Ethics in Business and the Professions Term Paper
Term paper: 20 points. About 2500 words (this works out to about 4-5 pages).
There are two options for this paper; you may choose whichever you prefer. (1) Find an issue or problem in business or professional ethics from the business pages of a newspaper, or from a business magazine, or from your own business experience. (2) Find an ethical problem or issue in a profession that you are interested in, or that you expect to enter yourself.
You must divide the paper into sections with subheads for each section. If you do not do so, 3 points will be deducted from your grade.
First section: Present a summary explanation and/or analysis of the ethical problem(s) or issue(s), presenting the various sides of the conflict, and, if possible, the differing opinions that have been given about it. State clearly what the ethical problem is that you will be dealing with. This section should be neutral and objective. Shorter is better than longer in this section. Do not try to solve the problem or present your opinion(s) in this section. (6 points max.)
Second section: Discuss the way three different ethical positions or theories would be likely to deal with the problem. You may use any of the ethical theories summarized on the handout given in class that is entitled “Normative Theories of Ethics.” As in the first section, shorter is better than longer in this section. Do not present your opinion(s) on the problem or attempt to solve it here. (6 points max.)
Third section: Present what you think would be the best solution to the problem, along with your reasons for your solution and why you think your solution is superior to the others that might be given. This is the section in which you should discuss your problem and present your opinion(s). Longer is better than shorter in this section. Say what ethical theory or theories you are using to arrive at your solution. (8 points max.)
Those three sections of your paper should be of corresponding length: Section 1: At most 30%: Section 2: At most 30%; Section 3: At least 40% of the whole.
If you slight the third and most important section – many students have done so in the past – this will mean that your grade for the paper will thereby be diminished even though your first two sections are excellent, as each section is graded independently of the others.
Your term papers must be in standard English, typewritten, double spaced. You should, if possible, do them in Microsoft Word. They will be handed in electronically, through Blackboard. Pages should be numbered. If you think that incorporating graphics, pictures, or other non-text elements into your report improves its quality and presentation, you may do so, at your discretion, but the text must still be about 2500 words. If you wish to include a copy of the publication in which your problem appeared, that could be helpful but it is not mandatory. You need not provide a formal outline, but you may do so if you wish. You need not get the instructor’s approval for your topic, but you may discuss it with him if you wish to do so.