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Epics for Beginners: General Research Guide: Introduction

This guide makes the study of ancient epics easy and entertaining.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Getting Organized

Try a Mind Map.

Mind map for Tale of the Heiki If you are having trouble organizing your note cards and your thoughts, try mind mapping your epic. Think about important persons, places, alternate names (Are some of those names in current use today?), and themes in your story. Then make a map with your epic's title at the center and the important themes in circles that branch off from the main one. Secondary ideas branch off from the main themes and facets.

To learn more about mind mapping visit Massey University's Mind Mapping Site. The illustration on the left side of this box is an example of a mind map for the Tale of the Heiki.

The Name Game

Alternate Names and Related Terms for Some Classic Epics



Son Jara
Soundiata Alternate Name
Sunjiata Alternate Name
Sundiata Alternate Name
Niamey, Niger Place
Mali (Empire) Historical Kingdom
Islam in West Africa Related Topic
Animism in West Africa Related Topic
Syncretism Related Topic
Tale of the Heiki
Heike Alternate Name
Gempei Wars Historical Event
Gempei Related Topic
Tairo Characters
Mainomoto Characters
Genji Alternate Clan Name
Heian Historical Time Period
Kyoto, Japan Place Name
Nara Japan Place Name
The Mahabharata
Kauravas Characters
Pandavas Characters
Kuru Alternate name for Kauravas
Arjuna Important Character
Hatsipur(a), India Place Name
The Ramayana
Vishnu Deity
Rama Human Incarnation of a Deity
Sita Character
Ravana Demon (Rakshasa)
Rakshasas(is) Demons/Were Creatures
Hanuman Deity
Animals as Gods Related Subject
Ayodhya, India Place Name

PowerPoint Help

Help with PowerPoint


PowerPoint marries words to graphic expression. The handouts in the table below help make that relationship a harmonious one. Start with the basics and then choose the others that you need. All handouts are in PDF form to make them printable.


Step by Step Help with PowerPoint
Step by Step with PowerPoint -- the Basics. Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding a Background. Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding a Text Box.
Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding a Shape. Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding Images. Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding a Bulleted List.
Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding a Link. Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding Transitions. Step by Step with PowerPoint -- Adding a Chart.
Video: Embedding a You Tube in a PowerPoint: It Can be Done.
Video: Films on Demand in a PowerPoint -- You Can Do It

Note: This is a fairly complex procedure and needs every second of a thirteen minute video. Follow the dierctions carefully. Below is the special snippet of Virtual Basic code you need to make the Films on Demand embed work.

Sub filmsonDemand()
MsgBox "Please ignore the error message. This script works!"
SlideYOUR SLIDE #.WebBrowser1.Navigate "YOUR FILM LINK HERE"
End Sub