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.
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The following short essay assignment is
designed to help prepare you for an important part of the Final Paper.
In this essay, you will do the following:
- Choose either the same ethical question you formulated and
introduced in the Week One Assignment, or a different one based off the list of acceptable topics (SEE ATTACHMENT).
- Choose either utilitarian or deontological ethical theory to apply to the ethical question.
- Explain the core principles of that theory.
- Demonstrate how the principles of the theory support a certain position on that question.
- Articulate a relevant objection to that position.
Write a five-paragraph essay that
conforms to the requirements below. The paper must be at least 1,000
words in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted
according to APA style. The paragraphs of your essay should conform to the following guidelines:
The introduction should clearly state
the ethical question under consideration, and define the essential
issues. You may build upon the question and introduction you provided in
the Week One Assignment; or you may choose a different question, but it
must be based off the list of acceptable topics. Your introduction
should include a brief remark about the kind of theory you will be using
to approach this question. The last sentence of the introduction should
briefly summarize the or position on the issue you think is best
supported by this theory and succinctly state what the objection will
be. Bear in mind that your essay will not be concerned with your own
position on this issue, but what someone reasoning along the lines of
the chosen theory would conclude; this may or may not be the position
you took in the Week One Assignment.
Each paragraph in the body should start with a topic sentence that clearly identifies the main idea of the paragraph.
- Theory explanation
Explain the core principles or features of the
deontological or utilitarian theory and the general account of moral
reasoning it provides.
You must quote from at least one required resource other than your
textbook that defends or represents that theory. Refer to the list of acceptable resources (SEE ATTACHMENT).
Demonstrate how the principles or features of the
deontological or utilitarian theory apply to the question under
consideration and identify the specific conclusion that results from
applying the reasoning characteristic of that kind of approach.
Your application should clearly show how the conclusion follows from
the main principles and features of the theory as addressed in the
previous paragraph. Please see the associated guidance for help in
fulfilling this requirement.
Raise a relevant objection to the argument expressed in
your application. An objection articulates a plausible reason why
someone might find the argument problematic. This can be a false or
unsupported claim or assumption, fallacious reasoning, a deep concern
about what the conclusion involves, a demonstration of how the argument
supports other conclusions that are unacceptable, etc. You should aim to
explain this objection as objectively as possible, (i.e., in a way that
would be acceptable to someone who disagrees with the argument from the
Note that this does not necessarily mean that the objection succeeds,
or that the conclusion the theory supports is wrong. It may be an
obstacle that any adequate defense of the conclusion would have to
overcome, and it may be the case that the theory has the resources to
overcome that obstacle. Your task here is simply to raise the objection
or present the “obstacle.”
- Theory explanation
The conclusion should very briefly summarize the main points of your essay.
- You must use at least two resources to support your claims.
- At least one of the resources should be one of the Required or
Recommended Resources that represent the theory you have chosen, and
must be drawn from the list of acceptable resources available in your
- The other source should pertain to the particular issue you are
writing about and should be drawn from the required or recommended
readings in the course, or be a scholarly source.
- You are encouraged to use additional resources, so long as at least two conform to the requirements above.
- The textbook does not count toward satisfying the resources requirement.
- To count toward satisfying the requirement, resources must be cited
within the body of your paper and on the reference page and formatted
according to APA style.