Third Short Response Essay Assignment October 18, 2020

Due: Friday, October 30 by 11:59 p.m. (submit an electronic version of your response, as either a PDF or a Word document, on Blackboard with a completed self- assessment)

Format: one page, single spaced, left-justified, 12 point Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins (essays over one page will not be graded); header must be single spaced and include: your name, the date, the course code, and the question number that you are answering); self-assessment should be on a separate, second, page after your essay

Worth: 20% of final grade

Answer ONE of the following three questions:

Explain Locke’s notion of the Law(s) of Nature: what is it, how does it operate in the State of Nature, and how is it upheld in government? (Your answer should describe, at least briefly, what the State of Nature is for Locke, as well as discuss the relation between the Law of Nature and punishment, and touch on the problem of punishment in the State of Nature.)

Explain why, for Locke, government provides a solution to the State of War that seems to inevitably arise from the State of Nature. (Your answer must explain what the State of Nature is, what the State of War is, and what [true and good] government is)

Why does Locke say labor—and therefore also the private property it results in—gives much more to others and the common world than it actually takes away from them? How does money complicate the picture, though? (Your answer should only BRIEFLY describe that private property comes from adding labor to the products of nature. Your answer must explain what the natural limits to acquiring property are, and money’s relation to these limits.)

Gender-Neutral Language Policy
Students are required to use gender-neutral language when appropriate. For instance, say “a person” or “one” instead of “a man” or “he,” use “human” and “humankind” instead of “man” and “mankind,” and, when appropriate, “she” over “he.”

Textual Support Policy*
A paper without textual support (meaning direct citations of and references to specific page numbers on which your reader can find a discussion of what you claim is in the source text) will seldom receive above a grade of C.

Secondary Sources and Plagiarism Policy

* Please consult the Textual Support Guide document (available in Blackboard) for more on the proper practices of providing textual support.


PHIL 1310-86L, -88L, -95L, -96L Ethics, Happiness, and the Good Life Dr. Jeff Morrisey, UTRGV Short Response Essay 3 October 18, 2020

This is NOT A RESEARCH ESSAY, therefore, you will not be required to consult secondary scholarly sources or internet article. In fact, students are STRONGLY DISCOURAGED FROM READING ANYTHING EXCEPT THE ASSIGNED TEXT AND CONSULTING THE ASSOCIATED LECTURES. Avoid therefore, consulting secondary sources (internet sites, articles, scholarly books, as well as the introductions and similar things in the source texts). Should a student consult such sources, however, he, she, or they are required to include them in his, her, or their bibliography. Failure to do this could result in receiving a zero on the assignment. Students likewise risk receiving a zero for attempting, intentionally or not, to pass off the ideas, words and work of others as their own—plagiarizing, in other words.

Self-Assessment Submission
Along with their essay, students must submit a completed self-assessment, drawing on the grading rubric below, in which they evaluate their essay for themselves. The student’s completed rubric will have no bearing on the instructor’s evaluation. The purpose of requiring this is to encourage students to think reflectively and critically about their own writing in light of the relevant evaluation criteria, and to learn from the instructor’s completion of the same rubric by comparing it with their own. With time and practice, evaluating themselves in this way can greatly improve how students write.

Students should copy, paste, and complete (by adding appropriate letter grades beside each category and comments if relevant) the following at the end (i.e. on a second page) of your Short Response Essay:

“Total Grade: Formatting: Correctness: Clarity:
Textual Support: Organization: Insight:


Evaluation Criteria
There are six basic categories of evaluation for this essay°:

– Formatting (Did you follow the formatting instructions?)

– Correctness (Does your response describe Locke’s account correctly?)

– Clarity (Can your reader understand your response? Have you written in an accessible

way? Are your ideas clear, well connected, and consistent, and can your reader follow

your arguments?)

– Textual support* (Do you provide references to and direct citations of the text?)

– Organization (Does your response have paragraphs? Do they each deal with a single

idea, and are they ordered from most accessible to most sophisticated?) ° See the rubric below.

* Please consult the Textual Support Guide document (available in Blackboard) for more on the proper practices of providing textual support.


PHIL 1310-86L, -88L, -95L, -96L Ethics, Happiness, and the Good Life Dr. Jeff Morrisey, UTRGV Short Response Essay 3 October 18, 2020

– Insight (Did you show why the issue is important? Did you use the assignment to learn something about your experience that is meaningful and helpful to others? Did you write in your own words?)

Student responses will be assessed not only on the correctness of their account, but also on the clarity of their explanation as well as the quality and extent of their insight. In other words, students have to demonstrate that they know what the issue is, how the issue works, and why the issue is important.

Justification (i.e. further explanation of and relation between textual support, clarity, and insight) Students must justify the claims they make in their responses. This means at least three things (namely, providing appropriate textual support, clarifying the concepts, and offering insight). First, students must, when referring to a claim or idea in the text, provide the text and page number, if not the passage itself, where the reader can find the relevant discussion of the idea or claim under discussion. In other words, STUDENTS MUST DEMONSTRATE THEIR ENGAGEMENT WITH THE TEXT. Second, this means that the claims students make must be based on correct and uncontroversial premises as well as follow from logically sound chains of inference (this is closely connected with the “clarity of explanation” above). Third, good justification of a claim will also show how that claim is related to actual experience and rooted in it (this is what insight means above). (The idea here is that it’s not enough to just say, “… because Locke said so.”) In other words, a good response won’t just repeat what the text says, but will aim at explaining what it really means.

Good responses will almost always be well organized. The foundation of good organization is a clear understanding of the one or two central ideas that the response will center on. This or these ideas are the core of the answer to the essay question; they are what connect all the aspects that need to be covered in order to fully answer the question. Good responses will almost always start with a clear statement of this or these central ideas. (This is called your THESIS statement.) Next come the different pieces, or aspects, that have to be explained in order to give a complete answer. Each of these aspects should have its own devoted paragraph, which are called development paragraphs (as opposed to “introductory” or “concluding” paragraphs). These aspects, and the paragraphs in which they are explained, should build on one another. Students should think about this organization carefully to figure out which parts need to be discussed before moving on to others (usually, this means going from the simplest aspects to the most complicated aspects). Arranging them in this way will provide the structure of your response. Each aspect should be explained according to the same structure. This structure is the internal organization of the development paragraphs, and it looks like this: i) start with a statement about the aspect to be explained, ii) then explain the aspect, iii) then connect this aspect to the central idea of the paper (i.e. your thesis). In this way, the reader should always know what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.

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