Phil 104B S20: Essay Prompt

Your assignment is to write a 3-5 page paper in which you choose one of the following concepts and trace its develop over the time periods we have studied. You should begin by selecting one of the following concepts:
  1. Substance
  2. Self
  3. Freedom
  4. Writer's Choice: you may select a different concept, but you should get approval from me first. 
Once you select your concept you should explain how three different philosophers we studied this semester understand that concept. A successful essay will do the following:
  1. Contain an introduction that introduces the issue and provides a well-articulated thesis statement that explains what the paper is about and takes a clear stand on the issues under discussion. A good thesis should serve as a "mini-outline" of the paper explaining what exactly you will explore over the course of the essay.
  2. Contain a paragraph devoted to each of the three philosophers you will be writing about. These should be philosophers that we explored in class. 
  3. Contain a paragraph or two that compares and contrasts these three approaches.  
  4. A concluding paragraph with your own analysis of the issue your own views on the issues that have been discussed.
  5. Properly cite (using MLA or CMS) all sources used in the paper.
Your paper should be typed, double-spaced and written in 10-12 point legible font. The final draft is due on Thursday, May 21. In addition to the final draft, there are a few pre-writing assignments that must be completed: 
  • You will need to email me a copy of your thesis statement statement by Thursday, May 7
  • You will need to bring electronic copies of a rough draft of your paper to class on Thursday, May 14 for in-class peer editing. Although this rough draft will not be graded, failure to bring a rough draft to class will result in an F on this assignment.
Grading Criteria for Essays: The goal for the student is to provide evidence that s/he has read and considered the course material and is able to write intelligibly about the concepts covered therein. You want to identify the prompt to which you are responding and provide evidence that you have understood the material. 

To earn an A, your responses provide evidence of the ‘B’ standards below, plus that you have really thought about the concepts covered in the reading and lectures: 
  • You use very original examples to illustrate the concepts of the reading. 
  • You apply very specific events or discussions from the reading to some new situation. 
  • Your writing is excellent and/or your style is very interesting 
To earn a B or higher, your responses provide evidence of your having read and comprehended the material. In addition to the ‘C’ standards below: 
  • You apply ideas from the reading to correspondent ideas presented in the classroom. 
  • You use examples from the lectures to illustrate the concepts in the reading. 
To earn a C or higher, your responses provide evidence of your having read and comprehended the material. 
  • You answer correctly all basic questions about the main ideas and characters. 
  • You show recognition of all main ideas or characters’ names and their respective associations. 
  • You correctly identify all concepts introduced or reviewed in the reading. 
  • You correctly identify and apply all terms from the reading and lectures. 
  • Your writing is relatively free from spelling and grammatical errors. 
  • You use examples from the reading or lectures to illustrate your answers. 
To earn a D or higher, your responses provide some evidence of your having read, thought about, and comprehended the material: 
  • You answer correctly some but not all basic questions about the main ideas. 
  • You show some recognition of main ideas or characters’ names. 
  • You correctly identify some but not all concepts introduced or reviewed in the reading and lectures. 
  • You correctly identify and apply some but not all terms introduced or reviewed in the reading and lectures. 
To earn an F, you provide hardly any or no evidence of having read, considered, and comprehended the material.