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INTRODUCTION: Part III deals with the law and discusses ethical misconduct in the justice system and misconduct as a form of civil disobedience. Henry David Thoreau coined the term “civil disobedience,” when he wrote about his refusal to pay a poll tax that would have supported the United States’ war against Mexico. If government, he wrote, “is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” The U.S. has had a long history of civil disobedience. This week seeks to analyze the ethics behind political and religious motives that lead to breaking the law. This topic has always been popular for debate but recent examples from Kim Davis the county clerk that defied federal court order to issue marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs (Click here for more (Links to an external site.)), to Tim DeChristopher who disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas to protest U.S. policy on climate change (Click here for more (Links to an external site.)) have thrusted this topic into debate again. You will write a (4-7 pages double-spaced) persuasive/argumentative essay. A persuasive/argumentative essay uses reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action. This type of essay must present theory, evidence, facts, or examples, in order to defend ones claims. You are required to use data you have gathered from your readings. Outside research is welcomed, but you will be graded (please see grading rubric) on how well you summarize, integrate, and theorize on information we have covered in class thus far.

ESSAY QUESTION: You are a defense attorney in the Wounded Knee trials (readings from Sayer – Ghost Dancing the Law) defending the protestors. Your job is to explain civil disobedience in relation to religion, social contract theory, and indigenous justice. You must define, explain, and give examples of the Divine Command Theory, Social Contract Theory, and Indigenous Justice (Lauderdale – North American Indians and Peace). You must discuss if each of these theories would help OR damage your case defending the civil disobedience of American Indian protestors. Be sure to define and give examples of each ethical theory and compare and contrast the theories to one another. You will be graded on your ability to connect the required readings from class to your argument. Please provide concrete examples to defend your claims. These readings are a little difficult so if you have any questions at all do not hesitate to contact me.

DIRECTIONS: Please submit your Essay (4 to 7 pages double-spaced) as a Word or Pdf document in the Essays section.


The guidelines for the assignments are as follows:

4-7 pages in length

APA (American Psychological Association) Formatting required

In-text Citations and Reference page is required (citations according to APA standards)

No Abstract is required


Using Times New Roman 12pt Font

Please no messing with the margins

Formal grammar, syntax and organization are expected

For more information on APA formatting please see the following website: (Links to an external site.)



1. Write your thesis statement

2. Gather background information on the topic (from readings)

3. Gather and organize evidence

4. Connect supporting evidential claims

5. Anticipate counterarguments

6. Refute arguments opposed to your view

7. Conclude by restating your argument and thesis



    Thesis Statement

    Background Information


    Supporting Evidence #1

    Supporting Evidence #2

    Supporting Evidence #3



    Restate and readdress Thesis Statement


Provide a clear, concise, and defined thesis statement in the introduction

Include clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion

Provide background information in order to describe the issue at hand

Give concrete examples for your supporting evidence

Conclusion does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided


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