Essay skill: Subjectivity of key terms

14 09 2011

One way to make essays essay slightly more sophisticated is to consider the subjectivity behind any, well, subjective terms. In the following example, consider the word “right”:

How far can our leaders be trusted to do what is right?

What does “right” mean?

  • In line with the people’s needs? Their wants? Their demands? The most beneficial for the people? Morally correct? All of the above? And if so, what if there are conflicts between the different concepts of “right”?

Right for who?

  • Perhaps a decision will be right for the overall progress of the country, but not for certain groups of individuals.
Timeframe
  • Right in the short-term, long-term, or both? Might there be conflicts?
Does “right” exist?
  • Could it be that there’s no true “correct answer”? Perhaps it’s merely a matter of making the most sensible decision at the time of decision-making – and this decision, in time, might prove to be either right or wrong.
Note: When considering the subjectivity of a term, you may choose to split your stand, as explained in this page of linked posts.

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