The Role of the State

the exercise is analytical, so rote summaries are to be avoided. Your paper should
advance a complete, cohesive answer to the overarching prompt given below. Be sure that your
introduction clearly states your thesis, and that your conclusion provides some sort of resolution. I
encourage you to reach out with questions you may have about how to interpret the topic.
Otherwise, do your best to turn in a polished, well-thought out essay
I expect you to cite the text actively through references and quotes. In particular, use potent
quotations to validate your interpretation. Do not rely so heavily on quotes that your words are
drowned out. Regardless, active references show me that you are researching your answer within the
book, and this is something critical to a successful paper. For the purposes of citation, you are only
to use the parenthetical method.
According to Plato and Aristotle, why do we need the state and what role should it play in
the lives of its citizens? For example, to what extent is the state concerned with virtue, education,
protection, well-being, and/or material prosperity? When should we regard the state as a failure?
What are the marks of success? Is the state crucial to happiness and well-being? (In your answer, be
sure to identify the kinds of states that each author deems the best, and use these models as the basis
for your reply to why we need the state. Also, you would want to consider lesser forms of the state
where you address the question of ‘failure’.)

Hint: Successful essays often divide evenly between each author, discussing one in turn and then the
other. This has proven to be a productive formula in the past.

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