Drawing on the reading and your own considered opinion and good judgment, answer two of the three questions on the following pages. In arguing for your position, think of the arguments that might be made against it, and respond to them. In defending your position, offer what you believe are the most principled arguments you can make.
In thinking of objections, think of the best possible objections that someone on the other side might be able to come up with, i. e., try, really, really try to give yourself a hard time. If you can respond to the other side at its strongest rather than at its weakest point, that can only help to strengthen your own opinion and make it that much more persuasive.
The paper will be graded credit/no credit. In order to receive "credit," your paper must show signs of "life," that is, show some thought about the role of citizens in a democracy. In concrete terms this means to receive "credit" you will need to make an argument for or against the position you take, offer several powerful objections to your position, and respond to them.
If you receive "credit, " the percentages for weighing the three other writing exercises in the course will be broken down as follows: 40% for your strongest essay, 30% for your next best effort and 20% for the one which is least successful of the three. If you fail to get "credit," your paper will receive a failing grade and the papers will be broken down as originally spelled out in the syllabus: 30% for your strongest effort, 25% for your next best effort, 20% for your next best effort after that, and 15% for the one which is least successful of the four. Whether you receive "credit" or "no credit" on this, the first paper, the remaining 10% of your final grade will be 5% for participation and 5% for the quiz.
Papers should be five to six (5-6) pages in length or longer, if you believe it is necessary and have a good reason.
Papers should be double-spaced.
Please number pages.
We would like to have two copies, marked COPY ONE and COPY TWO.
And papers should be stapled, not held together by
Paper CLIP, Elmer's GLUE, Dentyne GUM,
SPIT, James BOND or Origami FOLD.
The paper is due, at the beginning of class, on Monday, October 22nd, 2012.