PHI/POL 110 Paper 1 Please read and follow the instructions carefully! You are required to write a 2-3 page paper in response to one of the questions below. The paper should be typed in 12-point font, Times New Roman or Garamond, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins all around. Your paper must be 2 or 3 pages long. If your paper is shorter than 2 pages, I can guarantee that you did not write enough to do well on the paper. If you write more than 3 pages, you are wasting your time, as nothing past the bottom of the third page will be graded. Part of the assignment is to write a cogent, thoughtful argument in a set amount of space. You will need to pick your words carefully. Please DO NOT include a title page. Put your name on the top of the first page, and include a title, but do not double space this portion of the paper (you are hurting only yourself by using up your space, and we will realize if you are trying to cover up for a short paper—trust me, we have been doing this for awhile). The quality of your writing will affect your grade. Proof read your papers before you hand them in. DO NOT JUST RELY ON SPELLCHECK, as it will not catch properly spelled, but incorrect, words. Good grammar is critical to clearly presenting your ideas. If you are unsure of your writing abilities, please visit the Writing Center. You do not need outside sources to write your paper, thus do not use (cited or otherwise) outside sources for your paper. The class texts are all you need, and all that I ask that you use to write your paper. The topics require you to discuss the theory we have read and to make your own argument based on your own thoughts about the material. You WILL need to use class texts and cite appropriately. Whenever you argue that a theorist says something, cite the relevant text, including page number, to indicate where it is that the theorist says what you claim they say. Even if you are not directly quoting a passage you must still cite the texts. Blanket citations at the end of a paragraph are not enough. When in doubt, cite your work, as failure to do so can be considered plagiarism. I do not care what style of citation you use, so long as you are consistent throughout and I can tell what you are citing, including page numbers. A works cited page is not necessary as you will be using class provided sources.
FAILURE TO CITE ANY THEORIST IN YOUR PAPER WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC RATING OF “DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS”.
Paper Prompt In the novel Herland, Gilman offers a very different approach to society, and in so doing, makes her work one of implicit and explicit critique and political theory. This paper asks you to address Gilman’s arguments in light of the other thinkers we have studied this semester. To do this, you will need to: (1) identify Gilman’s main arguments, (2) discuss how she supports these arguments, (3) explain how these arguments respond to/critique/build off of other theorists we have studied, and (4) evaluate the overall validity of her argument. In doing all of this, you yourself will be making an argument that you must support with your own evidence, with the course texts serving as your source of evidence. Please do not just summarize the novel, but make sure that you are addressing the elements of this paper assignment. You may assume that I am familiar with the text such that you do not need to explain the basic plot, but you must explain your interpretations using the text to support your reading. In completing your own analysis, think about the various theorists and ideologies we have covered in this class. In addition, while you do not need to address all of these, the following questions might guide your argument construction: What political ideologies does Gilman address, directly or indirectly, in her text? To what extent does Gilman borrow from Plato’s notion of justice? What are Gilman’s underlying assumptions about human nature? About the concepts of “male” and “female”? Is there a class, caste, or elites in this society? What is the role of their political leaders and what justifies political power? Does Gilman’s society involve state coercive power? What sort of economic system does it have? What are the sources of Jeff, Van, and/or Terry’s discontent in Herland? Why does Gilman introduce these male figures? Are they merely foils to show female superiority? Is Gilman’s brand of feminism a unique contribution to political theory distinct from the other people we have studied, or is it a hybrid approach to political theory? Paper Grading Rubric Rating Characteristics Meets Expectations The paper clearly identifies Gilman’s main argument, justifying why the identified main argument is a central point of the book The paper offers clear textual evidence (cited appropriately) supporting the identified main argument The paper clearly connects Gilman’s argument to other arguments from other theorists that we have read in this class The paper offers a logically sound evaluation of Gilman’s argument All statements needing citations have appropriate citations that include page numbers Does Not Meet Expectations. The paper does not identify a central argument in the text and/or does not justify why the claimed main argument is central to the text. The paper offers little or no textual evidence to support the argument being made. The paper’s logic is questionable and/or lacking in support Statements in need of citation lack required, or properly formatted, citations