Northern Arizona University/Environmental Ethics/Handouts/Short Paper Four
Philosophy of Law
Short paper #4[edit | edit source]
(1 ½ to 2 pages, typewritten, due April 11th at the beginning of class. If you would prefer to turn it in next Tuesday, that will also be fine. You will, however, receive feedback later than those who turn in the short paper on Thursday.)
Let us use this short assignment as an opportunity to make more progress on your term paper. For this assignment, start with the dispute that you intend to focus on and attempt to narrow it down and clarify the nature of the dispute. Try to find specific sources for the dispute and explain the basis of the competing claims. If, for instance, you are focusing on a dispute in a case of constitutional law, look at specific paragraphs in the decision and the dissent. Having clarified the nature of the dispute, think more about the thesis you would like to work on as you attempt to work through such a dispute. Try to clarify the thesis by explaining what you intend to argue for and against and what you intend to set aside for the purposes of the paper.
Having clarified the nature of your thesis, try to outline the main steps in the argument you intend to make in support of the thesis. Work through the basic ideas in this argument and try to explain how they function as ideas in support of your thesis. Finally, consider the main objections one might make to your argument. Pick one or two that you think are serious objections and explain how you intend to respond to the objections.