GUIDELINES FOR COMPLETING THE FINAL EXAMINATION
Your final examination is to provide a critical assessment of Gary Rosen’s essay What Would a Clone Say? Read the following guidelines carefully.
Once you have read Rosen’s essay, read it over again and again. It should become a good friend (if not a lover)! I’m not kidding. Over the course of a week, read it once a day. Whenever you notice something interesting, take note. Even an idea which strikes you as interesting, but not relevant, may turn out to be important. Try out the text on your friends—ask them what they think. Even though they may not have had a course in critical thinking, they may see what you can’t see—perhaps some positive or some negative feature of the essay. Remember that your goal is to find and properly characterize the argumentative moves that Rosen makes—you will not be able to see those moves if you read the essay quickly and superficially.
You can now begin your critical analysis of the text.
(i.) Number paragraphs in the text. Use those numbers in your critique when you refer to something in the text.
(ii.) In your opening paragraph, clearly state the overall conclusion of the text.
(iii.) (a.) provide a diagram of the overall argument structure of the text
(b.) assess the support of each subargument by providing loopholes.
(iv.) Add implicit premises where you think the argument needs them. Clearly explain why you think they are needed. (Ch 14 in e-book)
(v.) Be on the lookout for damning evidence. To find damning evidence, you will have to read widely about the issue discussed in the text. (Ch. 16 in e-book)
(i.) Suggest ways ofimprovingthe argument that go beyond mere addition of implicit premises.
THE FINAL EXAM MUST BE AT LEAST 3 PAGES IN LENGTH.
Warning. There are eight guaranteed ways you can earn “D” (or worse) for your final exam:
(i.) Your critical assessment is less than three pages.
(ii.) The type font is greater than 12 points or less than 10 points or the margins at the top, bottom, left or right of the page are larger than standard or it is single-spaced or the print is too light or uneven (creating a chiaroscuro effect).
(iii.) Your critique is little more than a summary of the argument in the text.
(iv.) You describe your personal views on the subject without providing a critical analysis of the text.
(v.) You and at least one other person have identical (or nearly identical) projects.
(vi.) It is handwritten. (The diagram of the argument can be handwritten.)
(vii.) You write about the standard model of argument evaluation. That is, you fill space by describing how the standard model works, such as the definition of a loophole.
Have fun with the final exam–if you do, you will probably do a better job than if you take it to be just one more item needed for your diploma. Do not be afraid to ask friends for their opinions. Draw them into the magic of the text. They will not be sorry (especially if you offer them big bonus points). Nor will you!