PHI 1600 University of Idaho The 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation Essay See attachment for full details on paper. The moral theory that will be used for this paper is Utilitarianism. INTR 250R / 250 Years of Protest / Paper #2
MAKE AN ARGUMENT! STATE YOUR POSITION AND DEFEND IT.
Use what youve learned from the semesters readings, quizzes, class discussions, etc.; dont forget that you should
always try to demonstrate your understanding of the material by correctly utilizing relevant course terminology
(especially in Sections 2,3,4 of paper).
o Click here to review some logical fallacies ahead of time to keep them out of your paper.
o I want to hear your thoughts for the most part, not a regurgitation of what others think. You can use minimal outside
research and any course readings, lecture video notes, etc. that you like. Be sure to use MLA citation methods when
citing any sources. (Ill be looking for carefully chosen in-text citations as well as an MLA Works Cited page.)
o Select and research 1 of these specific direct-action events: 1969 Stonewall Riots, 1969 Alcatraz Occupation, 1973
Wounded Knee Occupation, 1981 PETA Silver Spring Monkey Investigation, 2016 Anthem Kneeling, 2016 Dakota
Pipeline, 2016 Malheur Oregon Standoff.
?Confirm topic by using Topic Drop Box on website. (worth 25 points)
Organizing the Paper:
o NUMBER THE SECTIONS (1,2,3,4,5 as below; dont number the a,b,c sections) in your paper so I can
easily distinguish them from each other. Each numbered section should be written in organized paragraph format (not
just one, long paragraph per section). Think of each section as a mini-essay trying to accomplish a very specific goal.
1. Introduction (1 paragraph only)
a. Very briefly, try to grab the readers attention at the beginning. Hook them with something catchy.
b. Briefly identify the protest youll be discussing. Give the reader some context by relating the topic to your
audience. (ie, Why should they care about this topic?) Think of your audience for this paper as a group of
NIC students who have no background knowledge of this topic/protest.
c. Thesis: In one complete sentence, explicitly state (and underline) your position on the morality of the
protest. For example: According to Utilitarian ethics, the November 1998 A.L.F. members were moral
when they burned down the Vail, Colo., resort expansion in order to protect lynx habitat.)
d. Then in 1-2 sentences, very briefly preview what your paper will cover (Sections 2,3,4).
e. No personal opinion or research in the Intro; youre just introducing the issue and stating your position.
f. Part 1 should be about 5% of papers total length.
2. Moral Evaluation of Protest and Target of Protest
a. Explain who is protesting? What they are protesting against. Give us the who, what, where, when. What do
the protesters disagree with and why do they disagree? How did they carry out their protest?
b. Explain how your Paper #1 moral theory would evaluate the morality (not legality) of the target of the
protest. (e.g., If a factorys pollution is being protested, is the factorys polluting moral or immoral?)
c. Explain how your moral theory from Paper #1 would evaluate the morality (not legality) of the protesters.
i.e., Were the protesters moral or immoral, according to your chosen moral theory?
d. Part 3 should be about 30% of papers total length.
3. Legal/Philosophical Justification of Protest
a. According to our Weeks 3,4 material, were the protesters justified in using the tactics they used? What does
the U.S. Const. and/or SCOTUS say about their actions? Discuss separately what each of these — Marx,
Gandhi, Rawls would say about this protest and the target of the protest. (1 separate paragraph for each)
b. Part 4 should be about 30% of papers total length.
4. Evaluation of Press Coverage (Our Media Bias Chart might be useful here.)
a. Discuss 3 examples (within 1 week of the date of the protest) of the press covering this protest (in this
order): 1 left-leaning/biased, 1 right-leaning/biased, 1 neutral/unbiased (be sure to use straight news
sources; no blogs, no editorials/pieces from op-ed page of paper, no corporate websites, etc.). Provide 1
paragraph about each that includes: URL/link to the coverage; brief summary of the coverage; brief
analysis of the coverage. (Use 1-2 quotes from each source to support your answers to these analysis items:
Why do you think each is right, left, or unbiased? How did each approach/frame the narrative of this
protest? Was it fair in its coverage? What might make the right and left biased examples more neutral?)
b. 4th paragraph: When researching these, what did you learn about the press/media? Was it easier to find
certain kinds of coverage and harder to find others? What conclusions can you draw from this research?
c. Part 4 should be about 30% of papers total length.
