Essay 3: Ethics/Social Change
Adapted from J. Gross
What are Ethics?
Ethics are guidelines for how individuals, organizations, governments, corporations, or professionals should behave. They are “standards of behavior” that tell us how we should act in different circumstances and roles (as friends, family, citizens, or professionals in different fields). Ethics are:
Not feeling Not religion Not laws Not culture Not science
Thesis Statement: Your thesis statement will assert and justify a specific argument for change.
Assignment: Write an argumentative essay on a personal or social issue you especially care about. What moral principles underlie the issue you choose? After reflecting upon the assigned readings and performing library research, write a 4-6 page. Your essay must be a MLA (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. compliant, argumentative essay on a controversial topic that includes an ethical component.
Thesis: Your thesis statement will assert clearly the ethical issue you are arguing and why you believe as you do. (Some argumentative thesis statements include the opponent’s view, especially in a dependent clause.)
Evidence: To build your argument, five sources with at least two citations from the readings as well as at least three citations from outside sources obtained through library research.Your essay must include opponent’s argument (counter-argument), which you will rebut within your essay. In other words, your rebuttal will describe the opposite point of view and explain why it is flawed or wrong.
Notes: Since this is an argumentative essay, do not use “I” in this essay unless, in addition to your research, your evidence should not include any personal anecdotes. Your primary audience consists of your instructor and other ESL students.
Ethics website and discussion (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Letter from Birmingham Jail (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. by Martin Luther King Jr. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Listen toshort audio (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.of the letter.)
Shooting an Elephant (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. by George Orwell (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Map of Burma (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.–Myanmar)
The United Fruit Company (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. by Pablo Neruda
Dreams (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. by Langston Hughes
Still I Rise (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. by Maya Angelou (Listen toreading (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
The Ethical Mind Chapter from Five Minds for the Future
One of These Days (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Questions to Consider:
Whose ethical standards do we follow? Who decides what is right and wrong?
What makes your topic an ethical question? What makes a question “ethical?” (Instead of political)
What is the source of the pro/con position? (In other words, are the positions people tend to take based on religious upbringing, or concepts of social good and bad behavior?)
What steps need to be taken to realize your proposed solution or ethical position?
How would the world be a better place if others adopted your point of view?
BROAD Possible Topics for Ethics/Social Change: Note that all of these possible topics are broad and need to be narrowed to more specific topics and discussed from your unique perspective.
Concepts of Race
Rise in drug prices
Organ donation (Who gets priority in organ transplants?)
Environmental ethics (such as ethical water use, etc.)
Global warming vs. short term economic loss, from a third world perspective
Privacy issues (National Security Administration spying, internet security)
Water boarding or other “enhanced interrogation techniques”
Lying, Cheating, Fidelity
Ethical dilemmas in journalism
Ethical dilemmas at work
Foster Care Reform
Essay 3: Ethics/Social Change