Mark Hall

by Dan Bennett

Mark Hall has been teaching political science at George Fox University for five years. Attending Wheaton College (IL) for his undergrad and the University of Virginia for both his masters and doctorate, Mark spent time teaching at East Central University in Oklahoma before uprooting to Newberg in 2001.

Writing a paper, according to Mark, should not be something done in one sitting. "Don't simply start writing. Do research, outline your argument, and then start writing," he says. Mark is also quick to note that no one should ever turn in their first draft of any paper. "Never, ever," he says, "not once should you turn in your first draft." In fact, a student should be researching her topic and beginning to outline her argument before any writing ever takes place. In fact, Mark says that a lack of thorough research is the most consistent weakness he sees in his students' papers.

If you want to irritate Mark when writing a paper, all you have to do is misspell the name of the person you are writing on. "Simple, obvious mistakes" are the most frustrating for Mark.

When he thinks of a good essay, several characteristics jump to mind. If Mark were to sum up a good essay in one sentence, he would say, "A good essay is well-researched, well-documented, well-written and well-argued."

Mark also believes that students should invest in a copy of The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. According to Mark, this is a book that "every student should buy, read and treasure."

Mark teaches an introductory course in political science every semester and teaches a variety of other related courses the rest of the time, including American political theory, Congressional-Presidential relations and political philosophy. He also oversees the political science senior seminar course and is the chapter advisor for Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Mark's primary research and writing interests are American political theory and religion and politics. He has published one book, The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson, 1742-1798 (1997), and numerous articles. His co-edited volume, The Founders on God and Government, was published in 2004 by Rowman and Littlefield. The Sacred Rights of Conscience, a co-edited collection of primary sources on church and state in America will be available from Liberty Fund Press in 2007.

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