Assignment 1: Essay
Due Week 4 and worth 100 points
Choose one (1) of the three (3) reading selections from the list of topic
choices below. The focus is on brief but important primary source material
written by major authors. Read the selections as identified with each topic
below. Write a three to four (3-4) paragraph essay (250 words minimum) which
analyzes the “surprise ending” of the reading selection.
- Reading selection from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV).
Descartes begins with a proof of one basic conclusion and ends with a proof of
something much grander. Remember to focus on the surprise and point of
realization, not the details of the philosophical argument. Read Part IV of the
Discourse on the Method located at http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/authors/descartes.html. This
is only four or five (4 or 5) pages of the larger work.
- Reading selection of Swift’s A Modest Proposal. It is essential to recognize
the genre of this work, as discussed in our class text, which you should consult
and cite. Swift promotes a radical solution, but subtle options are mentioned.
You are looking for surprise and a point of realization. Read and focus on A
Modest Proposal located at http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html.
- Two (2) reading selections from Voltaire’s Candide. Consider how these
readings start and end in terms of the action and the beliefs. You are looking
for surprise and a point of realization. These selections can be found on pp.
834-835 in the textbook. In addition, consult the class text at pp.
For the reading selection you choose:
- Clearly state in your own words the “surprise ending” in the reading you
selected. Clearly identify the point in the reading when you realized that there
were elements in the reading that surprised you. Not all of the surprises come
at the end.
- Evaluate how successful the author was in convincing you to accept the
validity of the “surprise ending” that was different from what you
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch
margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format.
Check with your professor for any additional instructions. (Note: Students can
find APA style materials located in the course shell for reference)
- Include a cover page containing the tile of the assignment, the student’s
name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and
the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
- Use the source(s) identified above for the topic you choose, focusing on the
main primary source of that author. You may use additional sources also if they
are of good academic quality for college papers (Wikipedia and similar websites
do not qualify). Use proper APA style in-text citing and also a matching APA
style References list at the end.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment
- Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to
- Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic
expressions within a historical context.
- Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and
socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions.
- Identify major historical developments in world cultures from the
Renaissance to the contemporary period.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of
- Write clearly and concisely about world cultures using proper writing