Is it still worthwhile to study ancient political philosophy today? Or, do you think that the classical texts (written by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) are fun books to read but do not teach us invaluable lessons anymore?

The essay should include:

1) Your argument and supports

2) The supports should include two or more examples from the readings/ books

– Read the next paragraph

The examples should refer to both Plato’s and Aristotle’s texts.

3) Six or more citations from the readings

4) The length of the essay should be more than 700 words

Let me give you an example.


(Argument) Classical texts are not even fun books to read and the lessons are anachronistic. We should not exaggerate the importance of classical texts and spend more time studying texts written by our contemporaries.

(Example 1) For instance, Plato’s criticism of democracy is based on the belief that the average citizens are incapable to decide their best interest. (Quotes and explanations). I disagree with Plato because (your thoughts)

(Example 2) Aristotle thinks that the purpose of establishing a state is to give the members the good life. (Quotes and explanations). But I think the state should not decide what is good for its people because (your thoughts).

(Conclusion) Classical texts are anachronistic.

Now you understand what 1) Your argument and support, 2) two (or more) examples, and 3) six (or more) citations mean.

One thing to make sure, I do not judge your argument. I won’t feel offended or deduct points even if you say the ancient political thoughts are not worthwhile to study at all. What I evaluate is your support and the use of the readings.


  1. The length of the essay should be about 700 words
  2. Upload a Microsoft Word file (doc, docx). 1-inch margin, 12 points Times New Roman fonts, double-spaced.
    • Your essay should have a title.
  1. You need to include 6 or more in-text citations.
    • Stephanus pagination is a standard way to compare different translations and editions of Plato’s works. And there is Bakker numbering for Aristotle. Use them when you cite.
    • Read and follow “Citation Guidelines”Citation Guidelines.docx
  1. The examples should be taken from both Plato’s and Aristotle’s texts.
  2. A good essay should include the following qualities, and they will be used as grading rubrics.
    • Make a clear argument: Your argument should be clearly stated in your essay. In a short essay, it is advisable to state your argument at the beginning of your essay to let the readers know what the essay is about.
    • Give sufficient reasons for your argument: You can make an argument without any evidence. But your argument will not be convincing if you fail to provide reasons and evidence to support it.
    • Make good use of the readings: When you make an argument and give reasons for your argument, make sure to refer to the readings to show that you have read and understood the assigned readings. If your essay topic is public education, then make sure to refer to, for instance, what Plato and Aristotle write about education and use them to make and support your argument.
    • Be clear in writings: It is important to read over your essay and see if there are any errors and vague sentences that might confuse the reader. You need to proofread your essay and correct misspelling and errors. You also need to divide your essay into paragraphs. It is also advisable to make your writings concise by deleting unnecessary details.

    This is the Aristotle book:

  • This is the Plato book: