What a person should be

Guidelines for final paper.

All semester long we’ve been asking how should a person be?

Our study of Rorty and Gladwell ask us to consider the following questions:

What person?

And under what circumstances?

In your final paper you are free to follow your own interests as to the people and circumstances you investigate.

However, all successful papers will share these things in common:

The paper will introduce a problem and articulate the way in which this problem leads to a complex question.

In answering this question and related questions, the author will make earnest attempts to know what they are talking about. They will know “how things are” based on both individual experience and both primary and secondary research. In an attempt to know how things are, they will consult a minimum of five sources and document the use of these sources in MLA format.

They will employ both quantitative and qualitative research.

They will avoid simple binaries. And instead investigate contested terms, interpretations, etc.

They will seek out multiple points of view, they will recognize that very few stories are just so stories, and that how things work and why things work the way do are at the heart of our inquiries.

The paper will avoid debate and engage instead in earnest questioning and conversation.

At the same time, the paper will not be afraid to make claims, complex, arguments. Where possible it will risk analysis rather than throwing up its hands.

The paper will show evidence that it’s been a long time in the making. It will read like a final draft instead of a first.

It will be significantly longer than the first two papers. It will demonstrate that the author is a serious thinker and an engaged writer who is prepared to rock hard for the rest of their undergraduate career.