Thursday, January 19, 2006

First Response Paper

The first response paper is due one week from today. You may email it to me, or you can bring a hard copy to class on Thursday.

The paper should be 5-7 pages long. You needn't include a cover sheet; just have your name at the top of the first page.

1. At a minimum, the paper should be well-written, well-edited, and free from any technical errors.

2. I don't care WHAT citation method you use, but you should use SOME kind of method (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc).

3. The paper should advance a central thesis as the answer to the question you choose, and the paper should be centered around providing support for the answer to that question.

I will happily examine drafts of the paper up to 24 hours before it is due. Pragmatically, this means you should have any drafts to me by no later than 5:00 PM on Wednesday.

You may choose from one of the following questions. If you don't like any of these questions and want to suggest one of your own, I need to approve it as soon as possible--no later than Monday.


1. Identify and describe at least three aspects of Aristotle's treatment of rhetoric that are still relevant today. Explain their contemporary relevance using recent, well-developed examples.

2. Aristotle writes that "things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites..." Do you agree or disagree with this claim? Support your answer using relevant, well-developed examples.

3. We discussed in class how the need for rhetoric/persuasion arises from the fundamental uncertainty of the human condition. What is the relationship between epistemological uncertainty and the adversarial system of justice in the law? (This wikipedia entry may be helpful in describing and assessing the adversarial system of justice).


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