“The Spirit of the Renaissance”


1)  To develop an understanding of the Renaissance spirit through researching a historical figure and work of the period.

2)  To develop skills in research, in-text citations, and MLA formatting.

Assignment: How did your historical figure and their work embody and contribute to the spirit of the Renaissance? Answer in a well-developed and well-researched five (5) paragraph research paper of 3-5 pages.

Research Criteria:

1)  Focus on the particular person and seminal work to which you are assigned.

2)  Research in the school library and on your own time. Most of your research must take place outside of class, so plan ahead.

3)  You must have a total of at least 5 varied and credible sources. At least two of the five sources must be print sources. The HHS LMC has set out a cart of such books for your use. At least three of your sources must be cited in the paper. (You cannot use a general encyclopedia ex. Encarta, Wikipedia or your textbook!)

4)  The paper must be three to five pages.

5) Use required MLA format: 12 point font (Times New Roman), typed, double-spaced, one inch margins, proper heading, original title, numbered pages at top right, in-text citations, and a works cited page. Refer to

5)  See additional pages for specific details on content and organization.

Due Dates:

1)  Bibliography Page Due ___5/2______Total Points: ____/20

-Follow MLA format according to the OWL Purdue website

2)  Thesis Statement Due ___5/2______Total Points: ____/20

-Thesis statement must be approved before you write your outline.

3)  Sources and Notes Due ___5/2______Total Points: ____/20_

4)  Outline Due ___5/11______Total Points: ____/20_

For the first four steps, the assigned grade can be increased with teacher approval.

5)  First Draft (complete) Due ___5/22_____ Total Points: ____/50_

6)  Final Draft (complete) Due ____6/6_____ Total Points: ____/100


1)  Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any form of plagiarism will result in a zero for the entire project. Plagiarism involves using another entity’s ideas and/or words and not giving credit to the source. Give credit to your sources through in-text citations and works cited entries whenever you use:

a)  another person's idea, opinion, or theory

b)  facts, statistics, graphs, drawings, anecdotes, etc…

c)  quotations of another person's spoken or written words

d)  paraphrase of another person's spoken or written words.

2)  If you need help, please ask before the deadlines. You must work ahead so that you meet each deadline.


Directions: Use the chart below to brainstorm ideas and develop your initial hypothesis.

Develop an understanding of the assignment question by defining the following words:
o  embody:
o  contribute:
o  spirit:
o  Renaissance:
Reword the assignment question in your own words:
Explain your understanding of the “spirit of the Renaissance”.
Who was my figure? How did (s)he seem to contribute to and embody the Renaissance?
What was his/her work? How did this work seem to contribute to and embody the Renaissance?
Revised Thesis:


“The Spirit of the Renaissance”

Assignment: How did your historical figure and their work embody and contribute to the spirit of the Renaissance? Answer in a well-developed and well-researched five (5) paragraph research paper of 3-5 pages.

Note: You are not writing a biography. You are creating a historical analysis of an important Renaissance figure and an equally important contribution to the Renaissance through a noted work of the era. Your research options can be found below.

1.  Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City Ladies

2.  Johann Gutenberg, Gutenberg Bible

3.  Francesco Petrarch, The Ascent of Mount Ventoux

4.  Martin Luther, 95 Theses

5.  Sir Thomas More, Utopia

6.  Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly

7.  Machiavelli, The Prince

8.  Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel

9.  Leonardo da Vinci, Vitruvian Man, OR Inventions

10. Lorenzo de Medici, Florence

11. Raphael, School of Athens

12. Magellan, “circumnavigation” of the globe

13. Galileo, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

14. Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Slaying Holofernes

15. Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man

16. John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Church

17. Teresa de Avila, The Life of Teresa of Jesus

18. Isabella d'Este, First Lady of the Renaissance

19. Ghiberti, The Gates of Paradise

20. Ulrich Zwingli, The Commentary on True and False Religion

21. Caravaggio, Death of a the Virgin

22. Albrecht Durer, Four Horsemen, or Knight, Death and Devil

23. Pieter Bruegel, Peasant Wedding

24. Jan van Eyck, The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin

25. Andreas Vesalius, On the Fabric of the Human Body

26. Margaret Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World



1. Sources must be in MLA format. Refer to website or refer to the Owl at Purdue Website for any information on MLA Formatting.

STEP #3 NOTES (Be sure to include updated bibliography page and revised thesis)


1. Sources must be in MLA format. Refer to website or refer to the Owl at Purdue Website for any information on MLA Formatting.

