Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Assignments

For Wednesday, Sept 25:
1. Summary or outline of the Introduction and Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Harvard Writing Book.
2. An explanatory essay: 
How do the different moral theories in the Rachels chapter  (“A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy”) (online on the blog) explain why the wrong actions (as a group, that we developed in class: you will likely want to mention some items from that last) below are wrong and the not wrong actions are not wrong? Write a short essay (3-4 pages) that explains each theory’s answer(s), starting with the theories at the end of the chapter (e.g., Kant and utilitarianism) and working towards the theories at the beginning. Also briefly discuss the African moral theories: links for these are below. For each theory from Rachels, you should provide a properly cited quote from Rachels to state and explain the theory. Focus on Kant, utilitarianism and the social contract theory. 

Your paper will likely have main claims like this: "According to this theory…. , these actions are wrong because …."

Your paper should have a short introduction that explains what you will do in the paper. It sound begin like this:

"In this paper, I will discuss ______. I will ___[tell the reader what you will do in the paper]___: "

Since this is not an argumentative paper, your paper doesn't have a thesis. Your goal is to just accurately explain the theories. 

Each paragraph should focus on one, and only one, topic. 

To ensure that your paper is formatted properly, you should use the paper template here:

P.S. Here is an essay evaluation sheet, most of which would be helpful; the only part that isn't relevant here is the 'thesis' part, since this assignment above doesn't have a thesis.

Essay Evaluation Sheet
Here are some concerns for argumentative essays. How well does your essay address them? See also "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper 
1.      Introduction: do you have an introduction that explains the topic(s) you will address, or the question(s) you will answer?
2.       Thesis: does your paper have a thesis, that is, a conclusion that you try to support?
3.       Arguments: does your paper give an explicit argument or arguments in support of your conclusion?
a.       Do you explicitly state your premises, and why they should be accepted?
b.      Do you explicitly explain how your premises lead to your conclusions?
4.       Do you respond to any objections or counterarguments? Do you respond to questions that readers might have about your arguments?
5.       Does your paper have a conclusion that reviews what you discussed and what you argued for?
6.       Organization: could your paper be outlined to show its structure? Is it well organized?
7.       Paragraphs: does each paragraph focus on one, and only one, topic?
8.       Writing: is your paper written in plain, ordinary English? Do you use ‘fancy’ words – words that people wouldn’t use in ordinary conversation – only if it is absolutely necessary?
9.       Are there any grammatical and spelling errors?
10.   Are your sentences short and clear? Did you look closely at each sentence to ensure it makes sense?
11.   Did you proofread?
12.   Did you get someone else to read your paper and give you helpful feedback for revision?
13.   Did you revise your paper?
This is available here:

For Monday, Sept 30:
1. Create a detailed study guide covering all material -- all readings and discussion - covered up to that day. All concepts, theories, definitions, cases / examples, arguments stated in logically valid form, responses to objections, responses to those objections. You are encouraged to work on this project in groups, but you must submit your own study guide.

For Wednesday, October 2 :
Quiz 1, covering all material thus far. Usually short answer and fill in the blank. No multiple choice. You will be asked to show that you know and understand the cases, theories and arguments; you will not be asked for your your personal opinions about any of the issues or arguments on this quiz.

No comments: