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09/04/2019

How do I answer this essay question?

QUESTION
How do I answer this essay question?
The essay question is:

Discuss what MacKinnon says about relativism in Chapter 2 of the textbook. What are her reasons for saying that relativism is ultimately not true? Make sure to compare MacKinnon’s claims on the topic to the other readers about relativism, either Clifford Geertz’s “Thick Description” or the chapters from Kwame Anthony’s Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism. Is there anything in the reading you choose that sees to create trouble for what MacKinnon has to say?

I was wondering how I would state my thesis statement? My professor did not give much detail into how he wanted to paper written, (he does not even care about what format MLA, chicago,). To me this does not seem much like an argumentative paper. Should I choose whether I agree with MacKinnon or not? State her proposition on relativism, state the other claims, then why I think she is wrong? or what the other author says that goes against what MacKinnon believes?
Would my thesis be whether I agree with MacKinnon or if she is wrong in her beliefs?

I’m confused…

ANSWER
No, that is clearly NOT what the assignment is asking. Your thesis would be along the lines of “MacKinnon’s thesis is ______, and this other author’s thesis is ____________, and they use ______ and ______ as evidence to support those theses.” The idea is for you to show that you have understood the various authors’ arguments, and that you can state the other authors’ arguments in an essay in which you yourself use the pattern of “thesis/evidence/logic” to explain what they are.

The “argumentative” part might come where you say that Geertz’s argument, for example, seems to question or contradict MacKinnon’s on the subject of _______. It may not be that everybody else who reads the two articles would agree that there actually is a contradiction there, and you might have to explain why the two actually do disagree.

I don’t see anything in the assignment that gives you room to state your own agreement or disagreement with any of the authors.