Write an essay comparing Rousseau with Hobbes with respect to the state of nature and social contract

Part I: The Assignment


7-9 pages (title page and references do not count)

Times New Roman, 12-point, double spaced, 1 Inch margins

Title page with prompt number


Part II: Advice and pitfalls from previous essays


THESIS STATEMENTS! Your introductory paragraph should preview your argument. This is not a work of fiction that will have a twist in the end. The reader should know what your answer to the prompt is by the end of the introduction.

Papers that do not have strong thesis statements tended to be much more descriptive, as discussions of the readings did not seem to support an overarching argument.

A thesis should be a statement with which a reasonable person can disagree. A weak thesis statement might be ‘John Locke and Thomas Hobbes had differing views of the state of nature’. A stronger thesis will articulate how those views resulted in different goals and forms for the commonwealth. A thesis statement can be more than one sentence.

It is often a good idea to talk about both authors in the same paragraph. Sometimes talking about only one leads to descriptions more than analysis. Focus on a theme and use both authors to address it if possible.

Be careful though, about paragraph length. Some paragraphs were very long. Please consider breaking up paragraphs that are longer than a page.

Block quotes should be used sparingly (more than two in a paper of this length is probably too many). When using a block quote, please put that quote in single space, indented on the left hand side (see APA style guidelines). You do not need to include quotation marks in block quotes.

Don’t (or, do not) use contractions in academic writing.



The Prompts



Write an essay comparing Rousseau with Hobbes with respect to the state of nature and social contract. What similarities and differences exist within their projects and where do they come from? Why does Rousseau find Hobbes to be inadequate?



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