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ASSIGNMENT: You will write a five page essay (not including the Works Cited page) in response to one of the research topics listed below. You will choose one topic and decide to agree or disagree with the statement. Your essay will be a defense of your position.
Please see the Course Schedule for the paper due date (which is later in the semester). Late papers are penalized ten points a day.
Submission Instructions: Clearly there are thousands of essays available on the internet relating to any of these topics. You will be submitting your paper to Turnitin.com (a service which detects plagiarism), so if you plagiarize, it will be detected, and will result in an automatic 0 on the assignment.
All papers must be submitted via the Research Paper icon in Course Material in Blackboard. Click the View/Complete button, select your name and attach your paper where indicated. Once you have submitted your paper, a yellow exclamation mark will appear in the “Research Paper” column in the Grade Center. This will confirm that you did indeed submit your paper.
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 here to see the English Department’s grading rubric.
ROUGH DRAFTS: I am willing to respond to a draft of your paper (without assigning a grade). However, if you wish for me to respond to a draft, I must receive it no later than a week before the final draft 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 draft due date as your official due date.
CHOOSE FROM THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH TOPICS:
Position 1: Enkidu in Gilgamesh is a heroic figure.
Position 2: Odysseus demonstrates failure as a leader.
Position 3: Achilles and Agamemnon have conflict because they are very similar.
Position 4: Thetis (from the Iliad) and Ninsun (from Gilgamesh) are good mothers.
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF THE PAPER:
Structure your paper like this:
Introductory paragraph—introduce the topic and conclude the paragraph by stating your position (your thesis statement):
Example Thesis: Enkidu is a heroic figure, as demonstrated through his A, B, C (use three supporting points).
Example Thesis: Achilles and Agamemnon have conflicts because they are not similar as seen in A, B, C characteristics.
Then start your first supporting paragraph with a clear topic sentence such as
Sample Topic Sentence 1: Enkidu’s heroism is apparent through his……
Sample Topic Sentence 2: Achilles is often….., while Agamemnon is…..
In each supporting paragraph, you should include at least one quote from the primary text (the literature itself, such as the Iliad or Gilgamesh) and one quote or paraphrase from a secondary source. Secondary sources are sources written about the literature—articles, for instance, written by experts on Gilgamesh. You should find your three secondary sources through one of DBU’s databases. More information on secondary sources is provided below under “Scholarly Sources.”
If you find a source that disagrees with you, demonstrate why you believe your interpretation is correct. For instance, “Though John Doe claims Agamemnon and Achilles are different in their management styles, it is clear that…”
Make sure your paper includes:
1 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.
2 Sufficient critical support: significant use of at least three acceptable secondary sources.
3 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 (your ideas and analysis) for each quote you incorporate.
4 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.)
5 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.
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.
The best resources will be found here http://www3.dbu.edu/library/
This is where the DBU online databases are stored, and thousands of articles are available to you. Use these databases.
Do NOT use .com websites
Do NOT use general internet websites.
Do NOT use encyclopedias, dictionaries for secondary sources.
See more details below:
1 No “.com” websites are acceptable. This includes, of course, Wikipedia, SparkNotes, Cliffnotes, or any other study guide.
2 Encyclopedias and dictionaries (including online versions), while helpful as you begin research, do not constitute scholarly sources.
3 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.
4 The Bible is not a secondary source. It is a primary source.
5 Also, avoid sources that simply summarize the plot. Remember that I am your audience, and therefore, you should not include plot summary in your essay.
Take advantage of the following help:
The Writing Center 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: http://www3.dbu.edu/uwc/
FORMATTING/DOCUMENTATION: All documentation must conform to MLA guidelines for both the Works Cited page and parenthetical citation of page/line numbers. A complete MLA packet is available here: http://www3.dbu.edu/uwc/
Your first page and Works Cited page should look like the samples provided in this handout:
There is NO cover page in MLA essays.
PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism is a serious offense. Below you will find DBU’s official policy regarding plagiarism and collusion (From the DBU Undergraduate Catalog Spring/Summer 2010).
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.
• 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.”)
• Do not use “you” and “your.”
• Do not use “I” or “we” or “our.”
• Do not discuss contemporary culture; stay focused on the literature itself.
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?