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You will write a 4 page summary and evaluation paper which explains, analyzes, and critiques the position known as moral relativism (MR).

Paper 1: Problems with Moral Relativism
I. Content
You will write a 4 page summary and evaluation paper which explains, analyzes, and critiques the position known as moral relativism (MR). First, you should read (or listen to) the following essays:
1) Book 1 of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity (available online at http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/apologetics/mere-christianity/Book1/cs-lewis-mere-christianity-book1.php)
2) Peter Kreeft’s analysis of moral relativism at http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/05_relativism/relativism_transcription.htm
You are welcome to use other sources as well (but by no means required). Be sure to cite everything you use, including Lewis and Kreeft. In fact, there must at least be citations of both Lewis and Kreeft in the paper.
A good structure for the paper might look like this: after an introduction which articulates your thesis (main point) and main supporting arguments, the first part of your paper should explain what MR is and what its position entails. Then you should articulate fairly the main arguments for it. Finally, you should articulate the main arguments for the existence of objective moral standards/laws and thus why MR is wrong. Along the way, be sure to refute the arguments for MR. Your conclusion might briefly reiterate the position for which you have argued and also reflect personally on what you have learned and and/or where you have seen MR in your own experience and/or some of the ramifications of it, etc.
The grade for the paper will be based on clarity of writing, accuracy and depth of understanding, strength of argument, and logical and consistent argumentation (*note: there is no logical and consistent argument for moral relativism).
II. Formatting, Style and Grammar
1. About 4 pages of main body text (no less than 3.5 and no more than 8, not counting cover page or bibliography)
2. Double spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman font
1” margins (Default for most word processors is 1.25” Make sure to change this to 1”)
3. Page numbers (ask at the ASC if you need help with this)
5. Footnotes are preferred, but any standard citation method is acceptable. Ask me or go to the WIN center if you don’t know MLA, APA or Chicago style.
 Absolutely no quotations longer than 2-3 lines.
 Do not begin sentences with a quotation.
 You need to cite anything that you got from some source other than your own knowledge or class lectures/handouts, even if you are not directly quoting it. Failure to do so is plagiarism.
6. Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation (no contractions), complete sentences, clear sentences, and coherent train of thought
7. Your introduction should very briefly summarize the point of your paper (thesis statement) and tell your reader how you will go about explaining the topic or making your case. What are the main ideas/arguments/evidences for your thesis? What are the key parts of your paper? The introduction is the roadmap for the rest of the paper.
*If you have trouble with English writing, please set up an appointment with a tutor at the WIN center and/or come to me for help. I am also more than happy to look at rough drafts.
Paper 2: Research Paper
I. Overview
You will write a 5 page persuasive research paper which takes a position on a specific issue and argues for it logically and persuasively, drawing on at least 5 reputable sources. The object of your paper is to convince an intelligent and generally informed reader that the position for which you are arguing is correct (e.g., telling white lies is always wrong, organ harvesting is permissible in some situations even if there is still a heartbeat, smoking should be prohibited except in private homes, sex is morally good provided that the couple is in love, or seatbelt laws are wrong because they unnecessarily limit personal freedom).
You should explain the issue under consideration, any technical terminology, relevant circumstances, etc. Then you should argue for a position. Your argument should be reasonable, consistent, informed by the facts, theologically grounded, and attentive to material covered in class and the commonly held opinions of others. Therefore, you will need to do some research to understand the issue and what people have claimed about it.
Papers will be turned in on Canvas which will send them to TurnItIn.com to check for appropriate use of source material. If you turn your paper in early enough, you will have time to see the TurnItIn results and correct your paper, if needed.
Feel free to consult your teacher for topic suggestions.
II. Formatting, Style and Grammar
1. About 5 pages of main body text (no less than 4.5 and no more than 10, not counting cover page or bibliography)
2. Double spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman font
1” margins (Default for some word processors is 1.25” Make sure to change this to 1”)
3. Page numbers (get help on how to do this if you need it)
4. Cover page with your name, etc.
 Your name should not be on any other page, despite MLA style requirements
5. Everything should be in a single file (cover page, body, bibliography/works cited page)
6. Footnotes are preferred, but any standard citation style is acceptable. Ask me or go to the ASC if you don’t know MLA, APA or Chicago style.
 Absolutely no quotations longer than 2-3 lines.
 Do not begin sentences with a quotation.
 You need to cite anything that you got from some source other than your own knowledge or class lectures/handouts, even if you are not directly quoting it. Failure to do so is plagiarism.
7. Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
Complete sentences
Clear sentences and coherent train of thought
8. Your introduction should very briefly summarize the point of your paper (thesis statement) and tell your reader how you will go about explaining the topic or making your case. What are the main ideas/arguments/evidences for your thesis? What are the key parts of your paper? The introduction is the roadmap for the rest of the paper.
*If you have trouble with English writing, please set up an appointment with a tutor at the WIN center and/or come to me for help. I am also more than happy to look at rough drafts.
III. Research
1. You should use at least 5 reputable sources in conducting your research. Neither websites nor daily or weekly periodicals count as reputable, unless they are pre-approved by me at least 10 days before the paper due date. At least 1 of these sources must be a journal article. The Bible does not count as a source, though it should definitely be used.
IV. Content
1. Your audience is a liberal arts educated person, so you can assume basic things, but should not assume too much. New vocabulary and ideas should be explained more or less briefly, as called for by the level of technical-ness.
2. Your paper should explain your topic and the issues surrounding it. You must include an explanation of a Christian perspective on the issue (this may double as your explanation of an opposing view).
3. You must fairly/sympathetically explain the points of view of both sides of the controversy. This does not mean that you think that both are right (they usually can’t both be right). Nor does this mean that the bulk of your presentation has to be an equal review of both sides. You must take a stand with one side or the other and argue for your position. However, you need to get inside the heads of those holding the opposing position and be able to understand their reasons for thinking what they do, and then explain their viewpoint fairly.
4. You must explain the Christian principles and virtues that come into play regarding the issue you choose and articulate a Christian position on the issue, even if it is a position you will argue is incorrect. If there is no clear Christian position, then explain the theological reasons that Christians have on either side of the issue. You are not required to take a Christian position yourself, though you do have to research, understand, and fairly represent it, and if you disagree, you must do so intelligently.
5. Take a defensible stand. Do not simply assert your position; rather, argue for it, give reasons for it, explain it as powerfully as possible (don’t be afraid to be passionate). Try to convince your audience that they should agree with you. This means advancing logical, consistent, and well-grounded arguments. This also means that you explain why you think the other side is incorrect.
V. Paper Grade Breakdown
1. Followed directions and good grammar, spelling, etc. (10 pts)
2. Good style – easy to read, articulate, creative, pleasant language (5 pts)
3. Well-ordered presentation – good introduction, clear transitions between parts (10 pts)
4. Complete explanation – Did you cover all the important points? Was your explanation accurate? Was it clear? (15 pts)
5. Fair presentation of both sides (10 pts)
6. Theological grounding – Did you incorporate sound Christian theology and fairly present a Christian viewpoint? (10 pts)
7. Took a stand and argued well for your position – Is your argument well-grounded in the facts? Is it logical and consistent? Does it take account of relevant principles and arguments learned in class, including a virtue-based perspective? Does it advance counter-arguments against the opposing position? (25 pts)
8. Research – correct number and use of reputable sources and use of a standard citation style (15 pts)

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