Writing Response


The relationship between humanity and the divine will serve as one of the underlining themes throughout our sources in this class.  For this reading response, you will analyze The Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia (c. 2100-1400 B.C.E.).  Ultimately, you will answer the question:   What does it mean to be human according to this story of the Near East? 

While you are formulating your thesis, use the following questions as inspiration: 

  • Are divine beings portrayed positively or negatively?  Why?  
  • This epic involves journeys in life/deathhow so? 
  • What lessons are humans expected to learn in this narrative? 
  • What appears to be the separating line between humanity and the gods? 
  • In what ways does this epic represent the culture that created it? 


Essay Guidelines 

Writing Response

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unified essay will be organized according to a compelling and well-reasoned thesis (your main argument).  Your reading response should aim for 500 words in-length (450-word MINIMUM and 550-word MAXIMUM) and must include a word count.  Use Times New Roman, size 12 font with 1-inch margins on all sides.  You will argue for your thesis coherently with a clear structure.  That is, your response needs to be organized in a logical fashion and proofread.  To help you prepare for this assignment, please review the How to Write a History Paper guide and the grading rubric, so that you can see how I will evaluate your paper. 


Be sure to underline your thesis at the end of your introductory paragraph!


You must develop your thesis, or support your thesis, by means of well-chosen quotations and citations from the primary sources.  Please quote or cite only the assigned sources, NOT Western Civilizations or lecture, though you may certainly make use of these secondary sources to help you.  Please use in-text, parenthetical citations to provide the italicized titleor abbreviation--and page number of your quotation/citation.  For example: 

Here is your quotation from the primary source (Gilgamesh, 11).   

If you have any questions about proper citation and paraphrasing, please email me.  When in doubt, it is better to cite than fail to give proper credit to the author and/or source.  

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