This essay assignment of approximately four pages (typed, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman Font, MLA style) requires you to meditate on some limited aspect of the works we have covered. Specifically, students will generate a topic of interest, investigate it, and formulate a thesis and cogent argument based upon their understanding of the topic. For example, The Odyssey comments on notions of hospitality, heroism, and home. You might elect to explore one of these topics further by conducting some research* into Homer’s epic. This research coupled with your own creative viewpoint could make for an interesting argumentative/expository essay.
In Oedipus Rex, we discussed ideas regarding fate, destiny, identity, and the capriciousness of the gods. These broad topics provide excellent starting points for an essay. The next step in the process is to propose a working thesis based upon some facet of that topic. A thesis will seek to account for the manner in which a particular textual aspect seems to work. For example, in Oedipus, prophecy and divine revelations are fairly important topics. But, what does the play seem to convey by deploying these elements in the particular manner that it does? A working thesis might be that we are all subject to the whims of the gods; hence, we must all live with a certain degree of fear and trembling. You may support this view with textual quotations and/or legitimate scholarly sources. The rubric for the assignment is as follows:
Focus: A clear persuasive assertion about some aspect of the text supported by textual examples throughout the body.

Development: Specific textual quotes and analysis in multiple paragraphs.

Grammar and MLA Style: Final drafts will be well proofread and so free of patterns of grammatical errors, particularly egregious ones. MLA format should be strictly adhered to in terms of presentation and source documentation. This should include parenthetical quotes and works cited page. **

Organization: The essay must have a clear pattern of the organization announced in the introduction and signposted throughout the essay with clear transitions at paragraph beginnings.

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