Regarding your final essay for our class:
You will be presenting your arguments twice: once, in a classroom presentation during the week of Nov. 26/28; and secondly, in essay form at the end of the following week.
Your final essay should benefit from the comments and feedback you get from classmates and your professor. It should reflect the discussion of your presentation. Don’t just make a presentation, listen to our comments, and then ignore them. If you think our comments are silly, show why you think so. Show your reasons for ignoring them.
SIGN UP FOR YOUR PRESENTATION NOW! (The link is for an online signup sheet where you can claim a date for your presentation.) The dates are 26/28 November, so that you will have enough time to revise your essays before handing them in.
Your actual essay is due at the end of the day on Friday, 7 December. You must hand it in at IH341, the office of the School of English. You must have the secretary date-stamp it for you to ensure it is not counted as late.
As I mentioned, you will deal with a “bigger question” regarding mythology and Anglophone cultures. While many of your original essays dealt with questions focused on one or two particular pieces of Mythology, in this essay I want you to use that kind of comparison as part of a bigger discussion of Mythology and its place in Anglophone Cultures in general.
You should think up your own topic and thesis, but here are some examples that will show you what kind of thing I’m looking for:
Example 1: The Role of Mythology and Gender in Anglophone Cultures
- Topic: Mythology and Gender Issues
- Originating Question: Have there been big changes in gender roles between ancient and modern “mythological” narratives?
- Possible Thesis 1: Gender roles are very similar in both ancient and modern “mythological” narratives.
- Possible Strong Thesis 1: Gender roles are very similar in both ancient and modern “mythological” narratives for three reasons: [reason 1], [reason 2], and [reason 3].
Example 2: Changes in Heroism
- Topic: Ancient Greek and Modern Anglophone Concepts of Heroism
- Originating Question: Are there big differences between ancient Greek and modern Anglophone cultural concepts of heroism? If so, what are the differences and why do these differences exist?
- Possible Thesis 1: Ancient Greek and modern American conceptions of heroism are very different.
- Possible Strong Thesis 1: Ancient Greek and modern American conceptions of heroism are very different, because of three differences between the ancient Greek and modern American world: [reason 1], [reason 2], and [reason 3].
Example 3: The Draw of Ancient Greek Mythology
- Topic: The Attraction Among Modern Artists and Storytellers to Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology
- Originating Question: Why do artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people–both within and outside the English-speaking world–still return to ancient Greek and Roman Mythology even after over three thousand years? Is the attraction based on something special about ancient Greek and Roman mythology, or is the cause of the attraction something else?
- Possible Thesis 1: Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology are popular mostly because of modern historical and geopolitical realities, not because of the special quality of those particular mythologies.
- Possible Strong Thesis 1: Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology are popular mostly because of modern historical and geopolitical realities, not because of the special quality of those particular mythologies, and is most easily explained by [reason 1], [reason 2], and [reason 3].
I hope these examples help you in developing your own topic, originating question, thesis, and strong thesis.
A note: you can (and should) review the following information pages:
- Formatting Your Written Work
- On Plagiarism
- Homework and Responsibility
- Presentation Contest Document #1: Part 1: Formulating a Topic, Thesis, and Supporting Arguments (PDF)
- Presentation Contest Document #2: Part 2: MAKING_YOUR_PRESENTATION (PDF)
- On Making Presentations
If you need help developing your topic, please make an appointment with me and I’ll be happy to give you some advice, or tell you what I think of your proposed topic, thesis, or whatever.
Please read the above carefully. I’ll ask for questions on the assignment at the beginning of class on Nov. 14, before explaining our last point of discussion for My Fair Lady and moving on to Stravinsky’s handling of Greek (and other “pagan”) mythology.