General instructions: The essay is to be 3 to 4 pages long, typed and double-spaced. If it goes to 5 pages, that’s fine. But no longer than 6 pages. If it goes over 6 pages or is less than 3 pages, it will receive a grade reduction. Use 11 or 12 point font; use print type fonts such as times new roman, arial, etc. Do not use “stylized” fonts such as script. It’s an argumentative essay, which means you should take a stance on a position. That is, you are going to defend a particular conclusion. Here’s an example of what I mean: “In this essay, I am going to argue that human beings do not have genuine freedom of the will.” Resources: you should use at least 3 or 4 academic sources other than the textbook. Academic sources refers to things like other books, journal articles, essays in anthologies, etc. A non-academic source is using information from a blog on the internet, wikipedia, material from a magazine like “cosmopolitan” or “People.” At the end of the essay there should be a works cited page where you provide the bibliographic information for the sources you used. The particular style is open (MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style). Regardless of the topic you use, the essay should have the following outline or structure: Intro & thesis: Provide an introductory paragraph to your topic and state your thesis. The thesis refers to the position that you will be defending in the essay. A good example is the one given above under point 2. Here’s another: “My essay will maintain that the design argument provides probable evidence that God exists.” Supporting arguments: In this part of the essay you provide 2 or more supporting arguments for your position. At a minimum, you should have TWO arguments that you will describe. Each argument or consideration or support should be explained in a separate paragraph. Objection: In this part of the essay, you will describe what you consider to be the strongest objection to your position and attempt to respond to that objection. There should be two paragraphs in this section. One paragraph describes the objection. The other paragraph contains your response to the objection. Conclusion: In your concluding paragraph you will briefly answer the following question in a brief paragraph: Why is it important to take the position that you are defending in this essay?
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