Phil 205 F17: Essay 3 Prompt

General Instructions: Your assignment is to write a 4-6 page paper on the following topic. The paper should be typed, double-spaced in a 12 point legible font. It is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, October 31. You may submit a hard copy or an electronic version. If you submit an electronic version over email I must receive it by the start of class on October 31. Also, be sure that it is a Word document in .doc or .docx format. 

Prompt: For this paper you will pick a controversial issue and then apply one of the moral theories we discussed in class to that issue. Sample issues might include: drug legalization, gun control, same-sex marriage, global warming, abortion, debt relief. You should pick a topic that is different form the topic you discussed in Essay 2. The opening sections of Chapter 4 in Writing Philosophy provide excellent information on how to write this paper. In addition, for this paper you will need to include at least two non-Wikipedia sources, one of which must be a non-internet source.

A successful paper will do the following:
  1. An introduction in which you lay out the issue and provide a thesis. It should BRIEFLY introduce the issue at hand, providing some basic understanding of the topic. The thesis statement of your paper should appear here. The thesis should take a stand on the issue in question. Also, your thesis should provide a “map” or outline of the rest of your paper. Oftentimes, it is best to leave the writing of your introduction for last. As you begin to draft your paper, you may not always know exactly where it will end up. Allowing this process to occur without worrying about being consistent with your introduction will help your ideas flow more readily and consistently.            
  2. Provide a more in-depth summary or discussion of the issue you will be writing about. Here you might provide some facts or statistical data about the topic, or discuss the history of this issue. 
  3. Briefly summarize the moral theory that you will be using in the essay. How does this theory approach moral issues? What kinds of facts or aspects of a situation does this theory find relevant. 
  4. Apply that Moral theory to the issue. What would that moral theory say about what should be done about the controversial issue you have selected.  
  5. Evaluate that moral theory and its application to the issue. Does it do a good job of addressing that issue? Are there aspects of the issue that you think are important that the moral theory misses? Could that moral theory be modified in some way to address these issues?
  6. A conclusion in which you summarize the results of the paper and draw any general conclusions we can take from the issues being discussed.
  7. Footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography in the CMS format.
Pre-Writing: For this paper there are a number of pre-writing activities. The due dates for these are on the course schedule. 

Grading: This essay will be graded using the attached rubric. Each column in the rubric will count equally towards the essay grade.