1) Compare Kant and Wollstonecraft on what it takes to be free. Use the following quotes as a way into the topic. Order Description 1) Just Answer the Question – Argument not Storytelling. We don’t want any obvious, unnecessary background information (like ‘Rousseau was a famous Enlightenment philosopher’), nor any summaries of the texts. In other words, no storytelling. Just start with the specific topic and make sure every word of your Portfolio Task is devoted to developing your argument. 2) The Quotes. The quotes are designed as introductions to the texts. Be sure to break down the quotes before you begin your works so that you understand what each quote is saying, and how it connects to the essay question. You must pay close attention to the ideas expressed in the quotes, but you cannot only explain these quotes and nothing else. Set the quotes in context by going into the whole text to fill out what they mean. 3) Focus Your Reading. Everything in the text might not be relevant to the topic of course, but your job is to find those bits that do help you answer the question. 4) Reading. What we are looking for is how well you can argue your position based on a close reading of the primary texts. The more you read the texts the better your argument will be – you will be able to sustain your points by appropriate quotes and references to the texts. The best essays, because the reading has been so careful, might be able to surprise even us. 5) Comparing Two Authors: The questions ask you to compare the views of two authors on a set topic. Think about what connections or dissimilarities the two authors have. There may be numerous connections that you can think of. Narrow down your focus so that your answer is coherent. You don’t need to spend an equal proportion of your assessment on each thinker (so it doesn’t have to be 50% Kant and 50% Wollstonecraft, for example). 6) Argument. Remember that you are trying to convince the reader that you understand what the texts are saying about these concepts of human progress, human happiness, and the restrictions and enabling of freedom. Also, you are trying to show the reader how clever you can be in comparing the two texts in terms of these concepts: for example, you might demonstrate similarities, dissimilarities, the ways the texts might criticise or augment each other. You should use a clear, strong argument structure that the reader can easily follow. And, remember, there are no right answers here – you can argue anything you like. It is the quality of the argument that counts. 7) Referencing. Any referencing system is allowed as long as it is consistently applied. You do not have to use any secondary references. When referencing the primary works you can use either the page numbers from the Reader, or from the specific text in the Reader. The Reader is a difficult thing to put in a footnote or in your bibliography – just use something like: Author, “Text Title,” in Texts and Traditions Tutorial Readings Spring 2016, Western Sydney University. 8) Use an Essay Plan. Use an essay plan to help organise your work. Each paragraph should deliver a single point of argument that answers the essay question and includes evidence from the text to back up the claim you are making. An essay plan will help you to put your ideas in a logical order.
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