Phil 1A Writing Assignment Instructions

Phil 1A Writing Assignment Instructions and Rubric
Due: Thursday May 3, 2018
Following the guidelines on pp. 788-794 of your textbook, you will write a 2000 word argument regarding either free will and determinism or the existence of God. Only your own writing counts towards the 2000 word minimum. You will submit your homework to Turnitin (via Canvas, “Assignments”). No hard copies. Assignments turned in after midnight on Thursday May 3 will have 10% deducted. Late papers will be accepted for two days, with a 10% deduction (10 points). Homework will not be accepted after midnight, Saturday May 5.
Useful guidelines: (A note: These are just guidelines; your rubric below is somewhat different than the one provided on this website.) Additional resource::
MLA formatting (including citing):
Your textbook should be your main resource (cite properly). The following two philosophical encyclopedias may be useful (cite properly):,
Prompt- You will need to form a thesis statement/conclusion, which will respond to one of the two prompts below:
Option #1: What is the most reasonable argument for the existence of God? In answering this question, you should formulate a thesis statement (conclusion) addressing one of the arguments discussed in class. In presenting your argument, you must demonstrate that you understand the argument and its objections, including the relevant epistemological and metaphysical suppositions.
Option #2: Do we have free will? Thought Experiment- Suddenly you are 15 years old again. You haven’t gone back in time (i.e. You don’t have the experiences since), but rather, it is just suddenly the year 2013(ish) again. Would you make the same decisions in your life? All the circumstances surrounding the choices you made are identical. Explain why you would, or wouldn’t, make the same decisions in your life, incorporating the philosophical materials and concepts.
Phil 1A Writing Assignment Rubric

  • Introduction: Do you follow the instructions for writing an introduction for a philosophy paper on pages 788-789 of your text? Is your thesis/conclusion clear? Are your main premises clear?
  • Do you follow the instructions for an argument supporting the thesis on pages 789-790 of your text? Do you offer supporting evidence for the claims you make? Is it obvious to the reader what this evidence is?
  • Do you follow the instructions for assessment of objections on p. 790 of your text? Do you address specific objections to your argument, utilizing supporting texts?
  • Do you have an overall conclusion that summarizes your argument?
  • Is the structure of your paper clear?
  • Is your writing style simple, easy to read, and easy to understand?
  • Is it clear that you understand the philosophical positions your present and address?
  • Do you have a minimum 2000 words?
  • Is your paper proofread, for spelling and grammar errors?

Overall Grade (200 points)             

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