Assignment 2: Project Paper – Comparative Essay
Due Week 4 and worth 200 points
This “Assignment 2” writing assignment is a comparative essay focused on topics encountered in our HUM 111 class. The project will be based on research but will reflect your views and interpretation of the topic. This project is designed to help you stretch your mind and your abilities as an organized, innovative, and critical thinker. If approached properly, it should also be fun!
Choose one (1) of the topics from the list of topic choices below. Read the topic carefully. Write a three to four (3-4) page paper (750-1,000 words) that follows instructions and covers each part of the topic. (The title page and References list do not get included in this word count).
Note: Your instructor may require you to submit your topic choice for approval before the end of Week 5.
For the topic you choose:
- Establish a clear thesis about your topic as part of the introductory paragraph (often the thesis is the last thing one determines after doing the basic research and outline; however it will be placed in the first paragraph of your paper).
- This is a comparative essay. Comparison approached properly will require some critical thinking on your part. Use a point-by-point approach for the essay. That means, if comparing subject A with subject B, don’t do the first half of the essay on subject A and then the second half on subject B–that will seem like two (2) separate essays and comparisons will tend to get lost. Instead, you should be mentioning both subjects in most of your paragraphs as you compare them throughout the essay. Comparisons will identify similarities as well as contrasts.
- Do not try to do everything on your two (2) subjects. You should end up narrowing your focus to a few insights and issues about the subjects being compared. And, from those fairly specific points of comparison, you will develop a thesis and glean some lessons.
- Follow closely the instructions below for your specific topic.
- Include a concluding paragraph at the end. This paragraph will, in some way, refer back to the thesis established in your first paragraph, since now you have demonstrated and supported it. It may be here that you also include your observations relating your study to the modern workplace or society (see your topic). Try to finish with flair!
- Use at least three (3) good quality academic sources, with one (1) source being the class text. Note: Wikipedia and other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources. You are highly encouraged to use the Resource Center tab at the top of your Blackboard page.
The Project Paper will be graded on:
- The level to which the instructions were followed for the paper generally and for the specific topic.
- The establishment of a clear thesis about your topic.
- The adequacy and relevance of information, examples, and details which support the general thesis.
- Covering each part of the topic as instructed, including the comparisons, the consideration of ancient cultural differences, and the reflection on lessons for modern society or the modern workplace.
- The quality of your research and your persuasiveness using critical reasoning.
- The use and acknowledgement of a minimum of three (3) required references (the class textbook plus at least two (2) other quality academic sources) documented using the APA style –including both the use of a proper References list and the use of proper in-text citations.
- Adherence to standard rules of grammar, punctuation, paragraphing, and mechanics, and general clarity of presentation.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides. Both in-text citations and a References list are required. Citations and references must follow APA style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions specific to the selected topic. (Note: Students can find APA style materials located in the course shell for guidance).
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required page length. For our purposes, you may omit any abstract page.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to historical changes.
- Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context.
- Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions.
- Identify major historical developments in world cultures during the eras of antiquity to the Renaissance.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of world cultures.
- Write clearly and concisely about world cultures using proper writing mechanics.
Comparing Ancient Female Rulers. Compare the Tang Empress Wu Zetian (also known as Empress Wu or as Wu Zhao; ruled China around 690-705 AD) with either the Pharaoh Cleopatra (ruled Egypt around 51-31 BC) or the Pharaoh Hatshepsut (ruled Egypt around 1478-1458 BC). You may also propose (for approval or not) a female ruler not listed. Avoid lengthy quoting or lengthy close paraphrasing from biographical sources. Make it YOUR comparative analysis. Your paper should:
a) Compare the two (2) rulers in terms of their situation and ascent to power, their methods of rule, and their achievements and resourcefulness, noting similarities and differences. Use specific examples.
b) Consider what your study suggests about the cultures over which they ruled, identifying any similarities and differences between the cultures.
c) From this comparison, suggest lessons about different types of effective leadership by a female in the world of modern business and / or modern politics.