This assignment asks you to develop an argument of your choice based on the following course readings:

This assignment asks you to develop an argument of your choice based on the following course readings: Baldwin and Mead; Appiah ch. 3 “The Demands of Identity”; Thucydides; Sophocles’ Ajax; Le Guin’s “…Omelas”; Appiah ch. 5 “Soul Making”) and our corresponding discussions. You may take as your starting-point one of your own discussion board comments or RW responses: that is, construct your argument around a topic that you have already engaged with and build out from there.
What is an argument? An argument will take a clear position on a specific issue or question and will offer evidence in support of that position. For example: “Oedipus in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King deserves to suffer for reasons A, B, and C.” This example takes a clear and specific position on the question of whether or not the character Oedipus deserves to suffer. For this example, the evidence in support of “reasons A, B, and C” would most likely come from the text of the play Oedipus the King; in addition, this hypothetical argument might engage with a point raised in lecture or another one of our readings.
How do you develop an argument? Above, it is suggested that you “build out from” one of your own discussion board comments or RW responses: “build out from” DOES NOT MEAN ‘use more words to say the same thing.’ “Build out from” DOES MEAN that you provide reasons and specific evidence in support of your overall idea, which is the claim or thesis of the argument.
For our purposes, your ‘evidence’ should consist of key passages from our course readings to date. NO outside research or secondary sources are called for (ZERO, NONE, NADA). The more specific your evidence from our readings, the better. For example, for the hypothetical argument above, the student might cite in support of one of their reasons Oedipus’ own words:
Oedipus himself acknowledges that he was responsible for gouging out his own eyes (OT 1331-32). This acknowledgment demonstrates how Oedipus…
AVOID vague or over-general references, such as ‘Oedipus often seems like a jerk.’ Instead, point to a specific passage, and provide a citation. Remember, your evidence needs to SUPPORT your claim.
In general, you should paraphrase when referring to one of our readings, as in the example above, where Oedipus’ words are not quoted verbatim but are summarized in paraphrase. Only quote directly if the exact original wording is significant for your argument. AVOID lengthy quotations.
Citations should be given in parentheses at the end of a sentence, as in the example above (OT 1331-32).
Use the following abbreviations and, for Sophocles, the relevant line number(s), for Thucydides, the book and section numbers (e.g. 2.37), or, for any other author, the relevant page number(s) of the print version (not the PDF page numbers):
Ajax (= Sophocles, Ajax)
Thucydides (= Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War)
Baldwin and Mead (= James Baldwin and Margaret Mead, A Rap on Race selections)
Appiah, “Demands” (= K. A. Appiah, “The Demands of Identity,” The Ethics of Identity)
Appiah, “Soul Making” (= K. A. Appiah, “Soul Making,” The Ethics of Identity)
Le Guin, “Omelas” (= U. K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”)
So, again, “if you have a short quotation,” or a paraphrase of some part of one of the readings, be sure to add an abbreviated, parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence, just as you see in this very sentence (Baldwin and Mead 124). You do not need to provide a list of works cited, since you should only be referring to one or more of the course readings above.
Your response should be approximately 2 full pages (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, in either Word or PDF). Especially because this is a fairly short response, it should be well organized, coherent, and concise. Be sure to clearly express the thesis of the argument in the first paragraph, and devote each of the following paragraphs to developing a new point/reason in support of the thesis. Create an outline of your argument for yourself, and, when you are revising, check that each paragraph develops its own specific point. AVOID plot summary, off-topic discussion, and anything that does not clearly further the argument.