Due Date: Saturday, February 13 at 12:00 noon
This assignment should be submitted to the proper TurnItIn Drop Box by 12:00 NOON on the due date listed here. The submission will be graded according to the rubric appearing above, and should be thoroughly proofread and properly cited. Limit your response to no more than 1,500 words (not including citations). Remember that all assignments can be turned in early for evaluation, and you will receive feedback within 48 hours.
For this assignment, you will need to refer back to the Ethical Intuitions Survey from the first quiz of the term. Review the statements for items 8-15 (I’ve attached a copy to these instructions), and base the thesis of your essay on one of these statements. Your essay should contain four sections.
1. Introduction & Narration. First, clearly introduce your topic and state your thesis, defining any key terms. If your thesis is complete agreement with one of the statements from the survey, then you may wish to simply quote & cite that statement as your thesis. If, however, you wish to defend any position other than complete agreement with a statement from the survey, then you will need to write your own, clear thesis statement on the same TOPIC as the survey item, but making it clear what position on that topic YOU support. Your thesis must be a MORAL POSITION on the same GENERAL TOPIC as one of the items 8-15 from the Ethical Intuitions Survey, but it need not be one of the specific positions written on the Survey itself. There is no right or wrong answer here, and I am not concerned with whether or not I agree with your position on the statement or your reasons for choosing it. I just want you to clearly describe what your position is regarding one of those same topics appearing on the Survey. Do bear in mind that the position you state here is the one you must ultimately give the most support in your essay. However, if, after writing your essay, you think your best arguments ended up supporting a different thesis, then CHANGE YOUR THESIS to the one you actually ended up supporting in your essay.
2. Affirmation/Argumentation. This is where you provide an argument in defense of the thesis you described in the previous section. Imagine a reader who has no opinion one way or the other on the statement you chose, and try to use logical argumentation to rationally convince them that your position is the one they should adopt. That is, tell me WHY you have the position you do on this statement, and why I, the reader, should adopt the same position, using the argumentation skills we have discussed in class. Make sure that your argument includes both moral principles and factual claims in support of the conclusion you described in the previous section. I don’t expect you to do any outside research for this essay, but if you do use any outside sources at all, make sure you cite them properly. Above all, avoid making any fallacious arguments. The important part here is to formulate at least one clear, logical argument in defense of your thesis.
3. Refutation/Counterargumentation. This is where you provide a counterargument to the argument you just provided. That is, put yourself in the shoes of someone who disagrees with your position on the topic, and thinks some other position is better. Describe their position and provide least one good argument they might give in defense of that position, OR describe at least one problem or objection such a person might give to the argument you gave previously. Make sure that this counterargument also uses both moral principles and factual claims in support of a position that contradicts your own. Once again, cite any sources you use, avoid fallacious arguments, and focus on clear, logical argumentation. At this point, you should have presented two equally good, but contradictory arguments on the issue, leaving your reader on the fence as to which is the better position to have. If you have chosen a thesis that you feel VERY strongly about, you may find this to be the most challenging portion of the essay. As such, you might want to consider an issue you have a less committed position on, as that will make it easier to fairly present different positions on the issue, as this assignment requires.
4. Resolution/Conclusion. By now you have presented and defended both your position AND an opposing position on the core issue, and must now convince the reader that YOUR position (the one stated in your thesis) is the better of the two. To do this, you must respond to the counterarguments raised in the previous section. You can do this in several ways:
(A) You might refute the counterarguments by highlighting a problem, flaw, or objection to the arguments presented in the Refutation section; or
(B) You might argue for your initial thesis a second time, providing NEW arguments you had not already raised in the Affirmation section.
You might also do both of these, or do each one more than once. More arguments is generally better than fewer arguments. Whichever strategy you choose, this will require additional arguments or counterarguments, evaluated according to the same standards as the previous two. Utilize both moral and factual premises, avoid fallacies, cite any sources you use, and argue clear and logically.
After completing your essay, re-read these instructions, and make sure you have completed ALL FOUR SECTIONS as instructed, doing everything you were asked to do in each. Some sections might only be a sentence or two long, whereas others will require at least a paragraph. The key is not to write a certain number of words or pages, but rather to COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENT AS INSTRUCTED. Also, DO NOT FORGET TO CITE YOUR SOURCES. While it is possible to sit down with the Ethical Intuitions Survey and write this entire essay using no other resources, many of your will choose not to do that. If you use any other sources to help you, it is absolutely imperative that you cite them properly, using both a works cited/references page AND in-text citations of some kind, as you were taught in ENC 1101.
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