ASSIGNMENT: You will write an essay with a clearly focused thesis (NOT a plot s

Posted: December 9th, 2022

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ASSIGNMENT: You will write an essay with a clearly focused thesis (NOT a plot summary) of 3-4 pages. in response to one of the topics listed below. You may not write about a text you have written about at length in another class. .Although you will consult secondary works, your essay must reflect your own ability to analyze literature; that is, it must be more than a patchwork of outside opinions. Your paper should provide insights of your own and not simply repeat class lectures or discussions.Obviously, matters of organization, English usage, a strong, narrowed, and focused thesis, and other characteristics of the essay will be considered as well. For more details, click on the attachment below to see the English Department’s grading rubric.
Revised 2016 General Studies Research Paper Rubric _1_.doc
ROUGH publishS: I am willing to respond to a publish of your paper (without assigning a grade). However, if you wish for me to respond to a publish, I must receive it no later than a week before the final publish due date. This will allow me adequate time to comment on your paper and allow you time to revise your paper according to my suggestions. If you are concerned about your writing ability, or feel a bit intimidated about writing a research paper in general, I strongly recommend that you treat this rough publish due date as your official due date.CHOOSE FROM THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH TOPICS: Some of these topics focus in particular on texts that we have read; some will require you to delve into texts that go beyond our reading assignments. Whichever topic you choose, make sure to establish a thesis in which you assert the overall argument that you will make in your essay.Cities have important functions in the heroic works of the ancient world. Choose two cities from the following list: Uruk (Gilgamesh), Troy (Iliad) and/or Corinth (Medea). After selecting two cities, consider what characteristics these cities share. Then consider how the attitudes toward city life expressed in these texts differ.
Hospitality is one of the chief virtues of ancient and heroic cultures. Compare the nature and extent of the hospitality displayed in two of the following texts: Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid.
Aristotle said that the man who is incapable of working in common, or who in his self-sufficiency has no need of others, is no part of the community, like a beast or a god. Compare the figure of Achilles with either Odysseus or Gilgamesh in light of this statement. What does this comparison reveal about the meaning of a hero’s relationship to his community?
Compare the relationship of Odysseus and Athena with that of Job and God. What meaning or ideas does this comparison suggest about the religious attitudes of the Hebrews and Greeks? (Pay particular attention to the long interview between Odysseus and Athena in Odyssey XIII.)
Look closely at Augustine’s tribute to his mother, Monica. What virtues does he particularly commend in her? Compare her virtues, her view of marriage, and her ideas about a woman’s responsibilities to her husband with those of Rebekah in Genesis or Penelope in The Odyssey.
Compare Augustine’s and Dante’s spiritual journeys. Explore the pilgrims’ processes of learning, their “guides,” and the methods of teaching/learning they encounter.
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF THE PAPER:A useful introductory paragraph that includes
Titles and authors of your primary texts (the texts you are writing about) correctly spelled
A thesis statement that specifically addresses the topic
Serviceable body paragraphs that include specific, inclusive topic sentences.
Sufficient specific development in the body of your paper: you should include at least six significant quotes from your primary source(s) in your paper. Do not, however, quote lengthy passages to simply take up space.
Sufficient critical support: significant use of at least three acceptable secondary sources.
Sufficient original commentary to tie the support from the primary and secondary sources to the particular thesis point being developed and to the overall central idea. You should provide original commentary for each quote you incorporate.
An effective concluding paragraph that restates (not repeats) the central idea. (The central idea has been developed in the paper, so this restatement should be similarly developed.)
A creative title that is specifically informative about the content of the paper.
RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS: The essay will require some secondary research. The body of the paper must reflect three scholarly sources in addition to your primary source(s) (that is, the literary text(s) you are writing about). You will use research to help support your point, to show that you are aware that others disagree with your position, to provide helpful background information, or to help expand your understanding of your topic. Again, a critical research paper is primarily your textually-supported argument; it is not a review of what the critics have said.SCHOLARLY SOURCES: Students often ask how they can be sure that the sources they are using are scholarly sources. This is an excellent question. Remember, strong secondary sources are scholarly pieces regarding the literature or topic you are investigating (which is your primary source). Strong secondary sources are written by scholars and/or experts in the subject you are investigating.Beware of the following:No “.com” websites are acceptable. This includes, of course, Wikipedia, SparkNotes, Cliffnotes, or any other study guide.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries (including online versions), while helpful as you begin to research, do not constitute scholarly sources.
Be aware that translations or versions of a primary source do not constitute secondary sources. For instance, obtaining a translation of The Odyssey does not constitute a secondary source. This translation is simply another version of a primary source.
The Bible is not a secondary source. It is a primary source.
Also, avoid sources that simply summarize the plot. Remember that I am your audience, and therefore, you should not include a plot summary in your essay.
Take advantage of the following help:One of the best ways to access scholarly articles is to utilize the DBU Databases available to you through our library website. There is a direct link to the library through the “Library” tab at the top of the Blackboard webpage. I have also provided a link to the Online Databases section of the Library website:
From the DBU Library website, you may also visit the Distance Learning tab which tells you about other resources available to you. Here is the link:
If you have difficulty finding sources, I encourage you to contact our dedicated DBU Library Directory, Scott Jeffries, for help as you investigate your topic. He has provided the following contact information:
Scott Jeffriesscottj@dbu.eduLocal Number: 214-333-5220
Writing CenterThe DBU Writing Center (located in the basement of the library) is a wonderful resource available to you as well. Their website provides valuable handouts and resources on a number of writing issues; their site also explains how you may receive one-on-one assistance with your paper. Visit their website for complete details: All documentation must conform to MLA guidelines for both the Works Cited page and parenthetical citation of page/line numbers. To see the Writing Center’s handout on correct formatting of the paper, including the first page and the Works Cited page, visit To see the Writing Center’s handout on MLA documentation, visit Plagiarism is a serious offense. Below you will find DBU’s official policy regarding plagiarism and collusion (From the DBU Undergraduate Catalog Spring/Summer 2018).Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:Plagiarism shall be defined as the appropriation, theft, purchase, memorization, or obtaining by any means another’s work, and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of that work as one’s own offered for credit. (Appropriation includes the quoting or paraphrasing of another’s work, words, or ideas without appropriate citation of the source(s).)Collusion shall be defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing work offered for credit. A student is not guilty of collusion if he or she merely discusses with another a matter relevant to the work in question.Re-submission of assignments shall be defined as submitting any work previously submitted by the student for credit in another course. Such action is prohibited unless previously approved by the current instructor.Any student who plagiarizes, colludes and/or re-submits assignments will receive a 0 on the research paper and may receive an automatic F in the course.If you are unclear about what constitutes plagiarism, read “How to Avoid Plagiarism” provided by the University Writing Center. Remember, you must place quoted material in quote marks and provide a parenthetical reference as well as bibliographical information on the Works Cited page, or you have committed plagiarism.If you have any questions, please contact me. I will be submitting your essays to, an anti-plagiarism service, that detects the presence of plagiarism.ADDITIONAL REMINDERS:Use 12 point Times New Roman font
Double space
When writing about literature, you must use the present tense. For example: “Hector dies after fighting with Achilles.” (Not “Hector died after fighting with Achilles.”)
Before you turn in your final essay, carefully proofread your paper more than once. Does it meet all of the necessary requirements? Do you lapse into plot summary? Do you use present tense when discussing literature?Before submitting your final paper, review your work for common errors. Review for clarity and also review your paper for correct grammar (you must avoid major errors such as run-on sentences, fragments, comma splices, and incorrect subject-verb agreement).
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