(These are some tips that you can use to write this formal essay)
This as an exercise where you explore a different view on the questions we have examined and give your own evaluation of the view’s value. In other words, don’t spend time and effort trying to find out what other people think about the piece you have chosen to focus on. Instead, after figuring out how to summarize the main argument or ideas proposed by the author, reflect on what your answers to the following questions are:
- Is the view proposed a good one? If so, what makes it good? Why might someone think it’s not good and how can you respond to that?
- If it’s not so good, what is wrong with it? Can it be adjusted so that it becomes a better view? Why might someone disagree with your evaluation or suggestion and how can you respond?
Give reasons in support of your claims. (In other words, what can you offer that might convince a rational person who does not already agree with you that the claims or ideas you are proposing are the most reasonable to accept?)
If it seems helpful, you can mention how the ideas tie in with one or two of the other views we have considered, but don’t spend too much time on that. One might do this to indicate perhaps that the view under consideration is not completely new, that it shares ideas or aspects with another view generally accepted as good, but don’t make this the whole of your analysis. Instead think about the ideas might work if put into effect in everyday life, whether they would be helpful (or not), whether they might work well for people/make their lives better (or not), things like that.
In summarizing the author’s ideas or argument, work on paraphrasing them. A few short quotations are okay, but the explanation of the view should be primarily in your own words. Do give citations for the ideas, however, as well as for quotations as we have been practicing.
These are worth 75 points. Don’t leave them to the last minute. You want to have time to reflect on the ideas and also to make sure that the writing in your essay is good (there’s no sense losing points for carelessness).