Final Research Paper Assignment: Detailed Guidelines
For your final research paper you are asked to write a formal paper of 1700 words (minimum word countany paper of fewer than 1300 words will not be accepted as a complete paper) to 2000 words (maximum
word count-you may exceed this without penalty only if it essential to attaining the purpose of your
paper). Your paper must cite the work of at least four philosophers studied during the course; there is no
upper limit on the number of sources you may use. You have the option of writing a position paper or a
comparison essay, depending on whether your plan is to argue in favor of an original position regarding
the work and thought of at least four philosophers covered in the course or to comparatively evaluate the
work of four or more philosophers. The topics below may be approached using either strategy; you may
find that some will better lend themselves to a position paper (also known as an argumentative essay) and
some will work better as a comparison essay. Choose the topic that most interests you and the strategy that
works best for you. Research Paper Assignment Guidelines

Final Research Paper Assignment Guidelines

Topic Areas
1) Kant Mill Aristotle and Kierkegaard What is the ethical life?

Part I includes the following elements:
• Title of the paper (please do not create separate title page). Special note: DO NOT title your paper,
“Final Paper.” Your title is important; it should give the reader an immediate snapshot of what the
paper will say and attempt to draw the reader in. Research Paper Assignment Guidelines
• Introductory paragraph (including your thesis). This is a very important part of the paper–it should
not be too short or too long (but probably at least five sentences). Begin by introducing the general
topic and providing the reader with some rationale for why this topic, and what you will say about
it, is worth thinking and reading about. Good writers usually begin with a “hook” in the first line to
draw the reader in. You might pose an interesting or intriguing question, bring in an apposite quote,
or make a controversial or surprising claim-even one that seems to go against your thesis.

You will soon bring the reader around to what your position is when you state your thesis, which is usually
very near the end of the first paragraph. The introductory paragraph should also provide some
background on the topic in question that leads into the purpose of the paper. Make sure that the
issue that your paper calls into question is crystal clear. Your thesis statement (your position on the
issue) may be simple and straightforward, with all devel.. Research Paper Assignment Guidelines

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