Phil 205 S15: Final Research Paper Prompt

General Instructions: Your assignment is to write a 6-8 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 Thursday, May 14.

: Use the tools developed in class to examine and evaluate one of the bioethical issues from our textbook Taking Sides. This essay will be an extension of Essay 4, and will require you to dig a little deeper into the case you wrote about for that essay.

A successful essay will do the following:
  1. Take a stand on the issues discussed in the case.
  2. Lay out the history of the issues, accurately describing the medical and technological advances and concerns that gave rise to the issue in the first place.
  3. Articulate the best argument in support of your position on the issue. 
  4. Evaluate the argument by explaining what type of argument it is, and explaining whether it is valid/strong and sound/cogent.
  5. Articulate the best argument against your position on the issue.
  6. Discuss some of the implications this issue could potentially have.
  7. Include at least four non-Wikipedia sources (other than the our textbook) including two non-internet source (this may include the sources you already used for Essay 4).
  8. Cite all sources using the CMS citation style as discussed in Appendix B in Writing Philosophy.
The essay should be typed, double-spaced in a 10-12 point legible font. In addition to the final draft of the paper which is due on Thursday, May 15, you will also need to complete the following pre-writing assignments. Though these assignments will not be graded, failure to participate in them will result in an F on this essay:
  • You will need to bring three copies of a draft of your paper to class on Thursday, May 7 for in-class peer editing and instructor comments.
  • You will need to give a short, 5 minute presentation on your paper in class on Thursday, May 14. Feel free to use presentation software or the internet in your presentation. 
Your paper will be graded on content as well as on clarity/style and mechanics.

Clarity/Style: Your paper should be written such that a person who is entirely unfamiliar with the subject could understand it and follow it with relative ease. This means that you avoid excessively long sentences and you keep it simple. Once again, imagine that you are writing your paper to a reasonably intelligent friend who is interested in what you have to say but is unfamiliar with the subject. Also, your paper should not digress from your thesis. This means that your paper constantly keeps its objective in sight and does not change the subject or veer off course.

Mechanics: “Mechanics” here refers to the presentation of your paper as well as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper citation. Paper should be double-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins. Paper should be AT LEAST 3-4 pages, but more appropriately, you should accomplish your objective. Also, if you do cite something, all of your citations should be done properly according to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). If you are unfamiliar with these methods of citation, please consult Writing Philosophy Appendix B.

Grading: This essay will be graded using the attached rubric. Each column in the rubric will count equally towards the essay grade. However, no essay will receive a grade higher than the grade given for the Language column.