The purpose of this assignment is simply to present a detailed elaboration of an author’s view; or to contrast two competing authors’ views; or to develop your reaction to an author’s view; or to relate an outside source (see below) to one of the topics under consideration. The content can be culled from any of the readings on the syllabus. This is not intended as a “term paper” or “research paper”. It can be adequately completed simply from the textual materials and class discussions.
The most basic form of this assignment would be to simply provide a detailed elaboration of an author’s position by reference to the explicit questions below. Or you can make the major point of emphasis a critique of one of the arguments/views A distinct option would be that you could present your own thinking on the subject (After presenting a view- do you think it withstands rational scrutiny? Why/why not?) Obviously elaborating your own view involves a bit more creativity and thinking on your part but such attempts at original thinking are always encouraged (and appreciated). Your position could be detailing why you think someone’s view is just wrong; you might be in agreement with an author (in whole or in part), or you might be vacillating between two competing views.
On this assignment I would expect any positions being discussed to be adequately explained and detailed. To do this you can use quotes, but do so sparingly (and remember an un-attributed quote is technically plagiarized) and always explain their use. (I.e. explain exactly what is being said and how it fits into your overall presentation.)You should utilize examples to explicate any lines of reasoning or concepts as necessary. Further, since this is meant as a written assignment, the organization of the ideas you present should also be consideration.If you wish you can go to an outside source for a competing or critical view of the topic. If you’re doing this (outside material) you need to provide me in advance with the title/author/web-address etc. (I mean this literally—any outside material requires approval) Also, any outside source would need to be cited it in your essay. (An obvious note about the internet—approach the internet as a source w/ some caution-try to stick with known, legitimate sources…Also, plagiarism is a bad thing, and will result in an F for this assignment. (If you’re unsure as to what constitutes plagiarism, consult the student catalogue. Remember—a quote not cited is technically plagiarized, as is using the ideas of others without attribution, etc.)
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