Tips for Cumulative Summaries in POL 210

The last paper of the first semester asks you to pull together the material that we have studied this past semester for one of the four traditions. You must show how (1) the ontology/cosmology, (2) the epistemology, (3) the anthropology, both empirical and philosophical), (4) the ethics, and (5) the politics of a particular tradition all fits together—how one conception builds upon the other. This is the final cause of the course. It is not as daunting as it may seem. I suggest the following:

1. You need about a dozen sentences for the summary, broken into two or three paragraphs:

·       One or two as an introduction or conclusion

·       One or two to characterize the distinct cosmology or ontology of the tradition

·       One or two to characterize its epistemology and show its dependence on the ontology of the tradition

·       One or two to characterize both aspects of its anthropology

·       One or two to characterize its ethics

·       One or two to characterize its politics


2. The first of the suggested two sentences should be a direct reference to a passage from the assigned readings—a paraphrase (preferably), a quote, or a partial quote. This needs a footnote.


3. The second sentence should explain it (show me that you understand the passage that you referred to) and tie it to the immediately preceding conception.


4. You might need only one sentence for one conception or another, but you may want to write two or three sentences for another. Do what you need to do to demonstrate that you understand what you are writing. I am trying to determine how well you understand the material.


5. These tips do not provide an exception from the usual rules for one-page papers. Those rules still apply. Review them closely.