Ms. Raveend's ENG 3U0

Macbeth Essay Summative

The Task

1. You will write a five paragraph essay based on one of the topics below. You will have limited days for brainstorming, researching, and finding evidence. Use your time wisely.


2. Select one of the essay topics below and formulate an arguable thesis. You must have your thesis approved by your teacher BEFORE you begin researching.


3. You will have two days to research your topic in the library and find a minimum of two secondary sources which supports the arguments in your thesis. Remember to record the citation information for your source!


4. Write a five paragraph, well-organized analytical essay based on your thesis. Your final GOOD COPY must be typed up in MLA format with a Works Cited list attached.

The Topics

Topics (choose one): Remember, YOU must create an arguable thesis statement based on one of these topics!!!


1. The Unnatural or Supernatural

How does the destruction of the natural order become a theme in the play? Examine the connection between the natural imagery (weather, animals, plants, disease/health etc…) and the societal events and human emotions that occur in the play.


2. Gender roles in Macbeth

How does Shakespeare explore and challenge society’s traditional notions of masculinity and femininity and gender roles? Which characters in the play subvert the stereotypical gender roles and why is this important or significant to study?


3. The Witches

The three witches have been seen as figures of the Greek Moirae, or Fates, who spin, measure out, and cut the thread of human life. In Macbeth, to what extent do the witches’ prophecies dictate events? Are their prophecies binding? Is Macbeth trapped by destiny, a victim of fate, or does he have free will?


4. The Tragic Hero

A tragic hero is a protagonist, usually of noble birth or high-standing, who brings about his own downfall by a choice brought on by a character flaw. Tragic heroes also undergo meaningful suffering, learn from their mistake in some way, and arouse pity or fear in the audience through their demise. How is Macbeth a tragic hero or not?

Research - The Library Catalogue

The first place to start your research is by using the library catalogue. This is where you want to start your book search. We have a number of book resources for the topics listed above. You have two methods to find and use the catalogue:


  1. Go to the applications page and click on the "Library Catalogue - Louise Arbour"
  2. Go to the Library Learning Commons MyClass page and click on the Library Catalogue (You can access this one from home as well).


Once you are at the main page, enter the subject/keywords of the topic that you are searching for. Keep in mind that spelling is really important! If you spell the word that you are looking for incorrectly, the system will assume we do not have it. We may not have books for some of the topics that you are looking for, but this is a good place to start! If you are having difficulty finding the book that you are looking for, please ask a member of the library team. We are here to help you! I have already checked our collection for your topics and have a book list if you are having difficulty. However, since you are in Grade 11, we are encouraging you to start your search independently. The link provided below will take you directly to the library catalogue.

How To Do a Boolean Search

For this assignment , you are looking for very specific topics. Doing a proper Boolean search will help you expand or contract your search, depending on what you are looking for. The link below is a tutorial on how to do a Boolean search. This can help you find the information you need.

Doing Your Research - The Databases

Unlike typical research essays where you can put in a topic and find a wealth of information, this one will be more challenging. You should focus on doing a Boolean search to help you be specific enough to help you find the information. Here is some information as to how to get to the databases (at school and at home):


Sometimes books on your topic can be hard to find because your subject area might be really new or really specific. This is where databases will become your best friend! There are two ways to get to the databases:


  1. Go to the applications page and click on "Library Catalogue - Louise Arbour". Then click on Library eResources. Click on eResources. Click on Intermediate/Secondary. Then you will find all of our databases.
  2. Go to the Library Learning Commons MyClass page through your BYOD. Click on BYOD login. Click on MyClass (the green icon). Click on the Library Learning Commons MyClass icon. Click on databases from home. Then you will find all of our databases.


Keep in mind that if you are accessing the databases from home, you need to go to the Library Learning Commons MyClass page and click on the "Lock" icon. Once you click on the lock icon you can click on the database passwords link. You will need these passwords to access your databases from home.

The Databases - Finding the Information You Need

Once you have found the databases you will need to start searching for your topic. For this assignment, I would recommend starting at the following databases when conducting your research:


  • The Shakespeare Collection
  • Literature Resource Centre
  • Literary Reference Centre
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library


These databases have been specifically selected for you for this assignment because they will have the most relevant information for what you are looking for. They are better than a random search on a website because you can find a lot of information here that has been written by experts in the field. But beware! For this assignment you are not allowed to get your information from overtly biased news sources like CNN or the Toronto Star. If you are unsure if your source of information is biased, ask the librarian or Ms. Raveend! You should not have to use Google for any of your research for this assignment. The databases will have what you need to get your work done! Please keep in mind that you cannot click the links below to get to the databases. You will need to go to the Library Learning Commons MyClass page to get there or you can click on the secondary eResources link below.

Creating a Works Cited Page - MLA Style

For this assignment, you are required to create a works cited page to ensure you are not plagiarizing your work. We have many tools to help you create the perfect works cited page!


Since this is an English assignment, you should be using the MLA style of referencing. On the Library Learning Commons MyClass page, under Class Resources, we have a number of tools that you can use to help you track your sources and create a proper works cited page. You can also use the databases to help you complete your works cited page by clicking on SourceIt. This database is Peel Board approved in terms of being a great tool to help you properly cite your work.


One of the easiest tools to use when creating a works cited page is Citation Machine. If you go to www.citationmachine.net , you can input your book, magazine, website, film or other resource and the citation will be created for you! Please keep in mind that if some parts of the citation are missing, you can easily fill them in using Citation Machine.


Finally, many of the databases create the citation for you! When you are in a database and you are looking at an article, look to the top or the left of the article to find a citation tools like (in some databases it will look like a check mark). If you click on that link and select MLA formatting, the citation will be created for you and then you can copy and paste it into your works cited page.


When completing your works cited page, there are a few key things to remember:



  1. It should be in alphabetical by author's last name. If there is no author, then it should be in alphabetical order by whatever letter comes first in the citation.
  2. The second line should be indented. You can do this by pressing "Enter" and then "Tab".
  3. You do not have to number your citations.
  4. You do not have to put your list of citations into categories (i.e. books, magazines, websites, etc.).
  5. You should only include resources that you actually used in your research. If you looked at it, but did not use it, it should not be included in your works cited.



WORKS CITED EXAMPLE – MLA FORMAT



Works Cited


Harris, Joanne. Five Quarters of an Orange. Boston: Harper, 2002.


Our Lady Peace. "Innocent." Gravity. Sony, 2002.


"Season One." Grey's Anatomy. Writ. Shonda Rhimes. DVD. Touchstone, 2005.


Strudwick, Leslie. Entertainers. Calgary: Weigl Educational, 2000.