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HU 321 Taylor

Assignment

Your goal for this assignment is to use a comparative mythology approach to write a research paper. There are two options for comparison: comparing versions of the same myth or comparing mythic traditions. You will analyze two primary sources (the myths) and should use at least three secondary sources (your research sources) to support your analysis. For both options you should be identifying the principle features of the myths and their purpose (archetypes/mythic concepts) as well as the contexts that influence the myths (social, cultural, religious, historical, etc.). Since there is no scaffolding for this paper, consider bringing drafts to office hours for review and utilizing the writing center.


Versions of Myth Option: Compare two versions of the same myth from a single mythic tradition (e.g. Mesoamerican). After considering their similarities and differences, research the context of each version to consider how that may affect the retelling. What was going on in the history of the peoples retelling the myth? What are the differences in the cultures telling the myth? Your goal is to compare and contrast the myths in order to argue what the differences suggest about each cultures’ beliefs (based on time period/era, location, religion, history, etc) and what the similarities suggest about the significance of that particular myth to the culture from which it comes.

Mythic Traditions Option: Compare two myths from distinct mythic traditions (e.g. Mesoamerican and Norse). After considering their similarities and differences, research the context of each myth to consider how that may affect the retelling. Choose myths that have commonalities or speak to the same archetype (e.g. hero myths, creation stories, the great mother, the stealing of the goddess, etc.). Your goal is to compare and contrast the myths in order to argue what the differences suggest about each cultures’ beliefs and and what the similarities suggest about the universality of myth and the human experience.

Your task is to write a 4-6 page research paper based off your comparison of the myths and contextual research. Your main thesis should indicate a “so what?” that summarizes the takeaway of the comparison and appear at the end of your introduction. What do their contexts tell us about the their similarities and differences? What then have you uncovered about the myths and cultures that told them? 

Additional information, including submission instructions are attached below.

Databases

It is a good idea to search more than one database. Start your research with EAGLEsearch and then the individual databases listed below. Search each of the databases listed to locate and determine the best resources for your papers. Use the example searches as a guide to create your own.

To search a variety of our resources, try EAGLEsearch.

To locate books: 

Click on the books tab at the top of the EAGLEsearch box.

Example Search Terms:

  • mythology
  • creation AND (myth* OR mythology)
  • "great mother" AND (myth* OR mythology)
  • mesoamerican AND mythology
  • norse AND mythology

To locate articles:

Click on the EAGLEsearch tab:

Example Search Terms:

  • norse AND creation AND myth*
  • mesoamerican AND creation AND myth*
  • "creation myths"
  • hero AND (myth* OR mythology) AND mesoamerican
  • hero AND (myth* OR mythology) AND norse

​In EAGLEsearch narrow results with limiters.

  • Limit to Scholarly & Peer Review is the first section
  • Limit Content Type is the second section

Search Tips:

  • AND is used in most databases to ensure that each term is present somewhere in the search results: Youth AND interaction
  • The asterisk (*) is a symbol which allows for variant word endings: teen*=teen, teens, teenager, etc. 
  • Quotes are used to indicate that the words enclosed must be searched as a phrase: "World Wide Web
  • OR is used between terms to indicate that either term is acceptable: teen OR adolescent 

 

To locate additional information use the databases listed below.