life philosophies of Morrie Schwartz

In unit 1, you had an opportunity to consider what was most important in your life. You were asked to consider the following questions as you wrote:

  • What is the nature and purpose of existence?
  • What do you believe to be most important? What do you most value?
  • What beliefs and values motivate you and shape your choices?
  • What beliefs shape your interactions with others and with yourself?

Since then, we have explored classical philosophy and historical philosophical movements, major world religious movements, and the life philosophies of Morrie Schwartz and how those philosophies shaped his life, interactions, and death. Ask yourself if there is context for your life philosophy. Does it incorporate other philosophies explored (either secular or religious)? You have also considered your own life in the context of your own life philosophy, and what a meaningful life looks like to you.

Now, you will have a chance to revisit your original life philosophy and put it all together, creating a “life mission statement” of sorts.

As you revise, consider what we have discussed with regards to the ABCs of writing.

Audience: For whom are you writing? Your instructor? Yourself? Your posterity? What information is necessary, and is your voice authentic?

Blueprint: Think about the organization of your mission statement; do your ideas build on each other? Are there logical transitions from one idea to the next? Do you have an interesting introduction, with a hook, context, and a thesis (an overarching idea that sums up your life philosophy)? What about your conclusion? Is it just a summary, or is it an actual call to action for yourself and your life choices?

Content: Have you included explicit references to the texts explored to support or clarify your ideas? Do you support your claims with evidence?

Diction: Have you used the best, most vivid words available to you? We have such a rich language; have you taken advantage of that?

Elegance: What about your sentence structures? Are there sentences that could be clarified? Combined? Do your sentences flow naturally? If you read them out loud to someone, how do they sound?

Formalities: Have you capitalized your “I”s? Do your sentences begin with capital letters? Are there commas where there should be commas, and none where they don’t belong? Have you embedded quotes properly?

Grammar: Do your sentences make sense? Do all of your clauses have a subject and a predicate? Do you end your thoughts and begin anew, or do your sentences run on and on? Do any contain half-thoughts (fragments)?

Your final philosophy needs to be 600-800 words. It also needs to be in MLA format, including citations to at least three separate works studied in the course, and a Works Cited page.

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