Assignment Overview



% of grade

Due date







Homework and Quizzes



Three Argumentative Papers (10% each)


9/28, 11/9, 11/30

Final exam







Class participation

Verbal discussion—such as taking and defending positions and asking or answering critical questions—is a vital part of the practice of philosophy. Consequently, the final grade for this class reflects this. Professor MacDougall takes note of student participation after class every day. Students must be present to participate, but for full credit must actively and verbally participate by asking critical questions, answering questions posed to the class, or volunteering ideas and thoughts relevant to class topics. Sometimes participation points can be gained by posting to an online discussion board or completing some other assignment (to be explained in class). Participation points can additionally be earned by contacting Dr. MacDougall by email or by arranging meetings during office hours. However, there is no way to get full credit for this segment of the class without active verbal participation. Exceptions may be granted in unusual circumstances by Dr. MacDougall if it is discussed at the beginning of the semester.

Homework and Quizzes

Homework and quiz grades are a large component of this class. In this class, we will learn to read philosophy works to discover the thesis and arguments of each assigned reading. Homework assignments may require students to identify these components of the assigned reading. Homework will be assigned a class ahead of time. If for some reason you must miss class, you can check Blackboard to see if any assignments have been announced. 

The instructor will occasionally give comprehension quizzes on readings. Students will generally be forewarned about these a class in advance. Reading quizzes will usually cover major points or arguments from that day’s readings.

Three Argument Papers

Each student is required to write three 800+ word argument papers over the course of the semester.

You can see the requirements for Argument Papers under “Assignments.”

Due dates for papers can be found at the top of this page or in the schedule. 


The midterm will cover material from the first half of the semester. Format will be explained during the midterm review session.


The final will be structured like the midterm. The final will not be primarily cumulative, but will instead focus on the content learned in the second half of the course. Students will be expected to remember some of the basic ideas learned in the first half of the course, of course.