Assignment 1 Topic Prompt
Looking at divergent material from the readings and films, establish why it is difficult for an individual to disobey an authority figure or to not comply with the morality/decisions of a group or a society.
Organization and Form
Within this course, I will refer to your essays as part 1 and part 2. To start, part 1 is not an academic essay. It is more akin to a syllogism, one you have read about in the essay “What Is an Argument?”, in that you will have premises of support that lead to a conclusion. This is an effective, concise method of developing an argument, so this is the form I will have you use for your part 1. Part 2 is an academic essay. So, how are part 1 and part 2 linked? Your thesis (conclusion in syllogistic terms) is the same in part 1 and part 2, as are your support points. In part 2, you will build upon your part 1 with additional support points, an introduction, and a conclusion paragraph.
Review lecture 5 for more about the organization and form of part 1.
Within part 1, you can include one additional outside source, but the rest of your support needs to come from the assigned sources. If you include an additional source, connect it to an idea that comes from the required sources.
Length: Part 1 is 2-2.5 pages and single-spaced.
Submission: Submit Part 1 to Essay 1 Assignment Submission link as an attachment (file formats are: .rtf, .doc, .docx, or .odt only). See calendar for due date and time.
Be The Hundredth Monkey
Critical Thinking Reader
‘(READINGS)”- “Group Minds”-Doris Lessing
“The Perils of Obedience” -Stanley Milgram
Lecture: Format and Design of Part 1, Essay 1
Organization and Form
Within this course, I will refer to your essays as part 1 and part 2. To start, part 1 is not an academic essay. It is more akin to a syllogism, one you have read about in the essay “What Is an Argument?”, and should review again to see how the premises and conclusion are defined (see section in that essay on the Standard Argument). The Standard Argument (syllogism) is an effective, concise method of developing an argument, so this is the form I will have you use for your part 1. But realize that you are producing paragraphs, and not one-liners (e.g., premises or topic sentences) when developing your support points.
Each point of support should contain a clear argument that connects to the Conclusion (your topic prompt response), be more developed than 5 sentences, and contain a scene or text-based reference/citation (consider that this is a combination of the Standard Argument from the essay “What Is an Argument?” and the model paragraph structure of the PIE Paragraph.) Stronger paragraphs will contain citations from multiple sources.
Once you have written a reasonably developed draft, begin to consider how to improve it through revision. Then, review for proofreading errors and correct citations. And last, review for synthesis of sources within paragraphs – remember, I’m looking for you to show depth of development through synthesis from a variety of different sources (aim for between 5-7 total).
Part 1 should have the following formatting:
Additional Information if the above is not clear:
Let’s consider that part 1 is written not so much as an outline for a paper, but as a reduced, well-developed, and concise version of your paper, one that contains 3-4 of your best points of support or a combination of those best points and a rebuttal to the strongest opposition of your position. These supporting points should not be your loose notes or bullet points; they should be able to stand on their own as well-developed ideas containing citations and a clear connection to your conclusion (thesis).
Given the above explanation and the topic prompt directions, 1-2 lined points of support will not satisfy the directions. And so, with part 1, you will want to work on writing and reviewing your work to develop it to sufficient detail. Before reading further, please review the Assignment Topic Prompt, the lectures for this unit, and the the concept and vocabulary of “What Is an Argument?”.
When problems do arise in papers, it usually has to do with the connection between the conclusion and the support. Below are some of the typical comments that I’ve made:
“How does this material support your conclusion? Making that connection explicit through explanation and citation is necessary for this point to work.”
“This point seems to be supporting a different conclusion (thesis). It needs to be revised to show the connection to your conclusion or deleted.”
Reviewing “What Is An Argument?”, have you should consider which logical principles could be used to support or refute the point you have developed?
Part 2 is an academic essay. So, how are part 1 and part 2 linked? Your thesis (conclusion in syllogistic terms) is the same in part 1 and part 2, as are your support points. In part 2, you will build upon your part 1 with additional support points, an introduction, and a conclusion paragraph. (Not part of essay 1 assignment, but we will use it in Essay Assignment 2).
Sometimes writers will make an outline/part 1 beforehand, while others will freewrite and draft their part 2 first and then go back and write their Part 1. If you are more like this, then let’s consider a review strategy for developing a good Part 2 below.
“Tell em what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve told them.”
The above is an old advertising adage that is applicable to writing, one that can help with developing your part 2 because you may come up with the body points/themes/approaches before the intro/conclusion and before you develop your part 1.
Once you have your themes/points, you should ask yourself: What does the reader need to know in the introductory section to understand why I’m writing what I’m writing? If we were to take the body paragraph/points from essay 1 as an example, then the part 2 introduction should prepare the reader for the themes of obedience and authority.
Rhetoric in the Paper
For the purposes of this class I refer to rhetoric as the possibilities of support when making your point, as in: pathos, logos, ethos. Here are some common ways to think about your information by looking to see if you have used:
quotes/citations of an authority figure in his/her field
an emotional appeal/personal experience
reasoned/explained a point
citations from the assigned course material
When considering your paper, one thing that I look for is if you are able to balance your rhetoric well, drawing on divergent sources in order to make a compelling argument overall. Essentially, how well can you synthesize, balance ethos, logos, pathos, and answer the topic prompt.
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