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Write a 4-6 paragraph essay (approximately 900 words) in which you articulate and defend an original thesis related to the topic of democracy using at least one author from each of the following two groups.

by | Nov 8, 2022 | Political Science | 0 comments

 

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Write a 4-6 paragraph essay (approximately 900 words) in which you articulate and defend an original thesis related to the topic of democracy using at least one author from each of the following two groups. (You may use more than one author from each group if you would like.)
Group A: Marx, Burke, Fanon, Baldwin.
Group B: Combahee River Collective, Hannah-Jones, Polletta, Chenoweth, Cohen, Graeber.
For extra credit, use the film *I am not your Negro* in your introduction and/or conclusion.
### Structure
*Your introductory paragraph* should set up the paper’s argument. This first paragraph should contain an introduction to the topic of your paper and a single sentence summarizing your thesis about that topic. Underline your thesis sentence.
*Your paper’s body*, either 2 or 4 paragraphs, should provide evidence in the form of at least two quotations from group A and at least two quotations from group B as well arguments mostly in the form of interpretation of these quotes to support your thesis. Each of these intermediate paragraphs should contain at least one quotation providing evidence for your thesis, and appropriate argumentation demonstrating how the quotation supports your thesis. You should take the kinds of discussions we have in class, and the ways in which we use quotations and scrutinize readings there as a guide for the kind of thinking you are expected to employ in writing this essay.
*Your concluding paragraph* should consolidate and if possible extend your initial thesis.
### Mechanics
*A thesis* is a claim that is arguable: it is not obviously true, not obviously false, and not a matter of opinion, but instead an original (i.e. your own) statement that you will support with appropriate evidence and arguments. See the ‘handout on writing’ and links below for further guidance on thesis
statements.
For the purpose of this course, quotations from your readings constitute *appropriate evidence*. Include a parenthetical citation (page number is sufficient) for each quotation as demonstrated below.
For example, you might write something like this:
> “Socrates emphasized that good citizens must sometimes annoy and even disturb their fellow citizens in order to spur them to become better, going so far as to claim in the Apology that he ‘was attached to this city by the god—though it seems a ridiculous thing to say—as upon a great and noble horse which was somewhat sluggish because of its size and needed to be stirred up by a kind of gadfly’ (page 35).”
Any parenthetical notation that leads your reader reliably back to the source of a quotation is sufficient. As the Chicago Manual of Style reminds its readers:
> “Conventions for citing sources vary according to scholarly discipline, the preferences of publishers and authors, and the needs of a particular work. Regardless of the convention being followed, source citations must always provide sufficient information either to lead readers directly to the sources consulted or, for materials that may not be readily available, to enable readers to positively identify them, regardless of whether the sources are published or unpublished or in printed or electronic form” (*The Chicago Manual of Style Online*, section 14.1).
A bibliography is not necessary for assigned works. If you use additional materials you should include a bibliography. Consult the Chicago Manual of Style Online for bibliography format. Available through the library:
https://wrlc-gm.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01WRLC_GML/1prj2t5/alma9946920398304105
For the purpose of this course, *arguments* will take the form of interpreting, comparing, and assessing our assigned readings (and where appropriate, films).
### Here are some further guides for writing a critical essay:
1. UNC Writing Center guide to Thesis Statements

Thesis Statements


2. JHU handout on writing
https://files.matthewscherer.org/101/writing.pdf
### Here are some examples of introductory paragraphs:
This was from an A paper:
“The development of democracy as the principle form of government in ancient Athens was innovative and progressive. The institution and the aspects of society that came with it,though, like any new thing, were questioned, rationalized, and challenged by philosophers,specifically Plato and Aristotle. The two brilliant thinkers discussed issues of humanity,government, and justice, but one thing they prominently disagreed on was the concept of citizenship. Plato and Aristotle’s different opinions on who qualifies for citizenship stems from their disagreement on equality, for Plato believes that everyone should be assumed equal and have an equal right to government participation, while Aristotle thinks that people are naturally born unequal, and only those who he considers humans and who exercise their position in the democracy have the right to be a citizen.”
This was from a not-A paper:
“A human is a being that has certain capacities or attributes and a citizen inhabitant of a particular town or city. There are multiple attributes that every human contributes to a community. Aristotle and Plato considered a citizen a human that conforms to their ideals of what a perfect citizen is.”

 

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