next .♦ use appropriate textual evidence .♦ demonstrate stylistically mature writing H u m a n i t i e s

next .♦ use appropriate textual evidence .♦ demonstrate stylistically mature writing H u m a n i t i e s

Niccolò Machiavelli, “The Qualities of the Prince”

Thomas Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence”

Due Date: Monday – 12 October 2020 via Canvas

Format:5-7 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font

8 ½ x 11-inch paper

MLA guidelines (see Gilbaldi’s MLA Handbook)


Evaluative Criteria:

A successful essay will…

Have a clear objective that directly addresses the assignment.

Effectively introduce the focus of the paper while providing the reader with a sense of the appropriate context of the paper.

Provide a smooth and efficient flow of information, making logical transitions from one idea to the next.

Use appropriate textual evidence.

Demonstrate stylistically mature writing that is free from repetitively simplistic sentences, inappropriate word choice/language use, ineffective repetition of words, and abrupt transitions.

Follow the conventions of grammar, spelling, and punctuation and be reasonably free of mechanical errors.

Use proper MLA formatting and documentation.

Paper Prompt:

Pick one of the following:

A. In an essay titled “The Qualities of the Politician,” give your own advice to the politician of your choice. your choice. Use Machiavelli’s rhetorical technique of sharply focused, brief paragraphs on a single subject that usually contrasts two kinds of behavior, as well as his technique of the aphorism. Be sure to use Machiavelli’s categories so that you are sure to cover the full range of activities pertinent to political life.

B. By referring to current events and leaders – local, national, or international – decide whether Machiavelli’s advice to the prince is useful to the modern politician. Consider whether the advice is completely useless or completely reliable or whether its value depends on specific conditions. First, state the advice, then show how it applies (or does not apply) to specific politicians, and finally critique its general effectiveness.

C. Refer to Machiavelli’s concerns for the way things turn out – the relationship between ends and means. What does the Declaration imply about the justification of rebellion to achieve the ends of independence? Do you feel confident that the means of rebellion – involving war, civil disorder, injustice, and death – can be justified by the end of independence? Do you feel that Jefferson thought these particular means were justified by the ends he had in mind? How would he have regarded Machiavelli’s advice? Use specific examples.

D. To some people, the Declaration of Independence still accurately reflects America’s political philosophy and way of life; to others, it does not. What is your position on this issue? Discuss your analysis of the Declaration of Independence’s contemporary relevance, and try to persuade others to your position.

E. Imitating Machiavelli’s style, notably his use of contrasting historical examples, present an argument on behalf of your own view of some quality necessary in a leader today. You may, for example, want to argue that a leader must be a master of television appearances or must be truthful, compassionate, or versed in history. Your essay will, in a sense, be one chapter in a book called The Prince Today.

F. The Declaration of Independence is an argument for revolution in a particular society. Investigate conditions in some society (for example, Cuba, China, Iran, El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc.), and argue that, on the grounds of the Declaration of Independence, people in that society do – or do not – have the right to revolt. If you argue that a particular society’s people do have the right to revolt, you may want to include (after establishing the rights and reasoning for revolution) a Declaration of Independence for whatever society you choose.

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