By this date, we will have covered a significant number of moral problems. Choose one of the essays that you feel you can best explain (you don’t have to agree with it). Obviously, do not use the same essay that you wrote on for the mid-term. Then,
1) Summarize the author’s argument. For example,
2) Explain why or why not the argument works (i.e. whether or not the argument is sound). You will be graded on your ability to explain and then evaluate the argument based on careful reasoning.
Some essays have one argument (e.g. the Davis essay on paying college athletes), some essays have numerous arguments (e.g. the essays on legalization of drugs); only choose one issue for your essay, as it is short. Imagine you are explaining the issue to a stranger from another culture that doesn’t understand the controversy. This means you cannot resort to religion, faith, or personal experiences to make your argument. You can only resort to reason.
Direct your response to the issue at hand; do not waste essay space on summary or exposition. Show me what you have learned from our discussions and readings. Remember, I am not grading you on your opinion: I am grading you on your ability to explain and analyze an argument.
Your notes, textbook, and readings are all welcome sources. Be sure to cite quotes if used (and use them sparingly). I highly recommend typing your response into a word processing program and saving regularly before pasting into Canvas.
If you cut and paste something that is not yours, I will figure it out. Plagiarism of any kind results in an automatic zero.
Keep your responses between 300-350 words (about one page).
I find that my favorite topics to teach are ones I’ve changed my mind about.
Choose an essay that changed your mind about an issue. If you did not change your mind about anything (which would raise my eyebrows), pick an argument made that you had not thought of before. Do not choose the same issue that you use in your other exam responses.
In your essay, explain what your previous argument or perspective was, and how this new argument caused you to question yourself and your position.