2. You will be using Microsoft Excel to take notes. Download template from the website.

3. Make sure to list all page numbers for notes taken from print sources!

4. Unless you’re directly quoting from a source, use your own words. This will greatly decrease

your risk of accidental plagiarism.

5.  You need at least 50 notes however each source must have a minimum of 5 notes!

6.  When you turn in your notes, you must include your bibliography page and your revised thesis.


Directions: Type your outline according to the following example. Write your thesis, developmental ideas, and RFS in complete sentences. When you compose your paper, you will include your commentary (analysis of the facts) and concluding sentences.

I. Introduction – You must introduce and explain what the Renaissance was and the meaning of its “spirit” - think “CI” in your English essays!

II. 1st Body Paragraph: - You must provide background on your figure’s life in relation to the assignment question. You don’t need to tell the entire background in detail; instead, focus on events that shaped your person. How did the Renaissance influence your figure? Remember, this is not just a biography book report: this biography is analytical. Think historical cause/effect.

III. 2nd Body Paragraph – Continue the analytical biography by discussing how your figure influenced the Renaissance. Here is your opportunity to explain to your reader your figure’s overall body of work/influence outside of the assigned seminal work.

IV. 3rd Body Paragraph – You must describe the seminal work and analyze how it embodied the spirit of the Renaissance. Why is your figure’s work a perfect example of what the Renaissance was all about? What was the work’s purpose and meaning? What conflict did it create? etc…

V. Conclusion – You must not only summarize your main idea but RFS! What is the legacy of your figure and the work? Does the figure/work influence the world today? Does the Renaissance spirit still exist today?


Directions: Your first draft should be written and formatted as if it were your final draft. The more work you put into your first draft, the easier your final paper will be to write. It should include the following features:


Rule of thumb: Any piece of information that you found in more than one source is considered “common knowledge” and does not need to be cited. However, any piece of information that you found only in one source MUST be cited. There are two basic ways to parenthetically cite a source within the text of your essay:

1) Parenthetically cite both the author’s last name and page number.

Merlin was the first wizard to successfully apparate (Dumbledore 17).

2) Introduce the author’s name in your sentence, then parenthetically cite the page number on which you found that piece of information in that author’s work:

As historian Albus Dumbledore writes, “Merlin was a wizard of unprecedented powers” (17).

Important Points:

·  Whether you are paraphrasing in your own words (as in Example 1) or directly quoting (as in Example 2), you MUST parenthetically cite information. Otherwise you are stealing from another author and committing PLAGIARISM, which is a serious offense.

·  The parenthetical citation is placed after the end of your sentence but BEFORE the punctuation.

·  There is NO comma placed between the author’s name and the page number.


A Works Cited page is formatted in the same way that a Bibliography page is, but there is one major difference: a Works Cited page lists ONLY the sources to which you specifically refer in your paper, as illustrated above.

For detailed instructions on Works Cited format and parenthetical citations:


This page lists ALL the sources you researched, not just the ones you specifically cite in your paper.


Each page should have a right-justified header with your last name and page number. The first page should have the MLA header. See the example on the following page:

Farfawhistle 1

Throckmorton P. Farfawhistle IV

Mr. Louchheim

3 World History I

20 May 2010

Jim Henson: The Pioneer Puppeteer

When the United States Mint issued its new series of quarters to commemorate each of the fifty states, it selected Kermit the Frog as the official “spokesfrog” of the program (“The United States Mint Pressroom”). How did a felt-covered frog become so well-known? Kermit and countless other creations were the brainchild of an American puppeteer and innovator named James Maury Henson. Jim Henson changed American entertainment by revolutionizing the art of puppetry, improving children’s education, and leaving a lasting legacy of compassionate genius.

Jim Henson brought about many improvements in the art of puppetry. However, as a child, he never could have predicted that he would one day become a puppeteer. As a child in the 1950s, Henson’s real interest was television. As an adult, Henson later recalled:

When my dad brought home our first television set, I was enthralled. I wanted to figure out how it worked. I wanted to work in television. I thought it was, like, the coolest things ever. That’s why I ended up in puppetry, because a kid’s television show needed a puppeteer so I decided to build some basic puppets and work in TV. (qtd. in Finch 37)

The name of Henson’s first show was Sam and Friends. It was there that he began to develop techniques which would change puppetry. Henson realized that the television could be used in the same way as traditional puppet theaters, but


For quotations of four lines or more, they should be formatted as in the example above:

1. left indent one inch

2. no quotation marks

3. citation follows the quotation’s end punctuation