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Research Topic Proposals Due October 1st Email to me at jkaplow@harpercollege.edu Here’s what I do want to see in your topic proposal: • Your name • The general topic The question you’re going to try to answer or the hypothesis you’re going to test Three or four sample quotations from sources that may be relevant to your research, quoted and cited properly, according to MLA format rules. Start by “shopping for a subject that interests you. You can go to the Internet to start, as long as what you find on the Internet can be verified later by print sources if necessary. Remember that your question should have something to do with the relationship between the myths we’re studying and the culture that we live within now. So you could, for instance, look into mythic heroes, like Achilles or Aeneas or Heracles, and compare one or two of them to modern TV, movie, or comic book heroes. You could examine a mythic figure like Pan, Eros, or Aphrodite, comparing their earlier forms to the ways they are used today in art, advertisement, movies, or novels, etc., or you could compare the depictions of goddesses in ancient Greek or Roman art to medieval depictions of the Virgin Mary and women saints or romance heroines and then to those of models in modern fashion magazines. You could look at a particular story, like the Orpheus myth, in several different versions, to see how it has been altered over time, or examine how one particular artist, poet, or writer uses mythic themes in his or her work. There are lots of possibilities. Choose something that appeals to you, either because of your own personal interest or your career plans or major. Just try to be sure that you choose a question that is narrow enough to be researched adequately in the time we have, broad enough to get us an answer that is interesting or useful to a possible audience, and objective, so that you can answer it with factual evidence. Questions of taste, judgment, or belief just don’t work as research topics. And don’t worry about getting stuck with a topic you decide later doesn’t work for you. You will be able to change it if you need to, as long as you don’t wait too long. And MAKE SURE YOU KEEP ME INFORMED! Once you have found a promising topic, do some preliminary research on it. Find out what information is available. [Please note: When you do the actual research, you will NOT have to find a source that has already answered the question you want to ask. For example, if you want to compare ancient Heracles to modern movie versions of his story, you don’t need (or even want) to find someone who has already done that. First, find information on ancient depictions of the stories of Heracles. Then find some film versions and watch them. Also, find some information on how and why those movies were made, etc. Then you do the comparing, and draw your own conclusions.] Find a few sources that look as though they might be useful. Pull a quotation or two from each, and type them, along with proper citations, into your proposal.

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