Your assignment for this week is to watch the video linked to below and write your reaction paper on this topic. Review the syllabus for expectations on the content of the reaction paper. Summary should be kept to a minimum and should only serve to frame your own reaction to the assignment. Remember you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts as you work on this assignment. Further research may be necessary to support your opinion and any claims you make in your position paper.
There are multiple topics you could could choose to form your thesis. Choose ONE issue to look at and focus on that only. Do not try to cover all of the topics that are discussed.
If you hear terms you are unfamiliar with make a list and ask for clarification in class or look those terms up yourself.
Some students have reported some distortion towards the end of the video. If this is the case, just write on the material you were able to view.
Students will write a 450 – 500 word position paper over the work assigned
by the instructor. The bibliography and heading do not count towards the
required word count. The paper must be double spaced, written in MLA
format, and include a bibliography if outside sources are used. Students are
expected to utilize proper grammar and syntax.
c) Choose a position on some aspect of the assigned works for the week. There
may be multiple topics in a single assigned reading that could be chosen to
form your thesis. Focus one ONE of those topics. This position should be
arrived at following extensive research on the assigned topic.
d) Do not summarize the piece you are writing about. A few lines of general
summary are sufficient, but the bulk of the paper needs to focus on your
e) Students are expected to make use outside sources when researching
and writing their reaction papers. Students must document these sources
in a bibliography and via parenthetical citations. Failure to do this is
plagiarism. Avoid using lengthy quotes.
f) You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
Personal opinion cannot be “wrong”, but you can demonstrate poor logic or
utilize inaccurate or distorted information. Engage in due diligence when
referencing facts and conclusions and think critically about your own
reasoning. Points will be deducted for issues in this area. Anecdotal
evidence (I knew someone who…) is rarely sufficient support of an
g) Likewise, differing points of view should be given a fair hearing and
shouldn’t be altered to align with your criticism. Do not construct
“strawman” arguments to pick apart and do not engage in ad hominem or
unsupported personal attacks.
h) At all times students should demonstrate logical critical thinking skills,
illustrate clarity of thought when expressing personal opinion, and
should support claims and arguments with credible
i) Dig deeper when writing these papers. Avoid cliché theses like “People
should be better educated” or “Politicians should work together more”. The
instructor is looking for a clash of ideas, solutions to problems, and a
consideration of potential counter arguments to student’s ideas. Students
should demonstrate they can express an opinion without blindly rejecting
arguments against it. Students should strive to follow the truth wherever it
j) There may be multiple points that a paper could be written on in a given
week, but the word count of these assignments is limited and it is usually
best to focus on one aspect of the discussion. It is better to have one well
developed idea than to give shallow treatment of several points.
Respond at least twice (2) to other student’s posts. Each response post must be 250 – 300 words
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