Critically Thinking and Writing on a Topic, Due April 17

5-7 pages, 12-pt. font, double spaced, one-inch margins


Write a critical reflection paper.  This paper is not a research paper, nor is the paper an elaboration of your belief system. This paper contrasts the concepts of the first paper with those of Nietzsche that we have covered thus far in class.

Notice you are not defending your own position, but contrasting points between the two; then evaluating both for weaknesses and strengths: how each may result in unforeseen problems or how each may have strong possibilities.  Quite naturally, this final paper may tend toward a positive regard for your first paper and a negative one for its alternative.  A strong “A” paper, however, will be able to be critically fair with both positions and learn a new insight from the assessment; this will be the source of the paper’s thesis.



  1. Find two to three major points of divergence between the revised first paper and any one philosopher; don’t be obligated to address every point in first paper.


  1. Offer direct evidence from both positions as each point is contrasted. Whenever borrowing a text’s ideas and words, cite with full in-text notes in the first citation, e.g. (“A meaningful Life” 2) [refer to your paper by its title, not “my paper,” “my position”], (Plato, Apology 35b2), (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1163a 25-30), (Nietzsche, On The Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay §16), or (Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology” 307).  Abbreviated citations are appropriated for successive citations, e.g., (“Technology” 309).


  1. Having contrasted major points of divergence, evaluate the two philosophies: their viability, value, happiness quotient, possible misuse, etc. Be thoughtfully creative, but fair.


  1. Finally, avoid “I believe,” “I feel,” or “you,” etc. in your exposition—maintain focus on the texts instead of shifting focus onto yourself or onto another.


Grading Criteria: Total points – 100

Paper Introduction: 15

  • Have a clear thesis statement. What is the major point or claim of the paper?
  • Engage the reader.
  • Offer a brief overview of the paper.

Textual Contrast: 30

  • Have clear contrasting points of discussion in the chosen texts.
  • Comment on the chosen texts; provide facts, rationale or other worthwhile supportive

information.  Don’t offer unsupported claims.

Textual Analysis: 25

  • Raise objections to both of the chosen texts. How do objections weaken, strengthen, or

Falsify the chosen texts?

Paper Conclusion: 15

  • Match conclusion of paper with thesis statement.
  • Does the body of your paper support your thesis statement?

Paper Development and Composition: 15

  • Develop one idea per paragraph with transitions between paragraphs.
  • Are grammar and syntax correct?P(5.u)

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