Philosophy Question

FINAL ESSAY ASSIGNMENTS Minimum Requirements The following are the minimum requirements for successful completion of the final essay. As minimum requirements, these are the requirements that students must meet at minimum for a successful grade. Page length: The final essay must be no less than four full pages long. Four pages is the minimum length for the essay: students may feel free to go beyond four pages if necessary. The page length does not include a title or cover page (if it is included), nor does it include the works cited page. Formatting: The final essay must be typed, double-spaced, and use 1-inch margins all around and 12-point font. Acceptable fonts include Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Comic Sans, and any other sans-serif font. The final essay must be left aligned and use the default tab stops. Title page and page numbers are optional. Works Cited: The final essay must cite no less than four works assigned in the course and no less than two works from outside of the course. Students may cite personal communications and their own experience in the essay provided that they analyze their experience through the tools and concepts of the course. Required Citation Style: Essays must use an approved citation format. The following is the citation for these guidelines as if they were books in all three approved citation styles: This is Chicago Style. Note that it has the location and the publisher. Flowers, Johnathan C. Final Essay Guidelines. Northridge: California State University Department of Philosophy, 2024. The following is the citation for these guidelines as if they were a book in MLA Style. Note, the MLA style has the publisher and not the place of publication: Flowers, Johnathan. Final Essay Guidelines. California State university Department of Philosophy, 2024. The following is the citation of these guidelines as if they were a book in APA Style. Note, the APA style has the last name, first and middle initial, the date, and the publisher and not the place of publication: Flowers, J. C. (2024). Final Essay Guidelines. California State University Department of Philosophy. File Format: Essays must be submitted to Canvas in .doc, .docx, pages format or in .pdf format. Essays submitted as google drive links or as .txt files will not be accepted. Essays must be submitted to the appropriate submission box. Assessment of Final Essays In general, the following criteria apply for each assignment. Grade A level work Outstanding Quality B level work High Quality C level work Adequate D level work Unsatisfactory Assessment Criteria All aspects of the assignment are responded to in a cogent, organized, and cohesive manner. Well-chosen, supportive examples and persuasive reasoning are utilized. There is an introduction, conclusion, and transition between sections. The mechanics of the paper are excellent – there are very few grammatical or spelling errors. The paper has a properly formatted works cited page The paper is handed in on time. Most of the aspects of the assignment are covered in an adequate and organized manner. Supportive examples are given, and arguments are organized and sensible. There is a clear structure to the paper. The mechanics of the paper are good – there are some minor grammatical and/or spelling errors, but these do not detract substantially from the content of the paper. The paper has a properly formatted works cited page. The paper is handed in on time, unless an extension is granted. The author does address the main aspects of the assignment, although some are not covered thoroughly. Examples are given, but not developed fully. Definitions are not provided or not fully developed. The paper lacks a clear organizational structure, a central thesis, or does not conclude satisfactorily. The mechanics of the paper are poor. The works cited page is improperly formatted or citations are absent There are a number of grammatical and/or spelling errors. The paper may be late. The paper shows serious weaknesses. The assignment is not addressed and/or the response is incoherent. No examples are given. No definitions are provided. There is little obvious structure to the paper and the paper lacks both a central thesis and a satisfactory conclusion. The mechanics of the paper are abysmal. There are frequent grammatical and spelling errors. The paper lacks a works cited page or does not cite any sources The paper may be late. Your essay will be assessed according to the following rubric: 1. Present a clear introduction/ thesis (10%) • Essay has a clear introduction; it explains the question and frames the problem • There is a clear thesis/ central argument for the essay • Briefly outlines how the essay will be organized; outlines the argument • You will get these points by turning in your abstract with whatever revisions are recommended. 