Wednesday, September 9, 2020

An essay topic

If I were teaching a writing course, any level, I’d ask my students to write this essay:

What blame should be assigned to administrators and students for the rising number of COVID-19 cases on campus, and why? Do administrators and students share equally in the blame? Or does one group deserve a greater share?

This essay is meant as an exercise in moral reasoning, not legal judgment. These questions ask you to consider broad questions of responsibility, not particular cases. You may present and explain your reasoning by comparing the situation at hand with hypothetical situations, by making distinctions between different kinds of error or wrongdoing, by considering implications (if . . . , then . . .), by developing a relevant analogy — whatever seems appropriate. You should consider objections to your argument too. Think of yourself as writing an essay that explains your reasoning.
[Today’s Trump* news makes this essay feel a bit pointless. Things happen.]

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