Compare and contrast any ancient myth of your choice (except any Greek myth) with any contemporary one, particularly in terms of the structures and contents of both myths.
Ideally you should be using any of the myths described and analyzed by Levis-Strauss in the Raw and the Cooked.
Term paper general expectations. Your analytical comparison should include a discussion of at least six of the following ten primary structural elements:
Resolving or mediating
Themes or motif
As well, when comparing the general themes of the myths, use a model similar to the one used by Levi-Strauss in the analysis of the Ash-Boy and Cinderella, so that you can make a clear structural comparison between myths.
Sex female male
Family Status double family
(remarried father) no family (orphan)
Appearance pretty girl ugly boy
Sentimental status nobody likes her unrequited love for girl
Transformation luxuriously clothed with supernatural help stripped of ugliness with supernatural help
When discussing the mediating role of a trickster, describe their function and position as halfway between two polar terms, as well as their duality or ambiguous and equivocal character.
Although you are expected to compare two myths, you are, nevertheless, welcome to compare more than two if you wish to do so.
When applicable, describe chains of mediators, particularly as they are expressed in first triad, second triad, and so on following the initial pair, or binary opposition.
Address Levi-Strauss’ logical myth structures as chains of psychological associations which enables the human mind to evade the perception of some unpleasant dilemma.
Describe the particular unpleasant dilemmas addressed by the myths you are analysing and comparing.
Use a minimum of six scholarly sources you may find appropriate to use.
Demonstrate that you can apply the classical structural analysis (Levi-Strauss’) to any myth.
It is you who decide the scope of the analysis of your paper, i.e. you can address only some aspects of the myths or the full story for each myth, or the multiple versions of each myth.
Research paper content and general information. Students are expected to research and write a very short paper (5 pages in length, typed, double-spaced) on a course related topic.
The assignment must be handed in by the deadline. Submissions by email will NOT be accepted. Late papers will automatically lose 1% percent of the grade per day.
Research Paper Format:
The written assignment must be submitted electronically to a drop box on Connect by the deadline. Late submissions will automatically lose 1% percent of the grade per day.
Submitted electronically (No hard copy)
Clearly typed / keyboarded
Double-spaced in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font.
State the topic you are addressing
Referencing must conform to the documentation style explained in the UBCO Style Guide for Papers in Anthropology available at:
Research Paper Marking Scheme:
This is an Anthropology course conducted in English. I therefore expect to receive assignments written in formal English that reflect a shared, common, non-sexist language. Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, presentation, logic and cogency of argument do count. Grading policy in this course takes into account the competence with which you present and express your ideas, arguments, critical analysis, content and contexts of your knowledge.
Research quality. Evidence that the student has extensively researched the chosen topic (minimum six peer reviewed scholarly sources. Dictionaries, Websites, and encyclopaedias do not count) 6%
Critical Analysis. Students must demonstrate that their capable expressing their opinion or evaluation of the texts they are using as sources. Students must demonstrate they are capable of judiciously breaking down and studying the parts of the whole subject matter they are addressing. Students must not merely report what the author says, but demonstrate they understand the author’s ideas.
1) Style and grammar, punctuation, title, citations, works cited page, careful proofreading, appropriate length, 2) Clarity (clear, easily understandable prose; a clear thesis or point for each paragraph that is directly relevant to the paper’s thesis and helps move the paper’s overall project and argument forward; ideally, most paragraphs will begin and/or end with a clear topic statement conveying the paragraph’s main point), and 3) Creativity (varying, engrossing and sophisticated prose). 4%
Structure and format: The organization and logic of the presentation of the paper, including introduction, body sections, conclusion, and appropriate transitions. Students are expected to research and write a concise five-page paper on a class related topic with instructor approval. The cover page must include: Your name, ID number, Name of university and name of instructor. Pages must be properly numbered and stapled or bound together with something. Do NOT turn in loose sheets by simply folding the corners over.
Additional research paper information.
Use additional sources to substantiate your argument and enrich your analysis.
Avoid using the Internet, encyclopaedias, and dictionaries (They are NOT academic sources. They only reprint what is in the original sources).
Use peer review journals, articles, books, and other equally valid scholarly sources.
Keep in mind that critical analysis is about exercising careful judgment or judicious evaluation of a given subject matter. Carefully examine the subject matter you are discussing, its elements, and their relation
Provide examples of the theoretical points you make or raise.
Demonstrate that you genuinely understand what the author is saying.
Put your own thoughts into the paper, but always in relation to the topics or issues you are addressing.
Maintain a theoretical orientation that is anthropological, so that the paper won’t come across as a journalistic account or a literary critique.
Make comparisons, analogies or use any other literary devices to illustrate your points.
Quote and make proper references as much as you need to in order to avoid any potential form of plagiarism.
By all means, use the first person if you want to. Remember that knowledge does not come from trees, mines or thin air. We produce it. Therefore, it is useless to decontextualize our writing from our own human agency.
Define terms and ideas that are not obvious to the reader or need further clarification.
Make sure someone, other than yourself, proofreads your paper before you hand it in.
Include a bibliography or references and number the pages.
To avoid possible penalties, bring your paper on the due date.
This is a very good illustration/discussion of the trickster.
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