GREEK/ROMAN HUMANITIES

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ESSAY ON MORAL AND ETHICAL LAWS IN THE “ODYSSEY”
DIRECTIONS: Write a five-paragraph essay of at least 1000 words in which you discuss
the following topic:
Since the Greeks had no holy book such as the Bible or Qur’an, historians have turned to
Homer’s epic poem the “Odyssey” (and the “”Iliad”) to discover laws about acceptable or
unacceptable moral and ethical behavior on which the Greeks based their daily lives.
INSTRUCTIONS AND GUIDELINES:
Your assignment is to write an MLA-style essay in which you prove that the “Odyssey”
does indeed illustrate Greek moral and ethical values by choosing THREE (3) different
ideas from the following list and illustrating each with a specific example from the epic
poem:
? killing
? murdering
? adultery
? theft
? hospitality (Greek xenia)
? honoring the gods
? honoring one’s parents
? hubris/arrogance
? deception
HOW YOUR ESSAY WILL BE GRADED:
There are 31 separate criteria listed on the following rubric pages. As the instructor reads
your essay, she will check off each box if that criteria is met by your essay. Your grade will
be based on the following:
? 28-31 boxes checked = A range
? 25-27 boxes checked = B range
? 22-24 boxes checked = C range
? 19-21 boxes checked = D range
? Less than 18 boxes checked = F
SEE NEXT PAGES FOR GRADING RUBRIC.
Be sure to print this rubric and staple it to the back of your essay before you submit
it in class. Also write the word count somewhere on the Works Cited page.
Introductory paragraph should:
? give some general background information about your topic, such as who wrote the
story, when it was written, and what it is about.
? contain a clearly stated thesis that is derived from the information in the
directions above.
First body paragraph should (in the exact order as listed here):
? begin with a clear topic sentence that introduces what moral or ethical law you will
be discussing in that body paragraph. (Example of a clear topic sentence: One
example of a moral or ethical law in the “Odyssey” is the law of hospitality, or xenia.)
? explain or define any key terms or ideas from the topic sentence.
? prepare to use a direct quotation from the poem by stating the context for the quote.
(State which book number the quotation comes from, and describe what is
happening in the part of the story.)
? Deliver the quotation by beginning with a proper introduction. (Examples:
Telemachus said, . . . Odysseus stated, . . . Polyphemus bellowed, . . .)
? have a proper citation after the quote.
? paraphrase the quotation in your own words.
? explain why you are using that quote. In other words, tell how the quote helps to
illustrate the law you are discussing in that paragraph.
Second body paragraph should (in the exact order as listed here):
? begin with a clear topic sentence that introduces what moral or ethical law you will
be discussing in that body paragraph.
? explain or define any key terms or ideas from the topic sentence.
? prepare to use a direct quotation from the poem by stating the context for the quote.
(State which book number the quotation comes from, and describe what is
happening in the part of the story.)
? Deliver the quotation by beginning with a proper introduction. (Examples:
Telemachus said, . . . Odysseus stated, . . . Polyphemus bellowed, . . .)
? have a proper citation after the quote.
? paraphrase the quotation in your own words.
? explain why you are using that quote. In other words, tell how the quote helps to
illustrate the law you are discussing in that paragraph.
Third body paragraph should (in the exact order as listed here):
? begin with a clear topic sentence that introduces what moral or ethical law you will
be discussing in that body paragraph.
? explain or define any key terms or ideas from the topic sentence.
? prepare to use a direct quotation from the poem by stating the context for the quote.
(State which book number the quotation comes from, and describe what is
happening in the part of the story.)
? Deliver the quotation by beginning with a proper introduction. (Examples:
Telemachus said, . . . Odysseus stated, . . . Polyphemus bellowed, . . .)
? have a proper citation after the quote.
? paraphrase the quotation in your own words.
? explain why you are using that quote. In other words, tell how the quote helps to
illustrate the law you are discussing in that paragraph.
Concluding paragraph should:
? restate the thesis
? contain a summarizing statement about the topic based on the information you
delivered in each body paragraph.
Other writing criteria:
Essay should:
? be at least 1000 words in length AND state the word count at the end of the essay.
? be in proper MLA format throughout. This means no separate title page, but with
header, heading, and title on the first page. This includes double-spacing between
every line of type.
? contain a Works Cited page containing the bibliography information for the
version of the “Odyssey” that you used.
? use proper formatting in the Works Cited page.
? be proofread and edited so that it contains very few (or no) mechanical errors.
? avoid the use of 1st person or 2nd person (“I,” “we,” “us,” or “you”).
? be submitted both in Canvas and in hard copy in class by the due date, with this
rubric stapled to the back of the hard copy.