Essay

  1. Instructions: You will be, as a class, presented with a general proposition. You must take a position on that proposition which can 1) agree, 2) agree with conditions, 3) disagree, or 4) disagree with conditions. The purpose of this paper is to come up with an argument and reason it out so that the structure of the argument is sound and reasonable to a general academic audience. 

Proposition: 

Resolved: Civil disobedience in pursuit of justice and equality is always justified.

Format: 2 pages. Your paper must follow proper MLA format, with the proper information in the first five lines (Your name, Instructor, Class, Date (Day Month Year), and Title (Centered). The paper must have 1” margins, and be written in 12pt Times New Roman font (what you are reading right now) double spaced. 

Special Instructions: The purpose of this paper is for you to create an argument, to argue for what you think from a position of reason and logic. Therefore, for this paper only, you may not use ANY examples. No historical, personal, or fictional examples. No examples of any kind. If you use an example, I will stop reading your paper, grade it 3/10, and return it without comment.

Why am I doing this? Student writers typically have no problem telling me what other people think, but they often struggle with creating their own arguments and reasoning their own thoughts. They are often only able to draw on the examples of others. Arguments can be supported in many ways, and reason and logic are incredibly useful tools that you would do well to learn. In most situations, we don’t have “all the facts,” so our ability to persuade is dependent not on examples, but on our reason. 

Due Dates: The Week of September 8th-14th.

Grading: 10 points – Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are expected to be near perfect. Your job is to make an argument in support or against this proposition.  You will write a 2 page position paper on it, whatever you think the proper response to this is. You don’t need any sources for this paper. This is an exercise in establishing an argument and trying to prove a point. You will be graded on the strength of your argument and your use of reason.

Audience: You are writing for a general academic audience of 100 random people. 


The turn-around time for this essay is intentionally very short. Get done what you can over the next week, and have something printed out ready to hand in. Extensions will not be granted for this paper, though they will be available for all other essays as circumstances warrant. Like all essays in this class, this essay must be submitted in a proper document form to the Blackboard class site. If you prefer, you can hand the paper in by hand, but the class will run much smoother if you use Blackboard. All essays turned in on time are eligible for rewriting! Rewriting:

  • By submitting this paper, you agree: (1) that you are submitting your paper to be used and stored as part of the SafeAssign™ services in accordance with the Blackboard Privacy Policy; (2) that your institution may use your paper in accordance with your institution’s policies; and (3) that your use of SafeAssign will be without recourse against Blackboard Inc. and its affiliates.