2. Develop a clear argument (20%) • Essay has a clear organization • It develops individual themes or points (makes an argument, not states a point) • Each point or assertion is supported by textual evidence and/or argumentation • Essay links themes or points together to create progressing argument 3. Carefully interpret and analyze course readings (50%) Interprets texts carefully (25%): • Interprets and makes sense of the course text(s) accurately; gets it basically right. • Interprets and makes sense of the external texts accurately. • Uses—and correctly cites— at least four texts from the course. • Uses—and correctly cites—at least two texts from outside of the course. • Explains what quotes / ideas from text mean; every quote should be explicated with reference to the argument made by the student. Analyzes the significance of texts (25%): • Analyzes the significance of quotes and ideas; ideally in novel and original ways. Where personal communication and lived experience is concerned, the essay analyzes the significance of the experience through research. • Offers critical and reasoned judgments of texts based on evidence. Where the student’s own opinion is offered, it is supported by the texts used. • Examines the presuppositions or implications of arguments from texts, rather than simply assuming the meaning is self-evident. • Brings together texts and/or themes in interesting ways rather than summarizing the texts and themes. • Anticipates objections / understands limitations of the argument essay is making 4. Presents a clear conclusion to the essay (10%) • Essay includes a conclusion that ties everything together and effectively summarizes argument • Restates thesis in novel ways and offers a resolution to the arguments made in the essay. • • Does not introduce additional arguments or thesis that require further explanation. Makes clear the significance of what has been argued throughout the essay. 5. Clearly written and grammatically correct (10%) • Clarity: Writing is clear and easy to follow. The author does not use slang or colloquialisms in their text. • Style: writing is carefully structured, with transitions between points. It is clear where each argument concludes and the next begins. • Mechanics: Grammar and punctuation are correct • Formatting: has a title, page numbers, correct margins, citations, and a works cited page. The works cite page is formatted appropriately. 6. Appropriately frames quotations and in-text citations (-1% per use) • Correctly frames quotations: does not use constructions like “this quote explains that” or “according to this quote” or “this quote basically says.” • Correctly frames in-text citations: does not use constructions like “according to the reading” or “according to the article” or “the article says.” • Correctly attributes works to authors: does not use constructions like “the author says,” or “according to the author” or “the author states.” Notes on Writing These notes on writing have been provided to address common writing errors and how to fix them. Please review these notes carefully so that you can produce the best possible essay. A few basic things • Platitudes, or clichés (like, “since the beginning of time”) or empty statements that don’t really say anything (like, “everybody knows that”), ARE BAD. • Unclear modifiers or when you use “this,” “these,” “it,” without clarifying what the modifier refers to, ARE BAD. • Sentence fragments (sentences without verbs – often the result of writing how you might speak) ARE BAD. • Sentences that do not have an object, often the result of inserting a period where a comma should be, ARE BAD. • Quotes framed with “This explains that” or “this quote means” ARE BAD. Make sure to provide an introduction and conclusion to your paper. In your introduction, give the reader a sense of your “road map,” or where you are going in the essay (e.g., To answer this question, I will explore the following three themes…”). Especially if you are exploring a concept that can be found throughout the whole text (e.g., growth) it will be important to choose 2-3 themes or areas to explore in more depth, and that will help give your paper structure. Make sure to carefully articulate concepts and claims in your essay. When you are making an argument (e.g., “growth is a poor metaphor for education”), ask yourself if you have really defended the idea, or just asserted it. When you offer your own critical interpretation of text, engage in a charitable and critical reading in which you criticize the author’s strong rather than weak points. Better essays take into account differing perspectives and ambiguity. The difference between articulating a point and simply stating the point is whether or not you reader will be left asking “why” or “how” before or after the point is stated. If you state, “growth is a poor metaphor for education,” the logical question to follow is “why is growth a poor metaphor for education” and “how is growth a poor metaphor for education?” If your essay cannot answer these questions in the paragraph where the point is presented, then you have not defended the point. Always define your terms When presenting a term or a concept, make sure you provide a definition of the term or concept and make sure that your definition is consistent throughout your paper. Do not simply “dump” quotes into your paper. Make sure they flow smoothly from the arguments before and after. Quotes should support your points, not make them for you. Here are some guidelines for when to quote and when to paraphrase: PARAPHRASE factual information from your source material (for example, “Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809” does not need to be quoted – just paraphrase the information into your own words). QUOTE if the words or language from the original text are unique and/or memorable. QUOTE if the meaning of the text will be lost if you paraphrase. And IF YOU QUOTE, frame your quote: Explain its context, and show how it supports your