Comparison between Lysias’ On the Death of Eratosthenes and The Medea Custom Essay

For this paper, you will choose two of the texts we have read this semester and compare them. One of the two texts must be a prose selection (Herodotus’ Histories, Demosthenes’ Philippics, Lysias’ On the Death of Eratosthenes, Pericles’ funeral oration, Plato’s Symposium, or Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe); the other can be any of the texts we have read, including poetry.

Your paper should not simply list all possible similarities or differences between two texts. It should instead be focused upon one particular aspect of the texts, and should take a position about the ultimate significance of the similarity or difference between the two text. You may, for instance, want to focus on the portrayal of women, the meaning of heroism, the attitude towards the gods, etc. Your thesis might explain a similarity or difference based on the differences between the genres, the differences in the time period and contemporary events, the intentions of the authors, etc.

Your paper should include:
1. A thesis statement that explains not only what aspect of the texts you focused on, but also your explanation of the similarities/differences between the two texts.
2. A discussion of the similarities/differences between the two texts in reference to the focus of your study that includes citations of the texts (you need not include all possible examples, just the most important ones).
3. An argument for the explanation of the similarities/differences laid out in your thesis.s
4. A conclusion that briefly summarizes the argument of your paper.

Your paper should be 4-5 pages long.
Your paper should be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font. The page should have 1” margins on all sides, and the text should be double-spaced. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs.
Make sure your paper is stapled!
To cite the text that you are working with, use a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence which contains the quote. A parenthetical citation has the name of the text followed by a comma and then the line number(s). For instance,
 “You yourself are not one who shall live long, but now already death an powerful destiny are standing beside you” (Iliad, 16.852-853).
Do not consult or cite secondary sources for your paper. This paper should reflect your own interpretation of the passage.
Please provide your name in the header on each page of your paper. Do not include any other information (such as the date, the course name or number, etc.).
You may include a title (underlined and centered), but it is not necessary.
You may submit your paper in class on the day it is due, or you may submit it via the dropbox on ANGEL that I will set up. I will accept late papers, but I will subtract 5 points for every day it is late.
Your paper should use proper grammar and spelling! (See below)

Spelling, Grammar, and Style
1. Proper spelling and grammar are vital components of a good paper. Make sure to edit your paper – and don’t just use spellcheck! Re-read the paper yourself (reading it out loud is especially helpful for catching errors), and ask a friend to read over it. Some grammatical points to remember:
The titles of texts are italicized, so write the Medea or the Lysistrata.
In referring to ancient Greece, ‘ancient’ is not capitalized. When you refer to an aspect of Greece, such as Greek culture or Greek religion, only capitalize ‘Greek’.
Be careful with apostrophes. Anytime you are referring to something that belongs to someone, as a physical object or even a quality, you will need an apostrophe: Helen’s husband, Helen’s shame. If the person’s name ends with an ‘s’, you still need an apostrophe, although you don’t need an ‘s’: Paris’ wife, Achilles’ anger.
Be mindful of your punctuation, especially semicolons. Semicolons should not be used as commas. They should instead separate closely related independent clauses.

2. Even a paper with no spelling or grammatical errors can sound unpolished without proper attention to style. Some points to remember:
Good writing is concise. Long, meandering sentences and phrases detract from clarity, so don’t use ten words where two will do. Don’t write “Achilles kills Hector due to the fact that Hector killed Patroclus,” write “Achilles kills Hector because Hector killed Patroclus”.
Good writing is precise. Don’t make generalizing statements (words and phrases like ‘all,’ ‘every’ ‘every time,’ ‘for all of time,’ and so on have no place in your paper!). Claims about the text must be backed up by specific evidence/examples. Don’t just say “The Iliad is about facing and overcoming the fear of death, as can be seen in the poem’s constant references to the destined deaths of the Greek and Trojan heroes” – provide actual examples from the text where it refers to the destined deaths of the heroes.
Good writing is formal. To avoid sounding casual, don’t use contractions, abbreviations, (such as etc.), or first or second person.
Good writing is clear. One important component of clarity is word usage: flowery language actually makes reading difficult, so avoid long or obscure words when common words will do. ‘Use’ is better than ‘utilize’.
Good writing is strong. Avoid passive constructions (e.g. don’t write “Hector is killed by Achilles” when you could write “Achilles killed Hector”). When presenting your thesis and evidence, be confident; don’t write “seems to be,” just write “is”.

3. Make sure to incorporate quotations into the text of your paper smoothly. Quotations should never begin or end a paragraph. Quotations should also be properly explained, both in terms of their context in the text, and their relation to the point you are trying to make.

4. Pay attention to the structure of your paper. Organize your paper so that your argument is presented in a sensible way, with each new piece of evidence building up to your thesis. Before you begin writing your paper, try creating an outline of the paragraphs you will be writing in the body of your paper: each paragraph should deal with a different aspect of your argument, each paragraph should build off the previous one, and each paragraph should relate back directly to your thesis. If your paragraphs do this, you probably have a good structure. To support your structure and clarity, try to have each paragraph begins with a sentence that mentions what it will be talking about, and how that relates back to the thesis.

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