In this assignment students explore some of the ways, obvious or subtle

In this assignment students explore some of the ways, obvious or subtle, in which ancient and modern athletic practices differ. Students will form groups of two (or, in exceptional circumstances, three) to write a compare-contrast analysis, on a topic determined in consultation with the instructional staff that pertains to a certain specific aspect of both ancient and modern sport.

Studies may range from the concrete and narrow (e.g., the form of the javelin) to the conceptual and broad (e.g., how ancient Greek city-states and modern nation-states differ in their ideological and material support of athletes). In either case, the topic should be carefully selected and framed to allow for intelligent and meaningful analysis under the given constraints of a short report.

Although much of the research for this project will be spent finding points of comparison or difference, the final report must also have some sort of original argument or thesis (i.e., a proposition with which a reader may either agree or disagree) that addresses how this specific aspect of sport reflects the society in which it is practiced. For example, a comparison of ancient and modern wrestling might argue that the modern introduction of weight-classes reflects improved standards and instruments for measurement, as well as a more populous and decentralized society. Ultimately, the goal of the assignment is not merely to highlight differences and similarities across 2,500 years of sport, but also to make thoughtful and informed guesses about what might explain those (dis)continuities.

SUBMISSION

Unlike some of our other writing assignments, this report should be produced in polished academic prose, with citations (Chicago style preferred, others accepted so long as they are clear and consistent) of at least THREE outside resources. Additionally, each individual student must contribute at least 2 double-spaced pages, or 600 words (whichever is shorter, not including images, charts or graphs), to the overall report. These individual contributions should be clearly marked to allow for proper grading (see rubric, next page). Each student is ultimately responsible for the content of their individual contribution, but teams are encouraged to work together in order to improve each others’ prose, especially as the success of the analysis overall will somewhat depend on the quality of each component. Students may find it convenient to divide the report into such categories, and divide their work accordingly(e.g., 1. Introduction & Thesis/; 2. Method/Approach. 3. Findings. 4. Conclusions)

 

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In this assignment students explore some of the ways obvious or subtle

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