1. Choose a contemporary issue from the media which you will explain to provide context for the paper.
2. Choose two commentators on the above issue who provide written opposing views and arguments that you will analyze and to which you will respond.
3. Complete a Close Analysis for each of the commentaries you have chosen by the required due date and time.
4. Your paper must accomplish two objectives:
A. present, analyze, and critically evaluate opposing views and arguments on the issue using the logical principles and methods of critical thinking discussed this semester. That is, describe the views of the commentators you have chosen concerning the issue in question. Explain the arguments for these views provided by each. A thorough analysis will also include some explanation of the consequences of holding this position. Remember to apply the principle of charity–give the argument the most positive portrayal possible!
B. Give your view on this issue, using logical principles and methods of critical thinking to explain your argument for this position. Show in your argument how your view is consistent or inconsistent with the views of the two commentators whose views you analyzed. Avoid all of the formal and informal fallacies discussed in class and the text. Remember we evaluate an argument based on its validity and the truth of its premises.
5. Complete an Outline for the paper by the required due date and time.
6. This paper should be written for someone who is intelligent, but uninformed about philosophy. Make your explanations for your roommate or someone else who hasn’t studied ethics.
7. The paper should be no more than six pages (8.5 x 11–letter) in length (if you go longer, say all the important things in the first six pages because I won’t read past page six). The paper should be typed or keyed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, left-justification only and 10-point font (arial, courier, or times new roman).
8. Don’t forget to use proper footnotes and citations. Remember this is a ‘college-level paper.’
9. Grading Schedule:
Close Analysis Paper (see syllabus schedule or course calendar for the exact due date and time and further instructions):
The close analysis of the commentary from your first editorialist.
The close analysis of the commentary from your second editorialist.
A brief account of the issue.
= up to 50 pts.
Final draft of outline (see syllabus schedule or course calendar for the exact due date and time and further instructions). This outline will be graded on its usefulness in fulfilling the parameters of the term paper, its attention to detail and organization, and the accuracy of its content. An outline should be a road map to a successful paper and that is what I’m looking for. We will discuss this further (see the “outline form” instructions) and you should also contact me with any further questions.
= up to 50 pts.
Final draft of paper (see syllabus schedule or course calendar for the exact due date and time and further instructions). No late papers accepted!
= up to 100 pts.
Total points possible for term paper = 200 pts.
10. My first grade criterion for any writing is whether you fulfilled the assignment as given; therefore, you should ask for further clarification for any assignment when necessary. After I have determined that the assignment is minimally satisfied I look for clear and concise prose. Clarity is the result of good spelling, grammar, mechanics, and reason in as few words as possible. You should demand clear expectations from me concerning any assignment and I will do all that I can to meet your demands.