argument or analysis. Here is an example of a quote simply dumped into the text: Qui-Gon analyzes the opposition, heretical Sith cultists, as coming from a single source. “Darth Sidious . . . was the prime author of every heresy.” With no explanation of the information in the quote, it simply provides factual information that is somewhat unrelated to the argument. There is nothing to connect the stand-alone quote to the text that precedes it. By contrast, this example frames the direct quote with an explanation of its context: Qui-Gon analyzes the opposition, heretical Sith cultists, as coming from a single source. Specifically, Qui-Gon traced the source of all heresy to Darth Sidious the Deceiver. QuiGon suggested that “Darth Sidious . . . was the prime author of every heresy.” By explaining the context of the quote, this writer used the quote to support his argument through demonstrating his source’s connection to the argument. The writer framed the quote by providing an explanatory sentence, and then the writer included the quote within a sentence created specifically to introduce it. When framing and explaining quotes, do not begin your framing with “this quote means” or “this quote explains.” To be clear: authors explain things, quotes do not. Introducing a quote with improper framing will result in a one-point reduction in the overall grade for every instance of improper framing. Make sure your paper is not just a series of quotations. If you do use a longer quotation, make sure to spend just as many lines explicating it (explaining what it means why it is important for your question) as you do quoting it. You have to make a case for why the given quotation helps us. Another way of saying this is to make sure that your own voice and analysis can be heard throughout the paper. • • Introducing quotations with “The quote explains that,” and “this quote basically means,” and “this quote says that,” and “this quote means,” and “this quote proves,” IS BAD WRTIING. The quote does NONE OF THIS unless you do it for the quote. QUOTES ARE USELESS WITHOUT YOUR EXPLANATION. Introducing in text citations with “The reading says,” and “according to the reading,” and “the article says,” and “an article in the New York Times,” and “the book,” and “The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy says…” IS BAD WRITING. AUTHORS EXPLAIN THINGS. AUTHORS STATE THINGS. QUOTES DO NOT. Make sure you understand the context of the quote When using quotes, be sure that you understand the context of the quote. While a quote might sound nice, and it might sound like it supports your point, if you have not understood the context of the quote, then you should not use the quote. Make sure you understand the language of the quote. This is more important when using quotes with unfamiliar or technical terminology. You should always ask yourself if you understand the language of the quote that you are using. If the quote uses technical terms, you should explain the technical terms in the paragraph that follows. Do not use “etc.” ever in your essay When providing a list of examples, do not use “etc.” to indicate that there are more items to be considered. You should mention that there are other items to be considered, but you are only focusing on the specific items listed. If you are only focusing on a subset of items in a list, be sure to explain why you’re only focusing on those items. Further, be sure that you explain the list of items and their context somewhere in the essay. BAD “The rebellion suffered from several difficulties like a lack of resources, personnel, support, etc. which made their fight against the Empire more difficult.” GOOD “The rebellion suffered from several difficulties including a lack of resources, personnel, and support which made their fight against the Empire more difficult” Try to write in active voice, using first person. When you write in passive voice, you obscure authorship (or often perpetuate misleading claims to objectivity). BAD “What has been established here,” “Ren is considered to be,” GOOD “I have established that…” “According to Confucius, Ren is…” Name agents. Authors show things, not articles. BAD “The article ‘Facing the Torpedo Fish’ by Diller shows that philosophical thinking is important.” GOOD “In ‘Facing the Torpedo Fish,’ Diller shows that…” Avoid writing as if concepts and ideas are people who can do things. BAD “Democracy creates a framework for interacting with the world around us.” “Democracy promotes the common good.” Good “In democratic societies, people create frameworks for interaction.” “In democratic societies, citizens work to promote the common good.” Watch complex sentences. If your sentence runs on for more than 3 lines, you probably are trying to fit too many ideas into one sentence. In many cases, putting your ideas into several less complex sentences makes for an easier to read paragraph. If you have a list of things in a sentence, they must all be in the same grammatical form: BAD “People in democratic societies are concerned about problem solving, GOOD “People in democratic societies are concerned about solving problems, ensuring community participation, providing community participation, voice, habits, and working for the common good.” opportunities for people to voice their opinions, developing habits, and working for the common good.”

Philosophy Question

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