Paper Length: 6-8 pages, double-spaced, approximately 1800-2400 words
Format: MLA-style documentation
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Due: 7.28—If you submit a draft before July 25th, you will receive back from me via email a graded draft with comments—you may then revise for a full grade replacement until the 28th. Drafts received between July 26 and July 27 will be graded without comments and can be revised until the end of the day on the 28th again for a full grade replacement. No papers or revisions accepted after the 28th except in cases of emergencies, work/service requirements, and the like. Please contact me as needed about the deadline.
For the paper in this class, you will create a close reading of three texts that explicates and interprets both texts through a common theme. Your goal is not simply to show how they differ; in a survey of World Literature, there are very few texts that are going to be similar in style or language. Rather, the goal of this paper is to create an interpretive argument about the works that is both unified and illuminating through careful study of a theme that develops over the course of the works.
For example, one could look at role of leadership in The Illiad, Gilgamesh, and The Art of War or the images of women and femininity in Metamorphoses, 1001 Nights, Tales of the Genji, and Gilgamesh, or the role of imagination and stories in Don Quixote, Metamorphoses, and The Thousand and One Nights. Please check with me regarding your theme before you begin the paper.
Your goal in examining a theme is to: 1) Identify the theme and 2) Show how exploring this theme allows the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the two works.
A thesis for this paper should show your familiarity with the works and that your thoughts go beyond the surface and into the themes and issues raised by the works. No matter your choice, you want to approach the work as if there is deeper meaning beyond what is on the page.
Two external sources must be used in this paper, and these sources must be drawn from the MLA International Bibliography, accessed through the Troy Library here (Links to an external site.). (The Prospectus Assignment will detail four potential sources you’ve identified that may help your paper–you must use two of those.)
From that link, scroll down to ‘Select a Database’ and go into the MLA Bibliography, Project MUSE, or JSTOR (check all three databases for your research). There will be more information forthcoming on doing literary research on the discussion boards. DO NOT just go to the Internet and do a Google search; there are countless on-line papers on these works. Using them will generally be a detriment to your work as they are generally awful papers and can lead you into a plagiarism case. Literary criticism is not history—it may be historical, but the goal of this paper is to explicate the texts in question, not examine their histories or the histories of the peoples and places that may have existed in antiquity.