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 Week10


Compositions

InterQuest Compositions are the core of your graded work in the course. There are four graded compositions. The due dates for each are listed on the syllabus as follows:

Composition Outline/Summary (Due Monday 11.20)
Composition Draft #1 (Due Monday 2.5 )
Composition Iteration #3 (Due Monday 3.19)
Composition Iteration #4 (Due Monday 8.28)

Composition Representations Writing Sequence:

The first important thing that you need to know is that these composition assignments are not separate tasks to be treated apart from one another. They are successive representations of your individual belief-system, each building on the last with the inclusion of new knowledge. Over the term you will be rewriting and revising a paper, adding to and improving it each time. In each representation you are expected to perform a substantial rewrite of the entire composition. The representations become worth more grade points as the writing evolves. Each representation is expected to be clearer, stronger, and more complete than the last. Picture this assignment as a single paper topic developed over the entire term with four drafts. This is a positive for you since you will always know what your topic is for the next Re-presentation and you can be working on this continuously from the first day of the term on. I make an effort to take as much guess work out of the course as I can. You should direct any questions you have about the work to me, even if you are not quite sure what you are trying to ask. In studying the composition instructions be sure to pay attention to how each Re-presentation builds on the prior work. Focus on what it is that you are adding to that Re-presentation and how it will affect the work you have already done. The least successful work is produced by simply pasting a new section into the old composition. You really do need to rewrite the whole with the new goals in mind. But, note that rewriting is not starting from scratch. You will have comments to work with and your basic ideas and claims will be developed.

Grading:

The Composition Representations are graded on the following scale:

Representation
Points
Value
Composition Outline/Summary
50
5% of total grade
Composition Re-presentation #1
100
10% of total grade
Composition Re-presentation #2
150
15% of total grade
Composition Re-presentation #3
200
20% of total grade

 

You can see that the successive representations increase in value. This is because you are expected to make improvements each time. Along with the higher point values are higher expectations of quality.

Late Work Policy:
I'll make an effort to get work with comments back to you in a timely fashion. For the general InterQuest late work policy see
Late and Timely Work Policy. An important exception to that policy is this: the Composition Outline & Summary has a fixed due date: (Due Monday 11.20). You will not receive any credit for late submission of this assignment. Yet, you must complete that assignment in order to go onto Composition 1.

Composition Outline & Summary (Due Monday 11.20)

Produce a clear, well-ordered, and detailed outline of the Composition #1 that you plan to write. In order to do so you will need to think through the philosophical problem that you will be writing about, various possible positions in response to that problem, and your strongest reasons for accepting or rejecting those positions.

Important: this is not a quiz. These are not presented as "Yes/No" or "short answer" questions. The following are provided as a skeleton on which you will mold the meat, and the muscle, the flesh and features that make this outline and the subsequent composition genuinely your own. Your belief system is not simple and bland. It is a rich, meaningful view of the world we inhabit. Your task is to explore the richness of that detail and bring it's meaning into communication with your readers. The outline & summary is a plan or a proposal of the composition you will write. It is better to over estimate what you will cover than to underestimate.

Here is what you will need to provide to produce this assignment:

A. Which is your chosen Philosophical Framework?

B. Provide a possible title you will give to your composition.

C. Concisely state here the main idea(s) that you want to communicate in your composition.

D. State the philosophical problem that motives your composition.

E. Describe one of the alternate positions that someone may hold in response to the philosophical problem.

F. Describe another of the alternate positions that someone may hold in response to the philosophical problem.
G. If you consider a third alternate position that a person may hold on the philosophical problem, describe it here.

H. Which of the alternative positions do you reject (not believe) and what are your strongest reasons for rejecting it?

I. Which of the alternative positions do you accept (believe) and what are your strongest reasons for accepting it?

J. Provide an orderly and detailed outline of the first composition that you plan to write. Start with the title of your composition.

K. Who do you picture as the audience of readers that you are writing for in your first Composition?


For further details on this assignment, see Composition Outline & Summary Details

It may be useful for you to examine the Composition Outline & Summary Submission Form that you will use to submit this work. You can examine and then leave that page without submitting the form. To link to that page, select the line below:

Composition Outline & Summary Submission Form

 

Composition #1 (Due Monday 2.5 )

Write a 2-3 page (500 - 750 word) page essay in which you address the following aspects:

1. Present and explain a philosophical problem related to your own belief-system.

2. Present and explain alternate position(s) on your philosophical problem.

3. Which alternative position(s) you reject and your reasons why.

4. Which alternative position(s) you accept and reasons why.

5. Describe the aspects of the philosophical problem and your belief-system that may benefit from further development.

Basic assessment criteria include completion of the above aspects; Effort to achieve clarity; Effort to apply sound reasoning; Effort to explore underlying assumptions; Overall organization of work; Proper citation of references; Spelling; Grammar; Word Choice.

