Complete instructions for the paper are found on the “Paper Instructions” document (at the beginning of the home page) and the “On Writing an Ethics Paper” powerpoint (same location).
Your paper MUST be a critical evaluation of an argument (see instructions). Your paper must NOT be a “report” on an ethical issue, or a “for-and-against” discussion of your topic (!!). This is very important: your task is to demonstrate the critical thinking skills that we are learning, and you are required to follow the (very standard) format we have discussed in class, and that appears in the instructions.
The topic for the paper AND the argument MUST BE APPROVED by your professor before you write. For this first paper, you may write about any ethical issue from the news, or your own life or experience, or about the topics we have covered so far in class. You may NOT write about topics that are covered later in the course (that includes animal rights, sex and consent, harassment, euthanasia, race and justice, and several others. If you want to write about abortion, you may do so for the first paper, but your paper MUST take into account the articles on abortion that we read in the last week of February. CHECK with your professor if you are not sure – there are no exceptions to these limits (simply because it makes no sense to write a paper now on a topic which we will be discussing in more depth later in the semester). Terrorism and torture ARE allowed for the first paper, but be SURE that you have read those chapters before writing your paper.
Keep in mind that your argument MUST contain an ethical theory, and an action to be evaluated, IN THE ANTECEDENT of the argument, which MUST be either modus ponens or modus tollens.