Theosebia is a freshman at Euphoria State University, Palladia, where she majors in computational-bio-chemical-veterinary engineering. On a holiday, she returns home and her parents ask about her classes. She tells them that in her favorite class she is learning about the history of alchemy. Her parents are not pleased. “We have scrimped and saved and borrowed to send you to college so that you can receive a useful education and find a good job! But you are wasting time on rubbish! Everyone knows that alchemy was a fraud and anyone who believed in it must have been ignorant or a charlatan or both! When you told us that you had to take a GE class in the humanities, we agreed that you would take a class about the history of science, not the history of nonsense!” After her parents calm down, Theosebia tells them that they have the wrong idea about the history of alchemy.
Write a dialogue between Theosebia and one or both of her parents, in which she tries to convince them that their objections to studying the history of alchemy are mistaken. (Do not repeat the part of the conversation that I have written above.) Organize the dialogue as a sequence of exchanges between Theosebia and one or both of her parents. Each exchange should have a well-defined topic, with the parent(s) raising specific objections, to which Theosebia responds, using knowledge from this course. Think about the most important points about the history of alchemy that you want to address and structure the dialogue around them. Your dialogue should make at least four main points. This means that Theosebia should deliver at least four paragraph-length speeches, each one devoted to a different argument or topic (announced with a topic sentence) about the history of alchemy. Theosebia must back up her claims with evidence in the form of specific examples from lectures and readings. Use at least one quotation from the assigned texts in each of Theosebia’s four main statements (a total of at least four quotations).
You can format the dialogue like a play (example) or like a short story (so long as it consists primarily of dialogue). Provide citations for all quotations in parentheses or footnotes (but not endnotes). Citations should consist of the last name of the author and the page number, for example: “Principe, 127.” Use the page numbers of the original texts, not those that may have been added to the course reader. You can find full bibliographic for all readings in the reading guides and in the reader’s table of contents. (A bibliography at the end of the essay is not required.) Do not refer to readings from outside the course. You do not need to provide citations to lectures. Avoid excessive quotation, especially from secondary sources. (See Essay Tips for clarification.)
Essays will be evaluated for organization, clarity, and grammar as well as content. Read these essay tips and look at the rubric which will be used to evaluate the essay.
Format your essay in a standard, black 12-point font such as Calibiri or Times.
Upload an electronic copy of your essay by 12 PM on April 26. Late essays without an extension will be marked down 5% for each day that they are late. (See syllabus for policy on extensions.)
The essay evaluates your individual achievement. Do not collaborate on the essay in any way with other students. (You may discuss your essay with your TA, myself, or writing specialists and tutors.) All the usual standards of plagiarism and academic honesty apply (see syllabus). If you study for the in-class exam with classmates, beware of discussing the essay in order to avoid unintentional plagiarism. Essays that resemble one another closely will be referred to Student Judicial Affairs for investigation.