QUESTION: The Neolithic society that built Stonehenge expended immense resources
in order to construct one of the world’s first “high-tech” astronomical installations. Was
this effort worth the resources devoted to the project?
[Answer “Yes” or “No”, with brief explanation supporting choice]
Stonehenge is a well-known Neolithic
structure in England. It was built in several phases, between ~3100 BC and ~1600 BC.
Who built the structure—and how—remain largely unresolved. There are many theories
as to why it was built. What is known is that its primary design and structure—its axial
symmetry—aligns with Winter solstice sunset and Summer solstice sunrise. Radiocarbon
dating of nearby debris indicates that crowds congregated at Stonehenge during the
Winter solstice. Thus, many scholars argue that Stonehenge represents one of the
world’s first astronomical observatories. It was, in effect, a “high-tech” (for the time)
calendar, constructed of stone, for marking the seasons. Significantly, estimates of the
effort to construct Stonehenge are remarkable. At least 1.5 million hours of work (and
perhaps much more!) were needed to build and modify it.
DECISION STANDARD USED:
JUSTIFICATION OF STANDARD:
Below are some Guidelines to assist in the preparation of your First Short Paper:
1. Template and Format. Use the Word document template posted on Blackboard. In
particular, use the format provided; including cover page; 2 pages of text (3 max), with
indicated sections; page numbers; single-spacing; and 12-point type.
2. Question: Use as given; do not change. If you have issues, contact me.
3. Answer: You must answer “Yes” or “No”, with brief (1-sentence) explanation. No
indecision! This is a “No right answer” type of question. You will not be graded on your
answer. I couldn’t care less whether you answer Yes or No. It’s all about your analysis.
4. Background. Use as given. If you want to add to, subtract from, or dispute anything
provided in the Background section, you are free to do so on the Analysis section.
5. Standard Used. You must explicitly set out, in 1-3 simple sentences, what standard
(i.e., rule or metric) you are using to analyze and justify your decision of Yes or No.
Choice of decision standard is extremely important to any analysis. It will not only
guide—but heavily influence—how you approach and solve the problem.
6. Standard Justification. In this section, you must justify your choice of decision
standard. Explain how you chose the standard that you did, and what other alternatives
you considered. You must use a rational, logical framework for justifying your standard.
For example, you may not use as your justification such arguments as: “My mom visited
Stonehenge and hated it”; or “It turned out to make a great tourist attraction”; etc.
7. Analysis. In this section, you apply your decision standard—using a pro-and-con
(advantages vs. disadvantages) approach—to your facts in order to justify your answer.
8. Proof Reading. Please proof read your paper for spelling errors, grammatical
mistakes, and logical consistency. The best way to proof a document is to read it, slowly,
out loud. You will be surprised at how many mistakes you will catch. Be sure also to
use spell and grammar check!
9. Footnotes. If you rely on outside sources for additional information, which is
encouraged, make sure to properly document these sources. You can use a separate page
for references or footnotes, which will not count towards your 2-3 page limit of text.
Final note: You do not need to include this Guidelines page with your paper. These
Guidelines are for your use only.
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