Assignment: Thomas Hobbes: Core Text Reader (pp. 124-44) .
Man joins the commonwealth for security
(one reason required)
The structure of the dialectical essays is three paragraphs. For the first paragraph, you are to provide at least one argument, with evidence, to support the thesis regardless of whether you actually believe the thesis. The second paragraph is for you to provide objections to the first paragraph. Remember the objections are not to demonstrate that the thesis is false but rather that the arguments and evidence supporting the thesis is false. The third paragraph is a response to the objections. Do not recite the same arguments from the first paragraph: you should response to the specific objections given in the second paragraph. You do not necessarily need to present new arguments for the thesis here, as your primary task is to criticize the refutations made in the second paragraph.
Schematically, the dialectical essays should be as follows:
Argument A with Evidence
Refutation of Argument A with Evidence
Response to Refutation A with Evidence
All essays should be formatted in 12 Font Times New Roman and submitted in Microsoft Word.
A dialectical essay example is below for you to use as a model.
Readings: Frederick Douglas: Core Text Reader (pp. 307-11)
Question: The Negro race is equal to white Americans.
The Negro race is equal to white Americans. According to Frederick Douglas, Negros engage in the same type of work of that white Americans: farmers, builders, clerks, doctors, teachers, miners, etc. (310). Working in a variety of professions reveal that Negros can exercise the same skills that white Americans do.
The Negro race is not equal to white Americans. There are statutes in the South that penalize those who teach the Negro race to read and write (310). Negros consequently cannot do the same type of work as white Americans when that works requires literacy.
The Negro race could do the same work as white Americans if Negros were given their freedom, opportunity, and education, as Douglas points out (310). The laws in the South that penalize those who teach the Negro race to read and white therefore are unjust because they deny Negros the freedom and chance to do the same work as white Americans. The natural right to freedom is for all people, including the Negro race. For the United States to fulfill its promises in the Declaration of Independence, the Negro race should be considered equal to white Americans.
The evaluation of the dialectical essays is below.
When grading essays, I evaluate the words on the page before me and don’t factor in “improvement” or “effort.” The effort you put into the examination will most certainly be evident in the paper you produce. Below are the standards to which papers will be held in this class.
Your answer should demonstrate the following features:
Knowledge: show that you understand what the passage means and demonstrate two arguments, rebuttals, and counter-rebuttals with evidence. This may include references to the same text or another text. This is worth 3 points.
Evidence: provide supporting evidence for the ideas stated. This is worth 3 points.
Citation: provide proper citation of the sources of your ideas. This is worth 2 points.
Style, Grammar, and Syntax: sentences must follow the rules of style, grammar, and syntax. This is worth 2 points.
A-range assignment displays exceptional grace and demonstrates a high degree of mastery over the fundamentals of academic writing: it establishes and advances a clear thesis; employs a logical and progressive structure; analyzes evidence insightfully and in depth; cites from the sources; and is written in a clear, sophisticated style.
B-range assignment resembles an A-range examination in some ways, but may exhibit a vague or inconsistently argued thesis; employ a generally logical but somewhat disorganized or undeveloped structure; include well-chosen but sometimes unanalyzed and undigested evidence; use sources in limited fashion; or be written in an unsophisticated or grammatically problematic style.
C-range assignment resembles a B-range examination in some ways, but may also feature a confusing, simple, or descriptive thesis; lack a coherent structure; fail to present enough evidence, or present evidence that is insufficiently analyzed; no sources and be written in a generally unclear, simplistic, or technically flawed style.
D assignment resembles a C-range examination but may include a purely descriptive or obvious thesis; display an unfocused, confusing, or rambling structure; and draw on little analyzed evidence and sources.
F assignment are similar to a D examination but is significantly shorter than the assigned length and addresses the assignment superficially.
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