General instructions for papers

Your papers should be about four to six  pages in length. You may write on one of the following topics or on a topic of your own choice, provided you have my approval for it. Defend your conclusions by precise and specific reference to the text.   No secondary reading is necessary or desirable in writing these papers.

Your papers will be graded on both the logic and presentation of your argument.

You are expected to be aware of, and understand, the interpretation(s) of the texts presented in class. But you should also feel free to criticize these interpretations and present your own views. I am not concerned with what conclusion you reach. Rather, what is important is that you present a good defense of this conclusion. Your argument should be plausible and should be supported by the texts. Possible objections to your interpretation of the text should be raised and answered.

Your paper should be well organized. Briefly state your thesis at the beginning of the paper. Defend your thesis in the body of the paper by making a series of interconnected arguments that build to your conclusion. Summarize your thesis in a brief conclusion to your paper.

Each of your arguments should be made as rigorously and precisely as possible. Your sentences should be both grammatical and easily understandable.

Use standard spelling.

You may quote from a text in order to defend your argument. But your quotations should be short and to the point. In most cases, you should paraphrase a text so as to show me that you understand in your own terms. You may use any standard system of making reference to the texts. The simplest method is to give page and or paragraph numbers in parentheses. You should refer to Plato with Stephanus numbers.

Your paper should emailed to me or handed in on an IBM compatible floppy disk. It also may be handed in on paper provided it is typewritten.

Please make sure that you have a copy of your paper (or floppy disk) before handing it in. If a paper is lost, you have the responsibility to provide a new copy.

You may revise both your first or second paper. All revised papers must be handed in at the final examination.

The first paper is on Locke.

The second paper is on Marx.

For the third paper, you may write on either Darwin or Freud. Please hand the paper in at the final examination.

Paper Topics on Locke

Paper Topics on Marx

Paper Topics on Darwin

Paper Topics on Freud

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