HPS100H1: First Paper Assignment
Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Fall 2021, University of Toronto
For this critical analysis essay, you will need to choose one of the following two topics and answer the posed questions in an essay format. Your paper should be no longer than 750 words. It will need to be submitted electronically through Quercus before 11:59pm ET (local time in Toronto) on Friday, October 17th. This assignment is worth 20% of your final course grade.
In your paper, you should explain the author(s)’s claim and argument, the significance of the subject, as well as formulate your own viewpoint. You are required to use U of T’s Library Search or U of T Library databases tool to find at least one additional source, outside of the course readings, that you will need to draw on and cite in your paper. You are required to use APA citation style. Besides the one additional source that you find and cite, you should otherwise draw primarily on course readings (either assigned or supplementary readings). Be sure to cite all the sources that you use.
Choose a topic from the options below. These topics are meant to be broad enough for you to formulate your own viewpoint through a critical analysis of the relevant text.
Topic A: Bowler and Morus (2005: 51) write, “In many ways, it is clear that the traditional account of the Scientific Revolution simply does not add up. Indeed, it fails in all three of its basic assumptions.” How do Bowler & Morus argue for this claim? Do you agree or disagree and why?
Topic B: Livingstone (2003: 89) writes, “Regional cultures have appropriated scientific knowledge differently according to their sense of self-understanding and put it to different uses. The very meaning of a particular scientific theory or text has shifted from one place to another.” How does Livingstone argue for this claim using the example of Darwin’s theory of evolution? Do you agree or disagree and why?
Guidelines & Tips:
•Your paper should begin with a clear and concise introduction that states the topic, your thesis, and how you will argue for it.
•Your paper should contain a clear summary of key positions, ideas, or arguments in the course reading that is pertinent to your essay topic. Here you should think about how you would teach this material to a friend who was learning about the topic for the first time—don’t assume an understanding of any key concepts, terms, or knowledge of key figures or events. You will need to explain these things. This portion of the text should demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter.
•Your paper should be written with complete sentences, paragraphs, and proper grammar and citations.
•Your paper should have a clear and sufficiently narrow thesis statement, that is, your answer to the essay question(s).
•By the end of your paper it should be clear what the significance of the essay question you’ve chosen is; what answering it might illustrate about course themes; how your response might gesture towards larger issues underlying the course topic; etc.
•Your paper should end with a clear and concise conclusion that summarizes what you have argued for and how.
•You should use APA citation style. If you are not familiar, please see a guide here: https://guides.library.utoronto.ca/c.php?g=250462&p=1670709
Additional resources and Information University Writing Resources
oWriting at the University of Toronto: https://writing.utoronto.ca
oWriting centres at the University of Toronto: https://writing.utoronto.ca/writing-
oGeneral Advice On Essay Writing by Ronald de Sousa (U of T)
oGuide for Writing Critical Summaries by Ronald de Sousa (U of T)
Important Information on Academic Integrity
Plagiarism refers to the use of ideas, words, or creations without formally acknowledging the author or source through appropriate citation methods, e.g., the use of quotation marks, references, and the like. One plagiarizes when one presents someone else’s work as one’s own original work, idea, or thought. Importantly, this constitutes plagiarism whether it is intentional or unintentional. In grading your assignments, TAs will be instructed on what to look for to detect plagiarism and to check student citations methods carefully.
All suspected cases of academic dishonesty will be investigated following procedures outlined in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. If you have questions or concerns about what constitutes appropriate academic behaviour or appropriate research and citation methods, please reach out to me or to your TA. Note that you are expected to seek out additional information on academic integrity from the course TAs or Instructor or from other institutional resources (for example, the University of Toronto website on Academic Integrity).
Late Policy & Extensions
Extensions will be granted only in exceptional circumstances (e.g., due to illness with a medical note or undue hardship as determined in consultation with your TA). For extension requests, please contact your teaching assistant well in advance of any deadlines. Work that is late without an approved extension will be deducted marks at the rate of 5% per a calendar day (including weekends).