See the general instructions in the Essay Discussion Instructions section of the course menu.
Once you choose which question you’d like to write about, write your essay and post it in the discussion board and also save it as a Word document.
To create your post, click the blue Create Thread button.
To be able to read and respond to others’ posts, you will first need to
publish your own post. Your first post is the one that will be
graded–a blank post WILL be graded if it is your first post in the
board. You can save your post as a draft, but it will not be published
for students to view, nor will it be queued for grading until you click
the Submit button.
When you refresh the board, after you publish
your post, it will allow you to view everyone’s posts. If you hover your
cursor at the bottom of a post, the button to reply to that student’s
post will appear.
Use your course texts to help you respond to the topic, and when
you quote and summarize from the course texts, include information about
the page reference.
You are discouraged from using additional
sources. If you do choose to use an outside source, be sure to cite your
source, just as you do when you use the course texts. If you use a
quotation or an example from a website, cite the website’s url and the
Once you are ready for your classmates to read it, post the
thread containing your essay. Then go to the TurnItIn dropbox section
here in Blackboard and post your Word document into the dropbox. You do
not need to include your response to another student in the file that
you upload to TurnItIn.
Finally, read your classmates’ posts. A complete assignment includes your written response to at least one essay besides your own–part
of your score is based on your reply to at least one of your
classmate’s posts. It should be a meaningful reply that continues the
discussion, points out something good about the post, and makes a
constructive suggestion for improvement.
Essay Length tips–To answer these topics completely, it
takes a minimum of 500 words. Use the topic questions and the scoring
rubric to see if your draft responds fully to all parts of the question.
A complete thoughtful answer is more important than word count.
Topics for your Essay, Choose one
Topic A: You try to live strictly by the moral
rules contained in your religion’s moral code. The two most important
rules are “Be merciful” (don’t give people what they deserve) and “Be
just” (give people exactly what they deserve). Now suppose a man is
arrested for stealing food from your house, and the police leave it up
to you whether he should be prosecuted for his crime or set free. Should
you be merciful and set him free, or be just and make sure he is
appropriately punished? How do you resolve this conflict of rules? Can
your moral code resolve it? To what moral principles or theories do you
Topic B: Why do you think
people are tempted to use the straw man fallacy in disagreements on
moral issues? How do you feel when someone uses this fallacy against
you? To demonstrate your understanding and to teach the idea to the rest
of the class, provide a relevant real-life example of
the logical mistake. (You MAY use an outside source to help you present
your example; be sure to summarize or paraphrase, cite, and use
announcing verbs.) Choose carefully—consider whether your example does a
good job of illustrating a Straw Man. Compare it to similar fallacies,
and show why your example is a Straw Man rather than another fallacy
like an Appeal to the Person. Your discussion of your example should be
detailed so that readers can evaluate the fallacy. Argue the case for
why your example is an example of Straw Man.