Students will work to discern and construct the worldview emerging out of the readings and lectures on Socrates. This paper should include two main parts: (i) describing how the figure/tradition would answer 4 fundamental questions (you can choose any 4 from our list), and (ii) providing at least one critique of Socrates' worldview based (in part) upon the criteria for worldview assessment. Most of your paper (e.g., about 3/4) should be on part (i).
- The paper should be constructed in an essay format, composed of prose writing organized by paragraphs. The main sections and subsections of the paper should be clearly identified (e.g., Part1: Socrates' Worldview, then Origin, Condition, etc.; Part 2: Critique of Socrates' Worldview).
- 1,500 words (approx. 2½ pages) minimum, single-spaced. The paper must meet the minimum requirements for length but may exceed this.
- The specific formatting style (e.g., MLA, Chicago, APA) is not important; all standard styles are acceptable. However, citations of the text should be formatted as follows. Cite the specific work and paragraph/scriptural text rather than the entire course textbook. For example, use Plato’s specific book title and the 'Stephanus pagination' (e.g., Apology 61c) instead of the course text (The Last Days of Socrates). As another example, use the specific scriptural text (Bhagavad-Gita 2:15-20) instead of the compilation text (Anthology of World Scriptures).
Expectations & Grading:
- Basic Requirements: does the paper meet the basic requirements for subject, format, and length?
- Use of Sources: does the paper demonstrate a facility with the breadth of primary sources, reference key passages for the various worldview questions, and incorporate material from course lectures, documentaries, and secondary sources? Papers should avoid two extremes: very little references to the texts/sources (e.g., less than 10% of the paper) and continual and extensive quotation of the text (e.g., more than 50% of the paper). For an excellent example of the effective use of sources and citations, see the course text Socrates by George Rudebusch.
- Analysis: does the paper probe the conceptual depth of the various topics and answers to the fundamental questions which emerge in the primary sources? Is attention given to the various subtleties and nuances, as well as underlying doctrinal relationships exhibited by the figure/tradition?
- Synthesis: does the paper draw together various conceptual strands provided by the analysis of primary sources into a succinct yet informative description for each of the fundamental questions?
- Critique: Does the paper use the worldview criteria to provide a critical appraisal of the worldview? Is the critique thoughtful, attempting to identify potential weakness, probing questions, or doctrinal concerns regarding the figure/tradition? The student will not be graded on the success but the thoughtfulness and effort invested in the critique.
Note: this course we will utilize SafeAssign, an automated system that compares each student's assignment with billions of web sites, as well as an enormous database of student paper submissions, including papers from previous semesters of this course. After the assignment is processed, a report has automatically generated that details if and how another author’s work was used in the assignment.