CORE STUDIES I : Classical Strains in Western Culture.

Professor John Van Sickle †††††††




TO WRITE YOUR ESSAY, review the rules for LENGTH & LAYOUT of essays printed on the back of the syllabus, which also includes tips for effective writing.

†††††††††††††††† Every page must display its number & essayís title. Every essay must have a title that describes its topic.

†††††††††††††††† Review the general approach to reading & taking notes presented in the PROTOCOL.

PURPOSE: writing is meant to give you experience in thinking about what you read, organizing some of your thoughts, & sharing them with your professor in carefully shaped form. To achieve your goal, you will want to do three things:  

†††††††††††††††† 1) find words & themes in the reading that support what you want to say,

†††††††††††††††† 2) quote this evidence accurately in the regalar way shown on the back of the syllabus,

†††††††††††††††† 3) analyze the evidence carefully.

†††††††††††††††† Papers that are late or presented in improper format will be penalized.


Suggested Topic: Hitting on Homer


Think back over this course.

(a)†††† Go back over our readings & find all the references made to to Homer & themes shared with Homer

††††††††† (e.g. honor, pride).

(b)†††† Make notes of the different attitudes that emerge, both the signs of admiration & the adverse criticism: your notes should include each author & work & should quote evidence (actual words with relevant identifying numbers [page or section or line {drama & lyric} or book & line {epic}] for the authorís view of Homer.

(c)†††† Now look back at Homer for evidence on both sides:

††††††††† what do you find that merits the criticism, what do find to justify the praise?

(d)†††† Does your Homeric evidence come primarily from the Iliad or the Odyssey?

(e)†††† If more from the one than the other, can you explain why?

(f)††††† What attitude to the characters & values of the Iliad do you find in the Odyssey?


Preparing to write this essay will be excellent preparation for the final exam.


††††††††† If you wish to pursue some other topic, please consult first with me either in office hours or by e-mail.