Comparative Essay Assignment
Assignment ID Number AFFGEHU83939HD Type of Document Essay Writing Format APA/MLA/Harvard Academic Level Masters/University References/Sources 4 References
Project Paper – Comparative Essay Assignment
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Assignment 2: Project Paper – Comparative Essay
Due Week 7 and worth 200 points
This “Assignment 2” writing assignment is a comparative essay focused on topics encountered in our HUM 111 class. The project will be based on research but will reflect your views and interpretation of the topic. This project is designed to help you stretch your mind and your abilities as an organized, innovative, and critical thinker. If approached properly, it should also be fun!
Choose one (1) of the topics from the list of topic choices below. Read the topic carefully. Write a three to four (3-4) page paper (750-1,000 words) that follows instructions and covers each part of the topic. (The title page and References list do not get included in this word count).
Note: Your instructor may require you to submit your topic choice for approval before the end of Week 5.
For the topic you choose:
- Establish a clear thesis about your topic as part of the introductory paragraph (often the thesis is the last thing one determines after doing the basic research and outline; however it will be placed in the first paragraph of your paper).
- This is a comparative essay. Comparison approached properly will require some critical thinking on your part. Use a point-by-point approach for the essay. That means, if comparing subject A with subject B, don’t do the first half of the essay on subject A and then the second half on subject B–that will seem like two (2) separate essays and comparisons will tend to get lost. Instead, you should be mentioning both subjects in most of your paragraphs as you compare them throughout the essay. Comparisons will identify similarities as well as contrasts.
- Do not try to do everything on your two (2) subjects. You should end up narrowing your focus to a few insights and issues about the subjects being compared. And, from those fairly specific points of comparison, you will develop a thesis and glean some lessons.
- Follow closely the instructions below for your specific topic.
- Include a concluding paragraph at the end. This paragraph will, in some way, refer back to the thesis established in your first paragraph, since now you have demonstrated and supported it. It may be here that you also include your observations relating your study to the modern workplace or society (see your topic). Try to finish with flair!
- Use at least three (3) good quality academic sources, with one (1) source being the class text. Note:Wikipediaand other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources. You are highly encouraged to use the Resource Center tab at the top of your Blackboard page.
Topic Choices – Choose just one (1) of the topics below:
- Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus.Write an essay comparing these two (2) heroic figures from ancient epics of different cultures, especially focusing your analysis on the sources about their encounters with monsters: Gilgamesh encounters the monster guarding the forest, Humbaba, in Tablets 3-5 of the Epic of Gilgamesh (see http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/ ; scroll down to the Tablet links; think of “Tablet” numbers like chapter numbers).” Odysseus encounters Polyphemus the Cyclops in Book 9 of The Odyssey (see http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomerOdyssey9.html ; from line 105 to the end). Your paper should:
- a) Compare Gilgamesh and Odysseus as to their heroic qualities, noting similarities and differences, using specific examples from the epics.
- b) Summarize what this indicates about differences between ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures in their ideals and expectations.
- c) From this comparison, suggest ways that current cultural ideals and expectations shape modern notions about role models and heroes.
- Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue. Write an essay comparing these two (2) ancient thinkers on the concept of virtue or good ethical character and conduct. Stay focused on the issue; keep any biographical or other information short or limited. As much as possible, analyze their writings (in translation, of course), using Confucius’ Analects (at http://classics.mit.edu/Confucius/analects.html ) and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html ). Your paper should:
- a) Compare the teachings of Confucius and Aristotle on what constitutes virtue or good ethical character and conduct, noting similarities and differences in specific ideas or emphasis.
- b) Consider what your findings suggest about differences between ancient Chinese and ancient Greek culture.
- c) From this comparison, suggest ideas of virtue that can apply to ethics in a modern setting, such as a diverse workplace.
- Comparing Sculptures of Ancient India and Greece. Write an essay comparing the way gods and humans were depicted in sculpture in ancient India and Greece, and identify the cultural values and ideals that these art works reflect in each case. Your paper should:
- a) Using specific examples, compare the way gods and people were depicted in the sculptures of ancient India and Greece, noting similarities and differences.
