Essay Assignment

PHI 286/ AST 286 ESSAY ASSIGNMENT

Writing is a process. By moving through the different stages of writing, and through consultations with others, students can learn effective techniques for planning and executing exemplar academic essays.  Students will not only write, but will consult with their instructor and make use of the Center for Transformative Learning in preparing their final essays. While moving through so many steps may seem onerous, the process is meant to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Refer to the course calendar online at http://www.intrepidphilosopher.com/berea/?p=208 for all assignment due dates.

The essay rubric is holistic, and the final essay grade considers the entire process of writing the essay, including how the student has responded to and incorporated feedback. Failure to complete any step of the process will result in a 20% penalty in the student’s final essay score. Any student who fails to submit a final essay will receive 5% of 100% for each step successfully completed (meaning up to 30%).

Please read the information below about your essay assignment.

  1. Your essay proposal must be e-mailed to me by November 8. USE THE SUBJECT LINE, “NATURE TOPIC PROPOSAL” in your e-mail. Because of my travel, you do not have to meet with me before you submit your proposal.
    All students will submit a topic proposal for their essay. This is to ensure that the students are writing about a topic that is philosophically significant, has both primary and secondary sources available, and is suitable for the topic of the class. All topics should be comparative in nature: that is, they should seek to compare the philosophical positions of at least two schools of thought. Your proposal should be about a paragraph long, state your working thesis, and explain how you plan on approaching it in a comparative manner.
  2. You must submit a hardcopy of your outline of your essay by November 19.
    Students will submit a substantial outline of their paper. The outline should contain the essay’s primary claim (thesis or conclusion) and the primary supporting points (premises). It will also include a list of at least two primary sources and at least three secondary sources which the student has identified for use in research. Students are encouraged to make use of the Center for Transformative Learning in preparing their outline.
  3. You must submit your rough draft of at least 1500 words by December 3 both as a hardcopy and as an electronic copy. USE THE SUBJECT LINE, “NATURE TOPIC DRAFT” in your e-mail.
  4. After receiving feedback on either your paper outline or rough draft, you should schedule a meeting with your instructor during office hours to discuss what you have so far, to sound off ideas, to receive more extensive feedback, and to plan for your next draft. Students should bring two printed copies of the last outline/draft for which they have already received feedback to the meeting. Failure to meet with your instructor will result in a 30% penalty on your final paper grade.
  5. All students will be required to take a rough draft of their essay to the Center for Transformative Learning (CTL) in order to workshop the paper prior to submitting a final draft. You can make an appointment here: https://berea.mywconline.com/ Students should share the meeting report, provided by the CTL, with their instructor prior to the last day of class, December 10. You should schedule your appointment TODAY to ensure that an appointment is available as they WILL become fully booked towards the end of the year. Failure to attend a CTL consultation will result in a 30% penalty on your final paper grade.
  6. The final draft of your essay is due by December 15 via e-mail. USE THE SUBJECT LINE, “NATURE TOPIC PROPOSAL” in your e-mail.The final draft of the essay should be at least 2500 words but not more than 3000 words exclusive of the works cited/references page. Students should use a 12 point, Times New Roman font and double-space their papers. Students should use either APA Sixth Edition Style or MLA Seventh Edition Style to format papers and credit sources in this course. Students must also include the word count not including their works cited page at the end of their essay. The final essay should use at least two primary sources and at least four secondary sources. Students should note that there is a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism in the course, and should refer to the Berea College Student Catalog for more information on the academic honesty policy. Papers less than 2500 words will automatically have a 10% penalty, and then an additional 10% for every 100 words that they are short (meaning a 2000 word essay would automatically be a 50%). Papers with evidence of plagiarism will receive a zero.

 

Rubric*

* Failure to complete any step of the process will result in a 20% penalty in the student’s final essay score. Any student who fails to submit a final essay will receive 5% of 100% for each step successfully completed (meaning up to 30%).

Thesis Statement Clear theses or claim that operates as the conclusion of an argument and concerns an metaphysical issue; paper remains focused on thesis throughout; paper is organized around supporting thesis 15.00%
Supporting Ideas/Premises Supporting ideas that demonstrate an understanding of the class information from texts and lectures; makes use of appropriate scholarly materials and materials to class to understand the metaphysical issue; applies comparative methods appropriately and with understanding; ideas are used to support thesis or claims 25.00%
Reasoning Clear reasoning demonstrating a connection between supporting ideas and the thesis or claim; student demonstrates how information and ideas relate to the claim; student makes the connection between information, metaphysical theory, and claim clear; student demonstrates an understanding of arguments both reconstructing arguments from texts and developing arguments in their writing 25.00%
Organization The student effectively uses essay-level and paragraph level organization; the essay contains a clear introduction, body, and conclusion; ideas are developed in a reasonable order throughout the essay; paragraphs contain clear topic sentences and supporting sentences; transitions are used effectively 15.00%
Revisions Responded reasonably to the feedback provided on the first draft or subsequent drafts; attended to difficulties in arguments, misunderstanding of the texts, areas of expansion, or consulted other recommended sources 10.00%
Mechanics Used well formed, clear sentences and the conventions of writing to communicate ideas; ideas that are not the student’s own are clearly cited according to APA or MLA style formats 10.00%