A Quick Tutorial On Composing A College Research Paper About Ethics

Introduction to Writing Moral Essays

Writing papers on ethics call students to take a stance on a moral issue in some way. Although they are not necessarily the most difficult papers to write, they can be challenging in that they may be different than other papers you have written. Think of them as an persuasive essay on a moral issue. The goal of the essay is to pick a moral issue that you have definite opinions on and then research those topics for to underscore your reasoning with opinions from respected ethical scholars in the field.

For example: I believe that sometimes the ends can justify the means. For example, if a young girl is raped and she chooses to get an abortion, she should not be judged, for how can a child be judged, right? Respected ethics philosopher Tom Smith offers this explanation on moral actions with justifications, “…………………………” (date, p. #).

Consider These Questions as a Springboard into Your Thesis Statement

  1. Can Ends Justify Means in Ethics?

  2. Is One’s Duty in Life Always an Ethical One?

  3. Ethics and Biology: Is There a Connection?

  4. What is The Distinction Between Higher/Lower Pleasure

  5. Can Everyone Be Happy

  6. Is Happiness Always a Moral

  7. Are there any issues that are universally and intrinsically moral in nature, at all times?

Avoid Religious Evidence and Theological Arguments

One thing you’ll want to avoid is calling upon religious or theological reasons to provide evidence that you are right. The right place for that kind of essay would be in a religion and ethics course.

One thing you want to be certain of is to provide evidence of your position on the particular moral issue you are tackling. Because this is a research paper, you will also want to find the opinions of respected scholars through good journals and books to back up your thesis and support of that thesis.

Structure of Essays on Ethics

Essays on ethics, like persuasive essays in general, take on a specific structure.

  • An Introduction

  • A Thesis Statement

  • Body Paragraphs that, Paragraph by Paragraph, Support Your Thesis, (Such as the First Sentence in my Sample Paragraph Above)

  • Acknowledgements of Objections to Your Thesis

  • Refute With Your Reasons Why You are Right and They are Notes

  • Conclusion – Now Say Something “Ultimate” About the Issue – It Helps to Bring the Topic Into the Present Moment

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