2nd Paper Outline: Argument Paper

Begin by choosing two articles from either the topic of freewill versus determinism, or the existence

of God. There is no need to write a standard introduction, but please include a short one that says

which two articles you’ll be discussing and the main arguments you’ll be focusing on from those


Part 1: Paraphrase the arguments (or an argument) from each article. Paraphrasing does not mean

restating every point; it means putting the main points into your own words. You can choose to

paraphrase one or two central arguments, rather than the entire article, due to space constraints.

You may have to make choices about which premises to a given argument you should include. Some

premises may be more important than others depending on the overall direction of your paper. You  may also want to occasionally quote from the article to make particular points explicit, but don’t

over­quote! (See rules for quoting below.)

Part 2: Consider disagreements, and how one of the authors might respond to the other author’s

points. You should begin this part by discussing one or two central points of disagreement between

the two authors you’ve chosen. For example, do they define terms differently? Do they draw different

conclusions overall?

Next, discuss any counterarguments one of the authors might give to the other. For example,

regarding God, Swinburne argues that natural evils like hurricanes are allowed by God to give humans

a greater range of choice. Given what you know about his view, how might Nagel respond back to

Swinburne? Consider this sort of back and forth in relation to whichever two articles you’ve chosen.

Citations: There should be no need to quote any sources outside of the readings. If you really want

to do so, please clear it with me first. Otherwise, please simply indicate the author and put the page

number from the article in parentheses. For example, Harris claims that “his case against free will does

not depend on philosophical materialism” (11). Make sure you are clear about the author and page


What should the final product look like?: You should turn in a 3­5 page, 12­point font, doublespaced

paper that addresses parts 1 and 2 above.

How will you grade my paper?: I will grade you on the following criteria.

Organization (25%): The paper is clear, consistent, and easy to follow. Each sentence logically

contributes to the next and paragraphs are divided appropriately by content.

Analysis (50%): The paper accurately and appropriately paraphrases the arguments of the articles and

anticipates counterarguments.

Format (25%): The paper is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Sources are cited clearly and

properly according to the simple criteria laid out above

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