Model Odyssey

This page is for students who are wondering what an odyssey should look like.

The perfect odyssey has the following parts:

1. Thesis. (first sentence in first paragraph.)
2. Sketch of reasoning. (rest of first paragraph.)
3. Burden of proof. (Can part of first paragraph, can be seperate paragraph, or could just be beginning of second paragraph. See odysseyopening.htm)
4. Pro argument(s). (One paragraph per argument and/or one paragraph per topic.)
5. Con argument(s) with detailed critique of each con argument. (One paragraph per argument and/or one paragraph per topic.)
6. Summary. (Optional. If the paper looks finished to you, you don't need to add a summary.)

(The easiest way of writing these parts is to start by writing part 4, then write part 5, then maybe 6, then, last of all, write your first paragraph.)

Here is a nonsensical paper in which all the parts are laid out in the right order. (Your paper will be longer and will make much better sense.)

Odyssey Stage 1
Philosophy 3 1/2
Critical Thinking and Kneecap Wrestling
Mondays, 11:30pm
Pres T. Digitation

No More Cat Juggling

Cat juggling should be illegal. It should be illegal because of the negative effects of cat hurl. These negative effects overwhelm the enjoyment children get from watching cat juggling, and the fact that being dizzy does not hurt cats is not relevant to the issue of cat hurl.

We shouldn't make anything illegal unless we have darn good reason to do so, so it's up to me to come up with at least one good argument in favor of a legal ban on cat juggling. (If I can't do that, then it shouldn't be illegal.) I think that the sheer ickiness of cat hurl provides more than enough reason to ban cat juggling and, as far as I know, no-one has come up with anything that gives us any reason to think that cat hurl isn't a good enough reason to ban cat juggling.


Cat hurl is the icky stuff that cats produce when they get sick to their little stomachs. It smell like ..., well it smells bad, and most people who smell it get nauseated, and even sick to their stomachs, with predictibly yucky results. According to Dr. Smartee Pantz, Cat juggling involves tossing cats through the air so that they tumble over and over in unpredictible ways, making them highly nauseated and, in almost all instances of cat juggling, sick to their stomachs. The resultant cat hurl spatters on the clothes of the audience, making them smell really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really bad. The audience members then return to their homes where their parents and siblings are subjected to the nauseating odor of you-know-what. Dr. Pantz argues, and I agree, that no-one should be forced to put up with disgusting odors, particularly when they personally have no desire to watch anybody juggle cats.

Friar Oscar Poulterkatzen has argued that cat juggling should not be banned because children really love to watch it. While this may be true, a child's interest in being entertained is certainly overwhelmed by his parents's interest in keeping unpleasant smells out of their house. Archbishop Constance "Bowzer" Constantine has claimed that Dr. Pantz is wrong because getting dizzy does not hurt cats, and in fact, they prefer being juggled to catnip. Even if she is right about this, she misses the point that Dr. Pantz's argument is based on the interests of innocent third parties - the parents and siblings of children who attend cat juggling performances - not the cats themselves.

Overall, cat juggling should be banned because it is icky for people who have to deal with the kids who watch cat juggling performances. Avoiding that ickyness is more important than the fun of watching cat juggling, and is there whether or not cats are hurt by the dizziness caused by being juggled.

The end.

Your paper doesn't have to look exactly like this, but I want you to do your best to follow this format.

If you want to be a bit more elegant with your first paragraph, see odysseyopening.htm

Copyright 2005 by Martin C. Young

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