• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Want to get organized in 2022? Let Dokkio put your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in order. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Available on the web, Mac, and Windows.


Editing and Translation Assignment

Page history last edited by Cyrus Mulready 8 years ago

English Literature I


Assignment OPTION #1: Edit a Translation





For this assignment, you will build on the work we did in our translation Lit Lab and edit a translation of a single stanza from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


In addition to giving you better insight about Sir Gawain, this assignment will also help familiarize you with a key reference resource for the study of literature.




1)    Choose a Stanza.  A stanza is a section of verse within a larger poem. In Sir Gawain, the stanzas have a series of longer lines, followed by a “bob and wheel,” five lines of verse that are shorter than the preceding lines. You’ll be able to notice the stanzas in your text because they are separated from one another by spaces. You may select any stanza you’d like (aside from the one we worked on in class), but I suggest you choose one that you think is particularly important to the poem as a whole.


2)   Look at the Original Text and Define Keywords Using the Oxford English Dictionary OnlineLook at your selected lines of reading using a transcription of the original manuscript. Identify words that you recognize, words and phrases that confuse you, and look up any words you don’t know using the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online (New Paltz User ID and Password Required). This is the only dictionary you may use, as it contains historical definitions of words that are (in some cases) long out of use. Include a brief paraphrase of the lines in your final assignment, along with the original text.


3)   Compare at Least Three Translations.  I have left a number of translations on reserve in the Library, and there are others you may find online. You may also use your Norton Anthology. I have given you. Take notes on the most significant changes in these translations to prepare your commentary.


4)   Write Your Commentary. Write a commentary of about 2-3 pages that discusses the translations you have used.  Do you disagree with any of the choices the translators have made in doing their work? Are there any words or phrases in particular that have a significant impact on the meaning of your lines? Have the translators skewed the meaning of these lines in any way (in your opinion). What do you think makes a good translation? Accuracy? Literary interest? Clarity? Based on the principle you identify, select the translation that you think is most successful. Point to specific word choices and phrases that illustrate the reason for your choice.


5)   Compile your Bibliography. Include a list of works cited using proper MLA format. Be sure to include any definitions from the OED that you have used, as well as all of the translations you have consulted.


When you turn in your assignment, please submit copies of the translations that you used, along with your assignment, formatted as follows:


I.          Your chosen stanza as it appears in the original transcription

II.             Your paraphrase of the stanza

III.           Your Commentary

IV.            Works Cited







Needs Improvement


-Writer thoroughly cites and integrates definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary to provide insight about the language of the original passage.  

-Writer carefully integrates and analyzes three different translations.

-Fewer than required number of translations; integration of the OED needs to be more carefully done.  Generally, more care or time could have been taken in carrying out the research.

-Fewer or far fewer than the required number of translations and/or the writer uses a different, less authoritative dictionary than the OED.  The research does not appear to be very thorough.

Commentary and Bibliography

-Commentary is well-written and clearly and completely addresses the questions posted in the assignment.

-Commentary uses proper MLA documentation format throughout.

-All of the sources are included in a list of Works Cited that is in correct MLA format; the entries are all properly formatted.

-Commentary is generally well-written, but there is some lack of clarity in how it addresses the core questions of the assignment.

-MLA documentation format is generally followed, but there are a few mistakes.

-The list of Works Cited has a few mistakes, but is generally in proper format.

-Commentary is not very well written, does not address the main questions of the assignment adequately.

-Author consistently uses improper MLA documentation format.

-List of Works Cited is not in proper MLA format or there are excessive mistakes.

Grammar, Spell-Checking, and Proof-Reading

-Though not necessarily perfect, commentary is written with correct grammar and usage, is properly punctuated, and is carefully proofread and spell-checked.

-There are occasional mistakes or repeated problems in grammar, usage, and/or punctuation.

-A few typos or mistakes are present that could have been corrected in proofreading.

-Commentary is full of grammatical errors, improper punctuation, and other problems with usage. 

-There may be several typos or other problems that should have been edited out in proofreading.

Formatting and Presentation

q  2-3 pages

q  Typed and double-spaced

q  12 pt. Font, Times New Roman

q  1 inch margins on top, bottom, left, and right

q  Pages Stapled or clipped together

-One of the formatting guidelines wasn’t followed.

-Several of the formatting guidelines weren’t followed.




Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.