Michielin The Handmaid’s Tale Essay Task Sheet

            Quadmester Three

Prompt: How did the personal, political, social, economic, and cultural influences of the times in which Atwood lived when writing the book influence the form/structure (i.e. narrative elements, language etc.) and the thematic elements of the text. You must use this prompt to develop a workable thesis.

Resources and Handouts: these will be reviewed with you and posted. You are expected to refer to these throughout the process: Thesis Writing Powerpoint, rules for academic writing, citations and Works Cited resources, exemplars, templates and checklists.

1.   You will be required to research secondary sources using educational databases, e- books and/or scholarly articles and books to find critical commentary on the life and times of the author and the text (min. 3 sources: 2 on the life and times of the author, 1 on the text). Be sure you have fully researched the author and time period that you will be considering as the context for analysing the text.

2.   You must use proper essay and paragraph structure and quotations from the text to support ideas (at least ONE Quote from your research and TWO relatively short quotations from the novel per body paragraph).

3.   Length:  approx. 1200 -1500 words (Times New Roman 12 Font)


?        As you read the novel, you are expected to be doing research into the life and times

of Margaret Atwood in preparation for developing your thesis. Please keep track of all of your sources to include in your Works Cited page to be submitted with your final copy.

?     Review the resources on creating a thesis and arguments that are posted. You are expected to continue your research on Atwood and brainstorm some ideas that you would like to focus on for your thesis. Come up with 2 or 3 possible thesis statements and choose 1 student in the class to connect who will review your thesis ideas/statements and provide you with some feedback.  Keep these ideas/edits and which student you connected with on a document that you will then include with a finalized -potential -thesis statement on the Thesis Development Form to be discussed with me during the designated working periods.

?        Create your essay outline using the organizer provided or your own jot notes for each paragraph including specific arguments/supporting points/quotes.

?        Write up your essay including a properly formatted Works Cited page to be submitted to



? Demonstrates Knowledge and understanding of text (content, literary elements, themes) and scholarly articles (facts, information and ideas).
? Demonstrates understanding of credibility and authority of information appropriate to the task through choice and use of secondary sources
? Demonstrates understanding of the task and required essay format (requirements of intro, body paragraphs and concl)
?Analyses and interprets information – uses “PPE” format to analyse and connect ideas effectively
? Uses relevance and effective evidence from research and text to support response criteria and position.
? Shows evidence of insight, critical thinking and synthesis of information that adheres to thesis development
?Logically develops and expresses ideas
? Applies language appropriate to task (level of formality, vocabulary, variety of sentence length, type and complexity); Uses literary present tense for analysis
? Correctly uses conventions (grammar, sp. punct., transitions etc.)
?  Shows evidence of planning, editing, and revision
? Applies a working knowledge of MLA format and citations (secondary sources blended seamlessly with text; internal and external citations)

Level 4: insightful, substantiated, comprehensive, cohesive, reflective, creative