Look at you, in your little first year boots, squealing in terror about the impression you'll make with your first SOSC essay. Have no fear, baby dolls! All you need to know to ace the most important essay of your young life is this: you need to define your terms. It's as simple as that! This goes for any essay you will ever write at UChicago and any argument you will have for the rest of your life.
But first, we must define the term "argument." Yes, you must have one. But it is important to note that the word "argument" could mean many different things. Fuck the dictionary definition, think about expanding your perspective. Arguments can occur within one's self. Whoa. Arguments can occur between two people, three people, four people, and infinite people, in theory. They could all hold the same beliefs and still argue because they do not know how to utilize the art of language. That is why monkeys in the state of nature started fist fights and why we now have war.
But first, we must define the term "war." When that monkey threw the first punch it was the punch heard "round the world." Or was it? Is war, as a concept, just an argument? Or is it the result of an argument? Or the application? See? Now we are getting somewhere. Let us then assume that a war is the application of an argument in physical terms between two entities.
But first, we must define the term "entities." An entity could be an individual. Or it could be a whole made up of many. A collection of people or objects that hold something or some things in common. You, as an individual, are a nation-state of organs working day and night so that one day you can spout out some genuine bullshit into a word processor and say that a Hobbes quote "spoke to you" in a discussion post.
Lastly, we must define the term "bullshit." Bullshit is the metaphoric blood that will pump through your veins after you have completed three quarters of this Socratic hazing. Bullshit is when you derive all of the dominant theories of humanity in Western thought from Goodreads quotes of the book you were supposed to read for class today. Bullshit is when you are so suffocated and bound by the minutiae of your entirely hypothetically constructed argument that you loose balance and roll for eternity down a concave analogy hill of your own making. And peak bullshit is when you start to believe the bullshit you are preaching and actually think you know what that Hegel guy was all about now.
You will forego reading many books by dead white men in your UChicago career so that you can play Mario Kart in the house lounge instead, but there is no need for guilt! Those books will pale in comparison to this bomb ass SOSC essay you're about to write. As long as you follow our sage guidance, you will get all the As you could wish for.
Bonus advice: Use as many contractions and colloquialisms as possible--you are here to find your "voice."