Essays should be between 1200-1800 words and handed in on the Last Day of Lectures. You should deal with some aspect of ethical theory or some issue in business and professional ethics. You should develop and defend a position on an issue, or critically assess the views and arguments of an author who addresses a controversial ethical topic.
You may also do your essay in the form of a case analysis, dealing with a current business or professional ethics issue that is reported in the media. You are expected to research all sides of the case and provide proper documentation of your sources. You will need to describe the case and then analyze it, making appropriate use of concepts and materials presented in the course.
Ideal topics include ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in a particular profession and any controversial issues in business ethics. See Unit 12 for more topics.
General Advice on writing Philosophy Essays
I’m looking for knowledge of the relevant course material, understanding andevaluation of the arguments involved, and some original and coherent thinking. Style is relevant. This involves such things as clarity, organization, grammar, and spelling.
The essay is a defence of your own position regarding a question of ethicalsignificance. To give your position a worthy defence, imagine that your reader is skeptical about your conclusion but sympathetic to well formulated arguments. When arguing against a position, imagine how your opponent would reply.
Strong argumentation and originality of thought are highly valued in philosophypapers. This could involve subtle and detailed analysis of an issue, concept, or author, and it could involve comparing and connecting different ideas in order to develop your own view. Accuracy in your treatment of texts is also important. As a reader, I want you to give me the most for the least – that is, to make lots of points, defend them adequately, back them up with appropriate attention to course material, and to do this without padding or repetition.
Marks will be deducted for poor writing (paragraph organization, grammar anddiction), so proofread carefully. I also come down hard on papers that clearly misread an author, that are self-contradictory, or that say little in a vague way.
All ideas taken from someone else should be referenced in MLA or APA format, even ifthey are not direct quotations. Page references must be given for all direct quotations, even if they are in the course package. If you are doing a case analysis, consider submitting a copy of your major source for the case if it is brief and would be hard for me to locate
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