Please read these assignment instructions before writing your
paper, and re-read them often during and after the writing process to
make sure that you are fulfilling all of the instructions. Please also
utilize the assignment guidance, the modeled example, and the outline provided.
The following assignment is an exercise designed to help you
begin the process of addressing a moral issue, a process that will
continue in the next two assignments. In this exercise, you will do the
- Formulate an ethical question within one of the given topic areas from the list provided.
- Provide an introduction in which you briefly explain the topic and the particular question on which you will focus your paper.
- State your position on the question at issue.
- Identify one consideration that would support your position and one consideration that would challenge it.
The exercise must be at least 500 words in length (excluding
title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as
outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Be sure to include a title page and, if you include references, a
bibliography. The exercise should be in outline (not essay) format, with
each part labeled and numbered as specified below.
- Part One: Formulate the Question
Read through the list of available topic areas, and select a
topic on which you would like to write your next two papers. Formulate a
specific, concrete, ethical question pertaining to that topic, and
place that at the top of your paper.
The question should be specific enough to discuss in six
to eight pages (which is the length of the Final Paper assignment). For
example, if you were interested in discussing the topic of capital
punishment, a question like “Is capital punishment wrong?” would be too
vague, and would need to be reformulated as a more specific question,
such as “Should we execute people convicted of first degree murder?” or
“Is it just to use capital punishment when there is the possibility of
executing innocent persons?” or “Is the capital punishment system
Part Two: Provide a Brief Introduction to the Topic
Your introduction should focus on setting out the topic and
scope of the discussion in a way that clearly establishes what exactly
you will be talking about and why it is significant. It should also
provide any necessary context such as the background, current state of
affairs, definitions of key terms, and so on. You want to try to do this
in a way that stays as neutral as possible, avoids controversial
assumptions, rhetorical questions, and the like. In other words, you
should try to construct an introduction to the topic that could be an
introduction to a paper defending any position on the question at issue.
It is important for your introduction to narrow down the topic
as much as possible. Doing so will allow you to provide a more detailed
consideration of the issues and explain the reasoning more clearly in
later papers. In general, arguments and analyses are much stronger when
they focus on addressing a particular issue thoroughly and in detail,
and doing so often requires deciding on one particular question or
point to discuss, and leaving other possible ones aside.
You should label this section of your paper as “Introduction.”
- Part Three: Provide a Position Statement
State clearly and precisely the position you intend to
defend on the question you have formulated. This does not need to be
more than one sentence.
Note that providing a position statement does not
necessarily presume that you are confident in your position, that other
positions do not have merit, or that you cannot change your mind later.
However, for now, it is important to at least tentatively take a stand
on a position you believe to be better supported than others.
Label this section as “Position Statement.”
- Part Four: Identify and Explain a Supporting Reason
Identify and explain a plausible reason someone could give
that supports the position you have taken and be sure to clearly explain
why you think it supports that position. The explanation should aim to
be three to five sentences (shorter explanations are possible, but will
likely be inadequate; longer explanations are likely to be too
Label this section as “Supporting Reason.”
- Part Five: Identify and Explain an Opposing Reason
Identify and explain a plausible reason someone might give
that would oppose or challenge the position you have taken and be sure
to clearly explain why you think it would oppose or challenge it. The
explanation should aim to be three to five sentences (shorter
explanations are possible, but will likely be inadequate; longer
explanations are likely to be too verbose). You should strive to
articulate that reason in a way that someone defending a contrary
position to your own would do. This requires stepping back from your own
position and being able to think about the problem as objectively as
you can. You should not attempt to respond to this opposing reason.
Label this section as “Opposing Reason.”