5. Conclusion (1 paragraph only)
a. Very briefly restate your thesis and summarize the moral/legal reasoning that took you to that position.
b. Are there any other conclusions you can draw from this project? Did conclusions from your moral theory
align with the legal and philosophical justifications you discussed?
c. Remind the readers how this topic/protest impacts their personal lives and/or society in general.
d. Part 5 should be about 5% of papers total length.
Formatting the Paper: 2,000-2,500 words; follow MLA Guidelines.
This is the rubric Ill use when grading your paper. You might want to use it as a checklist before submitting.
Paper Grade Sheet
Attached to drop box as Word or PDF
Follows MLA guidelines
Organized into coherent paragraphs within each of 5 sections
Spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
Uses course vocabulary/terminology properly to demonstrate understanding of material
Part 1: Introduction
Protest topic clearly identified
Thesis clearly stated; main points previewed
About 5% of paper?
Part 2: Moral Evaluation of Protest and Target of Protest
Explained who, what, where, when
Explained how moral theory from Paper #1 evaluates protesters and target of protest
About 30% of paper?
Part 3: Legal/Philosophical Justification of Protest
Discusses U.S. Const., Marx, Gandhi, Rawls (1 paragraph each)
About 30% of paper?
Part 4: Evaluation of Press Coverage
Provides/evaluates examples of press coverage from 1 left, 1 neutral, 1 right
Discusses conclusion from press research
About 30% of paper?
Part 5: Conclusion
Thesis restated; main points briefly summarized
Other conclusions discussed
About 5% of paper?
Late paper = -50
Some course concepts, vocab, etc. to consider using throughout your paper:
Moral theory vocab specific to your Paper #1 theory
1st Amendment, SCOTUS court cases, principles/duties of journalists
Direct/indirect action, covert/public, positive/negative liberty
Civil disobedience, terrorism, destruction, violent, nonviolent
[scroll to bottom of page]
If you struggle writing papers, be sure to get free help at the NIC Writing Center!
Basic criteria I look for in Papers:
o Follow instructions.
o When you make a claim, you should immediately consider what objections someone might raise to
argue against your position; then explain how you overcome these objections or why they arent a
problem for you. This is critical to demonstrate that you understand the various facets of a moral issue
and can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
o Avoid mechanics problems (spelling, grammar, etc.); use complete sentences.
o Avoid vague/ambiguous language; re-read your writing out loud to see if it makes sense; better yet,
have someone else read it and point out clarity issues. Avoid repetitiveness.
o Be clear. Get to the point. It should be obvious very early in a paper what your position is; dont make
the reader guess. (Avoid taking the easy way out: I believe both sides make good arguments .)
o Avoid citing outside sources, statistics, research, etc.; papers should be your original thoughts about
the issue and not a report full of history/research/data telling us what others think.
o Plan your thoughts a little before typing to avoid stream of consciousness writing (this isnt a bad way
to start the brainstorming process, but it shouldnt be used as your final submission); do some
brainstorming; jot down a rough outline so you can connect supporting reasons with claims.
o One of your goals is to utilize the course concepts properly (when relevant) to demonstrate your
understanding as well as to help you keep it brief. Identify relevant vocabulary and use it
o Avoid wordiness. Don’t overdo it when a simpler phrase will suffice. This results in making you look
like you dont understand the material enough to be concise or makes you look like youre struggling
o Focus on prescriptive and avoid descriptive in your arguments. IE, let sociologists, historians,
anthropologists, etc. describe how the world is; our task in moral philosophy is to take a stand about
how we think something should be and support that position with logical, reasoned arguments. For
example, imagine that I am asked Is the death penalty moral? and answer something like: There
have always been many different opinions about the death penalty. Everyone has the right to believe
what they want about this, so this will always be a hotly disputed topic. 55% of America currently
supports it. Deciding the morality of this depends on what ones background is . This is an empty,
useless answer. All Ive done is describe obvious facts about the world; I havent done anything to
tell you what my position is and why I hold that position.
o Word Count Tips: Most word processing programs have a word count tool. EG, in MS-Word,
highlight the text you want to count and go to Word Count under the Tools menu. Its important that
you learn to state your position briefly and formulate an argument in clear, concise language;
however, you also want to be thorough. It should feel challenging to meet the organizational and
formatting guidelines above and stay under the word count maximum. Papers near the bottom of the
word count parameters usually dont score above a B-.
o It should be hard to cover everything in 2,500 words.
You should write over 2,500 and then edit down.
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