E s s a y # 4 – S c i e n c e

E s s a y   # 4   –   S c i e n c e

In this fourth and final unit for our class this semester, we are investigating ideas about science. Your final essay will challenge you to examine an argument and respond with your own argument with a clear, focused thesis responding to the prompt below.


In paragraph 4 of Richard Feynman’s essay “The Value of Science,” Feynman says, “Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad—but it does not carry instructions on how to use it.” This introduces a moral level to the discussion. That idea is continued in the subtitle, “Education, for Good and Evil.” Write an essay in which you establish what you feel are the moral obligations of science. In a sense, Feynman may be saying that there are no moral obligations of science. Do you agree with him in general, or do you disagree?


1. While I suspect some may be tempted to bash current politicians, please refrain from doing so. Be always respectful, even when passionateRemember that ad hominem attacks are not an adequate or appropriate rhetorical approach. 

2. Be sure you are seeking information on both sides of any issue. Do not become a slave to your own inherent biases. Reach, push, research, investigate, question, stretch, and grow by looking for ideas that diverge from your own. Especially, push to seek clarification about and understanding of the ideas others hold that are in opposition to your own.

Major Essay Rubric:


Response to Topic:

Thoroughly addresses the topic with insight and clarity. Meets all assignment criteria. Compelling argumentative thesis or controlling idea.

Quality and Clarity of Thought, Organization & Development:

Explores the issues thoughtfully and exhibiting complexity of thought and recognition and control of bias. Skillfully organized and developed with aptly chosen textual and other support and perceptive and convincing critical thinking and analysis.

Command and Control of Language and Style:

Marked by effective, fluent, varied, and sophisticated diction and syntax, exhibiting a clear command of language; free of errors in grammar, usage, and conventions.

MLA Documentation and Formatting:

Adheres tightly to MLA-style for formatting of paper; error-free MLA 8 documentation of sources both in-text and on Works Cited.

Paper Specifics:

· 2,000 – 2,250 words (8-9 pages; word count does not include header, heading, or Works Cited page)

· 4-5  credible college-level sources in addition to the assigned texts we read in this unit (no wiki sources, no .com sources, no encyclopedia sources) – seek primary sources and avoid secondary or tertiary sources. USE THE DATABASES!

· Integrated quotations (not “dropped in” quotations)

· A clear argumentative thesis expressing your point of view and addressing the prompt you chose

· A creative, original title

· MLA-style formatting (see your syllabus)

· No 1st-person plural or 2nd-person pronouns (this means no us, we, you, etc.)

· MLA-style documentation of sources including Works Cited page


A successful essay will include a clear, direct, and argumentative thesis which fully examines one of the above prompts, appropriate support from 4-5 credible, college-level sources in addition to the assigned text to develop your claims, and thorough explanation and analysis of your support material. College level sources may be obtained on the internet (.org, .gov, or .edu sites or Google Scholar), but you should be careful to avoid .com sites.  It would be preferable to get your feet wet in the world of academic sources through the library databases at Mesa College. Use this link:  SD Mesa College Library (Links to an external site.)

Engaging in solid prewriting is your best bet to developing a solid paper. Don’t forget that the Writing Center is a wonderful resource (although not required!).

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