Introduction of Final Paper Ethics


This paper is essentially the capstone and culmination of the course. In it, you will show a thorough understanding of two ethical frameworks by applying them to a controversial ethical issue. Moreover, you will be clarifying your own insights regarding ethical decision-making.

This paper needs to be 7-10 pages. It must be at least 7 full pages, double spaced (with regular one-inch margins all around), but no more than 10 pages.

Find a story in the news, either in a newspaper or from a legitimate news website. This story should be recent (from no more than two years ago).

This news story should focus on one of the following controversial ethical issues: abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, torture, or gun control. (If you would like to write on a different ethical issue, you must contact me for permission.)

Your paper needs to:

  1. Briefly explain the situation, issue, or problem-related in your news story. (Less than one page.)
    1. [If this explanation uses a full page or even more than a page here, then the overall length of the paper needs to be extended as a result in order to ensure the appropriate depth of analysis.]
  2. Analyze the story/issue from the perspective of two different ethical systems we have examined so far. Be sure to use and draw upon many of the resources and ideas found within each system you choose. That is, provide a detailed and thorough analysis rather than a superficial one. Use two of the following perspectives:
  • Cultural Relativism
  • Ethical Egoism
  • Social Contract Theory
  • Utilitarianism
  • Immanuel Kant’s Ethical System
  • Virtue Ethics (Aristotle)
  1. Make an argument for which of those two moral theories is better and why.
  2. In your concluding analysis, clarify your own personal position regarding ethical decision-making. As a culmination of your reading and studying of various ethical theories in this course, explain and provide support for what you believe to be the best way of approaching ethics and moral decision-making. (Note that for this portion of the paper your discussion does not have to be limited to the two ethical theories chosen above.)

Note: Use natural transitions. Do not place separate headings or sub-headings for these portions of your paper.


  1. This paper makes you engage directly with our required texts. No other scholarly works need to be used or referenced.
  2. Still, you are allowed to do outside research, even though it is not required. Just make sure that you do not plagiarize. If you use any other text or online source, be sure to cite it.
  • If you have any questions about how to do so, just ask me or look for resources using the links below.
    1. In-Text Citations: You should be quoting and referencing parts of our assigned texts (and more than just once for each ethical system). Use APA formatting. When you refer to a phrase or passage from any text, you must include the page number within the text.
    2. Bibliography: At the end of the paper, you must give the full bibliographic information for all your sources (author, work, publishing company, etc.). This includes all of the assigned texts from our class that you use in the paper. Use APA format. Be consistent and be sure all the relevant information is present.
  • Note: The bibliography does not count toward the minimum page requirement.


  • Body of the paper must be at least 7 full pages, double-spaced. No more than 10 full pages.
  •       Do not double space or put too much extra space at the top of the first page. At most, the paper’s first paragraph should start less than 1/4 of the way down on the page.
  • Word count/number of pages does NOT include title page, references, etc.
  • Use Times New Roman font size 12 and one inch margins
  • No abstract is required
  • Must be submitted as an MS Word document
  • This paper will be checked by Turnitin