Pick one of the following topics to write a (minimum) 1200-word paper:
IMPORTANT: The questions associated with the questions below are potential starting points, not an exhaustive list of subtopics to be covered. Start here and then go much, much deeper.
1.) In either Gilgamesh or Medea, what is the relationship between gods and mortals? The research here will center on what the writers (or their societies) thought was the proper place for gods? What did one group owe the other? Often heroes are suspended between the worlds of the gods and the mortals. What are the ramifications and how might they affect the concept of hero?
2.) The roles of woman in Gilgamesh or Medea. Woman play important roles in both stories. What does your chosen piece say about the roles of women in their respective societies and how are they different from roles women play in modern societies? Don’t limit your research to modern American women. Based on past students’ experiences, the challenge here is to find sources on the lives ancient Greek women lived.
3.) Research symbols and/or motifs in either Gilgamesh or Medea. In this paper you research what scholars argue are recurring images in the piece you choose. Identify several symbols and place them within the context of the story.
4.) In either Gilgamesh or Medea, how is the status quo challenged? In both stories, elements of societal expectations are challenged. What do the authors suggest about those willing to go against the expected?
5.) Find at least three instances of flood stories in ancient societies. How are they similar? How are they unique? What theories have scholars developed to account for this phenomenon? Because this is a research paper, please do not offer your own idea about flood stories.
Some may prefer to choose a topic that is not strictly literary. For those folks, I have included choices that may be more to your liking. Remember, though, that these are still formal research papers, requiring formal sources. Either Gilgamesh or Medea is still (at the very least) your starting point!
6.) The barkeep Shiduri offers Gilgamesh advice for living, which may be considered the theme of the story. Research different modern advice to living a fulfilled life. (Examples, though there are other places: a short story, a novel, song or a speech within a movie.) Your comparison may come from pop culture. Research and use at least two academic sources that studies happiness or contentment. Be careful that you stick to comparing/contrasting the advice from others. Because this is a research paper, please do not offer your own philosophy of life.
7.) After Enkidu dies, the second half of the book shows how Gilgamesh deals with his grief over the loss of his friend. He sets out to solve the puzzle of mortality and fails but achieves contentment and goes back to his life. In this paper, you will research grief. How do professionals advise us to handle grief? Compare and contrast at least two approaches to grief. What elements does Gilgamesh employ, if any? Because this is a research paper, your own experiences/thoughts on grief are not appropriate.
Watch the video on research. Choose your topic and collect your sources. You will need at least three ACADEMIC sources in addition to the texts themselves. At minimum you will have four sources. PLEASE UNDERSTAND WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ACADEMIC SOURCE. Prezis, Course Hero, Cliff Notes, and most websites (just a few examples) are NOT academic sources. I STRONGLY ADVISE you to stick to APSU library sources.
Develop the thesis of your paper. The thesis answers the question you chose to answer and focus it into an argument you can defend in the minimum 1500 words of the paper. THE THESIS SENTENCE IS THE MOST IMPORANT SENTENCE IN YOUR PAPER!
Outline the body of your paper. Your outline will have at least two (probably no more than four) major points and enough subpoints to flesh out your argument.
Write a rough draft of the body of your paper.
Organization is a challenge and most of the time it takes a while to get it right.
THEN AND ONLY THEN write the introduction to your paper…
The first paragraph of your paper should have three elements:
1.) The hook. Your first sentence should entice the reader (me) to keep reading. It can be a statement of fact, a statistic, a surprising statement, a quotation, or even a question that the paper will answer.
2.) The middle of the introduction should move from the general to the specific. For example, you may mention the work as a whole and its author and then move toward your…
3.) Thesis sentence. For our purposes, the thesis sentence will be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. The thesis states what the paper will prove or argue. I can’t stress this enough: THE THESIS SENTENCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE IN YOUR PAPER!!!
After the introduction, your reader (me) should know 1.) what work is your paper about? (in other words, you must mention The Epic of Gilgamesh or Medea in the introduction) 2.) who wrote the work? (in this case you’ll mention that Gilgamesh was written by unknown poets, collected by a Babylonian translator named Sin-lique-unninni, and translated into English (the version we’re using) by Stephen Mitchell or that Medea was written by Euripides. 3.) the argument that your paper is going to prove (your thesis).
Often the introduction gives some idea about the structure of the paper:
The baseball field is defended by nine players, split between the infield and the outfield.
This thesis sentence tells me that I’m going to read a paper about how defense works in baseball. The writer has chosen to split the playing field into two parts: the infield and outfield.
The subpoints for the infield are problematic BECAUSE there are six infield positions and no part of the paper should have more than five points… No problem, here’s how to fix that.
i. First Base
ii. Second Base
iii. Third Base
iii. Short Stop
Please turn in your introduction/simple outline formatted in MLA.
Here are the things I’m looking for in your intro and the rubric points:
Does your first sentence use an effective hook strategy?:
Do you mention the name of the work and its author?:
Does the middle of your intro move from general to specific?
Does your thesis sentence focus your paper (probably listing your body structure’s major points) and set up the expectation the paper will satisfy?
Example of intro:
Nicknamed “the national pastime,” baseball has been one of America’s favorite sports for over one hundred years. Casual viewers may be surprised to learn the amount of strategy involved. Aided by the catcher, the pitcher tries to surprise the batter with a pitch he cannot hit. If the bat catches a piece of the ball, the defense sets in motion to ensure the runner never makes it to base. Depending on where the ball heads, the infielders and outfielders have a specific role to play.
1.) Hook: we learn baseball’s nickname and get a fact “over one hundred years.”
2.) Move from general to specific: we start with the notion of a strategy and go to a pitcher facing a batter. Finally, we get to a hit ball and what the defense must do.
3.) Structure implied: A. Infielders B. Outfielders. Expectation: This paper is going to tell me what each defensive player on the field will do when a ball is hit.
Since the example I gave is not a literary paper, it has no author/work. In this class, your papers will have something to do with literary works, so make sure you include author/work in intro. You can work that info in anywhere in the intro.
You can find an example of this properly formatted under CONTENT/MLA STUFF. You may use that as a template for your own work.
There will be separate/further instructions about the Works Cited page and the final draft of the paper itself.
Do not let this assignment overwhelm you!
Give yourself plenty of time to complete each of the steps. Do not wait until the last minute!
As always, write/call with questions.