• The Odyssey Essay


    • Outline Template  - Sorry this is delayed, kiddos.  The site was down yesterday!!  Email me with questions.
    • Essay Rubric - COMING SOON!
    • Thesis Practice Results (from books XIII-XIV blog)
    • Thesis Statement Truths - the examples we went over in class!!!

    • Secondary Criticism/Discussion:   
      1. Check out this critical essay regarding the Odyssey.  Author Mark Van Doren argues that the Odyssey is by no means a tragedy but instead a true reflection of the emotions of the time.  See if you can follow his discussion.  This is a great sample of real-world analysis.
      2. General Plot Evaluation:  This essay discussions the plot of the Odyssey in general, offering insight into the way Homer tells his tale as well as commentary on specific scenes and events.  Useful for any writer/topic, not just those who wish to incorporate quotations into their essay.
      3. Adventure-by-Adventure Discussion of Mortal Hero:  This essay goes through the epic book by book, discussing the actions of Odysseus and how the various adventures he experiences characterize him as a hero, but a mortal hero.  This is especially helpful for topic #4.
      4. Author info and attention to epic poem elements and structures: This essay specifically focuses on Homer as the author as well as the epic structures/devices we've been studying in class.  It highlights digressions, catalogues, similies, flashback, etc.  It also talks about epithets.  I wasn't making this stuff up, kids :)  It's a fascinating read about the construct of the text - not the themes -so again, worthwhile for any writer.
      5. Places in the Odyssey and Analyses of them! - An awesome listing of all the settings we encountered with interesting commentary on the possible significance of each.  Particularly interesting is the discussion of Skylla and Charybhdis.  Check it out!!
      6. Gender Roles in the Odyssey - This is a dense and somewhat lengthy text with frequent references to the Iliad, BUT, it does contain really interesting commentary on the gendered relationships within Homer's epic.  Check it out if you're interested in the role of women or aristocracy in general.


    Assignment Summary

    You will develop a thesis that connects all of our learnings and takes a unique, arguable stance on the epic poem The Odyssey. Using that thesis, you will show your understanding and mastery of the analytical writing skills we’ve honed so far this year and your understanding of the Odyssey in general. 


    The purpose of this assignment is to

    1.      compose an original thesis as an evaluation Homer’s The Odyssey.

    2.      learn to organize and defend a complex argument

    3.      demonstrate understanding of the complexity of The Odyssey


    Writer’s Role

    You will be writing as yourselves, the literate, analytical student of Miss Carlino’s class.


    NOT Miss Carlino. You have an audience who has some background knowledge of the book is not intimately familiar with the content. (This means you cannot assume a connection will be made; you need to include all important contextual information.)



    -         No more than 5 pages, typed, double spaced.

    -         Incorporates quotations and narrative details from novels

    -         Adheres to all MLA format requirements

    -         Evaluated based on rubric

    -         Turnitin.com by midnight of due date.

    -         Final draft point value: 250 points



    This will be evaluated based on multiple FCAs and rubrics. See below for grading specifics and breakdown.

    Odyssey Paper Topics/Choices

    You have some  options for this paper. Please read them fully. Consider what you enjoyed in the epic and what you’d like to discuss. Then, choose one and THINK carefully about what argument you will make.                         

    1.      Argue this point (with SOME individual development needed):   Throughout The Odyssey, both Telémakhos and Odysseus search for identity in their own ways. Choose one of the characters and discuss what role, if any, identity plays in his overall success. (Remember the lack of identity/self-knowing is a part of identity.)


    2.      Develop, then argue a point on this topic: There are many examples of loyalty and disloyalty throughout The Odyssey. Compare and contrast these two ideas and take a stand on the message this sends.  Carefully consider the cause/effect relationship seen within this concept while developing your thesis. (See me to discuss the actual thesis on this. Your wording will be crucial.)


