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Clarification of Introductory Paper Assignment


The introductory paper assignment was miswritten and might also be unclear. Here is how it ought to read:

Write an essay of no more than 1000 words that clarifies and assesses the following argument made by Katha Pollitt.

    [S]uppose we decided that contract motherhood was ...
    some other, not flatly illegal transaction....Then a
    deal would be a deal, right? Wrong. As anyone who has
    ever shopped for a co-op apartment in New York City
    knows, in the world of commerce, legal agreements are
    abrogated, modified, renegotiated and bought out all
    the time.

Work hard at clarifying her argument and making it precise (as A CRITIQUE OF an argument in defense of surrogate motherhood) before you attempt to defend it or to criticize it. Be sure that your essay has a definite thesis and that your paper presents Pollitt's views as part of your logically organized argument for your thesis. Your essay should also show awareness of possible difficulties or weaknesses in your argument and conclusion and should attempt to address them.

    Make sure that your essay is double-spaced with wide margins and that it is correct in technical matters of spelling, punctuation, and so forth. Be sure also to consult the general suggestions on paper writing near the end of the syllabus.

It may help you in writing your papers to think about matters in the following way. There are THREE different arguments at stake here:

(1) The argument in defense of surrogate motherhood suggested by the phrase "a deal is a deal." This is of course not Pollitt's argument. It is an argument that Pollitt is concerned to criticize.

(2) Pollit's argument which attempts to refute the "a deal is a deal" argument.

(3) Your argument defending some thesis concerning the nature and merits of Pollitt's argument.

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