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Are We Really Cruel?

EXP 389

Fall 2013

Knoll

Essay 5

Some people believe that it is human nature to be cruel to others.  These people might argue that this cruelty is why Stanley Milgram’s subjects acted as they did, and why no one helped Kitty Genovese.  Do you accept this explanation of human psychology?  Yes?  No?  Somewhat? And why do you see it like you do? What kinds of circumstances induce cruel behavior?  What does this tell you about how cruelty fits into our human nature?  Use the cases we read about to help you construct your argument.

In coming up with your own position on this issue, I encourage you to think about all that you’ve learned about in the cases we have read about for this assignment:

·         “The Perils of Obedience” by Stanley Milgram,

·         The Kitty Genovese case as discussed in Chapter 4 of Lauren Slater’s Opening Skinner’s Box “In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: Darley and Latane’s Training Manual—A Five Stage Approach”

·         Darley and Latane’s experiments as discussed in Chapter 4 of Lauren Slater’s Opening Skinner’s Box “In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: Darley and Latane’s Training Manual—A Five Stage Approach”

Consider the grey areas, rather than arguing strictly on one side or the other.  Instead of saying YES we are cruel, or NO we are not, try to come up with a more complex answer to explain human behavior in these cases. 

In your essay, be sure to include:

·         Support for your argument with relevant ideas, information, and quotations from Milgram’s essay

·         Support for your argument with relevant ideas, information, and quotations from Slater’s Chapter 4

Things to Shoot For:

·         Show that you have carefully read the texts from this unit, and that you have fully digested and considered the different viewpoints and evidence. 

·         Show you are really thinking about the topic—these are complex questions, so don’t settle for easy answers.  And don’t feel that you have to take an either-or position.

·         Write so that someone not in our class could understand it.  Assume your audience has not read these texts.  That means you’ll need to briefly summarize key ideas/information and explain any unfamiliar terms.

·         Write at least 4 complete pages, typed, 12 point font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins.

Turn-in Procedures:

·         Your final draft is due Friday, May 2nd

·         Submit the essay to Turnitin.com via Blackboard by 11:59 PM on Friday, May 2nd

·         Bring a hard copy to class with the following documents in one pocket of your assignment folder:

o   Writing Center Signature form

o   Draft you reviewed during your Writing Center conference

o   Any drafts you brought to class for peer review, conferences, etc.

o   A blank rubric

Writing Center Signature Sheet                                                Writing Conference Instructor: ________________

EXP 389/Dr. Knoll                                                      Writing Conference Instructor’s Initials:_________

Fall 2013                                                                     Date and time of your visit: ___________________

Remember,

·         The signature form must be complete by Thursday, May 1st

·         You must bring the prompt, this signature sheet, and any writing you have completed to get credit for a formal conference in WR 380.

·         This sheet must be signed, dated, and complete in order to receive credit for your conference in EXP 389.

·         You can only get credit for one formal conference per writing assignment, but I encourage you to meet with an instructor more than once during your writing process.

Complete this portion before your conference:

1.      What is working well for you and what are you struggling with in Essay 5?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.      What specific questions do you have about Essay 5? 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complete this portion after your conference:

1.      Identify the specific elements of your draft you discussed in your conference.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.      Explain what you learned from your conference.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Focus Questions for Essay 5

“The Perils of Obedience” by Stanley Milgram

·         Explain Milgram’s experiment and the reactions of the participants in the experiment as well as Milgram’s analysis of  reasons why subjects responded as they did

“In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: Darley and Latane’s Training Manual—A Five Stage Approach” (Chapter 4 of Opening Skinner’s Box) by Lauren Slater

·         Explain the Kitty Genovese case and Darley and Latane’s experiment and discuss the various theories about what causes a bystander to avoid action in an emergency.

Reading Activities for Essay 5

“The Perils of Obedience” by Stanley Milgram

For this reading assignment, I would like you to annotate the text, focusing on three main areas:

·         Note any areas where Milgram explains how the experiment worked

·         Note any areas that discuss the reactions of the participants in the experiment.

·         Note any areas where Milgram analyzes the reasons why subjects responded as they did.

As you are annotating, be sure you are also noting your reactions to the text in the margins.

“In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing” by Lauren Slater

For this reading assignment, I would like you to annotate the text, focusing on four main areas:

·         Note any areas where Slater describes what happened in the Kitty Genovese experiment

·         Note any areas where Slater explains or analyzes bystander’s reactions in the Kitty Genovese experiment

·         Note any areas where Slater explains how Darley and Latane’s experiment worked

·         Note any areas where Slater explains or analyzes people’s reactions in the Darley and Latane experiment.

As you are annotating, be sure you are also noting your reactions to the text in the margins.

Blog Posts for Essay 5

Week 12:

·         Write about a time in which you behaved cruelly towards another person.  What did you do?  Why?  What were the circumstances around your behavior?  Did you intend to behave cruelly, or did something else spur the behavior?  Explain the situation, and connect your analysis with Milgram’s text.

Week 13:

·         Choose one reaction of a participant in the Milgram experiment and explain what this shows readers about human nature.

Week 14:

·         Have you ever been in a situation similar to that of Kitty Genovese, when something bad was happening to someone else and people around hesitated to help?  Or have you been in the opposite situation, where something bad was happening and everyone clamored to help?  Describe one of these situations from your own life and reflect on the reasons why people acted as they did.  Are there similarities or differences between your situation and that described in “In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing”?

Essay 5 Rubric                                                                                                                      Grade:

Critical Analysis above expectations meetingexpectations developing the skill not yet passing
As an academic writer, you should . . .
Use a critical voice to answer the essay prompt
Show you have thought critically about the topic
Discuss complexities and not make things seem more simple than they really are
Develop ideas fully by using strong specific examples to support your analysis
Make a strong analytical claim in your thesis
Explain the reasons for your claim in your thesis (your because statement)
Connection to texts above expectations meetingexpectations developing the skill not yet passing
As an academic writer, you should . . .
Explain the ideas in the texts for readers who have not read the texts
Support analysis with specific examples, information, and quotations for the texts
Use your critical voice to explain how examples and quotations from the text connect to your analysis
Use TAG (title, author, genre) statements to introduce texts
Use signal phrases or incorporate quotations smoothly into your writing
Let readers know where you got the information by using MLA in-text citations
Organization aboveexpectations meetingexpectations developing the skill not yet passing
As an academic writer, you should . . .
Present ideas in an order that makes sense to readers
Open with an intro that engages readers and conveys overall focus of the essay
Make sure each paragraph has a clear focus
Use topic sentences to articulate the main idea of each paragraph
Break your argument into manageable chunks for your readers
Use your critical voice to connect the different parts of your essay
Provide closure through a concluding sentence in each paragraph
End with a conclusion that completes the discussion
Mechanics above expectations meetingexpectations developing the skill not yet passing
As an academic writer, you should . . .
Observe conventions of standard written English
Write in a clear, readable style that uses well-chosen words and effective sentence variety
Take time to carefully proofread your writing
Meet the minimum length requirements of the assignment
Format your essay according to MLA guidelines
Follow MLA citation format when using outside sources

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Are We Really Cruel? was first posted on July 27, 2019 at 7:10 pm.
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