This task takes the form of a 2000 word essay on ONE of the following (five options):
1. How do the stories told in the Theogony and in Greek hero myths explore the ways in which status and hierarchies are established or threatened in everyday life?
2. Odysseus' encounter with Polyphemus has been thought to celebrate the triumph of the civilised over the barbaric. But does the Cyclops get what he deserves? And just how 'heroic' are Odysseus' actions?
3. Was the myth of Athenian autochthony a democratic myth, or was it at odds with the structures, institutions and ideology of Athenian democracy?
4. To what extent does the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon reflect the same elements of Athenian self-identity as the ceremonies accompanying the Great or City Dionysia?
5. How, if at all, does Euripides’ Bacchae confirm and/or challenge the identity of the Athenian male citizen? If you have any queries about how to interpret the question, make sure that you discuss them with your tutor or one of the coordinators.
It is expected that you will reuse materials from your Secondary Source Analysis in the final version of your Research Essay, and you should give careful thought to how best to integrate this material. Reuse of this material will certainly not be considered ‘self-plagiarism’ (or submitting the same work twice) in this case. However, it is very likely that you will need to change the wording of your original Secondary Source analysis, and/or reduce the detail of your treatment of these sources to best fit with your final Research Essay argument. So, while it is expected that the 500 words of your Secondary Source Analysis will be integrated into your final Research Essay, and this is taken into account in the word limit (hence the 2000 word limit of the essay = 500 integrated Secondary Source analysis + 1500 words), you may not need to include every word, or maintain the wording unaltered, in order to effectively support your arguments and answer.
In addition, the three sources that you discussed in your Secondary Source analysis should not be the only secondary scholarship utilized in your final Research Essay. However, the three sources that you discussed in your Secondary Source analysis should not be the only secondary scholarship utilized in your final Research Essay. As a rough guide, you should aim to utilize at least six relevant secondary sources in the final essay, and you may use more. In order to find and integrate this scholarship, you will likely also need to consult a larger number of sources. Several of these sources that you consult initially may not prove finally relevant, or make it into you submitted essay.
While this is a research essay, it also requires you to provide your own arguments in answer to the question. This should be based on the reading of primary texts and secondary sources that you have undertaken, and your interpretation of these. These arguments are not expected to be original (although they may be), and may in some cases be similar to the arguments and conclusions you are citing from secondary sources. However, even if it is your own opinion, you must acknowledge where it is similar to someone else’s argument through citations. Keep in mind that when supporting your own opinion, cited conclusions of scholars are not in themselves sufficient to prove your argument. You need to provide the primary evidence that supports their and your conclusion, and explain the reasons for these conclusions (i.e. provide arguments) as well. In some cases you may find that you can support contentions from your own arguments based on primary sources alone. However in these instances you need to take special care about the strength and basis of your arguments.
Demonstrating how primary evidence supports your arguments (whether or not those arguments are or aren’t based on secondary sources) is also critical to this essay task. For most of the available questions, your most important primary evidence will be either textual (poems, plays, writings of other sorts) or iconographical (sculptures, architecture, etc.). You need to be familiar with these sources. But you will also need to be selective in their use, identifying and referring to only the specific details of the evidence that are relevant to your question and arguments. This is another extremely important skill in this discipline and in the study of humanities generally.
Your Research Essay must be a structured essay answer to one of the questions above. It should follow a clear paragraph structure and each main paragraph should have a clearly identifiable contention supported by primary evidence, secondary sources and your own interpretive arguments as appropriate. The formatting of your essay must follow the guidelines outlined in the Style Guide.
Your essay must have a bibliography, and employ footnotes to cite all sources. Footnotes and bibliography must follow the Chicago Style (a useful online guide to this and other can be found as part of the University Library ‘Re:cite’ tool: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/recite/citations/chicago/generalNotes.html?style=3.Additional information about citing primary sources can also be found in the Style Guide.
Footnotes and bibliography are not included in the final word count for this task. Note: More information on all of the above is provided in the lecture on ‘Writing the Essay’ in week 6, and the guide based on that lecture that will be available on the subject LMS site.
You should avoid simply describing the subject matter, texts, iconography, or myths relevant to your question. Any context or descriptive material should be included only as it is required to support your contentions and arguments. In effect, material is only relevant, and should only be included, if it is part of your argument. Some judgement is required here. But be critical with your own work. If there is any material that clearly is not necessary to explain your contentions or support your arguments in answer to the question, edit it out. You are not expected to present every possible argument for your answer to the question, to approach the question from every possible perspective, or even to provide every possible piece of supporting evidence for the contentions and arguments you do focus on. In the scope of this essay, you can adequately develop only 5 or 6 key contentions as part of your overall answer to the question. You need to prioritise the strongest arguments that support your answer. For this task it is far more effective to present a few key arguments that are well developed and supported, than many arguments that are under-developed or left with inadequate supporting evidence.
You are not expected to present every possible argument for your answer to the question, to approach the question from every possible perspective, or even to provide every possible piece of supporting evidence for the contentions and arguments you do focus on. In the scope of this essay, you can adequately develop only 5 or 6 key contentions as part of your overall answer to the question. You need to prioritise the strongest arguments that support your answer. For this task it is far more effective to present a few key arguments that are well developed and supported, than many arguments that are under-developed or left with inadequate supporting evidence.
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