Los Angeles Valley College, Spring 2009 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 13th; and I will accept no drafts later than May 20th. 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 8th. 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-  to a C+ , 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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