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Magnum Opus (sometimes called opus magnum) comes from Latin, meaning “great work.” It is the best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an author, artist, or musician

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Magnum Opus (sometimes called opus magnum) comes from Latin, meaning “great work.” It is the best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an author, artist, or musician. For example, some people might consider Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business to be his Magnum Opus.

The guidelines for the Magnum Opus are very flexible; however, as in the real world of publishing, the timelines are crucial. You are responsible for designing your own plan and sticking to it. You are also responsible for showing your revision process, by keeping a dedicated portfolio for the project. The work must be entirely your own and must reflect the skills and knowledge from the course. It should represent your best work.

The Magnum Opus may take any text form, fiction or non-fiction: play, monodrama (extended monologue), musical theatre play, teleplay, screenplay, short fiction, novella, poetry, a compilation of song lyrics, a series of essays or reflections, long essay, you name it. The key element is that the work shows significant effort and importance, and showcases aspects of the writer's craft that we have covered in the course.
You will want to start on your Magnum Opus as soon as possible. However, take time to consider what form and subject you will find most satisfying to work with. Your final draft, in addition to all steps in the process (proposal, hand-written and typed drafts, notes, conferences, final reflection) will constitute 15% of your final mark. The Magnum Opus must involve two parts:
Part 1 – Research Report

  • Conduct research about the chosen topic, using legitimate sources.

    • You must include at least 3 sources.

Part 2 – Creative Task

  • Create an original piece of writing that reflects your research.

  • Length and content will depend on the particular area of focus, as approved by the teacher.

Other mandatory requirements:

  • Word count: minimum 1500 to maximum of 3500 words.

  • Proposal must be submitted by the due date for evaluation and approval. Any subsequent changes to the project must be reviewed and approved by the teacher.

  • A minimum of 1 draft must be submitted for approval.

  • One teacher/student conference will take place. A process mark will be given for this conference.

  • Peer conferencing will take place at least twice before the final draft is completed.

  • The final copy must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font.

  • All work should be submitted in a portfolio that contains the final draft plus all rough drafts. Failure to submit process work will result in a significant reduction in the final mark.

  • An in-class analytic personal reflection will complete the final summative tasks. The format and prompts will be given in class.

Important Dates:

  • Magnum Opus Proposal & Schedule submitted _____________________­­­­­­_____

  • First Draft _____________________­­­­­­_____

  • Teacher Conference _____________________­­­­­­_____

  • Final Draft Due _____________________­­­­­­_____

  • In-Class Reflection _____________________­­­­­­_____

Magnum Opus Proposal & Schedule

Name: ___________________________ Date: __________________________

Tentative Title of Project: _________________________________________

Proposed form and content:
Rationale (i.e. why did you choose it and how does this match the criteria for the assignment?):

Writing Schedule (Goal Setting, including timelines/dates):

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