Critically reflect upon how either our modern perspective challenges the reading or how the reading challenges our modern perspective.

Instructions: You are required to write two response papers this semester (each worth 10% of your final grade). For both response papers, you will respond in approximately 750-1000 words to a primary reading of your choice following the guidelines outlined below.

A \’response paper\’ is not a book review nor a summary of the information in the text. Rather, your response paper should be a thoughtful and critical response to one idea or theme in the reading and how it relates to either you personally or to our modern society more generally. One way to think about the paper is to either 1) use a current event, idea, or practice to rethink an idea or argument presented in the reading, or 2) use an idea or argument presented in the reading to rethink a current event, idea, or practice. One useful formula to follow when organizing your paper is to first provide a brief introduction to how the author understands or uses the idea or theme, then identify your own position on the idea or theme in relation to the author\’s, and finally critically reflect upon how either our modern perspective challenges the reading or how the reading challenges our modern perspective.

Response Paper #1 Options:

For the first response paper, you may choose from one of the following primary readings: Descartes\’ Discourse on Method or Darwin\’s On the Origin of Species. CHOOSE ONLY ONE OF THESE TO WRITE ABOUT!


1) Attach your response paper using the above link. Please note that your paper will be checked with SafeAssign.

2) Your paper must contain a clearly identifiable thesis statement that advances an argument or claim for which you will provide evidence throughout the essay.

3) You must use evidence to support your claims. Refer to concrete examples of contemporary issues as well as specific examples in the text, including at least two direct quotations from the primary reading.

4) External sources are not required for this assignment but may be used if they add support for your argument. However, be selective (relevant, peer-reviewed, etc.) and cite accurately anything you choose to use (you may use either the Chicago Manual of Style or MLA style guidelines–just be consistent with whatever citation style you choose).

5) Think of your audience as being your fellow students: they have read the same material as you but may disagree with your reading of the material. Use summary, paraphrasing, and quotations to support your argument, not as fillers.

6) Paper formatting guidelines: Microsoft Word document, 1\” margins on all sides, 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, numbered pages, and include your name, class information, date, and word count at the top of the assignment.