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Term Paper Guidelines GENERAL TOPIC AND ASSIGNMENT: The term paper is a critical and argumentative essay, a paper in which you consider a philosophical issue or question, criticize one view of the issue, and offer an argument (reasons leading to a conclusion) for your own position on the issue. The assignment is to read A Decent Life by Todd May and write a critical and argumentative paper concerning his account of what is required to livea decent life. The term paper should be five to seven pages typed and double-spaced in Times New Roman (or equivalent) 12-point font. Longer is fine, but shorter is not. Do not mess around with margins I know all the tricks! Do not even think of plagiarizing! Staple the paper once in the upper left-hand corner. No title pages, covers, or other excess baggage. Your name should be on the first page only. No running headers with your name on subsequent pages. Please read the sections of the syllabus titled *”How to Do well in this Class” and “A Modest Proposal for Students.” Do a good job-this counts for 15% of your grade. Spelling, punctuation, clarity, and style all count. Label each section of the paper with a heading. If you write the paper early you may see the professor with a rough draft, but be prepared to do some work in revising it. Don’t expect the professor to fix everything that is wrong with your term paper. You can’t bring a broken down Chevy to a mechanic and expect a brand new Porsche when you return. Drafts are not required or necessary, but the professor will take them up to one week before the paper is due. After that, the professor will only look at drafts with you present during scheduled office hours. This is not a research paper. You do not necessarily need to do any outside reading or cite any outside sources, though if you do draw on outside sources be sure to cite them correctly. You should, however, quote from A Decent Life to support your exposition and criticism, citing it correctly. Include a Works Cited page at the end. Due Dates: An outline (one or two sentences for each of the parts of the paper) is due in class November 7. A hard copy of the paper is due in class December 3 AND an electronic copy is due on the same date. Please send a Word document as an e-mail attachment. Optional drafts due November 21. Late papers will be penalized 10 points per calendar day. FORMAT I. Introduction: Introduce your topic and give a roadmap for the paper. Indicate briefly the philosophical issue you will be discussing, the position May takes, and the position you will defend. A term paper should not read like a mystery novel; I should have a clear idea of what you are doing from the beginning. II. May’s View: Clearly explain May’s account of a decent life. What does May say about acknowledgment? What 3 reasons does may give, against Singer, for not living a life of strict morality (in other words a life of moral sainthood or altruism)? Write as if your audience were not the instructor but someone who was unfamiliar with philosophy. Be clear and precise. Keep this separate from your own position on the issue, at least for the moment. Apt quotations from the book to support your arguments are necessary.Cite parenthetically “… lies” (53). III. Criticism ofMay’sView: Having stated his view, what criticisms can you offer? Has May given sufficient reasons to support his conclusion(s)? Has he met the burden of proof? Give examples to illustrate your criticisms. IV. Your Position. State and argue for your view of what it means to live a decent life. Use examples, and be sure to argue (supply reasons leading to a conclusion) for your position as well. Why is your position the correct one? V.Conclusion: Briefly summarize what has been said, make clear what you have argued for, and perhaps indicate in closing some other connections we might think about

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