The writing assignment consists of a short essay, a minimum of 200 words, on a question or problem that we covered that week. Short writing assignments must be no less than two hundred (200) of your own words. This means that quotations do not count against the two hundred words. I will not even read assignments shorter than the required minimum of 200 words (I use a program to monitor word-count) and you will automatically receive zero (0) points for any such assignments.
I expect a professionally written essay that is well formulated, without spelling and grammatical errors. I will deduct points for sloppily written essays (see the rubric below). In your essay you should address the question posed directly and thoroughly. You do not need to waste too much space on background unless the question of the essay specifically demands such background.
The rubric below specifies the criteria used for grading essays. Please review it carefully and follow it throughout the term. (The rubric contains four columns; if you do not see all four resize your browser)
Less than 200
Grammar, spelling, punctuation:
10 or more mistakes
8 or more mistakes
6 or more mistakes
4 or more mistakes
Completely misses the essay’s question
Misses large part of the essay’s question
Misses aimportant aspects of the essay’s question
Misses some aspect of the essay’s question
Covers all parts of the essay’s question
ASSIGNMENT: In your opinion, who makes the stronger case for his or her view on abortion- Mary Anne Warren or Don Marquis? Why? Does either argument contain a problematic premise? If so, what is it? Make sure you state the essential elements of their respective views and defend your stand with cogent arguments. Below is an example of an ideal paper per instructor. Please do not use. Also attached is notes for the assignment from instructor.
ESSAY EXAMPLE: Opinion
I think that every woman should have the right to choose what she wants to do in terms of her own pregnancy and her own body, so therefore I am pro-choice. Regardless of my opinion on whether abortion is right or wrong, I think both authors made good points in each of their essays and I also liked hearing arguments for both pro-life and pro-choice. However, I think Mary Anne Warren makes a better argument for her view on abortion. As mentioned in the essays in the reading, I often see a lot of people who are pro-life use “all fetuses are humans” as their main argument, and I think Warren does a good job of explaining how that isn’t exactly true and she includes what defines being a “human”.
Mary Anne Warren argues for women’s rights to have the choice in determining whether to have an abortion or not. She argues that there is a fallacy in the usual pro-life argument of since fetuses are innocent human beings, it is wrong to kill them. Warren states that fetuses are not human beings in the moral sense, where they have equal moral rights. She gives six characteristics that she thinks are the main characteristics of personhood. While she says that a person does not need to have all of these attributes to be a person, they should at least have a few. “Thus, to demonstrate that a fetus is not a person, all I need to claim is that an entity that has none of these six characteristics is not a person…” (136). Also in her argument, she says that even if a potential person does have some right to life, “that right could not outweigh the right of a woman to obtain an abortion; for the basic moral rights of an actual person outweigh the rights of a merely potential person, whenever the two conflict” (138).
Don Marquis’ argument focuses on the pro-life argument of abortion. Overall, he believes that abortion is wrong, but there are some instances where he could see the need to make an exception, such as in cases of rape. He partially agrees with Warren in the sense that women should have control over their own bodies, but states the opposite of Warren’s argument by saying, “…the right to life overrides the right of a woman to control her own body. Therefore, abortion is wrong” (141). Marquis focuses a lot on his “Future Like Ours” argument. This argument talks about how the main reason why abortion is wrong is because it involves the loss of that fetus’s potential future, such as its experiences, projects, activities. These are all futures that are the same as adult human beings and children.
I think that both Marquis and Warren make arguments that do a good job of defending their point of views over the abortion debate. I think that any argumentative paper that includes a person’s opinions could be viewed as problematic because there will always be people who disagree with them. I think Marquis’ “Future Like Ours” argument is more problematic than Warren’s argument because he talks about how if a woman chooses to get an abortion, it is a loss of the fetus’s potential future, but he fails to mention how it could affect the woman’s potential future if she chose to keep the baby.