For this essay, you will be asked to focus on one of the following topics:
-Storytelling, gender & violence
-Storytelling, death & how to live one’s life
– Religion, forgiveness & justice
Create a debatable thesis statement about your topic, and discuss its representation in The Arabian Nights and The Decameron.
Your essay should be double spaced, at least five pages, with a title that reflects your topic and the titles of both frame tales. You need to use a 12pt Times New Roman font. You should incorporate two secondary sources and have an MLA Works Cited page (which is not included in the page length requirement).
You will receive an A if you can do all of the following:
1. Introduce your reader to each collection of frame tales in the opening paragraph. The historical context should be made clear in a few sentences for each frame tale.
2. Explain the contrast between framing devices. You need to contrast The Decameron’s use of different storytellers with The Arabian Night’s embedded tales, told primarily by one female storyteller.
3. Create a debatable thesis statement. This thesis should be nuanced; avoid reductive generalizations. (Example: “Although stories told by women can reinforce the same patriarchal assumptions as those told by men, storytelling always reflects the gendered values of the storyteller.”) Explain how it applies to both frame tales, while identifying some important contrast between the two.
4. Support your argument in your body using a block structure; discuss Arabian Nights, then lead into Decameron (or vice versa), while making connections and contrasts. You should reference at least 3 stories from each frame tale.
5. Integrate quotes effectively in your analysis. Avoid beginning or ending a paragraph with a quote, or referring to a quote as such in your essay. Use quotes only to support your ideas, and introduce them with colons or integrate them into your analysis. Phrases, as well as or instead of sentences, can also be quoted to emphasize a point.
6. Use at least two secondary sources, ideally articles of literary criticism related to your topic.
7. Introduce these sources as follows: “According to (last name of critic), …. (explain the critic’s interpretation in your own words)” or “In (the last name of the critic’s) view, (explain the critic’s interpretation in your own words).
8. Your conclusion explores the implications of your analysis and makes connections with today’s world.
9. Your prose is free from sentence structure errors like comma splices and incomplete sentences. You express your ideas clearly, without trying to sound like a scholar.
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