Assignment: write a 1000 word paper (= 3-4 pages, double-spaced) | Political Theory | Florida International University, Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Paper 2 Assignment 

POT 2002


Assignment: Write a 1000 word paper (= 3-4 pages, double-spaced) on one of the

following topics:


1.) In The Prince, Machiavelli writes: “And let no one resist my opinion on this

with that trite proverb, that whoever founds on the people founds on mud.” 

According to Machiavelli, how should a prince “found on the people”? How does

his advice ultimately benefit the people? 


2.) Take a look of the foundations of the social contract in both Hobbes and

Locke. How do their different assumptions about human nature and the state of

nature inform their theories? How does this result in their different conceptions

of civil society/government? Identify and analyze at least two different

assumptions and speak about the implications for their theories. 


Papers cannot be submitted by email under any circumstances


Guidelines for Papers


1. Your paper is supposed to be an interpretation of some aspect of the

work(s): in other words, an argument concerning some aspect of the work

based on analysis of relevant textual evidence.  Your paper is not supposed

to be a summary of the work, a statement of your opinion about the work, or a

discussion of its historical significance or relevance. Frame your paper as an

investigation of why and how the author makes the argument he or she does

rather than simply saying what is said.  Turn your topic into an argument.


2. Give a clear statement of your argument at the beginning of your paper.


3. Unify your paper with a single argument with a logical development from one step of

the argument to the next.  Do not make your paper a collection of separate points or



4. Every time you state that the author states or argues something you should

have evidence to support your statement, either in the form of a quotation or a specific

textual reference. Only quote what you need for your purposes.  Try to look at your

quotations as something more than mere evidence, and instead as material that you

can analyze (break down into its parts in order to interpret it) in order to make your



5. Use clear and simple language, but a formal style. Obscurity is not profundity.  Make

sure that you know the meaning of the words you use.  You are writing a formal paper,

not an email message.  Avoid colloquial or chatty language.  Do not use contractions:

not using them reminds you of the appropriate level of discourse for your paper.


Criteria for assessing your work:

1. Do you have a clear statement of your argument?

2. Do you provide relevant evidence?

3. Are your reasoning and writing clear and effective?

4. Do you demonstrate understanding of the work(s) you are analyzing?

5. To what degree do you address the most important questions and problems

posed by the work(s) you are interpreting?


Warning: If your paper is effectively a summary of the work rather than an interpretation

of it, then the best grade you can possibly receive is a C.  If your paper is a statement of

your opinion about the work or a discussion of its applicability or relevance, then the

best grade you can possibly receive is a C.



Practical matters:


 State your prompt

 Double-spaced

 12 point font

 1 inch margins

 Cite the works by page numbers in parentheses after the relevant reference

or quotation. If it is clear what work you are referring to or quoting from,

simply put the page number in parentheses. If you need to clarify which work

you are using, simply add the author. You do not need to cite the specific

edition of these works or include a bibliography, unless you are using a

different edition from the one assigned.

 If you do use (consult or cite) any sources, add a bibliography.

 Please put a word count at the end of the paper

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