest before you begin your research;
  • Develop and support with evidence your own opinion;
  • See what other scholars have to say on the matter—and agree or disagree with their reasoning (use at least two relevant, scholarly sources);
  • Make sure your own logic is sound; and
  • You are allowed to choose the story used for your discussion lead, but not for the interpretation essay.
  • NOTE: The stories discussed are not counted as a scholarly source, but must be included in your works cited & in-text citations.

Your essay will offer an original idea or thesis (you came up with it) that is fully supported by evidence from the fairy tale/essays and use two other relevant, scholarly sources that you both quote and respond to. (Remember we’ve practiced this all semester—agree/disagree/I have a question and class discussions.)

You have already done every part of this, but now you are giving your ideas a more formal shape and putting them on paper.

Aim for approximately 1200 words.


  1. Brief, specific summary of the story/main essay to give the reader context (maximum of two sentences).
  2. Clear, strong opinion (what do you think?).
  3. Clear, relevant support (one or a few specific elements that support your main idea).
  4. Correct and ethical incorporation of quoted material (inclusion, punctuation, & in-text citations) Note: quoted material should be less than 20% of any essay—its only purpose is to support your ideas.
  5. MLA, APA or Chicago Style (you can choose what you know best or will need to know for your discipline—but be consistent).
  6. Correct Works Cited (relevant sources, full citations).

Elements of Essay

Assessment Criteria


Is my paper well-defined, showing insightful analysis and interpretation? Does the format & structure of my essay work with my main idea? Balanced introduction and conclusion? Graceful and effective transitions?


Does my writing include compelling word choice, demonstrating insightful use of figurative language?

Sentence Structure

Are my sentences carefully formed and positioned with attention to emphasis, rhythm, and pace to engage the reader?

Grammar and Mechanics

Does my writing demonstrate a mastery of grammar, creating compelling prose, with few to no errors?

Research and Documentation

Are my included examples relevant? Are they accurately and skillfully quoted, included, and discussed as support of my ideas? Are my sources in correct MLA or APA format, both in-text and in the Works Cited?

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