Submit this using the appropriate Composition Submission Form by (Due Monday 2.5 )
Make sure to keep a copy of the work for yourself.

For further details on this assignment see Representing Your Beliefs.

 

Composition #2 (Due Monday 3.19)

This composition is a rewrite of your composition #1 with an addition of new content and improvement of the existing content. The new elements to develop are in the highlighted text. Take the comments from Composition #1 into account. Any new material (readings, texts, etc.) is relevant material for you to take into consideration here. Where the below speaks of other thinkers, historical background, the relevant literature, and relevant philosophers, the reference is directly to material that has been made available to you thus far in the course (i.e. the packet, the web text, the web research links). You are responsible for using those sources appropriately. You are not expected to use of of them, but where a source is clearly relevant to your topic you should use it to support your explanations and positions.

Write a 3-4 page (750 - 1000 word) page essay in which you address the following:

1. Present and explain a philosophical problem related to your own belief-system. Explain what makes that problem interesting and important. Provide historical background on how other thinkers have described and explained the problem. Identify and clarify key concepts that belong to this problem.

2. Present and explain alternate position(s) on your philosophical problem. Be specific in identifying the sources of those alternative views (i.e. from the readings and resources available to you). Identify and clarify key concepts that belong to the various alternatives.

3. Which alternative position(s) you reject and your reasons why.

4. Which alternative position(s) you accept and reasons why.

5. Describe the aspects of the philosophical problem and your belief-system that may benefit from further development.

Please understand that the purpose of this writing activity is to nature development of your philosophical and critical thinking by means of depth writing. This is not a cosmetic makeover of a draft. Your first effort should have been the best version of this work you could give at that time. Now you have more knowledge, more resources, more feedback, and new skills. Put all of that to work in fashioning a more powerful writing effort. Work to give the paper a sharp focus and logical organization. Use your sources strategically (i.e. for a designed purpose) and make sure that you reference all of your sources properly (see Documentation in Philosophy for guidance in making citations). It may help you to go back over the lessons and sources that you have used in the course so far so that you can make use of the relevant parts as they arise in your writing.

In the most basic way, your first effort came mostly from your own thought and imagination. Now you have the benefit of some historical and literary knowledge. You know some of the key thinkers, works, concepts, and positions that make up the philosophical discussion related to your philosophical problem. Your task is to transform your first effort into one that fits into the intellectual conversation about the issue that matters to you. In this effort you will be making a transition from a statement of opinion to a development of a philosophical position.

I realize that this is a challenging task. You may experience discomfort about what to write or write about. You will have to make judgments about what materials are and are not relevant. You will have to think critically and creatively, then put this into words. Plainly, this is not an effort that can be adequately accomplished in one evening. You need to work at this, revisit it, try out different ideas, and edit. I know this is not easy. It may be unlike any writing you have done before. Yet, I am confident that you have the spirit, intelligence, and ideas to meet this challenge. I trust your abilities and respect your beliefs. I look forward to the results of your effort!

Let me know how I can help you (hint - you get the best help when you have a good diagnosis of your own needs).

 

Composition #3 (Due Monday 8.28)

Write a 4-5 page (1000-1250 word) page essay in which you address the following:

1. Present and explain a philosophical problem related to your own belief-system. Explain what makes that problem interesting and important. Provide historical background on how other thinkers have described and explained the problem. Identify and clarify key concepts that belong to this problem.

2. Present and explain alternate position(s) on your philosophical problem. Be specific in identifying the sources of those alternative views (i.e. from the readings and resources available to you). Identify and clarify key concepts that belong to the various alternatives. Make sure to include relevant aspects of the texts you have read since completing Composition #2. See comments below on judging relevance.

3. Describe and explain which alternative position(s) you reject and your reasons why. Your reasons why should now take the form of well developed arguments. Use the argument analysis and argument analysis techniques discussed in "The Science of Argument" to do this. Present the arguments for these alternatives in Standard Argument Form and give a clear explanation of the reasons for your evaluation. Include in this section a thorough account of an argument in favor of one position that you reject. This account must be based upon one of the texts that you have read this term. You just reference this properly and give as clear and accurate an account of the argument as you can. Use standard argument form and/or argument summary in your analysis. Follow this analysis with your evaluation of the argument, using the techniques described in "The Science of Argument."

4. Describe and explain which alternative position(s) you accept and reasons why. Now you must provide at least one strong argument in favor of the position that you accept. This argument should be well developed and explained in detail. Use the analysis and evaluation techniques discussed in "The Science of Argument" to do this. In this section draw on the texts you have read this term to provide specific evidence in favor of your position. Reference these properly and explain their relevance to your point (it won't do to merely mention or quote another author's work, you just explain it and make it's relevance to your position clear).

5. Describe the aspects of the philosophical problem and your belief-system that may benefit from further development.

 

 

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