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Essay 3 Prompt Constructing an Account of an Author, Gather

    Essay 3 Prompt: Constructing an Account of an Author, Gathering/Reporting Information, and Managing Sources Anticipated length: 5-6 pages* Description: In the “The Moral Life of Babies,” Paul Bloom explores the science behind the origins of our moral sense. In this text, he investigates the roots of our morality at a young age, attempting to identify whether babies are in fact born with some sense of morality, and he argues that we can understand ourselves better by realizing that our morality is a product of biology and culture. Prompt: For this paper you will write a formal academic essay of approximately 5–6 pages where you construct an account of Bloom’s project and argument and carry out small, focused research task to find information that helps clarify, illustrate, extend, or complicate that argument. In other words, you will translate his argument into your own words and analyze how at least two other texts change the way you understand his argument or the overall topic. Your goal is to discover how your research has changed your perspective of the discussion at hand. What new discoveries have you learned as a result of your research and discussion? How has your perspective on Bloom’s topic changed as a result of this analysis? After you analyze how two second texts share some relationship with the primary, discuss how that new information applies to our life or is relevant in some way: this move encapsulate the so what who cares portion of your essay, and this can and should be a full paragraph in your conclusion or prior to your conclusion. Evaluation Criteria: Successful papers will 1.Signal the topic, and give some indication of how the paper will proceed; 2.Describe Bloom’s project, showing the argument he makes; 3.Smoothly integrate information and evidence from at least two sources that connect to claims from Bloom’s text. Analyze HOW and WHY these connections illustrate, clarify, extend, or complicate claims found in Bloom’s text;Be thoroughly edited so that sentences are readable and appropriate for an academic paper, including meticulous attention to grammar as well as MLA formatting & citation.(think Rhetorical Situation: author, text, contextSignal to your reader what you will analyze and hint at your organization. Address an academic audience unfamiliar with Bloom’s text and secondary sources; 6.Use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the next. Pay particular attention to body paragraphs, making sure you have strong topic sentences that identify the focus of the paragraph and transition between your paragraphs (and ideas) as illustrated in your text “Synthesis: Describing Relationships.” 7.Comment on how this discussion is significant—what difference it might make to readers. Writing mechanics: Transitions between paragraphs are smooth Paragraphs focus on single ideas Quotations and references from text are properly integrated and accounted for. Remember to consult the templates in “Synthesis: Describing Relationships” when composing your sentences. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct Paper utilizes proper MLA format. Definition of Terms: Illustrate: to provide examples, additional evidence, cases or arguments that help explain a position; to present material that illuminates or supports what an author argues (but may not be explicitly mentioned by that author). Clarify: to bring into focus, to help explain, illuminate, or elucidate. Providing evidence, examples, stories, cases or support that make something easier to understand or that sharpen the point made. Extend: to advance, develop, expand or take further some element of an existing argument. Extending an argument involves presenting additional evidence or reasons that are in line with the original argument but go beyond it. Complicate: to present evidence, arguments or information that is at odds with an author’s position, and which suggests the position needs to be revised or qualified (i.e. that its scope or degree of certainty needs revision, or that exceptions have not been considered.) Complicating an author’s argument is not quite the same as disagreeing with it, although disagreement may be involved. It usually involves suggesting that an author has not dealt with the full complexity of an issue, has failed to consider relevant evidence, or that there is a gap, shortcoming or limitation in an author’s account. Complicating an argument may involve exposing problems, contradictions, or presenting counterexamples and counterarguments that challenge some part of the argument. Note: As with most sets of terms, there is some overlap between these terms. For example, something that illustrates an argument may also clarify it. An element of an argument can thus do more than one thing. The important thing is to try to figure out and explain the general relationship between texts/parts of texts. Suggested Breakdown / Organization of Essay 3: Possible Outline (optional): This is not required, but may give you an idea of what I think goes into a solidly structured paper and is helpful for those who are having trouble beginning. Intro: Follow the introduction outline that I have provided for you. Think of the introduction as an inverted triangle: you start broad and whittle down to a specific point (purpose statement and thesis). This outline falls in line with the overall class introduction outline. Introduce the topic with a general statement (optional). Introduce the rhetorical context of Bloom’s “The Moral Life of Babies.” Briefly introduce Bloom’s project & argument or the idea most relevant from his text. Introduce YOUR purpose (project). State your thesis, mentioning the primary conclusion you come to based upon your analysis. Only thought-out and highly developed purpose/thesis statements will receive full credit. Body, Part 1: Construct an Account of Bloom’s Project & Argument Your entire first paper was a fleshed out account of Diamond’s argument, and here you are doing a pared-down version of the same thing for Bloom, focusing on the larger argument and specific claims that are relevant for your discussion. Focus on what you think are the most important claims/evidence. Identify and explain Bloom’s argument. Critically discuss Bloom’s reasons and use of evidence used to support his claims. Focus on only those ideas that are most relevant for your discussion. Body, Part 2: Integrate and Analyze sources that clarify, illustrate, extend, or complicate Bloom’s argument This is the part of the paper where analysis is king. All paragraphs should be highly structured. Summarize information for an unfamiliar reader, but emphasize analysis. Identify two to three of Bloom’s claims that can be related to outside texts. Discussing one claim of Bloom’s at a time, thoughtfully identify and explain how the secondary text clarifies, illustrates, extends, or complicates Bloom’s claim. Add thorough analysis and commentary about the relationship between the two sources. Use appropriate examples and quotes from Bloom and the other texts to support your analysis, and comment on HOW these quotes support your analysis. (Another way of saying, make sure your quotes are in quotation sandwiches.) Note that this entire body section represents multiple paragraphs. This should not all be done in one paragraph. Conclusion: If your introduction is an inverted triangle, your conclusion is a triangle—you start at the end of the evidence and then branch out to the larger implications of your analysis. This is the “so what?” part of your essay. This is where you need to tie everything together! Consider as a whole what the other texts DO to Bloom’s argument. Comment on how your new understanding of this argument has affected you as an individual and/or how it might affect other viewers.

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