Tutor profile: Elissa B.
How can I find a topic for my paper and make sure it fits the guidelines?
There are several ways to find a paper topic! 1. Make sure you fully understand what your teacher or professor expects out of the paper. Does she want you to argue from your own opinion, argue through evidence, explain an idea, or something else? 2. Are there any topics or ideas from this class or book that I thought interesting, exciting, or incorrect? Did my teacher or professor say something that I questioned or I wanted to know more about? 3. If there isn’t something from the class itself, are there particular countries (Kenya, Vietnam, etc.), cultures, issues (women’s rights, voting, healthy eating, etc.), values (justice, compassion, equality, etc.), sociological ideas (government, family, religion/spirituality, etc.) that interest you? If so, through research you might be able to connect something from the class to your chosen topic. If the topic is relatively unknown to you, set aside some time to research more about the topics to make sure they are a good fit for the assignment’s parameters. You don’t want a topic that does not fit the requirements of the assignment, or that would be too broad or narrow or too obvious. But don’t stress too much about the size of the topic at the beginning of your writing process, because you will soon figure out if you have too much or too little on your topic. If you cannot find almost anything on your topic, consider broader topics that might encompass your current topic but are not so narrow. If your topic is too broad, narrow by thinking of subcategories for your topic and just researching that. For example, • “Vietnamese dogs” “dogs of Asia” since Asia is a broader topic than Vietnam. • gods in Ancient Greece Athena, Zeus, etc. 4. Once you have ideas on the topic, take a sheet of paper and write your topic in the middle of the page. Then, in circles around the topic, begin writing 1-2 word descriptions of anything you think of that might relate. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and don’t stop until it buzzes. 5. Look and see what part of the topic is most interesting to you. 6. Now, continue to research, noting down good ideas, interesting quotes, and questions and disagreements that you have. 7. Next will come a thesis statement for your paper! This is a “claim”- the idea or point you will be trying to prove or demonstrate in your paper. You should never make claim before doing adequate research and considering multiple perspectives. Doing so will make you much more likely to make a claim that is either untrue or not as strong or good as it would be when you take into account multiple perspectives and reflect. Making an assertion before research is not only dishonest, but will make your argument much less credible. It’s also a lot harder. Why do that to yourself? 8. From your research, what stood out to you that people might not know, and/or that you believe that others credibly might not? Why do you think it is true, or that a claim commonly believed is not true? Make the claim and why you believe it true or false your thesis statement. Now onto writing the paper!!
Subject: US History
What philosophies of John Locke influenced the American colonies’ decision to declare independence from Great Britain?
The American Revolution’s philosophical foundations lie in Enlightenment and early modern philosophies of natural rights and consent of the governed as well as, less directly, in Reformation doctrines of the equality of people before God and their dependence upon God. The American Founders were indebted to John Locke, particularly his Two Treatises on Government, in which he expresses the view that governments are formed by the consent of the governed for the protection of life, liberty, and property. According to Locke, it is because God creates each person, and creates each as free and equal that all possess these “inalienable rights” which government cannot justly violate. Those who do so are tyrannies, which may be, or even ought to be under certain circumstances, overthrown. The American Founders saw Great Britain’s “taxation without representation” as violating these principles, and since King George refused to recognize their complaints but continued to rule for his own gain rather than by the consent of the governed, they must rebel to secure their liberty.
What does Sophocle's Antigone teach us about patriotism and family loyalties?
Both the family and the state are broader communities than the self, both demand loyalty, to both is loyalty owed, and in both are women generally inferior to men. On its surface, Antigone’s decision to disobey the command of Thebes’ king and mourn her dead father and brothers (killed by the king) demonstrates her prioritization of loyalty to family above obedience to the state. Yet, her motivation goes deeper. In persisting in burying her brother, an act of respect for human dignity and for the order of the gods, Sophocles demonstrates that tradition and respect for the gods dictated a loyalty to parents before the state. Thus the state, while more broadly encompassing the society, is less fundamental for its stability and structure.
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