What does it mean to be a good person?

Your Current Position, and 2 Ideas from the Semester

You may agree with what you wrote in your Short Position Paper; you may now disagree with it. Or perhaps your older position can be strengthened by using ideas you have learned in the meantime.

1.) 200-300 Words: Begin this section with your current underlined thesis statement, and then explain the meaning of your thesis in more detail.

2.) At least 500 Words: From the writings of Socrates, the Stoics, Mill, and Kant, choose 2 specific ideas (only 2) about being a good person which are most relevant to your current thesis.

Explain those 2 ideas in detail, along with at least one supporting quotation for each of the 2 ideas.

Along the way, you must explain how these 2 ideas relate to your current position.

You must also give some real-life examples of what you’re discussing (your own examples — not ones I used in class).

NOTE: You may not choose ideas from both Kant and Mill, since their views on what makes an action moral are completely opposed to each other.
Use headings to mark the different sections of your paper: A.1, A.2, B.1, and B.2.

☐ Use double-spaced lines

☐ Insert page numbers

☐ Underline both your old thesis statement, and your new thesis statement.

☐ Use FOOTNOTES (not in-text citations) to cite your quotations. Your footnotes only need

to contain the author, the title, and the page number, like this: “All humans desire to know.”

To make a footnote in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, hit Ctrl+Alt+F at the same time.

☐ Do not make ‘synonym statements,’ such as “A good person is someone who is moral,” or

“A good person is someone who tries to do good,” or “A good person is someone who makes

the right decisions,” or “A good person is a person who is not evil” – none of these statements

are actually saying anything, because they just insert synonyms for “good.”

☐ Do not write that “everyone has their own opinion” or “people do not agree on this

topic,” etc. Both points are irrelevant to this assignment! People across the world disagree

about the moral status of slavery, but this does not mean there is no right answer on the matter.


Your paper will be graded for grammar as well as for its ideas. For example, a paper with 20 grammar mistakes will receive a C just on grammar deductions alone.

Your paper must include at least 2 quotations from your chosen thinker/s. Otherwise, the highest grade your paper can receive is a D.

Do not use dictionary definitions in your paper – they are not relevant to this assignment. I’m looking for your views, not the views of the person who wrote the dictionary!

Speaking in the first person voice (“I believe,” etc.) is both allowed, and required.

I will be assigning grades not based on which positions you take, but rather based on how well you explain the positions you take.

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