In this course, you have looked at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. You have also examined different perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism. For this paper, you will apply these theories and perspectives to a current issue.

Choose an ethical issue to write about. You may choose from the list below or, with approval from the instructor, select a different socially-relevant topic. It is recommended that you choose a topic that you are familiar with or that you have some interest in exploring further. For the purposes of this paper, your topic should pertain to a current area of interest in the news and/or government policy forums.

Possible Issues

  • Corporate executive compensation
  • Corporate contributions to political campaigns
  • Human trafficking
  • Mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex
  • The media and their responsibilities
  • Domestic surveillance
  • Whistleblowing in government or in a business
  • Religion in the workplace
  • Ethical problems of gambling
  • Progressive taxation rates
  • Immigration reform in the U.S. and/or abroad
  • Women’s equality

In your paper, you will apply ethical theories and perspectives to the issue that you select. You do not have to use all six, but you should apply at least two ethical theories and at least one ethical perspective in your paper. Make sure that you write primarily on ethical topics and concepts, aiming to be both balanced and intellectually driven in your work. You may share your personal views, but do not rely on opinions (yours or those offered by others) to make your case. Think about the evidence that helps to make your case and use it.

Address the following questions:

  • What are the ethical issues?
  • Where are there breaches of ethical behavior?
  • How could each ethical theory you cite help people think about what constitutes virtuous or ethical behavior?

The paper must be 1500-1800 words in length (excluding title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style. Excluding the textbook, you must use at least five scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library to support your claims. You can also use the Sociology Research Guide located in the Ashford University Library. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

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The Final Paper

  • Must be 1500-1800 words in length (not including title and references pages), double-spaced, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Be sure to double-space your text and use one-inch margins.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
    • Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
    • Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
    • Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  • Must use at least five scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

Late Policy: Written assignments (essays, journals, presentations) are due on the specified days in the course. Written assignments will be subject to a late penalty of up to 10% per day up to three days late. If written assignments are submitted after 72 hours past the due date, instructors can give a penalty up to and including a grade of 0 for the assignment.

 
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