-First, you must decide on or be assigned a topic. (Heroes)
-Next, BRAINSTORM- this does not have to be anything formal. It does not have to be done in any particular way. Some people like to make an outline, others like to draw bubbles, and some simply like to let their brain “vomit” onto the paper as they think. You may brainstorm any way you like, but it needs to be done!
-Start your essay with a HOOK- something creative to grab the reader’s attention.
EX: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… Odysseus and Gilgamesh!
Often a quote, famous saying, or question is used.
-THESIS STATEMENT- this is the main idea, point to be argued, word to be defined, or theme of your essay. This should be in the 1st paragraph of your essay. Some teachers recommend this to be the 2nd sentence in your 1st paragraph; however, I like to make my thesis statement the last sentence of my 1st paragraph. Again, the choice is yours; you need to do what works best for you and your essay.
Example Thesis Statement: Odysseus and Gilgamesh are both epic heroes.
2nd Example: Odysseus, the protagonist in Homer’s famous The Odyssey, is the definition of an epic hero; Also, Gilgamesh, the protagonist of the oldest story found to date, is the archetype for epic heroes.
Either would work, right? Which one is best?
-THREE SUBTOPICS OR POINTS to be addressed within you essay. You need three ideas that you will discuss that support the topic of your essay. For example, if the topic of your essay is heroes your 3 supporting ideas may be: (1) heroic characteristics, (2) the roles gods and goddesses play in assisting heroes on their quest or journey, (3) and the epic hero’s impact on today’s society
Now, your essay is pretty much written! You just need to fill in the details, examples, support, quotes, and explanations to complete the thoughts and arguments of your essay. Don’t forget to elaborate and use transitions along the way!
-Make sure each BODY PARAGRAPH (paragraphs 2-4) begin with a TOPIC SENTENCE. Everything in paragraph 2 should be based on and around the TOPIC SENTENCE of that paragraph.
For example: 2ND paragraph
To begin with, Odysseus and Gilgamesh both display many qualities characteristically demonstrated by a hero. To begin with, both men leave their beloved homeland and embark on a monstrous quest into the unknown, which is known as “crossing the threshold”. They are both of noble birth; each man is a king. Odysseus must travel across the sea to a land unknown, and Gilgamesh must travel across lands he has never seen. Both must fight monsters, travel miles and miles, and fulfill accomplishments the common man could not, but with the help of Goddess and a talisman, Odysseus and Gilgamesh are both successful. The standard characteristics of a hero, according to Joseph Campbell, involve going on a journey and facing larger than life tasks. Furthermore, Campbell says that a hero is usually helped by a goddess or talisman; the tales of Odysseus and Gilgamesh have all of these qualities. Therefore, both of these characters are what literature experts deem heroic.
LASTLY, you need a conclusion!
Begin with a transition.
In conclusion, Lastly, Finally, To summarize, All in all… what ever transition works best for your essay. You want ALL transitions to be effective and makes sense!
Then tie the essay together like a pretty package. Find an interesting and creative way to summarize your essay. (Restate your thesis in a similar way to the opening, but not exactly the same. Also, sum up the three supporting points you used in your essay) THEN, add a reverse hook- leave your reader thinking.
For example: The modern world owes a big thank you to Gilgamesh and Odysseus! Without these two bold, heroic characters, movies and entertainment as we know it would lack birds, planes, and supermen.
Your header (the top of your essay should look like mine, along with your last name and pg. number in the top right corner- go to view- then header footer)
The title of you essay should be centered! It should be the same SIZE and FONT as the rest of your essay. (Typically 12 and Times New Roman) Double spacing makes an essay easier to read and grade!
Also, do you know what words to capitalize in a title?