As you prepare this and subsequent essays, please review sections on “Essay Grading” in Unit 1. You may also want to review various sections of your college composition course handbook that deal with organizing and composing effective essays.

Your essay should present a clear, insightful central idea, should have a clear sense of order and logic, should be well developed with specific details to support your assertions, and should use effective language that is free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Avoid plot summaries and provide quotations from the text to support your ideas. Consult the Writing About World Literature by Karen Gocsik for writing instructions. Also, it is suggested that you spend ample time writing and revising your essay.

How to format your paper:

  • Typed/printed, double-spaced, 1″ margins. Change them in “Page Setup” on the “File” menu.
  • Paragraphs indented 5 spaces at left; do not separate paragraphs by extra blank lines.
  • Quotations of 10 words or less should be integrated into the text; longer quotations should be indented 5 spaces at left and right margins, single spaced, and set off from the text of the essay by a blank line before and after the quotation. Be sure to include verse numbers or line numbers
  • Avoid citing college dictionaries, Wikipedia, or basic references such as the OED, Encyclopedia Britannica, etc. Instead, use the text, discussion postings, lesson notes, and any sources accessed from GALILEO for outside reference.

Each essay should have a specific title – one that suggests what is the most interesting or important about what you have to say. It’s worth taking a little thought over the title, not only because it creates the first impression of your essay; coming up with a phrase which encapsulates your argument can help in focusing that argument. One popular strategy is to use a key phrase from the text followed by another phrase of clarification.


  • All papers submitted in this class are reviewed via, a proprietary software database that identifies unoriginal material in papers. Please review the syllabus statement regarding the penalty for plagiarism.Your instructor will provide you with additional information.

  • Dates for essay submissions will be outlined in the course Calendar.

Your Assignment:

Write a 1500-2000 word paper that compares two or three literary works from different periods or cultures (at least one must be a work you have not written about before) in terms of:

Their generic form and conventions as related to or even as outcomes of their social, religious and political milieus OR a demonstration of the historical development of the genre

Their mythic contents and functions in their cultures’ mythology.

Note: For the final paper, at least one work must be a work you have not written about before

You will want to review while making your topic decision. Present your topic to your instructor for approval by the date indicated on the course calendar. Papers on unapproved topics will not be graded. You are not required to do research, but if you decide to do so, you must then include at least two sources on each literary work so that you do not simply repeat what someone else has concluded, and you must properly quote or paraphrase, including citations in MLA form.

The following offer examples of the types of topics you might expect for the final paper. Very likely, neither of these examples will be topics you will be allowed to write on.

  • Generic Topic Example

The Classic of Poetry and Son-Jara both contain various types within the whole, and they were both composed or collected over a period of time. What seem to be the functions of the different types of poetry in Classic of Poetry and the praise poems, genealogies, narrative episodes and other genres within the epic of Son-Jara? What ideas are suggested about the emergence or existence of literary genres?

  • Mythic Topic Example

Monsters are a feature in myths, epics, and other literary works from all over the world. Compare and contrast the monsters in Gilgamesh, the Odyssey and the Ramayana. Explain what these non-human creatures represent in relation to the cultures of the narratives in which they appear and whether they have universal significance.

Be sure to save the assignment in .doc, .docx, or RTF format.

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