By Friday, Dec.8 you are to turn in a 7-8-page final research paper (2,000-2,500 total words-excluding the bibliography). This paper will be uploaded as an MS Word or pdf file through Canvas. It is strongly encouraged that you turn this paper in earlier if at all possible so as not to overburden yourself before the final exam. The paper must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. or it will be marked late.


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This paper will be a scholarly investigation into a concrete ethical issue (such as universal health care, media ethics, environmentalism, immigration, GMOs, privacy rights, etc.) using at least one theoretical system we have covered in class (virtue ethics, deontology, Christian ethics, environmentalism, Confucian ethics, animal ethics, existential ethics, utilitarianism, etc.) as the framework out of which you approach the issue. You must therefore develop the ethical theory you choose in sufficient detail before applying it to the practical ethical issue under consideration.

Keep in mind that a research paper is different in tone and delivery than your first comparison paper. It will involve the construction of a coherent thesis and external research to support it.
Encourage yourself to find something outside of the standard ethical themes (abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, etc.) to explore. Most importantly, however, choose something that you are sincerely interested in/concerned about to study.
You may not turn in a paper written for another class.
As per the syllabus, the research paper is worth 40% of your final grade.
Your research must include a selection (of at least three) of the following items:

academic journal articles (e.g., philosophy journals, ethics journals, law review articles, science journals, etc.)
articles from respected newspapers and magazines (e.g., The New York Times, Mother Jones, The Economist).
video and/or audio recordings (e.g., news footage, documentary films, etc.).
books and book chapters from university and other academic presses.
other primary source material (e.g., official church documents, reputable statistical analysis, etc.)
official interviews with experts in the discipline or topic of the paper.
reputable web sites, meaning sites that contain peer-reviewed and/or properly researched and documented material. This does not include blogs, professor’s pages for their own classes, or popular culture sites (although these may contain useful links and information that you can use and even reference, they are inadequate as one of your three required sources).
As a general rule, you should rely primarily on academic and expert sources; these materials are usually peer-reviewed for quality. You should minimize over-reliance on internet sources unless they are clearly reputable and present peer-reviewed material. If you have any questions about what constitutes an acceptable source of information, please ask your TA or the professor.


Include a Works Cited or Bibliography for all sources used in the paper.
Use either Chicago/Turabian, MLA, or APA styles for text citation and works cited.
Use the equivalent of 12-point, Times New Roman font. Double-space your pages and use 1-inch margins. This equates to 2,000-2,500 total words-excluding the bibliography.
Proofread your work. Grammar and spelling errors are unacceptable. Watch for spell check-errors.
Write in the present tense unless the context demands otherwise.
Use only gender inclusive language even if the authors use gender exclusive language.
Do not use dictionary definitions in your paper.
Number your pages and title your paper.
A cover page is not required but can be included.
Provide a clear thesis statement in your introduction that will guide the whole of your paper. You must have both a strong introduction that lists your order of exposition and a strong conclusion that ties your paper together in the end.
Plagiarism of any kind is unacceptable and will result in either a failing grade for the paper or for the class, depending on the severity of the offense.
There will be no rewrites for this paper.

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