Short Paper Assignment

by Dr. Jan Garrett

PHIL 302 -- Fall 2008

Revised August 23, 2008

How to read philosophy . . .

Due: Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Length: About 900 words. Please give me a word count, not including quoted material and endnotes or footnotes.

Choose your text from

(1) The Apology of Socrates, by Plato; see Study Questions for Apology.

(2) The Crito (selections are available in VAP, pp. 379-83); see Study Questions for Crito.

VAP does not contain the whole Crito; you may wish to locate a copy of the whole dialogue, because it will give you a more complete context.

There are several stages in this process.

1. Familiarize yourself in a general way with the text. Do an initial read-through to get a sense of what it is about.

2. Analyze it with the help of the Elements of Thought questions or this webpage based on the same critical thinking source.

3. Work through it using the Study Questions I have provided.

4. Focusing on the issues of purpose, questions, information (premises), conclusions, concepts and assumptions (see "Elements of Thought"), write a draft essay in which these issues are clearly explained and appropriately connected. I encourage you to document your claims about the text by referring to passages by dialogue name and "Stepanus numbers" in parentheses, e.g., (Crito 50a) or (Apol. 19b)

5. Review your draft essay, bearing in mind the Universal Intellectual Standards you have in your possession.

6. Revise/polish your essay in light of #5.