Phil 205 S14: Essay Three Prompt

General Instructions: Your assignment is to write a 4-6 page paper on the following topic. The paper should be typed, double-spaced in a 12 point legible font. It is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, April 10.

Prompt: For this paper you will pick a controversial issue and then write a paper defending your stance on that issue. Sample issues might include: drug legalization, gun control, same-sex marriage, global warming, abortion, debt relief. The opening sections of Chapter 4 in Writing Philosophy provide excellent information on how to write this paper. In addition, for this paper you will need to include at least two non-Wikipedia sources, one of which must be a non-internet source.

A successful paper will do the following:
  1. An introduction in which you lay out the issue and provide a thesis. It should BRIEFLY introduce the issue at hand, providing some basic understanding of the topic. The thesis statement of your paper should appear here. The thesis should take a stand on the issue in question. Also, your thesis should provide a “map” or outline of the rest of your paper. Oftentimes, it is best to leave the writing of your introduction for last. As you begin to draft your paper, you may not always know exactly where it will end up. Allowing this process to occur without worrying about being consistent with your introduction will help your ideas flow more readily and consistently.            
  2. Present an argument in support of the thesis statement. Here you should explain the reasons that support your thesis statement. 
  3. Consider objections to the argument you have articulated. How might someone disagree with your thesis? What are the weak points in your argument? How might these be corrected?
  4. A conclusion in which you summarize the results of the paper and draw any general conclusions we can take from the issues being discussed.
Your paper will be graded on content as well as on clarity/style and mechanics.

Clarity/Style: Your paper should be written such that a person who is entirely unfamiliar with the subject could understand it and follow it with relative ease. This means that you avoid excessively long sentences and you keep it simple. Once again, imagine that you are writing your paper to a reasonably intelligent friend who is interested in what you have to say but is unfamiliar with the subject. Also, your paper should not digress from your thesis. This means that your paper constantly keeps its objective in sight and does not change the subject or veer off course.

Mechanics: “Mechanics” here refers to the presentation of your paper as well as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper citation. Paper should be double-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins. Paper should be AT LEAST 3-4 pages, but more appropriately, you should accomplish your objective. Further, all of your citations should be done properly according to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). If you are unfamiliar with these methods of citation, please consult Writing Philosophy, Appendix B.