Choose 1 of the following topics from either the Analytical or Creative categories.

This essay should be a 600-900 word essay focusing on the assigned readings from the course. It is due by 11:55 pm ET on Sunday of Week 6.

  • This should be a close reading essay, and should use as evidence primarily passages from the work or works that you discuss. You may not use ANY outside sources without the instructor’s approval.
  • The essay should be in MLA essay format (see the attached sample essay below), and use MLA citations. A works cited entry and in-text citations for each text discussed are required.
  • It should have a self-assessment (which should answer these questions) as the first page.
  • Analytical essays should be focused on making a debatable claim about the work in question; creative essays should be focused on presenting a work or kind of work from a different angle. Informational essays or essays consisting of summary are not appropriate for either type of essay. Both types of essay should be supported with discussion of specific passages from the text(s) on which the essay is focused. The essay grading rubric can be found here for the analytical choices, and here for the creative choices.
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Choose 1 of the following topics from either the Analytical or Creative categories. For the analytical choices, be sure to write a thesis-driven essay in response to the topic. Creative choices should be written as narratives.

Analytical Choices

    1. Defining the Sacred: choose 2 sacred works that we have read, 1 from the two Abrahamic faiths (Islam and Christianity) and 1 from the Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism) and make an argument about what similarities they have, and what those similarities can tell us about what it means for a work to be “sacred.”


  1. Tragedy Across the Mediterranean: Consider “The Tale of Sohrab” from the Shahnameh in comparison to Oedipus Tyrannus from the Week 2 readings. Make an argument about whether the two works are more alike or different and why. Focus your thesis on one particular aspect of the two works such as protagonists, themes, central conflicts, or other another element that you see as important.
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