For your final paper, choose one of the articles you read on your applied ethics topic (animal rights, euthanasia, or global poverty). Explain the author’s position on your topic, then – given what you’ve learned in the course – evaluate the author’s argument. Specific Instructions for Structuring the Paper
This paper should be organized as a typical essay with an Introduction and a Conclusion, as well as including Part I and Part II as follows:
Part I: Explain the author’s argument in the article that you’ve chosen. In his/her view, what is the correct position to have on the applied ethics issue you chose? What are the reasons that he/she gives in support of his/her view?
Part II: Present a potential problem for the author’s position. After presenting a potential objection to the argument, explain whether you think that the author’s position is stronger than the criticism that you presented by doing one of the following.
- If you agree with the author’s view, explain why the objection is not a problem for his/her view (i.e., respond to that objection on behalf of the author).
- If you disagree with the author’s view, explain how the objection is problematic for his/her position.
I grade based on content, not length. That being said, you should aim for around 3-5 pages. If your paper is too short, you won’t have explained the argument or the objection fully. So, make sure to focus on answering each part of the paper topic. If your paper seems to be a bit long, make sure every word is necessary. You should be able to explain the concepts succinctly as well as clearly.
This is not a research paper, so you should not need to use any sources outside the course materials. If you do use any sources, make sure you cite them properly. You may use any style that you prefer (APA, MLA, etc.), as long as you are consistent. Since this paper is designed to assess your understanding of an ethical theory and your ability to apply that theory, avoid using long quotations. Additionally, this should be your own work. Do not plagiarize. See the Syllabus for my policy on this.
RubricIntroduction (15 pts)
An introduction explains the topic discussed in the paper (e.g., euthanasia or abortion) and includes a clear thesis statement. In this paper, your thesis should be a clear statement of your position on the author’s argument in the paper that you choose (e.g., “Singer believes that x, but I will show that Singer’s position on Y is flawed”).
Part I (45 pts)
Accurately represents and clearly explains the author’s argument.
Part II (45 pts)
Presents a relevant objection to the author’s argument, explains it well, and clearly states your position on the topic.
Conclusion (15 pts)
Succinctly and clearly summarizes the topics discussed and restates the thesis.
Overall Readability and Mechanics (10 pts)
Free of spelling and grammatical errors. Natural and appropriate word choice.
Overall Structure and Organization (10 pts)
Discussion of different topics is clearly indicated in the text—smooth transitions between sections, easy for the reader to follow throughout.
The originality of Thought (10 pts)
Paper demonstrates original and creative critical thinking.