Using a local library, identify a newspaper article (your article should be at least 1000 words) concerning a major moral controversy or issue. You will be required to write and submit a 3 – 5 page summary and analysis of the moral issue you identify. You must use a newspaper article. If you use an online newspaper, be sure that your information is not from a blog. Information and material derived from blogs will not be given credit. However, you may use ProQuest Newsstand or any other newspaper database found in the library. Points of View online database is a good research tool but it may be difficult to use for locating newspaper articles. . Summaries of articles derived from ProQuest must be based on the full-text of the article rather than the abstract and the article you choose should be at least 1000 words. Your essay will be scored according to an assignment rubric.
1. Find a newspaper article that interests you. Note the title, date, and source of the article.
2. Read: The first thing you need to do is read the assigned newspaper article several times in order to understand it. Ask yourself some basic questions as you read like: “Is the article interesting?” Is the article troubling?” or “Is the article exciting, confusing, or problematic?”
3. Write and keep in mind your audience: Even though your primary reader is your instructor, who will have read the article in question, you should approach this assignment as if you intend to publish it in a philosophy journal. This means that a good, well-written moral philosophy paper will offer a reasoned defense of some argument or claim.
People very often attempt to accomplish too much in a philosophy paper. The usual result of this is a paper that’s hard to read, and which is full of inadequately defended and poorly explained claims. So don’t be over-ambitious. Don’t try to establish any earth-shattering conclusions in your 3-5 page paper. Done properly, philosophy moves at a slow pace.
Originality: The aim of these papers is for you to show that you understand the material and that you’re able to think critically about it. To do this, your paper does have to show some independent thinking and expression of your own ideas.
See the following link for an explanation of “What Does One Do in a Philosophy Paper?”
4. Quotations: All direct quotations must, of course, be identified as such with a citation. However, in general, an essay of this type should make minimal use of direct quotations. As a rule, one should only quote an author if the precise way in which he or she has chosen to express something figures essentially into your analysis and critique. Never simply substitute a quotation for your own summary of what the author is saying.
5. Format: You must properly cite and reference your work with footnotes or endnotes. Papers must be set up using The Chicago Manual of Style method of document formatting and citation. Please include a full citation of any information in your essay that is not your own and also cite and reference the article you have selected to write about. Points will be deducted for essays that are not properly cited. Refer to the link provided below for additional information on how to cite and reference your work using the Chicago Notes and Bibliography System.
Please review https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/12/
6. Title Page: Include the following on your title page: title of paper, your name, the course name and year.
· The title should be centered a third of the way down the page.
· Your name, class information, and the date should follow several lines later.
· For subtitles, end the title line with a colon and place the subtitle on the line below the title.
· Double-space each line of the title page.
· The title page does not count as one of your pages in terms of the length of the paper.
7. Bibliography Page: Add a bibliography on a separate sheet at the end of your paper to list source information. This page does not count as one of your pages in terms of the length of the paper.
8. Paper Length: Your essay must consist of 3-5 full pages of actual written work, double-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides. All text should be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font.
9. Page Numbering: For each full page of text, the page number should go in an upper right hand corner of the page, approximately an inch from the top and side of the paper. Or, you may center page numbers at the bottom of each full page of written work. Note: While the title page is not to be numbered, the bibliography page should be numbered.
10. Essay Structure: Divide your paper into major parts or sections such as:
Give a brief introduction or overview of the article. The overview should include a statement of the following issues:
· Write a complete bibliographic citation at the beginning of your introduction. A complete bibliographic citation includes as a minimum, the title of the work, the author, the source. Use the Chicago format for newspaper articles.
· Start your summary with a clear identification of the type of work, title, author, and main point in the present tense. Example: In the feature article “Does Religion Make People Moral?” Mustafa Akyol (the author) raises the question of whether being a religious person really makes a person moral.
· Inform the reader about the content of the newspaper article. Briefly state what the article is about?
· What primary ethical dilemma or question is raised by the article?
· What are the key issues and concerns the problem raises from an ethical or moral standpoint? For example, is the question about whether or not same sex couples should be permitted to marry, whether county clerks with strong religious convictions should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, or whether same sex couples should be permitted to adopt.
· Offer an argument. Your paper must offer a reasoned defense of some claim or moral position you take. It can’t consist in the mere report of your opinions, nor in a mere report of the opinions of the philosophers we discuss. You have to defend the moral claims you make. You have to offer valid justifications and reasons for others to believe them.
So you can’t just say:
My view is that P.
You must say something like:
My view is that P. I believe this because…
B. Summary: The summary should consist of a discussion and highlights of the newspaper article.
· Read the article to be summarized and be sure you understand it.
· Outline the article. Note the major points.
· Write a first draft of the summary without looking at the article. Write about the important ideas and facts you learned about the subject from reading the newspaper article.
While you may use direct quotes from the article (make sure you always cite the quote), such quotes should never be the bulk of the summary. Much of your grade will depend on how well
· you describe and explain the material IN YOUR OWN WORDS. You might want to take the major organizing themes of the article and use them to organize your own discussion.
· Always use paraphrase when writing a summary. If you do copy a phrase from the original be sure it is a very important phrase that is necessary and cannot be paraphrased. In this case put “quotation marks” around the phrase.
· Never put any of your own ideas, opinions, or interpretations into the summary. This will go into your analysis. This means you have to be very careful of your word choice.
· Write using “summarizing language.” Periodically remind your reader that this is a summary by using phrases such as the article claims, the author suggests, etc.
C. Analysis of the Ethical Issue:
Throughout your analysis, I want you to provide a critique of the moral issue. A critique consists of thoughts, responses, and reactions. It is not necessarily negative.
· Discuss and explain thoroughly the moral controversy which you begin with in your introduction and summary.
· What argument(s) for or against a particular moral issue is being made or can be made? If any, criticize that argument or show that certain arguments made for or against the moral issue are no good.
· Indicate the individuals/groups involved and what is at stake for them or how the issue affects them. For example, if the question is about whether county clerks with strong religious convictions should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, there might be particular individuals involved in the story, but this issue touches a broader theme concerning the relation of church and state.
· Evaluate the moral issue from the point of view of two of the moral theories we have discussed in class.
Ø For example, if your question is about whether county clerks with strong religious convictions should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, you might choose to evaluate this question from the point of view of Utilitarianism and Kantianism. You might ask: What would a Utilitarian decide about this question? Why? What would a Kantian decide about this question? Why?
Ø Develop and contrast the pro and con arguments or strengths and weaknesses of the two views or positions.
You should assume that your reader is not familiar with any of these ethical theories, so you will need to explain each theory to your reader before you can apply it to the question you are discussing.
· After you have evaluated the issue based on your consideration of two moral theories and approaches, develop an argument to show how you would resolve the moral issue and why you would resolve it in this way.
· Develop your own reasoned and consistent position with regard to the issue you have summarized. For example, if your question is about whether county clerks with strong religious convictions should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, you need to present a consistent, reasoned argument to justify and support your position
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