The Odyssey: Essay #3 Assignment: Argument Analysis

Purpose of this assignment:  To introduce you to the idea that literary works (short stories, poems, plays) can make an argument just as essays do; to give you practice in analyzing the kind of arguments that these works make.

Essay prompt:

Make an argument about a topic/theme as it is handled in The Odyssey. Use material from the work (The Odyssey) to support your argument.  In other words, I’d like you to identify the theme that the text is dealing with, and the argument being made about this theme by the literature. Choose quotes from the work that express and prove this theme. Then deal with you own personal response to the literature. What is your response to the literature?  Why?  Cite and analyze the text to develop your response to its argument. Then find the central argument of the scholarly article and argue for or against that main argument. Find at least two (2) quotes to support your own argument about the article as it relates to the work (The Odyssey). Work towards incorporating the quotes from the scholarly article into your essay so they make sense in regards to your argument about the work.

Then find a second scholarly article of your own choosing and incorporate two (2) quotes from it into your essay in addition to the article provided for you on D2L. Be sure to explain your quotes and use them to support your central argument for your essay aka your thesis.

Essay Outline Requirements: your essay should include the following:

  • Introductory Paragraph:

Your introduction should include a hook, and it should discuss your thesis and the central theme of The Odyssey. REMEMBER: You MUST develop a central argument for your essay. This is your thesis, the focus of your paper, the main idea, the theme, the main point, your argument. Try to relate the idea of Xenia (hospitality) to Odysseus as the model of the “Classic Greek Hero.” What did that mean to Greek society? What does it mean in our world today? Why does it matter? Create a compelling argument.

  • Body Paragraphs:

Your body paragraphs need to explain your argument in more detail than your thesis. They need to support your thesis with textual evidence, and they need to develop your argument about the work. Then relate your argument of the work to the world at large.

Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that gives that paragraph a main focus. Prove one point of your argument per paragraph then support your point by using quotes from the work (The Odyssey) and the scholarly essay. This gives your essay balance. Make sure you also find your own scholarly article, in addition to the article provided for you on D2L about hospitality in ancient Greece. Pull at least two quotes per article to support your argument and develop your ideas in your body paragraphs.

  • Concluding Paragraph:

Your conclusion should sum up the main points of your essay, restate your thesis, and draw a larger conclusion about the ideas raised in your essay. Always push your essay further by ending with a “Call to Action” for your reader.


Final Draft Requirements

Your essay should be a minimum of four (4) full pages, a maximum of six (6) pages


12-point, Times New Roman font

One-inch margins

Use MLA style for all in-text citations and a Works Cited page.

The Works Cited page does not count toward the page requirement.

Criteria for a successful essay include:

  • Clear thesis statement in the introduction
  • Well-developed support for your argument (weave in quotes and analyze them)
  • 2 quotes from D2L article
  • 2 quotes from a scholarly article of your choice
  • Logical organization with topic sentences and transitions
  • Well-developed introduction and conclusion
  • Few sentence-level errors (grammar, spelling)

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