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"Academic Writing:" The Dos and Don'ts

I'm writing a paper that examines Telemachus's character in the Odyssey.  Was he a coward? Was he a match for his father? Was his limiting factor his resources, his character, or his beliefs about himself? While searching for sources, I stumbled across  Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature by Auerbach .  The first chapter is called "Odysseus's Scar," which sounded like it might be useful for my paper. Imagine my horror when this is what I read: There is also room and time for orderly, perfectly well-articulated, uniformly illuminated descriptions of implements, ministrations, and gestures .... Clearly outlined, brightly and uniformly illuminated, men and things stand out in a realm where everything is visible, and not less clear - wholly expressed, orderly even in their ardor - are the feelings and thoughts of the persons involved .... But the true cause of the impression of "retardation" appears to me to lie elsewhere - namely, i

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