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 Term Paper Instructions
Rodin's Thinker

Course Description                             Class Schedule

Humans as Social Beings                 Humans as Thinkers


Humanities 1 Term Paper Assignment

Write a coherent, well-organized essay of fourto six pages in which you explore one of the subject areas you have studied in Humanities I in greater depth.  You may choose the one most interesting to you or perhaps the one which is most thought provoking or even troubling to your mind.

Follow the directions below in writing your paper.  Your essay will include two parts; indicate clearly with transition sentences when you move from one part to the next.  You must proofread your paper carefully and correct any typos before you turn it in.

PART ONE:  Your introduction must identify the area/unit on which you will focus for this essay and  the issue, concept, or problem  related to the unit chosen.  Itshould describe the specific area and/or specific topic and include a clear thesis  which states what the essay is going to examine.

PART TWO:  In the body of the essay first define and explain the issue or problem which you have selected.  Focus on why it is a significant issue or problem.  You might, for example, explain  why a problem cannot be easily resolved or why an issue continues to be important.  You might consider the possible conflicts involved with this issue or problem.  In general, establish   why you chose this issue or problem.

In the second part of the body of the essay, explain how this issue or problem is related to your life.  How is it seen in you, your family, your friends, your locality, your culture?  How do YOU feel about this issue or problem?  How similar to or different from others are your beliefs on this issue or problem?

The point of this assignment is to have you select an area that is significant to you in some way and clearly identify an issue or problem for yourself and others and discuss how and why it affects you as a human being who is thinking about human values.

The following is a list of possible topics to consider for this assignment.

Humans as Social Beings

Examine the methods of informal social control used by a group to which you belong or one what you have personally observed, describing the methods themselves and the effects that these methods may have on an individual or group of people.

Explain the effects of guilt or fear on behavior you  have observed.  Provide specific examples of the use of built orfear and the resulting behaviorsl

Discuss the methods of creating and/or the effects of being an "outsider in some specific area like school or work."

Humans as Consumers of Media and Culture

Watch at least two programs of a series like PJ's, describe/summarize the social criticism present in the program, and analyze its effects on the viewers.

Select two ads for one company or one product (two Nike ads or two ads for Budweiser) and analyze the techniques used to create the persuaive appeal of the ad, including a discussion of the cultural knowledge needed by the viewer of the ad.

Humans as Thinkers

Take an issue of current political controversy, such as abortion or cgun control or the death penalty, and build an ethical argument for or against a position.  Use the format for the unit project for this area, but do NOT use the same topic.  This essay should be more substantive than the short one done for the unit project.

Examine a conflict between "tolerance" and an absolute conviction with an ethical analysis of where these conflicts are found.

Humans as Scientists

Examine the assumptions used in evaluating the ethics of  gene therapy/genetic engineering in a particular area.

Take an issue of scientific controbersy, such as evolution or global warming, and examine it in the light of science and politics or science and ethics.

Humans as Revolutionaries

Discuss the causes of a specific twentieth century revolution (one not discussed in class):  why did the people revolt?

Explain the role of deprivation or mass frustration or the unifying motivations in a specific revolution NOT discussed in class.

Discuss the unifying motivations in a social reform movement such as the civil rights movement and what created or led to these unifying motivations.

Examine the moral issues (the sense of right and wrong) that led to a twentieth century revolution NOT discussed in class.


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