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Discussions Assignment Instructions

In this course, Discussions play an exceptionally important role. The readings are relatively short to allow for substantial reflection, personal research, and quality discussion to occur. Consider these threads and replies to be formal communications on the same level as those you would conduct with employers, clients, or colleagues in the professional, political, or academic world. As such, they must be free of grammatical errors, must be properly formatted in current APA style, and must consist of well-reasoned, contemplative, and substantive posts and replies, rather than mere ipse dixit. These threads and replies must provide citations to the sources of or support for your ideas as well as any quoted materials and/or borrowed ideas.

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Open, courteous discussion will yield the greatest opportunities for growth in this course. Both responding to other students and responding to the instructor will count as 1 reply post. Remember that the art of communication is in many ways the essence of effective political leadership. Everything you write—every paper, post, and email—creates or reinforces an impression of you. You are encouraged to begin to cultivate the communication skills of the statesmen and stateswomen—the ability to logically and persuasively speak the truth with compassion and respect.

You will take part in 5 Discussions in Modules 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7: Weeks 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7. You will compose an original post presenting your own interpretation of the assigned prompt, writing at least 1,000 words, then, you will post replies of 300–350 words to at least 2 other students’ original threads. Each reply must be unique.

Responding to a classmate’s original post requires both the addition of new ideas and analysis. A particular point made by the classmate must be addressed and built upon by your analysis in order to move the conversation forward. Thus, the response post is a rigorous assignment that requires you to build upon initial posts to develop deeper and more thorough discussion of the ideas introduced in the initial posts. As such, reply posts that merely affirm, restate or unprofessionally quarrel with the previous post(s) and fail to make a valuable, substantive contribution to the discussion will receive appropriate point deductions. Posting the same reply in two places is also not sufficient and may be treated as a form of academic misconduct.

Original posts must include at least 10 references to the course readings and 1 Scripture reference in addition to any other sources you wish to include. Replies must include at least 3 references to the course readings and 1 Scripture reference in addition to any other sources you wish to include. Scriptural excerpts with citations are required in all written assignments, including all discussion board posts (both the original post and the replies).

Submit your threads by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. Submit your replies by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week.


What pre-cursors to Natural Law concepts are present in the political ideas of Plato and Aristotle?  Be sure to include a discussion of justice and statesmanship in your answer.


The republic


The law


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