Hegelian letter / Social Experiment /Socratic dialogue / Analysis of dialogue

1. Part I is your letter to a historical figure, celebrity, politician, writer, scientist, or other noteworthy person. Your opening should address the recipient as “Dear ___.”

1. The letter consists of four paragraphs, a-d:

2. (a) you introduce yourself;

3. (b) you summarize the person’s stance, position, or opinion on an issue (this section is called the “thesis”);

4. (c) you dispute all or portions of the person’s position (the “antithesis”);

5. (d) you propose a reasonable alternative or a compromise (the “synthesis”).

6. The tone should be respectful and reasonable. Each paragraph should be 6-10 sentences long.

7. This type of letter, broken into separate movements like a symphony’s, is called Hegelian dialectic!


2. Part II is your social experiment. Start by reading up on various famous experiments already conducted, such as The Robbers’ Cave Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Click here  ( for links to these and other examples.

1. Your own description (2-3 pages) of your experiment should give a background on your interest in this experiment and how you created it;

2. state your hypothesis and predicted outcomes;

3. list your procedures and methods for conducting the experiment;

4. and talk about possible flaws or limits that might cause your experiment not to get perfect data (it never is).

5. Note that you don’t need actually to conduct the experiment–just design it.


3. Part III is a Socratic dialogue that you’ve created. Start by giving the setting and a description of the two characters who are speaking (the entire dialogue will be 3.5 pages long). In it, one character persuades another character to accept his/her point of view.

1. Format it as if you were writing a play; double-space the dialogue as usual.

2. Employ 7-10 of the rhetorical techniques you learned from our textbook.

3. Below, I’ve attached Phaedrus from Plato.


4. Part IV is your analysis of your Socratic dialogue. Yes, you will write a mini-essay (3.5 pages) that deconstructs your own writing. It should be a pretty easy write, considering your inside knowledge of the author’s writing process!

• Dig deeply into minutia in the dialogue. Analyze closely organization, diction, rhetorical techniques, figurative language, realism of the dialogue, and so on.

• You may use terms from the Toulmin Model. Be sure to set up your analysis just as you would a “real” essay, with intro, body, and conclusion paragraphs.

As usual, each body paragraph should be structured around transitions, topic sentences, major/minor supporting evidence, and concluding sentences.



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