Hello everyone! Time for your Third Argumentative Essay! Your goal for this assignment is to write a 1000 word essay which argues for a “central thesis” – that is to say, it has 1 main central argument it is trying to make.
You will be assessed on 4 main components for each essay: Argument, Citations, “Polish” and Word Count. There’s a rubric at the bottom of this assessment page that I will use to grade your essays. Continue reading below if you’d like more detailed information about grading!
Argument (30 points): I will be assessing how well you argued for your central thesis. Did you have a central thesis? Were your arguments relevant to your overall point? Was most of your paper spent supporting and arguing for your central thesis?
Be sure that your arguing a point and not just summarizing. I’ll provide some helpful prompts further down to help you out with this!
Citations (30 points): I will be assessing how well you used our readings and outside resources to reinforce your arguments. Did you include philosophers that we read or discussed in your paper? Did their quotes help build your argument?
When it comes to citations, I am not concerned with “academic” formatting. I don’t need strict MLA or APA citations in order to understand where you’re getting your sources. Whenever you directly quote, use similar wording to, summarize the idea from, or take the idea from a different source you should cite it. In fact, I want you to! There is no shame in using other people’s arguments to strengthen your own! In fact, it’s the smart and academic thing to do. So please, do research! Look up articles! Just be sure to cite them in your paper.
Here are two great encyclopedic resources that have peer reviewed articles provided by experts in the topic:
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/
(Links to an external site.)
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://www.iep.utm.edu/
(Links to an external site.)
When you cite the textbook you can just put a parenthesis with the title Ethics and page number included, like this (Ethics, p 11). When you cite readings that I’ve provided outside the textbook you only need to include the title, like this (Euthyphro).
If you cite third party sources (websites, articles, other philosophers) you’ll have to provide a link to the copy at the end of your paper, as well as the title in parenthesis, like this (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
“Polish” (20 Points): I will just be assessing if your paper is formatted (has paragraphs), doesn’t have grammar and spelling errors, etc.
Word Count (20 Points): As long as you are within 10% of 1000 words, that is to say between 900 – 1100 words, you will receive all the points for this section! Every 10% more or less words than that will result in 5 less points.
What To Do:
Consider the topics we’ve been discussing over these past few weeks. During the discussions, which argument did you make about these topics that felt the strongest and had the most support? Choose one of those arguments as a central thesis for your argumentative essay. From there develop some reasons and arguments in support of your central thesis! If you’re having trouble, see what the readings have to say about these ideas – they likely have some arguments that you can use and/or cite in your essay. Either way, include at least one of the texts that we’ve read in your paper.
If you still need some inspiration for your central thesis, or if you are having a hard time clarifying your central thesis, consider the prompt questions below! Try to answer them for yourself, see which one you feel strongest about or which seems easiest to write about and use that as your central thesis.
Be sure to polish your paper before you submit it, make sure your writing is clear and that your grammar and spelling are mostly correct.
Helpful Prompt Questions (Remember you’re only doing 1 central thesis!):
Do you agree that we have a responsibility to be authentic?
Do crowds have access to truth?
Can we find our identities without using a crowd?
Do you agree with Nietzsche’s distinction between “Master” and “Slave” moralities?
Are the virtues of the common person “slave” virtues?
Are the virtues of the powerful and successful “master” virtues?
Do you agree that people are free in the State of Nature? Why or why not?
Do you agree with Locke’s reasons for why people would leave the State of Nature? Why or why not?
Do you agree with Locke’s prescription for the role of government? Why or why not?
Do you agree with John Locke’s description of the State of Nature? Why or why not?
Does a Social Contract determine what is Just?
Is the Veil of Ignorance a good tool to help us rationally determine Human Rights?
Would you adopt Rawls’ two principles in order to form the most Just society?
Does Rawls overcome the problems with the State of Nature using his Veil of Ignorance?
What sort of principles, rules, laws, etc. would you want to see in a Social Contract created behind the Veil of Ignorance? Would others agree to them?
Does Marx’s “Dialectical Materialism” accurately describe the process of history?
Does Marx’s description of the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat class distinction accurately describe our current system of economics?
Should the Proletariat form labor unions in order to better themselves economically?
Will the Capitalist mode of production lead to its own destruction?
Is a Just society one where production benefits everyone?
Has Capitalism outlived its usefulness as a system for freedom?
Would we be more free without a State?
Do we need to take direct action in order to bring about a more free society?
Is the State necessary to our freedom?
What do you think about Mussolini’s conception of Fascism? Does it seem like a good way of organizing ourselves? Why or why not?
Are there any Fascistic organizations that are around today? What about in your home country?
How different is Mussolini’s conception of fascism from the typical way we use the word “fascist” or “fascism”?
What leads to Mussolini’s Fascism? That is to say, why would it arise in the first place? What is it responding to?
Is Eco’s description of Fascism as a potential set of social psychological traits accurate?
Should we be guard ourselves against Eco’s Ur-Fascist traits? How?
Have any of Eco’s traits begun to ‘coagulate’ in your home country?
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