Author a 1,200-word (minimum) examination of your present values, beliefs, commitments and/or actions in the light of course readings in topic areas such as the Humanities, Education, Meaning of Life, Love, Happiness, The Sacred, Dignity and Ethics, and The Arts, Popular Culture, and Our Humanity. Students are encouraged to concentrate on a specific topic area, but are free to draw on readings from more than one area of interest.
The paper need not be a cut-and-dry argument driven paper, but it must have discernable purpose and direction. Furthermore, the paper should feature consideration of ideas that the challenge as well as confirm the author’s own thinking. Be sure to thoughtfully organize and develop the paper.
The purpose of this paper is to engage ideas and works presented in course materials to foster critical-creative and hopefully illuminating introspection.
Since this is a “self-examination” paper, you are encouraged to write from a personal point of view. However, it is important that you use proper form and adhere to basic academic standards (see MLA or Chicago style writing guidelines).
Keys to a successful paper:
o Identify and articulate the key questions your paper is considering and seeking to answer or at least clarify.
o Draw on and implement a variety of ideas and thinkers from course materials to critically examine the features of your life and beliefs.
o Use good form: introduction, body paragraphs complete with engaging and informative topic sentences, a conclusion; adhere to MLA or Chicago writing style; use in-text citations and provide a work’s cited page.
o Do not be afraid of acknowledging ambiguity or uncertainty.
o Avoid making sweeping and unsubstantiated statements. If you think that violent media desensitizes people, for example, be sure to discuss reasons that support such a contention (from your personal experience, related studies found in course materials, etc.)
o As this is a self-examination paper, personal experiences and perspectives are expected and looked forward to.
o Support your claims with relevant reasons. You may draw on personal experience, research, and of course relevant course materials.
o Be sure that you do not simply “drop” a quote into your work; that does not count as sufficient engagement with course materials. Instead, enter into dialogue with key readings and authors; or perhaps bring them in to support your own insights.