Baton Rouge Community College **We aren't endorsed by this school
PSYC 2013
Oct 22, 2023
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World Mythology Essay Assignment Length: 4-6 pages, double-spaced (1,000-1,500 words) plus Works Cited Assignment: Choose one of the following prompts: Locate one recent story that uses mythical elements, and analyze how the story is functioning as a myth what mythical elements does it use, and why? What message does it seem to send for example, what is it warning us of, or trying to get us to believe and/or do? You can choose a story that explicitly revises an old myth or a story that just uses mythical elements, like elements of the hero's journey. Review our discussions so far; is there something about a particular myth you feel compelled to argue? For instance, you could argue whether or not the early versions of Herakles aren't very heroic by contemporary American standards. Or, you could argue why we should consider him heroic, even by today's standa rds. And of course, many of you have noted that there are arguments to be made about how we should interpret the women in some (many?) myths. Pick a mythical woman to defend (or not), or a myth involving a woman that you find problematic, and argue why it sends a message contrary to (or consistent with) today's values. In other words, this prompt is opening the field to those of you who'd rather make an argument that builds on something you found interesting in discussion. * Yes, you may use text you wrote for one or more discussion prompts; just be sure you revise it so that it flows well in your essay and is polished to eliminate errors. I encourage using your discussion writing as draft work; that's what it's meant for— to at least draft ideas! (But do NOT copy any of your peers' writing—that's plagiarism!) Requirements for any myth you choose to discuss: It must fit the broad definition of myth we've used throughout this course: a story involving gods, heroes, tricksters, and/or other common figures in myth used to explain creation or origin or to send a warning or other message relating to the community's norms and values. "Myth" here does not refer to "inaccurate perceptions" or false facts. Look specifically for a well-developed story with characters and conflict. It may be written, oral, visual, or a combination. You can get it from a web site, a book, a magazine, a television show (but choose one episode of the show, and not the whole show, so you can dig into the details), a movie, an animation, a music video, a video game... I'm sure I'm forgetting something, so if you aren' t sure if your choice is permissible, send me an email for approval! For the first prompt above, you must choose a contemporary story no more than 2 or 3 years old —if it's a television show, it should still have new episodes on the air, or else it should have just finished as a series. A movie or video game should be one released in the last few years. The same applies to written stories, though
you may have some trouble identifying a date of publication for every story you find on the Internet! This will take a little detective work, but keep in mind that what we're really aiming for is an analysis of the stories that are "hitting home" for us right now because the fact that they resonate for us tells us the story is capturing some deeper anxieties, values, and/or concerns we're experiencing now. For either prompt, use at least one, preferably more than one, of the sources we've read this semester in our course text and modules. These sources give you the specific information about important myths and mythological concepts that you should use to apply to your analysis of your chosen story. So, for example, in arguing that a female character is taking on the role of Artemis, you should tell us something about Artemis drawn from our course text and explain how the character in your story fits this description of Artemis. Regardless of the prompt you choose, use substantial detail from the original myth(s) you focus on, in the form of well-chosen quotations (integrated into your own sentences) and paraphrase and summary to support your analysis. Be careful not to over-quote, and always integrate quotations into your own sentences. Important Conventions to Follow: For a formal analysis essay, you should stick to third person ONLY (he, she, it, they). The convention is to avoid second person (you) as well as first person (I), though occasionally writers will use the collective first person (we), and less frequently, first person. I advise you to avoid first person, simply because it's too easy to fall into personal impressions rather than analysis relying on textual evidence. State your ideas with confidence, as though they were fact. Your readers will know they are your personal interpretation, and that the purpose of your essay is to provide sound textual evidence in support of it. Use present tense when discussing the events of a story. Use past tense when discussing events before the start of the story, such as events given in the story as flashbacks. Give an author ' s full name the first time you introduce a story, but each time you refer to the author after that, use only his or her last name. Do NOT refer to authors by first name only; it's disrespectful. Y ou aren't on a first -name basis you've never met! Make sure to introduce the story/stories as soon as possible in your introduction, by giving both the author and the title, in quotation marks. Do this before you ever refer to a story (so before you say "This story"). Required Citation: You must cite all sources you use for your analysis, including the story you're analyzing and any sources on myths and mythology that you use to help explain your analysis. Each of these sources should get its own complete entry on your Works Cited page, and should have clear in-text citations, as well, in MLA format. If a source you use is from our PDF course text, cite it as a work in an anthology, and in the body of your writing, cite the page number printed at the top of the
PDF page(s) parenthetically each time you quote and each time you point the reader to a specific moment or detail in the story, even if you put it in your own words. Remember that for each Works Cited entry, you should first give the author of the particular story or article (if there is one named for many myths, there is no author), followed by the title in quotation marks (for short works), followed by the title of the anthology, in italics. If there is no named author for the s pecific piece in the anthology that you're citing, then you should cite it by title, in quotation marks, and that title should be the first piece of information for the source in the Works Cited entry. When discussing more than one source, make clear to the reader which source you're citing at any given time: Give the author's last name when you begin discussing the story, then update page numbers as necessary; it isn't necessary to keep putting the author's last name until you switch to the other story, when you should give that author's last name, and so on. The key is that your reader should never be confused which story you're getting a detail from, or which story goes with a page number you've cited. If you use any outside sources at all to add information or to get ideas for your paper, you must cite those sources, both in your essay, where you use the information or ideas, and on your Works Cited. You must cite by the author's last name in -text. Failure to acknowledge the use of additional sources is plagiarism and will result in an F on the paper. DO NOT COPY ANY PORTION OF ANY ESSAY FROM THE INTERNET UNLESS YOU WANT A FAILING GRADE. Reminder about Integrating and Citing Sources: Copying text from the stories or any other source without using quotation marks is plagiarism, even if you cite the page number. You must use quotation marks to indicate when you're copying. Failure to do so in more than one or two isolated instances will result in an F on the essay. Failure to do so in one or two isolated instances will result in a significant loss of points. Quotations should be integrated into your own sentences, not dropped in as sentences by themselves. If you can't do anything else, include a speaker tag: The narrator says, "Blah blah blah" (2). Make sure quotations, integrated into your sentences, don't mess up your sentence structure. Your sentences, with the quotes, should still make sense and be correct if read aloud. If necessary, you may alter a quotation by omitting words and replacing the omitted words with ellipses (3 periods in a row), or by replacing words or letters in the quote with new ones inside square brackets . Putting square brackets around a letter or word inside a quote indicates to your reader that you changed the original quote, to keep your own sentence correct, or to make clear to your reader something that might have been ambiguous in the quote (sometimes writers will replace a pronoun in a quote with the character's name in square brackets). Unless you use ellipses or square brackets to alter a quote, you must quote ACCURATELY AND EXACTLY. Page citations should appear after the closing quotation mark. Include the author's last name if it won't be clear to the reader that you're discussing one
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