Death Anxiety Paper
We discuss two very different perspectives on death and death anxiety in class—the epicurean perspective and the
existential perspective. Which perspective seems more plausible, more reasonable, or more valuable to you? Why?
Be specific. You must include all the following elements in your paper (please write your response in paragraphs,
not numbered, listed, or bulleted):
Paragraph 1-Intro paragraph: what is death anxiety mean to you? Frame your paper by giving a scenario when you or
someone experiences death anxiety. Briefly explain how the two perspectives (epicurean and existential) we discussed in
class resolve death anxiety. Your last sentence in your first paragraph should include your thesis: which theory are you
Paragraph 2: Explain how your chosen theory works in general. Include a quote from one of the articles.
Paragraph 3: Relate your theory to the real-life scenario you discussed in paragraph 1. Illustrate how your chosen theory
works in response to death anxiety. How does your theory work to make us feel better when experiencing death anxiety?
Paragraph 4: Anticipate an objection/problem/criticism to your chosen theory. Include a quote from one of the articles.
This could be a problem with your chosen theory or this could be a valid point from the other theory.
Paragraph 5: Address the anticipated objection/problem/criticism. How would your chosen theory respond to the
problem presented in paragraph 4?
• 2-3 pages typed, double spaced, 12 point font. 2-3 pages is the minimum; there is no maximum.
• Papers that do not reach the required length or augment formats to seemingly reach a full page (i.e. larger
font, more than 1 inch margin, etc) will be deducted points. Papers that are not double spaced will be deducted points.
• You MUST use direct quotes from the articles. All work MUST be cited in your work, MLA style (author
and page number). Notes on the whiteboard do not count as quotes; quotes must be directly from the articles.
• Quotes should be meaningful and well-explained. Don’t include a “sound byte” quote (just a few words) and
always explain what the quote means and how it relates to your point.
• No cover sheet is necessary; no separate works cited page is necessary.
A note on grading:
• Warrants / “hamburgers”: Did you select meaningful quotes? Did you integrate them into your text well? Did
you stop to explain what your quote means and relate your quotes to your argument? There are no hanging
quotes, not too many or too few quotes.
• Organization: Do you follow the outline? Can I follow your argument? Do your points follow through on an
organized path and support your overall argument?
• Examples: Do you have specific and relevant examples? Do you connect your examples back to your points?
• Mechanics: Did you follow instructions (double spacing, correct font and spacing)? Do you use correct
grammar, spelling, citation, etc.? Do you use academic language (no slang)?
o Writing is very different from having a conversation. Instead of writing, “Death is nothing to us, so
why should I stress over it?” write, “Death is nothing to us, therefore death does not need to cause us
stress.” Assert yourself in your writing and be clear.
• Content: Overall, how well have you demonstrated your understanding of this topic? Have you thought about
it deeply? Do you give the opposing view a “fair shake”? Do you make it relevant, thoughtful, and
insightful? Is it concise and thoughtful or is your paper vague or a regurgitation of class notes?