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Unformatted text preview: Phil. 20: Introduction to Moral Philosophy Spring '07-`08 Tamar Schapiro RESPONSE PAPER GUIDELINES Requirement: You must turn in at least 5 1-page papers (approx. 300 words), each in response to a different reading assignment. Papers are due at the beginning of the class in which the reading to which you are responding is to be discussed. It is up to you which readings you want to write on. That is, you decide which days to turn in response papers. However reading response papers will not be accepted once the material being written about has been discussed in class. You can either bring in a paper copy to turn in to the TA in class, or you can email your paper to him/her as a Word document, rtf document, or pdf before class. If you do not turn in all 5 reading response papers on 5 different readings you will receive NO credit for this assignment. These papers are worth 10% of your grade. Thus, turning in 4 or less reading response papers will reduce your grade by a full letter (from A- to B-). Grading: Reading response papers will be graded credit/no credit. As long as you are thoughtful in your response papers you will receive credit. These papers are about learning to think critically and philosophically about the readings. We would much rather you take a chance and get something wrong than have you stay within your comfort zone. So, even if you get something `wrong' in your papers, you will receive full credit. Extra Credit: If you turn in more than 5 reading response papers we will take this into consideration if you are on the borderline between two grades at the end of the quarter. Writing extra response papers could help bump up your grade. How to approach this assignment: There are many ways to write a reading response paper. We do not want you to feel limited in your approach to this assignment. However, we would like to provide you with some structure to get you started. Here are some good strategies for writing a reading response paper. Give an exposition: Try to explain, in your own words, some portion of the day's reading. Always start by stating what question or problem the author is addressing. Then explain, as clearly as you can, how the author attempts to answer the question or solve the problem. All response papers should involve at least some exposition. Explain a confusion: Sometimes a reading might leave you confused about why a certain argument goes through, how several ideas relate, etc. You can write a discussion paper explaining your confusion. A good way to do this is to spend about half of the page explaining what you do understand from the reading. Then you can explain what you are confused about. Raising an objection: If you disagree with something an author says, you can raise this objection in a discussion paper. Be sure to explain what you are objecting to in addition to laying out your objection. Caution: Because response papers are loosely structured, some students can be tempted to use them as an opportunity to `free associate' -- to write in a style that only they can understand, making connections that only they can see. This is not acceptable. Keep in mind that although you have latitude to write on what you want, your writing must take the form of communication to another who is not already thinking what you are thinking. ...
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This note was uploaded on 05/07/2008 for the course PHIL 20 taught by Professor Schapiro,t during the Spring '08 term at Stanford.
- Spring '08