Work101 | Political Science homework help

First Essay

The essay will have several questions: two questions on Plato, two on
Aristotle, one on Aquinas


You pick one question and write at least 500 words (there is no upper
limit)


The essays must have an introduction, a development, and a
conclusion


The main objective of these essays is to show me that you are
thinking through the ideas we

saw in our classes and in the texts


I really want you to not to just repeat what is on the PowerPoints


Repeating is not the problem in itself. The problem is not having a broader
argument. If you’re just

repeating without a broader argument, you’re not showing me that you are
thinking through the material.
2

First Essay

How to answer?


First, you contextualize the question


Why is this important? Where does it come from? There’s not one way to contextualize a
question.


Some people introduce with historical facts, others with conceptual arguments, others with a
parallel,…


The important thing is that it has to be
connected
to your response. It’s not a place to drop random facts and then

move on. It sets the scene for your answer.


Second, you answer the question


Your answer grows naturally out of your introduction. It connects with it.


It’s not a place to copy-paste or just state facts.


You have to
explain
, in your own words, what is happening.
3

First Essay

How to answer?

Third, you conclude the question


You tie the introduction and the answer in a conclusion.


There’s not one way to write a conclusion


Here, don’t just state facts or write personal impressions


Rather, ground these facts and impressions in a way that is relevant to this class


So: don’t say “I find Plato interesting” but say “To conclude, I will briefly argue
that Plato’s

political thought is interesting because it contrasts so clearly with Aristotle’s.”
4

First Essay

Rubrics:

Do you answer the question?


Does your answer have a broader point?


Do you “fact-drop”? (= stating facts without an underlying
reasoning/broader argument)


Are the three parts of the essay organically connected?


Is the answer clear, comprehensible, and are the arguments
clearly articulated?


Originality (in the next slide, I give some tips on how to give
original answers)

Some ideas on how to earn the originality rubric
:


Giving your opinion in a grounded and relevant way


Giving original examples, parallels, hypotheses

Concrete examples from real life?

•Comparing two or more authors

•Suggesting a new question (send me an email beforehand!)

•Bringing new ideas and notions from primary and secondary
sources, and relating it to the

material of the class

•Criticizing or critically addressing the ideas of the class

•When you criticize, what matters is not whether I agree with you. The important
thing is that you must always

justify your critiques, preferentially with secondary sources. Show me your
reasoning.

•Small critiques are usually safer than big critiques. Big critiques require more
justification.
6

•You can quote the readings. But don’t forget: the
quote has to make sense

and tie to what you’re saying before and after the
quote.

•You can’t overquote to fill your wordcount


Don’t forget to explore the secondary literature:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
https://plato.stanford.edu/

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Welcome

•Check the syllabus for more secondary literature

•If you quote a primary or secondary text, insert a
simple footnote:

•Ex.: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Rosa Luxemburg”

•Ex.: G. D. H. Cole,
A History of Socialist Thought
, Volume 2, 1981, p. 253

•How to cite:
https://politics.ucsc.edu/undergraduate/chicago%20style%20guid
e.pdf
8

Careful when you copy paste in your essay! The software
thinks it’s plagiarism


Don’t use AI for your essay. The software is regularly
updated together to keep

up with updated versions of other AIs.


This class is writing-intensive. The idea of this class is to
learn how to write and

to familiarize yourself with political concepts.


AI has a lot of issues: it creates false facts, doesn’t
engage with the ideas we saw

in class, doesn’t cite the secondary literature when it says
a fact we haven’t seen

in class…


The idea of these essays is to show me that you’re thinking through
the material we saw in

class

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