Responding Critically

Essay 1 “Responding Critically” Instructions
Eng. 102- Hunter
Essay #1 — Responding Critically to an Issue
Due Date: Thesis & outline: _______
1st Draft: ___________
Final Draft: ___________SEE SYLLABUS FOR DUE DATES
Length: Three typed pages minimum
Four typed pages maximum
Required: Three outside scholarly sources (online sources like,,,,, Associated or similar public sites are NOT acceptable). Dictionaries, encyclopedias of any kind (electronic or otherwise), newspapers and magazines, or the Bible are not acceptable sources. Use no more than 4 sources for this essay. One of the three required sources can be one of the articles we have discussed in this section.
*See lectures on what is and what is not a scholarly source*
Point Value: 100 Total for final draft (15 points for 1st draft)
Throughout chapters one, two, and four we have read and discussed several different aspects of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression, ranging from protecting pornography to revising the Pledge of Allegiance to hate speech on college campuses to academic freedom, to name a few. More specifically, author Charles Lawrence III and Derek Bok has presented his argument about restricting hate speech and expression on college campuses, citing the “fighting words” clause of the first amendment as support for “racially assaulting speech” and “vilifying speech” not being protected by the first amendment (just one of his support points.)
Writing Assignment: Find out if SBVC or a previous college you attended has a policy or code governing hate speech and expression on campus. If it does, critically evaluate that code in terms of your understanding of what should and should not be protected speech/expression as dictated by the first amendment. If the college has no such code, make a case for why such a policy should or should not be put in place at that college, again, based on your understanding of what the first amendment should or should not protect supported by the scholarly sources you have selected.
First: Locate the free speech policies of SBVC and SBCCD (they DO exist) so you know what they actually are and where the free speech zone is located on our campus. (These documents will count as sources as long as you include required documentation)
Next: Locate a scholarly source to help you analyze and understand the current free speech policies so you can arrive at your own point/thesis about them.
Last: Locate a scholarly source to help you support your analysis and recommendation for SBVC and SBCCD (or other college).
You may use one of the articles we have read so far as one of the three required sources if it helps support your position.
Please-no more than 4 sources total.
Using what you have learned from the first four chapters in our textbook, and after critically reading the three sources you have selected, construct a logical and cohesive argument that either supports your evaluation of the existing free speech policies OR supports your recommendation for changing the current policy.
Be sure to clearly explain your focus and clearly state your thesis in paragraph one or two. Then, fully develop the argument in support of your position. Use the source’s information to support your position. Explain terms and concepts where your readers may need clarification on information, and clearly discuss your reasons for your thesis in a flowing, logical manner. Keep in mind the page length for the essay so that you don’t try to take on too much for this essay. This should NOT be a major research paper, so please do not use more than three scholarly sources. Proofread for grammar and usage errors. Please do not simply summarize the sources or write a response to them as this will result in failing the assignment.
A minimum of three sources is required for this assignment, so in-text citations and a works cited page in correct MLA format are required for both first and final drafts.
Checklist for constructing a critical response paper:
* A clear focus and thesis (claim being asserted)
* A fair and reasonable tone (modal qualifiers)
* Clearly defined terms and concepts
* Cohesive, well developed paragraphs & transitions
* In-text citations & works cited page in correct MLA format
* Few grammar, punctuation, usage errors
* Evidence (facts & convincing examples) in support of your claim (grounds, warrants, backing) & appropriate use of sources

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