- b) Identify the cultural values and ideals that these art works reflect for each society.
- c) From this comparison, suggest a modern situation of artistic expression and the ways it reflects or counters prevailing cultural values.
- Comparing Ancient Skeptics. Write an essay comparing Lucretius and Wang Chong (=Wang Ch’ung), skeptical philosophers of ancient Rome and China. They were skeptical about popular religious and spiritual beliefs and widely-held superstitions. Lucretius was an Epicurean philosopher of Roman culture (Chapter 6). Wang Ch’ung was a thinker in ancient Chinese culture (Chapter 7). Focus your comparison on their writings as found at http://www.humanistictexts.org/lucretius.htm and http://www.humanistictexts.org/wangchung.htm#On Not Flying to Heaven . Your paper should:
- a) Using examples from their writings, compare these two (2) thinkers on their views about specific subjects and on their approach in explaining and expressing their skepticism.
- b) From this comparison, identify popular beliefs in each culture that seem similar and those that seem different.
- c) From this comparison, suggest any modern situation in which materialist skeptics confront spiritual and religious beliefs, and comment on the considerations of free expression and cultural respect.
- Comparing Ancient Male Rulers.Take any two (2) of these rulers and write an essay comparing them: Ramses II, Shihuangdi, Constantine, Ashoka, Pericles, or Charlemagne. Select rulers from different cultures. You may also propose (for approval or not) a ruler not listed. Avoid lengthy quoting or lengthy close paraphrasing from biographical sources. Make it YOUR comparative analysis. Your paper should:
- a) Compare the two (2) rulers in terms of their situation and methods of rule and their apparent ideals and practices, noting similarities and differences. Use specific examples.
- b) Consider what your study suggests about the cultures over which they ruled, identifying any similarities and differences between the cultures.
- c) From this comparison, suggest lessons about different types of effective leadership in the world of modern business and / or modern politics.
- Comparing Ancient Female Rulers.Compare the Tang Empress Wu Zetian (also known as Empress Wu or as Wu Zhao; ruled China around 690-705 AD) with either the Pharaoh Cleopatra (ruled Egypt around 51-31 BC) or the Pharaoh Hatshepsut (ruled Egypt around 1478-1458 BC). You may also propose (for approval or not) a female ruler not listed. Avoid lengthy quoting or lengthy close paraphrasing from biographical sources. Make it YOUR comparative analysis. Your paper should:
- a) Compare the two (2) rulers in terms of their situation and ascent to power, their methods of rule, and their achievements and resourcefulness, noting similarities and differences. Use specific examples.
- b) Consider what your study suggests about the cultures over which they ruled, identifying any similarities and differences between the cultures.
- c) From this comparison, suggest lessons about different types of effective leadership by a female in the world of modern business and / or modern politics.
- Other topic choice using a comparative approach (proposed by student or instructor) and approved by the professor and supported by the grading rubric.
The Project Paper will be graded on:
- The level to which the instructions were followed for the paper generally and for the specific topic.
- The establishment of a clear thesis about your topic.
- The adequacy and relevance of information, examples, and details which support the general thesis.
- Covering each part of the topic as instructed, including the comparisons, the consideration of ancient cultural differences, and the reflection on lessons for modern society or the modern workplace.
- The quality of your research and your persuasiveness using critical reasoning.
- The use and acknowledgement of a minimum of three (3) required references (the class textbook plus at least two (2) other quality academic sources) documented using the APA style –including both the use of a proper References list and the use of proper in-text citations.
- Adherence to standard rules of grammar, punctuation, paragraphing, and mechanics, and general clarity of presentation.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides. Both in-text citations and a References list are required. Citations and references must follow APA style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions specific to the selected topic. (Note:Students can find APA style materials located in the course shell for guidance).
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required page length. For our purposes, you may omit any abstract page.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to historical changes.
- Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context.
- Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions.
- Identify major historical developments in world cultures during the eras of antiquity to the Renaissance.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of world cultures.
- Write clearly and concisely about world cultures using proper writing mechanics.
Click here to view the grading rubric.
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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