Audience: The essay should be written in formal thesis essay style with me in mind as your audience, using the first person to give your voice to the paper.
Format: This final essay should be 5-6 pages in length (not including the cover or reference page), double-spaced, 12 point font and 1 inch margins all around. It should be cited properly using the most current APA format as used in the Bedford Handbook 9th Edition. You should include a Reference/Bibliography page, where outside references are listed and cited properly. This paper should have clear thesis argument and a strong theoretical foundation.
Final Essay: This essay asks you to look back over the past three papers you have written and the positions you have taken and to consider the concepts of “right”, “good” or “just” as applied to the situations you have described and to:
Briefly summarize (in less than a half page) the positions you took in your responses to the three mini papers and discuss the theoretical approach or approaches you followed (most likely you will have followed a few), either consciously or unconsciously, drawing from the chapters and readings in your text and other references you choose.
Compare and contrast the approaches you have used and discuss why you took similar or different approaches in response to different issues. Describe how your approches were similar or different.
Describe what you believe to be the sources of your approaches to these issues. Assuming you were not sufficiently familiar with a particular ethical approach to take a stand based solely on an identifiable theory, where do you think your approaches came from? How have you come to take these positions? For example,you might find that your approach to ethical quandaries is most often to revert to the teaching of your parents, or to your religious teachings, or to your socialization experiences with peers, what you learned in schools or mass media, etc. Perhaps you find just the opposite – that your ethical approach seems to be to refer to whatever the teachings of your parents may have been and then you choose the opposite. (Please spend at least one full page of your synthesis paper on this point.)
Having learned several theories and approaches to making decisions about right/wrong, good/bad, and just/unjust, describe what, if any, changes you would make in the position you took in your short papers. Discuss whether/how your opinion has been changed or modified after being exposed to different approaches.
Conclude with a discussion in which you describe how you would expand/modify your ethical approaches in the future. For example, you may have found in your responses to the above that you tend to respond to issues somewhat reflexively by reverting to the teachings of your family’s political party or religion and you would like to be able to look beyond this. Perhaps, for example, you feel that you consider too many perspectives and believe you should focus on one or two rules that you find particularly compelling.6) Include reference to at least three, outside (e.g., not from the textbook) peer-reviewed (e.g., scholarly)resources that further your understanding of at least one specific ethical theory that appeared to be common or central to your own ethical decision-making.
Sample Outline for Developing your Essay
Discuss what the paper is about. Use a topic sentence in the first paragraph.
Summarize the positions you have taken on your short papers, giving just enough description of theissues to frame the positions.
Compare and contrast the various approaches you have used, your personal theories, to form your conclusions about what is right/wrong, good/bad or just/unjust in these situations.
Describe the sources of these approaches, or personal theories, and how you have come to take these approaches.
Drawing explicitly from the text chapters and external readings you find, describe what theory (or theories) conform to or are similar to your own personal approaches or theories used in creating your positions and share your deeper understanding of that particular theory (or theories).
Recap your approaches, personal sources for arriving at these approaches, and the theories that other theorists have used which align with them that would have would have allowed them to arrive at similar positions.
Identify anything that is still confusing to you or questions you may still have as you seek to understand how to make the best decisions about right/wrong, good/bad or just/unjust in the above issues/situations.
Include a paragraph about how, if at all, you would like to modify your ethical approaches in the future,e.g., what did you learn from this study