Prof. Gordon Johnston

FYS 101 Essay 2 Assignment

Due Wed., 10-6, beginning of class. Discuss your complete draft with me, Michael, or Kristy by the end of the day on Monday.

Write an essay of three to five typed, double-spaced pages on one of the following topics. Use page numbers and type no larger than 12 points and no smaller than 10. You may use as support in the essay your own experiences, Smoke Signals, Taxi Driver, or the appropriate chapters from Aristotle, or some combination of these.

1. Explore how friendships end. Do they follow a pattern as they collapse? Do they end suddenly or only very gradually? Where does the end of a friendship begin? What are the most common reasons for their failure? Be specific in your arguments and use examples to support your ideas. (Beware of generalizing. Focus on a particular relationship.)

2. What factor or factors in friendship does Aristotle leave out? Is there anything about being involved in a close relationship that he fails to fully explore or is wrong about? (You might consider friendship across gender, age, cultural, or class lines.) (Beware of generalizing. Focus on a particular relationship.)

3. How fundamental to friendship is a common moral code? Explore how differences in moral values affect friendships. (Beware of generalizing. Focus on a particular relationship.)

Tips:
1. Be creative and original in your approach to the topic and in the writing of the essay. No five paragraph themes, please. No Webster’s-defines-friendship-as companionship. No In-today’s-fast-paced-modern-society-friendship-is-more important-than-ever-before. Think of this as a letter out of the soul of your thought to me; think of it as an editorial that 10,000 people will read (each of them alone at their breakfast table, each of them socially inept and in need of the real nitty gritty about friendship).

2. Remember that simply saying something doesn’t make it so; supply examples to illustrate and support your arguments. If you like, you may lead with examples and then draw conclusions based on them.

3. You may draw on ideas presented in the class discussion, but don’t limit yourself to rehashing what has already been said about the texts. Offer your own thought and interpretation as well. Explore new ground whenever you can. It proves to me that you’re learning to think for yourself.