Oedipus rex : The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Volume 1, Shorter 4th edition

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All of the shorter works we have read this semester locate conflict as central to their structure, and therefore, as central to the way the story unfolds.


Identify what is the conflict in the text you choose to write about, or compare and contrast the conflict in no more than two shorter works.


Some questions you may consider as you begin to write may include: what does the conflict tell you, the audience, about the human condition? Is the conflict you focus on a universal, or particular one; or, in some measure, both? How does the specific literary form or historical period affect the conflict, and the way it is represented?


Then, construct a clear and compelling thesis about the conflict that you will develop in discussion throughout your essay. Use evidence cited from the text to support your claims throughout your essay. You may also of course use any of the figurative terms, elements of fiction or poetry, and/or historical periods we have referred to, and whose definitions are posted in Course Materials, in order to ground your essay.


I suggest you choose a work, or two works, that you really enjoyed reading, and about which you feel some interest. That will make your writing process better, on your end. Also, review the lecture/discussion videos to help your brainstorming process.


This essay question asks that you focus on the shorter works we read this semester. Please do not refer to the novel for this essay question. This is a requirement of the assignment. If you focus on the novel, you will receive an F for the assignment.


Review the video on Close Reading, and the guidelines in several documents about writing a thesis statement as you begin to draft your essay.


Also, you may refer to The Little Seagull Handbook (119-169) to review proper MLA format.


If you do not have The Little Seagull Handbook, you can review the entire MLA format at the following website for Purdue Owl Writing Lab:



For direction on Works Cited in MLA format go to:



And, finally, for in-text citation (how to quote from the text):



Please make sure that you write an Introduction, and a clearly stated thesis, supported by evidence quoted from the primary and the secondary text(s).


Please be sure to use MLA format for in-text citation, and for your Works Cited page. Your Works Cited page must be in correct MLA format, and include your six secondary, peer-reviewed journal sources, and of course, the literary text(s) you choose to focus upon.


Another note on secondary sources: you must not use any sources from the Internet. The secondary, peer-reviewed journal and/or book chapter sources you use must ALL come from the Medgar Evers College Charles Evans Inniss Library.


Examples of verboten (forbidden) sources include Shmoop, Britannica.com, Quizlet, Wikipedia, Google Scholar, a random essay someone else wrote that you find on the internet, or any other internet source that “summarizes” the text you focus on. There are many more internet sources that are forbidden, but I share these with you as examples. Just don’t use the internet. Use the library for all your college work. The library is your friend. I cannot stress this point enough.


Go to the library databases to retrieve appropriate, peer-reviewed journal and book chapter sources for this college work.

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