: Do you see a narrative arc in Shakespeare’s Hamlet? Briefly, what is the rising action, the climax, the falling action? Why is this play called a tragedy? Were you satisfied with the ending? Why or why not? and
What does this nonfiction essay tell you about Baldwin’s relationship with his father? How does Baldwin’s view of his father change after his father’s death? What is the social and historical context of this piece?
Give your paper a title that reflects your theme: “Coming of Age in The Odyssey,” not just “The Odyssey.”
Structure of your paper:
1. You should begin with an introductory paragraph, or thesis. This states what the paper will cover and what point you want to make.
2. The body of the paper should contain examples for the literary work to illustrate your points.
3. A concluding paragraph should sum up what you’ve said and should add some insight beyond your introductory paragraph.
Your paper should have 5 pages of text, not counting the Works Cited list.
Use present tense to describe continuing action in the poem, story or play.
Use “the narrator,” “the poet,” “the speaker,” “the author,” “Homer” correctly. These terms aren’t necessarily interchangeable.
Avoid overly long plot summary. Remember, your reader has read the literary work you’re writing about. Provide enough plot elements to anchor your argument; then give your own opinion or perspective on the incidents/events in the literary work.
In-line text citations: Athena says to Telemachus, “Find a ship and a crew of 20 men who will follow you” (Book 1, lines 350-351).
When you give a quote, list the speaker of the quote. In Book 7, Odysseus says, “We drew lots to decide who would attack the Cyclops” (line 150).
To cite an outside source in your text, list the author’s name and the book or article. Hugh Kenner writes in Odyssey Revealed that Odysseus is “a complex, heroic character.”
In Works Cited (at the end of your paper) use this format:
Kenner, Hugh, Odyssey Revealed. 1990. New York: Perseus Books.
Homer, The Odyssey, in World Literature, ed. Damrosch, et al. 1980. New York: Pearson.
Don’t just list www.shmoop.com in Works Cited. Give author, title of article & date. See p. 44 of the Guide to Literary Terms for style. Avoid quoting from 123helpme.com, sparknotes.com, Cliff Notes and other similar web sites. They aren’t academic sources.
The reading in the Norton Anthology of World Literature doesn’t count as an outside source. It is your primary source.
Your Works Cited list should have at least three sources: two primary sources (the assigned works) and one outside source.
Proofread your paper before handing it in. Look for misspellings, noun/verb agreement, run-on sentences, overly long paragraphs and awkward phrasing–and clean them up. Don’t hand in a rough draft. The paper you hand in is your final draft, though you will have the option of re-doing it.
Remember: Quality is more important than quantity!