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Phil 07 Final Paper Instructions
1,250 – 1,350
12 point font, double spaced, 1” margins
Select a format of your choice (MLA, APA, Chicago); citations should be done in this format, including a “works cited” page or bibliography
Assignment description, specifications, and requirements for final essay:
Your final essay will be an argumentative essay with a research component. You will select one of the suggested topics or select your own topic and refine the topic to a specific ethical ISSUE by finding a news article. The news article should discuss a specific (the more specific the better), and contemporary issue (within the last 10 years).
Here I offer here a general description of the essay’s components:
The essay is a position paper; you are not only exploring an issue, but you should also take a position on the topic. This may take the form of an interpretation (making a claim about the best way to understand the issue, in contrast to other interpretations you’ve read about) OR an argument as to what the best response to the issue is.
The essay has a research component. You are required to read at least 2 outside sources on your chosen topic, 1 of which must be the news article introducing your ISSUE. You are more than welcome to find more than 2 sources.
The essay will be written at the end of the term, with everything you’ve learned in the course behind you as supporting material. You must explicitly integrate at least 2 of our readings from throughout the quarter into your paper. This may take the form of a quote and/or explaining a relevant concept or theory. Whether the course readings play a larger or smaller role in your paper will depend on the topic you select and the angle you take on it.
In total, at least 4 sources are required – 2 outside sources (1 of which is your news article) and 2 class readings.
Possible topics (NOTE: Topics are not issues. Topics are broader than issues. An issue is more specific, concrete, and is taking place in the world (this is why you need a news article to find the issue)):
The “Border Wall”
Child Detention Centers
Critical Race Theory
Grading Breakdown for Final Essay – This paper will be worth 20% of your grade. The breakdown is as follows:
4% – Introduction
4% – Clearly and accurately explaining the issue at hand
4% – Clearly and accurately explaining the 2 class readings
4% – Forcefully arguing for your thesis with examples, anecdotes, evidence, data, and arguments
4% – Considering a strong objection and adequately replying to it
Guiding Questions for your Introduction – Ask yourself these questions while writing your introduction to make sure you start off your essay right.
Is the specific issue I am tackling clearly stated in the introductory paragraph?
Is my issue a moral issue, in which there is controversy on how to proceed or who to hold responsible?
Do I have a roadmap in the introductory paragraph?
Does my roadmap state which authors/ideas I will consider, when I will consider them, and preview the objection I will consider?
Do I have a clear and explicit thesis in my introduction?