Essay for History and humanity course

The Premise –

Use textual evidence and logical reasoning to prove an argument about one of the texts from the first half of the quarter. To develop your thesis for the paper, please answer one of the questions from the second page of this document.

The Basics –

750-1000 words

MLA Format

In-text citations

Works Cited page with entries for the literary works

No secondary sources required

The Audience –

A group of well-educated readers who expect solid, professional, academic writing but are not necessarily familiar with your topic and text.

Suggested Outline for the Paper –

Introduction – Provide very brief background and context where you introduce readers to your topic and text. At the end of the intro, take a clear stance in a thesis statement where you directly answer one of the questions from the prompt. Try to list 2-3 supporting points or reasons you will use to prove your thesis.

Body Paragraph 1 – State the topic of the paragraph clearly in the first sentence of the paragraph (this should be one of the supporting points listed in your intro, NOT plot summary). Then quote a passage from the reading that can function as evidence to prove the idea from your topic sentence. Finally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, explain, using logical reasoning, in YOUR OWN WORDS, how the quotation proves the idea from the topic sentence.

Repeat the same structure in all your body paragraphs.

End with a conclusion that connects the different supporting points together and explains why the main idea is important so that you end on a cohesive note.

Use transitions throughout to connect each idea as you move from paragraph to paragraph so that the paper flows well.

Possible Paper Topics (Answer one of these questions in your thesis) –

1.  Identify Rumi’s religious worldview. Does he subscribe to the belief system of a specific religion, is his view more cosmopolitan, does he believe in God but critique certain systems of religion, or is he an atheist? Cite language from at least two poems to prove your point about Rumi’s religious worldview.

2. In literary studies, a “theme” is considered the main point or overall message of a work, i.e. what the author is trying to communicate to readers. What is the theme of The Thousand and One Nights? Cite language from at least two different stories to show how this theme is prevalent throughout the entire text and not unique to just one story.

3. A “patriarchal” society is one in which men hold the positions of power. The Thousand and One Nights first appeared in a culture that was very patriarchal. Does the text uphold or subvert (critique, challenge) the patriarchal standards of its day?

4. The Thousand and One Nights first appeared in a very hierarchical, class-based society with kings, royalty, peasants, slaves, etc. Does the text uphold that society should be based around a rigid, very hierarchical class structure or oppose this view? 

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