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argumentative essay in an active voice

Write a thoughtful, carefully argued essay (3-4 double-spaced pages) on one topic (below) from Homer’s Odyssey, Sappho’s lyric, or Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Be sure that the topic interests you; that it intrigues you. Try to find something about which you feel passionate—about which you want to write.

Specific topics include the following:

• How does Dante’s Ulysses compare with Homer’s Odysseus as a type of Western masculinity?
• How do Romeo and Juliet compare with Dante’s Paolo and Francesca as a loving couple?
• How does Wyatt’s lady in “They Flee from Me” compare with Marie de France’s Fairy maiden in Lanval?
• How does Dante’s relationship with Beatrice compare with Petrarch’s relationship with Laura?
• How does Dante’s relationship with Beatrice compare with Surrey’s relationship with his wife in “Give place, ye lovers”?
• What kind of leadership do Romeo and Juliet provide to Western culture?
• What causes the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet?
Advice I: 1) For all topics, assume that your purpose is to persuade our class community of the validity of your argument. This means that you can assume as common knowledge everything that we have spoken together; such an assumption allows you to build on what we’ve said. Assume that we know the story well. 2) Construct an interpretive argument as your thesis not an opinion or textual fact; then support that thesis with evidence: analysis of textual detail and logical argument. 3) Start fast- no opening “histories of the world.” 4) Don’t “rewrite the work.” 5) “Economize your prose” at all points no verbiage. 6) Avoid repeating your main idea discover its depth. 7) Avoid strict “character analysis”; characters are not real people but literary constructs; consider “function” for audiences.
An argument is an arguable proposition—an idea against which someone might reasonably argue. “I love the Odyssey” is an opinion. “The Odyssey is a romantic epic ending in marriage” is a fact. An argument might be: “The Odyssey champions a family ideal over a warrior ideal.”

Work carefully to reveal the architecture of your argument: clarify your thesis and select a clear set of supporting evidence. Gear the evidence to the thesis, as support, not a retelling of the story.

If writing on a comparative prompt, how will you organize your support: by looking at each work in turn, or by selecting ideas by which to compare them? Neither is wrong; both can work. Select one, reveal it, and carry out the analysis.

It is a requirement of this paper and all papers in ENGL 15S.7- that you “enter the conversation” of the course that you demonstrate your knowledge of and contribution to the topics of our discussion. Failure to do so could result in failing the assignment.

Please observe the following guidelines: 1) include a title that is both imaginative and informative (identify the work and the topic even the angle you’ll take [examples: “Odysseus: A Model of a Family Mind”; “Phaeacian Fairyland: The Family Ideal.” Avoid a title with a complete sentence 2) number your pages, beginning with page 2; 3) type using double space; 4) indent quotations longer than 3 or so lines (without quotation marks), reproducing the format in the text (such as capitalized first words), and include the citation outside the period of the quotation in parentheses for example: (4.22 23); 5) build quotations into the text of your paper if shorter than 3 or so lines (with quotation marks and with slashes [/] between verse lines [but not prose lines]) and include the citation as noted above with the exception that the citation goes inside the terminal punctuation (usually a period); Consult a style manual of your choice for further details.argumentative essay in an active voice

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