PHIL 240: Ethics Term Paper Overview: An essential part of studying

PHIL 240: Ethics Term Paper

Overview: An essential part of studying Ethics is learning how to apply the methods of ethical reasoning to ethical issues in our world. This subfield of Ethics is known as “Applied Ethics.” Applied Ethics attempts to clarify and respond to a specific moral problem. These moral problems can include matters of personal behavior and virtue, new technologies, social values and norms, political institutions and legislation, and others (essentially, if something can be called “morally wrong,” or “morally problematic,” or “unjust,” then it can be addressed in an applied ethics paper).

Term Paper Objective:

Students will select an ethical issue in our world today, research the issue, present the competing positions related to the issue, and then argue for a specific position.

Directions – In order to successfully meet the objective of this paper, students must demonstrate the following in their submitted paper:
(Please note: this list covers the general features of a good paper; please see the Term Paper Grading Rubric for the comprehensive list)

Clearly identify and explain an ethical issue (this is generally done in the introduction to the paper)
Establish and prove a strong thesis statement. The links from your Term Paper Module on writing a thesis have been copied here:
Creating a Thesis Statement (you are writing an “Argumentative Paper”)
Developing Strong Thesis Statements
Clearly present the competing positions related to the ethical issue, being sure to (a) present them objectively, with support from primary and secondary sources, and (b) in such a way that presents each position in its strongest version
Defend the moral theory or moral principle that underlies and justifies your thesis (your position on the issue).
For example: If your paper depends on the “principle of autonomy,” then it is up to you to convince your reader of the value of autonomy. That is, why should we care about autonomy? Does, or should, everyone share this view of autonomy? Does it depend on an accurate view of the human condition? Etc.
Includes a conclusion that summarizes and reinforces the thesis, and offers some final thoughts for your reader
Includes a Works Cited page
Paper is given a title
Paper is proper length
a. 4-6 pages (1,000 – 1,500 words)
b. Double spaced; Times New Roman font; 1-inch margins
Paper is submitted on time

Fulfillment of General Education Program outcomes:
This assignment will allow students to demonstrate at least 5 of the following 7 General Education Program outcomes:
Written/oral communication
Critical analysis and reasoning
Technological competence
Information Literacy
Scientific and quantitative or logical reasoning
Local and global diversity
Personal and professional ethics

Successful completion of this term paper will fulfill the following Course Level Objectives:

CCO #1: Demonstrate how critical analysis is central to the study and application of ethics
CCO #2: Identify ways in which ethics is a dynamic subject which is responsive to new discoveries in related fields
CCO #8: Utilize technology, correct writing, and communications to find, evaluate, use, and cite about ethical matters
CCO #10: Logically evaluate and analyze ethical arguments

In addition, this paper will fulfill at least one of the following:

CCO #3: Identify and describe core ideas and famous ethicists from the character ethics tradition
CCO #4: Identify core ideas and famous ethicists from the teleological ethics tradition
CCO #5: Identify core ideas and famous ethicists from the deontological ethics tradition

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