Los Angeles Valley College, Spring 2008       Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D., CC 224
Philosophy 1H, Introduction to Philosophy   http://www.friesian.com/valley/
MW 8:00-9:25 AM (8175), CC 205                       Phone:  (818) 947-2467

                        REQUIREMENT FOR TAP (HONORS) SECTION

When we've gotten through a bit of the course and you've had a chance to
see some of the landscape, you should begin to think about a topic for a
term paper.  By the time we start talking about India, you will have a
number of handouts that will help suggest any number of issues, persons,
traditions, etc., ancient, mediaeval, or modern, East or West, for papers.
You can also preview the later handouts at the class Website.  Your topic
may concern any philosophical issue, person, school, etc. inside or outside
of the course.

You must write a research paper, based on several sources, more substantial
than encyclopedia articles, that you have developed outside the materials
of the course.  This may include some sources you can find on the World
Wide Web; but you must do library work as well, not just web searches, and
you must not cut and paste text from web pages:  That is plagiarism.  Do not
duplicate materials from the course; but if your topic is covered at the
Friesian.com website, you must use those materials in your sources.  If
the paper concerns an individual philosopher, it may be partly biographical,
but it must concern itself primarily with the philosopher's doctrines.  If
the paper concerns a specific issue in philosophy, e.g. God, science,
animal rights, business ethics, etc., it must treat the matter critically
and cannot simply present a doctrine or a point of view in the form of
unqualified advocacy.  If the paper concerns a school, movement, or
anything else that may have religious (e.g. Buddhism) or political (e.g.
environmentalism) aspects, the focus of the treatment must be on the
philosophical issues and debates that are involved.  If the paper is to
deal with something or someone that has been covered in class (e.g.
Socrates), it must focus on issues or scholarship that I have not covered,
or have not covered in depth, in class.

Just because someone calls something a "philosophy" or someone a
"philosopher" does not mean that they are for the purposes of this course.
Consequently, you must check with me about the suitability of your topic.
Then you must submit a draft version of your paper.  You should have a
topic ready during April; drafts are due May 7th; and I will accept
no drafts later than May 19th.  After that, you must simply write the
paper and take your chances.  The draft need be no more than three (double
spaced) pages long but should seriously present and argue your topic, citing
your sources, with a bibliography.  It should be a true draft, not a
completed paper.  I require this procedure in part to protect against
purchased or plagiarized term papers, so don't tell me that you just got
busy and wrote the whole thing.  If you get busy, then just turn in a draft
early.  When I return the draft to you, you must finish the paper, to a
length of 5 pages or more, to be turned in during the week of finals (not
necessarily on the day of the final for this class--the last day of finals
is June 2nd).  If you turn in the paper before the end of the semester,
I may return it to you with further suggestions for work.  If you
turn in an unapproved or uncorrected paper at the end of the semester,
you cannot receive an Excellent mark and will be in danger of the worst
results.

The papers will be graded Excellent, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or Very
Unsatisfactory.  The effect of the grades is as follows:  An Excellent
paper will raise your grade for the entire course, as determined from all
the other tests and the final, 2 whole grade points (this would raise a C-
[5] to a C+ [7], which is the equivalent of a B).  A Satisfactory paper
will leave your course grade unaffected.  An Unsatisfactory paper will
reduce your course grade 2 grade points.  And a Very Unsatisfactory paper
will reduce your course grade 4 grade points.  Submitting a draft paper and
carrying out my instructions to correct it, earns you at least a
Satisfactory mark.  A Very Unsatisfactory mark is only given if 1) you do
not submit a paper at all (without requesting an Incomplete), or 2) if you
submit an unapproved paper, without a draft, or on an unsuitable topic for
this class.

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