Chief Crazy Dog
Washington State University
One of the objectives of this course is that you improve your skills in critical analysis by by articulating, organizing, and polishing the presentation of your insights in some kind of written form. On the due date noted below, you will be pleased and relieved to turn in a significant piece of written work, something that ought to have more meaning than just a graded assignment: at least as a potential portfolio paper, but possibly as the central production of your own particular expertise in Mythology or the beginning of a larger future masterpiece. Eventually you will be going down to the House of Death; aim for step one of immortality now.
Create a title more creative than the dutiful and perhaps grudging: Essay #1. Do not underline or italicize your own title, ever, except here for only the possibly included word Iliad or Odyssey.
Begin the essay in a focused and, ideally, engaging way for readers. Beginning with the phrase "There are many different ..." or "In today's society ..." already creates a sinking feeling in the hearts and minds of your readers. Set up your focus in a way that indicates its importance rather than implying subjectively that you "came across" a quotation or idea or "decided to write about" some topic -- which makes your selection sound absolutely arbitrary.
What moment or feature in a mythological work emerging since the start of the semester has had a significant effect upon you and what are the implications of this experience? Find and describe an incident, or a character, or a theme you have noticed in one of the works -- something that has resonated with you personally, or professionally, or emotionally, or in any unique way.
Explore your quotation or topic and its implications in a minimum three-page complete manuscript using MLA-style format. (The use of secondary source journal articles is optional but professional and would be impressive).
You need not, and probably should not, adopt a mode of maudlin deep personal confession; rather, aim for a more philosophical kind of discussion. The essay should include a thesis and supporting evidence, ultimately serving as a reflective exploration with some critical thinking on this portion of your educational experience at WSU while it is, ideally, still happening.
Although you may do some research and include secondary sources, original insight and analysis should still dominate the entire discussion. Your final revised essay must consist of three typed, double-spaced pages containing an intriguing (not underlined) title, an original unified thesis, vigorous analytical work, no extra spaces between paragraphs, all in a clean, effective, illuminating, properly documented presentation (correctly punctuated in-text parenthetical citations of author and page, and a correctly formatted MLA-style Works Cited list). You will include a Works Cited list even if the only work on the list is the primary text. For further instruction regarding documentation, see my Mythology website, or ask me ahead of time. Proofread well so that minor surface matters do not distract readers from your ideas. The grade for any manuscript lacking a Works Cited list or containing a renegade, variant, or insane documentation system will strike you as intensely disappointing.