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Benjamin Franklin annotated BIB

Description Pick one of the “crimes” listed below. Imagine that you are either the prosecutor or the defense attorney in an imaginary court in which Benjamin Franklin is going to be tried for this crime. Write your closing argument. Your argument should lay out the evidence for/against the defendant, and you should explain why the evidence suggests that the person is or is not guilty of the offense. Possible Crimes * Heresy * Treason * Desertion (Defined broadly: you can put him on trial for deserting his responsibilities to a specific person or group of people, or to a cause he should have supported) * propose another crime & get it approved 1) Your paper should be three or four FULL, double-spaced pages, using Times New Roman or Garamond 12 (with 1-inch margins). It needs FOOTNOTES for all evidence, quotations, or ideas that you get from the reading. Papers must have footnotes to receive credit. See the footnoting guide in your course packet. General Guidelines 1) Since none of these trials actually happened, feel free to use your imagination in defining the court and crime. However, start by setting up the context of your court and crime very clearly. A) What kind of court is it? For example, if you want to try Benjamin Franklin for heresy, pick a community—such as Jonathan Edwards’s Congregational church—that might think he is guilty of this, and then imagine what kind of evidence they might bring forward against him. Then use his autobiography to show how he either did (or did not) reject the teachings of that community. It doesn’t matter that they would not have actually put him on trial in real life because he wasn’t one of their church members. This is an imaginative exercise! The point is to imagine how different people might have responded very differently to Ben Franklin’s actual ideas and behavior. The court itself can be completely fictional, as long as the trial itself is based on your analysis of the actual ideas and texts. All evidence should be real! The only thing you are making up is the trial and court. B) How would the crime be defined in that court? Define the crime clearly. Below are some basic definitions, but keep in mind that different communities would have different standards for deciding whether someone is guilty of the crime. For example, the same behavior might get someone acquitted for treason against the United States but found guilty for treason against Britain. Heresy: persistently and knowingly teaching false doctrines or denying essential religious truths. (If you choose this option, you need to establish what counts as religious orthodoxy to your court.) Treason: betraying a country and/or attempting to overthrow the legitimate government of that country. (Notice that you need to define a) the country, and b) what the legitimate government is.) Desertion: unlawfully abandoning military service or abandoning a cause to which a person owes loyalty or had promised to support. 2) Assume that the jury is evenly divided between people who might share some of the defendant’s views and people who might oppose their views. This means your argument must be balanced. Think about why people at the time might have viewed his behavior favorably or negatively. 3) Address the historical context. What kinds of factors might explain the defendant’s behavior? 4) Your argument must be plausible and based on real evidence from the readings. You will be evaluated on how well you use evidence. You should get this evidence from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Be sure that your closing argument uses specific, concrete details from it. Although the court is imaginary, your evidence must all be based on real evidence from the readings. The only thing you are making up is the trial itself. 5) Present the evidence honestly and fairly. Do not distort evidence. Consider the evidence your opponents might use. Ignoring or hiding evidence will weaken your case. Do not rely on emotions or rhetoric to make your case; rely on good, solid evidence. 6) You may use only the assigned reading and lecture notes. You may not use any outside sources. You may not use the internet, even for background information or ideas. You must also work alone on this paper. (You may, however, take your paper to the writing center or your teaching assistant.) 7) Avoid lengthy quotations (longer than two lines). You are not graded on how well you find quotations, but on how well you can analyze sources. Quotations support your case, but they should never replace analysis. 8) Proofread! You will be judged both on your ideas AND on how well you communicate them. Poor grammar, choppy sentences, and misspellings make it hard for readers to see your brilliance. HOW TO SUBMIT PAPERS: Papers are due in two formats: 1) electronically on Blackboard and 2) in hard copy. Except in cases of real, unforeseeable problems, late papers lose a letter grade per week. Papers submitted in only one format lose 5 points per week. Papers are not accepted more than three weeks late. ACADEMIC HONESTY: Your papers must include a signed plagiarism checklist. You must receive at least 87% on the plagiarism quiz before turning in the paper.

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