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Lecturer's expectations

Graham Oppy, Lecturer

In this section, your lecturer - Graham Oppy - sets out what he expects from student assignments on this topic.

Essay topic:

Walter Brown argues that there is scientific evidence for a worldwide flood. What is your assessment of the alleged evidence? Do you think that Schadewald's arguments provide compelling objections to the flood hypothesis?

What's required?

This topic requires students to take up the broad issue of the type of evidence that is necessary before we can assert with certainty that something has happened. Specifically, students need to look in detail at the evidence provided by Brown for a worldwide flood and decide whether it is adequate. Then they would need to consider Schadewald's objections and decide whether he convincingly dismisses the flood hypothesis.

A good essay on this topic would need to:

  • demonstrate a clear understanding of Brown and Schadewald's arguments
  • present a clear view about whose arguments (Brown's or Schadewald's) are stronger
  • provide detailed evaluation of particular sections of each text

How to go about writing the essay

  1. Think generally about the issue (e.g. What is scientific evidence? What sort of evidence you would need to be convinced that a worldwide flood occurred?)
  2. Read Brown - maybe several times. Summarise his text in your own words. Think about faults, problems, difficulties in his argument.
  3. Read Schadewald - maybe several times. Summarise his text in your own words. Think about faults, problems, difficulties in his argument.
  4. Decide what your argument is going to be, i.e. whose arguments will you favour? This decision may require repeating Stages 2 and 3.
  5. Try to plan out the structure of your essay into a sequence of paragraphs. Decide whether i) you will deal with Brown first in the essay and then move on to Schadewald or ii) use some other sequence, e.g. a series of different themes discussed by the two writers.
  6. When you have done enough reading, planning, and argument formulation, begin drafting the essay. Repeat any of Stages 1-5, as necessary.
  7. When you have completed your draft, leave it for a day or two - then reread and edit it.

General essay marking criteria

Essay marking quiz
1 2 3 4 5
  • legibility and layout
  • spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • bibliography and citation
  • comprehension and exposition
  • clarity
  • logical development
  • originality
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