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What would be the topics that I need to cover in order to build a five page research...

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lehcir | Student | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM via iOS

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What would be the topics that I need to cover in order to build a five page research paper on Beowulf and a strong thesis statement?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Beowulf has many possible avenues for research.  First, consider what sort of research you want to do.  Possible ideas relating to Beowulf that would be interesting include: role of religion-pagan versus Christian elements, the warrior society, role of the mead hall, social structure and relationships between kings and warriors, culture of death and remembrance, the format and style of the epic poem, or Beowulf's influence on modern literature. 

When starting a research paper, first narrow down your topics to perhaps one or two that you find the most interesting.  Then, try to pose some leading questions that you hope to uncover through your research.  As you find more information on your topic and hopefully answer your questions, then you will be able to develop a strong working thesis. 

For example, if you decided to research the role of religion in Beowulf, you might ask questions like these:

  • What elements in Beowulf are Christian, and which are pagan?
  • How do religious beliefs impact the characters' decisions and choices?

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