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Your essay should present a clear, insightful central idea, should have a clear sense of order and logic, should be well developed with specific details to support your assertions, and should use effective language that is free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Avoid plot summaries and provide quotations from the text to support your ideas. Consult the Writing About World Literature by Karen Gocsik for writing instructions. Also, it is suggested that you spend ample time writing and revising your essay.

How to format your paper:

  • Typed/printed, double-spaced, 1" margins. Change them in "Page Setup" on the "File" menu.

  • Paragraphs indented 5 spaces at left; do not separate paragraphs by extra blank lines.

  • Quotations of 10 words or less should be integrated into the text; longer quotations should be indented 5 spaces at left and right margins, single spaced, and set off from the text of the essay by a blank line before and after the quotation. Be sure to include verse numbers or line numbers
  • Avoid citing college dictionaries, Wikipedia, or basic references such as the OED, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc. Instead, use the text, discussion postings, lesson notes, and any sources accessed from GALILEO for outside reference.

Each essay should have a specific title - one that suggests what is the most interesting or important about what you have to say. It's worth taking a little thought over the title, not only because it creates the first impression of your essay; coming up with a phrase which encapsulates your argument can help in focusing that argument. One popular strategy is to use a key phrase from the text followed by another phrase of clarification.

Notes:

  • All papers submitted in this class are reviewed via Turnitin.com, a proprietary software database that identifies unoriginal material in papers. Please review the syllabus statement regarding the penalty for plagiarism.Your instructor will provide you with additional information.

  • Dates for essay submissions will be outlined in the course Calendar.

Your Assignment:

Below are two options for a short essay using 2 of the works you have read in Units 2-4. Choose one of the options and write a 400-600 word paper. Remember to identify the works you have selected and use specific examples from each.

  1. Read the definition of genre and myth and explore how mythic culture is carefully interwoven within the generic context of the two epic readings assigned in Units 2, 3, and 4: Gilgamesh and Odyssey are required; Ramayana is optional. Because of the oral nature of myths, details may have been lost and inconsistencies may arise when these stories are interwoven - as they often are in epic poems. Select two or more specific examples from the epic narratives and show how the poet shapes the myth using epic conventions. What’s the poet’s agenda? How does the poem reflect on the culture? Since you have already explored the flood myth, choose the concept of the epic hero or his journey or the battles or the role of gods or the concept of women or any other appropriate example to illustrate.

  2. The journey of the epic hero is pivotal from the narrative as well as mythical standpoint. The cause and consequence of the journey may provide clues to an understanding of a culture’s beliefs, priorities, and values. Compare and contrast the journeys undertaken by Gilgamesh and Odysseus (Rama optional) and show how the journey was a transformative experience for the heroes and also provided valuable cultural insights to the audience (both present and past). By contrast, comment on the main female protagonist in epic, even if she did not embark on a heroic journey in the standard male context; how did her role differ from the hero’s role in the epic?

Be sure to save the assignment in .doc, .docx, or RTF format.

Save your file with your last name, first initial and "WA1" (i.e., JonesP-WA1.doc)

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