History

Assignment 2: Project Paper – Comparative Essay

Due Week 7 and worth 200 points

This “Assignment 2” writing assignment is a comparative essay focused on topics encountered in our HUM 111 class. The project will be based on research but will reflect your views and interpretation of the topic. This project is designed to help you stretch your mind and your abilities as an organized, innovative, and critical thinker. If approached properly, it should also be fun!

Choose one (1) of the topics from the list of topic choices below. Read the topic carefully. Write a three to four (3-4) page paper (750-1,000 words) that follows instructions and covers each part of the topic. (The title page and References list do not get included in this word count).

Note: Your instructor may require you to submit your topic choice for approval before the end of Week 5.

For the topic you choose:

  1. Establish a clear thesis about your topic as part of the introductory paragraph (often the thesis is the last thing one determines after doing the basic research and outline; however it will be placed in the first paragraph of your paper).
  2. This is a comparative essay. Comparison approached properly will require some critical thinking on your part. Use a point-by-point approach for the essay. That means, if comparing subject A with subject B, don’t do the first half of the essay on subject A and then the second half on subject B–that will seem like two (2) separate essays and comparisons will tend to get lost. Instead, you should be mentioning both subjects in most of your paragraphs as you compare them throughout the essay. Comparisons will identify similarities as well as contrasts.
  3. Do not try to do everything on your two (2) subjects. You should end up narrowing your focus to a few insights and issues about the subjects being compared. And, from those fairly specific points of comparison, you will develop a thesis and glean some lessons.
  4. Follow closely the instructions below for your specific topic.
  5. Include a concluding paragraph at the end. This paragraph will, in some way, refer back to the thesis established in your first paragraph, since now you have demonstrated and supported it. It may be here that you also include your observations relating your study to the modern workplace or society (see your topic). Try to finish with flair!
  6. Use at least three (3) good quality academic sources, with one (1) source being the class text. Note: Wikipedia and other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources. You are highly encouraged to use the Resource Center tab at the top of your Blackboard page.

Topic Choices – Choose just one (1) of the topics below:

  • Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus. Write an essay comparing these two (2) heroic figures from ancient epics of different cultures, especially focusing your analysis on the sources about their encounters with monsters: Gilgamesh encounters the monster guarding the forest, Humbaba, in Tablets 3-5 of the Epic of Gilgamesh (see http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/; scroll down to the Tablet links; think of “Tablet” numbers like chapter numbers).” Odysseus encounters Polyphemus the Cyclops in Book 9 of The Odyssey(see http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomerOdyssey9.html; from line 105 to the end). Your paper should:

a) Compare Gilgamesh and Odysseus as to their heroic qualities, noting similarities and differences, using specific examples from the epics.

b) Summarize what this indicates about differences between ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures in their ideals and expectations.

c) From this comparison, suggest ways that current cultural ideals and expectations shape modern notions about role models and heroes.

The Project Paper will be graded on:

  1. The level to which the instructions were followed for the paper generally and for the specific topic.
  2. The establishment of a clear thesis about your topic.
  3. The adequacy and relevance of information, examples, and details which support the general thesis.
  4. Covering each part of the topic as instructed, including the comparisons, the consideration of ancient cultural differences, and the reflection on lessons for modern society or the modern workplace.
  5. The quality of your research and your persuasiveness using critical reasoning.
  6. The use and acknowledgement of a minimum of three (3) required references (the class textbook plus at least two (2) other quality academic sources) documented using the APA style –including both the use of a proper References list and the use of proper in-text citations.
  7. Adherence to standard rules of grammar, punctuation, paragraphing, and mechanics, and general clarity of presentation.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides. Both in-text citations and a References list are required. Citations and references must follow APA style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions specific to the selected topic. (Note: Students can find APA style materials located in the course shell for guidance).
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required page length. For our purposes, you may omit any abstract page.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to historical changes.
  • Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context.
  • Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions.
  • Identify major historical developments in world cultures during the eras of antiquity to the Renaissance.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of world cultures.
  • Write clearly and concisely about world cultures using proper writing mechanics.

Outlines and Sample Papers

Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus. Write an essay comparing these two (2) heroic figures from ancient epics of different cultures, especially focusing your analysis on the sources about their encounters with monsters: Gilgamesh encounters the monster guarding the forest, Humbaba, in Tablets 3-5 of the Epic of Gilgamesh (see http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/; scroll down to the Tablet links; think of “Tablet” numbers like chapter numbers).” Odysseus encounters Polyphemus the Cyclops in Book 9 of The Odyssey(see http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomerOdyssey9.html; from line 105 to the end).

Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus.

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to compare Gilgamesh and Odysseus.

The story of Gilgamesh was written                     The story of Odysseus was written

The reason I am writing about them is

Question 1

a-Compare Gilgamesh and Odysseus as to their heroic qualities, noting similarities and differences, using specific examples from the epics. (at least two similarities and differences.

Two ways Gilgamesh and Odysseus are similar:  (four to five sentences)

Two ways they are different: four to five sentence)

Question 2

b) Summarize what this indicates about differences between ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures in their ideals and expectations.

In the Ancient Mesopotamian culture they believe  (two or three sentences)

In the Ancient Greek culture they believe : (two or three sentences)

Question 3

c) From this comparison, suggest ways that current cultural ideals and expectations shape modern notions about role models and heroes.

A example of a modern day Gilgamesh we learn: two or three sentences

An example of a modern day Odysseus  we learn: two or three sentences

Conclusion

Two things I learned while writing this paper:

References

3 or more

1 Sayre, H. M. (2015). The humanities culture, continuity & change. Upper Saddle River, New  Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

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