    3.      Develop, then argue a point on this topic: Compare and contrast the role of women as portrayed in The Odyssey. Consider how they are loyal, strong, weak, hospitable, etc., and take a stand on the message this sends. (See me to discuss the actual thesis on this. Your wording will be crucial.)


    4.      Challenge prompt: Argue this point: Throughout the entire epic poem, Homer’s placement of Odysseus’ as the constant presence at the center of all the action extols the heroic and exemplary life of this mortal man. 

    Note: (Do not choose this one if you do NOT think Odysseus is exemplary)


    5.      Other ideas? See me to discuss. This could include looking at a stylistic (epic structure) element and its effect on the message, a development of a previous idea you have, another theme not indicated above, etc.

        Odyssey Paper Procedure – Spring 2012


    Due Date



    Points/ Grade Cat


    April 18

    Intro to the Odyssey paper

    1.      Establish preliminary interests

    -          Books 20 and 21 content review/connections: Create test questions

    -          Paper topics introduced; flash draft

    -          HW: Go through notes, collect evidence


    Block day

    Understand final product/ expectations


    1.      Finalize topic choice

    -          Carlino will check: Prelim choice of topic and evidence of having done research

    -          Quick Quiz on 17-21

    -          Explanation of paper timeline and expectations

    -          Discussion of topics (in groups)

    -          Review thesis statements/Look at paper samples

    -          HW: Finish The Odyssey!!!!! WOOHOO! Have parents sign Odyssey paper explanation letter with topic choice


    Monday, April 23


    -          Carlino will check: signed Parent Letter

    -          In-class – discuss book ending!!! 

    -          HW: Using evidence you’ve collected, establish prelim thesis

    10 pts/HW

    Due Date



    Points/ Grade Cat


    April 24

    2.      Establish prelim thesis



    -          Carlino will check: Prelim Thesis

    -          In-class –

    o   Quick thesis questions

    o   vocab intro

    o   finish book discussion!

    Thesis = 100 pts (HW)


    April 25

    3.   Establish rough outline of ideas

    4.   Collect & record evidence

    5.   Revise/ Finalize thesis

    -          Carlino will return thesis with comments If not approved, revise ideas and finalize by tomorrow. 

    -          In class: Explain how to continue research; break down thesis by topics and understand what you need evidence for. 

    -          HW for Friday: Research/Present more potential evidence to use – annotated quotation log – make sure it all ties into the thesis and topics as closely as possible. 




    -          If necessary: show Miss C revised thesis!



    April 27

    6. Develop rough outline of ideas; determine evidence balance

    -          Miss C will check: Research and annotated quote log

    -          In class, continued discussion of how to organize material overall; identify areas that need more evidence

    -          HW: Basic but overall organization outline in prep for working outline (using template)

    Annotated log = 50 pts; ½ HW and ½ CP


    Apr 30

    7.      Organize and develop ideas and paragraphs based on thesis topics and structure

    -         Miss C will check organization outline

    -         In class workshop on creation of Working Outline

    o Have quotes where they will go with brief explanation of why they go there.

    o This must be typed and include the changes from the in-class workshop; it should follow the format indicated on the template

    o Full credit earned as long as work includes direct quotations and shows good faith effort

    -         HW: submit Working outline (using template) to turnitin.com

    Org outline = Quiz grade


    I evaluate your outlines and you learn Shakespeare!! Woohooo!!!



    May 11  

    8.      Plan how to revise outline based on feedback

    -         Outlines returned with comments

    -         In class writing discussion: moving from outline to draft

    -         HW: flesh out outline to become rough draft for Thurs, 5/10

    50 pts (W)


    May 16

    9.      Formalize/ develop argument in paragraph form

    -         Miss C will check: Rough draft due as hard copy in class;

    -         In class annotation/peer writing time using rubric: time to ask questions and make sure you have all the pieces in each paragraph

    Full credit earned as long as work includes direct quotations and shows good faith effort

    25 pts (W)