Humanities Essay

In this TED Talk, The Best Education for All, Bill Deresiewicz defines the Humanities, as a part of the broader Liberal Arts, as “those fields in which knowledge is pursued for its own sake, not for any utilitarian purpose.”  He also argues that “when you study [these], you learn to gather evidence, weigh competing interpretations, come to your own conclusions, and communicate the results with clarity and force.”

More broadly, Andrew Imbrie, in his On Being post, “Why I Study the Humanities,” declared: “To study the humanities is to see how the Greeks and Romans formed part of an educational and cultural tradition that enriches our lives, deepens our commitment to nature and community, and enables us to sit with tragedy, wonder, and paradox.”

These two scholars are making a case for the importance of the Humanities in our lives. For your final assignment, you will make your own case about why and how the Humanities impact your life. You will write a final reflection paper that effectively persuades the reader.

Essentially, your thesis statement will be “I am the Humanities.” Or, if you believe that the Humanities plays no significant role in your life, your thesis will be “I am not the Humanities.” Either way, you will write a 5 to 7 paragraph essay using concrete details from your experience and learning, as well as  evidence from works of the Humanities to build your arguments and support your thesis.

You may choose to develop your own variation of this thesis statement, with your own specific focus – summon your creativity here – just be sure to express your ideas coherently and persuasively.

Scoring Rubric:

Writer uses authentic voice, and effectively persuades the reader – 20pts.

Essay includes original (personal) ideas and concrete details – 20 pts.

Essay is organized with focused paragraphs, including a clear introduction with thesis, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph – 10 pts.

Essay includes meaningful references to a minimum of 4 works of the Humanities (Art, Literature, Philosophy, etc.) – 10 pts.

All works referenced include correct and consistent in-text citations and full reference citations list at end of essay (APA or MLA) – 5 pts.

Essay follows Standard English conventions and usage (capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc.) – 5 pts.

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Rubric

Final Humanities Essay Rubric

Final Humanities Essay Rubric
CriteriaRatingsPts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAuthenticity & Persuasion Writer uses authentic voice, and effectively persuades the reader.20.0 to >0.0 pts Full Marks 0.0 pts No Marks20.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIdeas & Details Essay includes original (personal) ideas and concrete details20.0 to >0.0 pts Full Marks 0.0 pts No Marks20.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization Essay is organized with focused paragraphs, including a clear introduction with thesis, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph10.0 to >0.0 pts Full Marks 0.0 pts No Marks10.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeHumanities Works Included Essay includes meaningful references to a minimum of 4 works of the Humanities (Art, Literature, Philosophy, etc.)10.0 to >0.0 pts Full Marks 0.0 pts No Marks10.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAPA or MLA Style All works referenced include correct and consistent in-text citations and full reference citations list at end of essay (APA or MLA)5.0 to >0.0 pts Full Marks 0.0 pts No Marks5.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStandard English Conventions Essay follows Standard English writing conventions and usage (capitalization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc.)5.0 to >0.0 pts Full Marks 0.0 pts No Marks5.0 pts
Total Points: 70.0

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