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Your goal in writing an explanatory essay, or informative report, is not to argue a particular point; rather, you must

present the facts in a reasonably objective manner

. Like all other academic essays, your explanatory essay should be based on a thesis.

For this assignment, your essay’s topic will be generated from “Chapter 12: Artificial Intelligence” in

Writing and Reading across the Curriculum

and respond to the following writing prompt:

Dominic Basulto writes that “complex ethical and philosophical questions [lie] at the heart of AI.” In an explanatory synthesis that draws on three print,

not video

, sources in Chapter 12, explain some of these ethical and philosophical questions and discuss their complexity. To help you limit your focus and craft a meaningful thesis, your synthesis should build on an account of how AI systems “learn” and the ways in which recent developments in AI are forcing us to reexamine the boundaries between human and machine intelligence.

This question is broad enough to help you discover and create a meaningful thesis: Remember, the more interested in the topic you are, the more interesting your writing will be.

A minimum of three sources from “Chapter 12” is required for this essay: Absolutely no outside research is permitted for this assignment.

Failing to follow this simple requirement will result in an automatic “F” on this essay, regardless of how brilliant the work may be.

Turn to “Formulate a Thesis” on pages 114-116 of your textbook, as well as “Develop an Organizational Plan” and “Organize a Synthesis by an Idea, Not by Source” on pages 115-116 for guidance on how to construct a thesis and organize your discussion Also, remember that your thesis should be manageable and focused so that you can fully develop your 1000-word essay.

All your sources will come from the textbook and, a Works Cited page (MLA) or Reference page (APA) will be required. Refer to the

sample Works Cited or Reference page

posted to Moodle’s Week 2 block under “Resources”: Follow these examples exactly. Also, frequently review the assigned documentation lectures and resources posted in our website–these provide you with explicit instructions for citing work parenthetically, creating Works Cited and Reference pages, and formatting essays. All articles from our text will be treated as “works in an anthology” (in the MLA resources) and as “a selection from an edited work (in the APA resources).


975 to 1025 words, not including the Works Cited page/ Reference page, appropriate MLA-style headings, running heads, or APA-style cover page (refer Purdue OWL’s

general format for APA essays

). Follow appropriate formatting requirements (Again, the resources posted in Moodle provide examples of MLA- and APA-style essays). Essays over 1025 words will


be graded.


Follow either MLA- or APA-style format requirements (see Week 1’s lectures).

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