Long Paper Guidelines
Reason and Revelation
1. Carefully read the Ibn Tufayl’s philosophical masterpiece Hayy ibn Yaqzan.
2. After you have read this work, write an essay which addresses the following
question: What is Ibn Tufayl’s main point in telling this story?
3. Your paper should be based solely upon Hayy ibn Yaqzan. The only other
citations that you may give in addition to this work are the translator’s
introduction to the book, his notes to this introduction, and his notes to the
translation. If you draw upon my lectures, you do not have to cite them.
4. A major feature of the paper will be to demonstrate that you have understood the
text and its underlying arguments correctly. Thus, when presenting Ibn Tufayl’s
position on any given issue, it is best to cite him directly, thereby weaving key
passages from his work into the analytic fabric of your essay.
Essays are graded out of 40, and are worth 40% of the total course mark. Each essay will
be evaluated in terms of (1) the quality of its language, including grammar, spelling, and
style; (2) the clarity of its thesis, (3) the coherence of its argument(s), (4) evidence of
original research and its careful integration into the fabric of the essay; and (5) faithful
adherence to the formatting guidelines below.
The paper must have a clear thesis which is defended consistently throughout. An essay
without a thesis cannot receive more than a C+. A thesis essentially summarizes, in one
or several sentences, the entire point of your essay. It is simply not enough to say “This
essay is going to talk about x, y, and z”; you must be more specific than that. A good
thesis should be concise and straightforward, and must endeavour to prove a point: “In
this essay, it shall be demonstrated that, because of x, y and z obtain.” You may not use
the wording of this example in your essay.
Essays are due at 8:00 am via email submission on November 26th, 2020.
Essays not handed in on the due date will receive a mark of zero. Absolutely no
exceptions will be made to this rule. Papers submitted late due to a medical or other
compassionate reason must be accompanied by relevant documentation (i.e., a medical
certificate, etc.). Plagiarized essays will be assigned a zero, and the issue will be taken up
with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
1. Essays are to be ten full pages in length (excluding the title page and
bibliography), double spaced, and written in Times New Roman font (size
2. Diction is to be formal, and essays are to be written in Canadian English.
Grammar, syntax, spelling, and style must be impeccable.
3. All paragraphs—except the first paragraph of the essay—must be indented. Every
paragraph—including isolated quotations and footnotes—must be justified.
4. Use footnotes as opposed to endnotes and/or internal citations. Footnotes are to be
single spaced and written in Times New Roman font (size ten). A bibliography
must be appended to the essay. The method of citation must follow the rules laid
out in the Chicago Manual of Style.
6. Do not put quotations in italics, bold, or a combination of the two. Sentences
which are more than three lines long are to be isolated, single spaced, and reduced
to font size eleven with their margins indented to one inch on both the right and
7. Essays must have a title page. All pages—excluding the title page and
bibliography—are to be numbered at the bottom right corner of the page.
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