Address one of the options below. Read requirements carefully.
- 4-6 pages in length, 1200 words minimum, 1800 words maximum (in the body of the essay, excluding headers, name, date, title, works cited entries, etc.).
- Formatted carefully to MLA guidelines outlined on the "simple stuff" web page.
- A minimum of six quotations from the work or works you examine is required—you may offer more to illustrate your claims effectively.
- I'm not expecting research with this paper, but you may, if you like, incorporate some research, offering quotations or other information from secondary sources of legitimate scholarly criticism or commentary on the work(s) you examine. ("Legitimate" means truly scholarly sources, so items from the popular press, reviews of performances, encyclopedias, and study aids such as Shmoop, SparkNotes, Master Plots, etc., are not acceptable.) You should most emphatically not consult any web sources outside of our course materials while preparing your paper. For access to scholarly articles and other materials in full-text electronic form, see the MGA Library website.
- Document all quotations and other source material according to MLA guidelines as outlined on my "quotations" page, including the MLA conventions for citing poetry (Q4). A works cited page is mandatory.
- Paper proposals: as indicated on our schedule page, you are to turn in a paper proposal in the form of a topic sentence outline, beginning with the question your essay will strive to answer, followed by each body paragraph's complete topic sentence as it might appear in the essay itself, and ending with a thesis statement that a) answers the question you are addressing, and b) ties together the primary points in your topic sentences. The question you raise for this outline should be a literal question—an interrogative sentence ending in a question mark, not merely a statement of the topic. For mote on topic sentence outlines, including samples, see the paper proposal assignment page.
Focus only on works we have read for this course.
- The continuing relevance for contemporary American readers of any major thematic issues in any two or three of the works we've read thus far: Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Oedipus the King, Medea, and Lysistrata.
- Comparison and contrast of religion in any two or three of the works we've read thus far: Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Oedipus the King, Medea, and Lysistrata; or, discuss the involvement of the gods in the mortal world in any two or three of these works.
- Examination of the cultural values and ideals of ancient Greece suggested in in any two or three of the Greek works we've read: The Odyssey, Oedipus the King, Medea, and Lysistrata.
- Examination of the depiction of women in any two or three of the works we've read thus far: Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Oedipus the King, Medea, and Lysistrata.
I encourage you to seek my input on your paper before you submit it: let me know if you'd like to set up an office appointment.
- Offer concrete evidence (i.e. quotations) to support every one of your major assertions.
- Make every body ¶'s topic sentence answer the paper proposal question directly.
- Avoid plot summary: see nugget 1; introduce all quotes: see nugget 3.
- Sweat the details: see the "Golden Rules," "Nuggets," "Simple Stuff," and "Quotations" pages and proofread carefully.
- Email me if you have questions or problems.
Step up your game using the Writing Center! I encourage you to see tutors for help with your papers at the Writing Center. We have well-trained, qualified tutors who can give you plenty of one-on-one attention with any aspect of the writing process. Be sure to take a copy of this assignment with you to any tutoring session, or show your tutor this assignment page on the web.