The Ethics of Writing a Paper on Ethics
The following guest paper was written by Kristin Savage. She addresses the underlying values that make for a strong paper on ethics. Given that many colleges and universities already require courses in ethics, this blog describes useful guidelines in writing the best ethics paper possible.
When it comes to writing an Ethics paper, you will need to have a good understanding of the topic and do your best to provide the reader with valid and well-researched opinions. This can prove to be a challenge for some people, especially if they are not accustomed to writing about such topics.
In many cases, people will need to write such a paper during their academic career and knowing how to approach it is crucial if you want your pointe to be taken seriously. In order to help you with preparing for writing this kind of topic, here are some steps to help you achieve that.
The essential parts of an ethical paper
Before we explore more on how to write the contents of the paper, it is essential to keep in mind the structure of such a paper. Knowing which information to gather and how to process it is only useful as long as you know where you need to place each idea. A basic structure of an ethics paper you should follow is the following:
- Writing the introduction
- Presenting the arguments
- Presenting the counter-arguments
- Responding to these objections
- Writing the conclusion
- Citing your sources
A good idea is to write these points down and then start organizing the information you come across around them. The more you shape your essay around these points as you write, the easier it will be for you to put the paper together without any mistakes.
Making different ethical decisions for your paper
Another important part of writing your own ethics paper heavily relies on how you choose your topic and the information you will be presenting. There are certain guidelines you can follow in order to correctly analyze the topic you will be discussing.
Taking these into consideration can truly help you with your research and allow you to have a more well-rounded opinion on the topic. Here are some steps to help you with the ethical decision making process:
- Defining the topic/ ethical issue of your paper
- Checking the facts you have found
- Identifying the ethical factors
- Going through the different options
- Testing the aforementioned options
- Making a choice based on the previous steps
- Reviewing your work so far
These can be used for many different parts of the writing process. Whether you need to make a decision on the topic of the essay or which information to use while writing it, this process is helpful. While it might seem complicated at first, you will definitely be able to make it work as long as you keep it organized.
- Choose an ethical topic
Picking the right topic for your ethics essay is the most important part of this whole process. Unless your professor or any person asking for this paper has given you a certain topic to do research on and discuss, you might be asked to pick your own. The best way to achieve this is to devote a lot of your time to reading and going through potential ethics topics you find interesting.
The simplest way to achieve this is by browsing the internet for related paper and ideas or discussing your topic ideas with someone with experience in the field of ethics. “Having a few different topic ideas will allow you to start reading and find the topic that is most appealing to you and your beliefs”, advises Mark Keller, an editor for Studicus.
- Do enough research
Supporting an ethics topic should never be simply based on your own ideas. Using your ideas as a guide to support the journey you wish your ideas to follow, you need to do enough research in order to support anything you present the reader with. This is the best way to stay objective and respect any research that has been done in this field.
After you pick the topic you will be discussing, you should start digging deeper into what you will be writing in your paper. You can use the internet, a local library or the opinions of experts in the field in order to help you better shape your ideas. Doing enough research is going to help you explain your topic correctly and in a respectful manner.
- List all the possible arguments
In order to write your ethics paper, you will need to start being able to pick a set of arguments which you will be presenting to the reader. At this stage of the writing process, you only have to focus on picking the arguments and not expanding them. This can be done later on, as you expand your thoughts and show that you have an understanding of the topic.
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After listing your possible arguments, it is a good idea to pick the strongest three of four from your list. These will represent your own opinions and should be strong and also different to one another. The more independent you keep them; the easier it will be to support your opinions without repeating yourself.
- Shape your outline
After deciding on the topic, you will be discussing, you need to start creating your outline. This is an essential part to complete if you wish for your paper to have a logical flow. In addition to that, you outline will help you keep your thoughts in order and ensure you will not forget to mention any crucial points. The outline should act as an essential guide to help you remember where you need to place each piece of information.
Some of the main things you should include in your outline should be the main points of your topic and what you will need to mention to prove it, your main arguments and counterarguments you will discuss, and a solid conclusion. You can expand these ideas as much as possible and explain them based on the desired length of your paper. These points can be expanded as much as you wish and you should always make sure you approach them in a way that allows them to be fully explained in the main body of the text.
- Express your opinion correctly
Another thing you need to be careful of when starting to write your ethics paper is to make sure you can inform the reader of your personal thoughts on the topic. “Sometimes, in some papers, you might be asked to be more objective than others. Depending on the situation, you need to be able to adapt your writing style and correctly express your thoughts without being too critical”, advises Kelly Moore, a writer at TrustMyPaper.
The best way to ensure that you will be able to express yourself correctly is to be certain that you understand the topic of the paper correctly. If you are the one that chose it this will be much simpler, but if the topic was given to you will need to do enough research before you start the writing process.
- Do not present claims you cannot support
While expressing your opinion is important in every essay you write, you should always make sure that every claim you make can be supported. An ethical essay is all about presenting arguments and being able to support or contradict them. If you are not able to support the claims you make, they will simply not be valid.
As a result, the legitimacy of your entire essay will be compromised. Therefore, you need to be able to carefully pick all of your arguments and sources in advance, while you do your research. This is the only way to avoid making generic claims and risking the integrity of your paper.
- Avoid plagiarism
Another important issue you need to keep in mind when it comes to writing an ethics paper is plagiarism. What this refers to is essentially knowingly using someone else’s words and opinions in your paper without giving them sufficient credit. Using other people’s work and making it look like your own is very unethical and giving credit to other people for their work is essential.
Plagiarism can easily be combated if you take the time to cite your sources and give enough credit to the people whose ideas you decided to use. When writing an ethics paper, you need to make sure to always cite your sources so you can increase the credibility and overall quality of your opinions and therefore your essay.
- Revise your work
Last but not least, when writing any type of paper, the most important thing you need to remember to do is to revise it. Taking care of simple things such as grammar and spelling mistakes, the continuity of your sentences and the stability of your ideas are necessary when presenting such a paper.
In addition to this, it is also important to check the logic and the order of your arguments. Sometimes while writing, you might lose your flow of thought and write something that is not relevant or supported by your sources. In this case you can either correct the mistake or completely remove it from the paper.
You need to make sure that everything you write is able to represent your exact point of view and revising it is the only way to pinpoint these issues. In addition, you can use tools such as Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor in order to find any potential grammar and spelling errors which can make your paper look less professional. This should always be the last step you make before submitting your paper.
Find the right way to complete your paper
Even if you are new to writing such a paper, there are some simple steps you can follow in order to make this experience an easier one. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to start writing your thoughts in a more collected manner as you will not have to think about completing each and every step individually.
Ethics papers can be very insightful and help you develop your own ideas on certain topics. No matter what purpose you need to write them for, the tips mentioned in the article will help you write a good quality ethics paper you can share with anyone.
Kristin Savage is Content Creator and Editor for GrabMyEssay and BestEssayEducation. She always enjoys creating helpful content on a variety of topics for her readers and she often shares her work with platforms such as WowGrade and SupremeDissertations for this purpose. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to audiobooks and spending time with her pets.
Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on June 11, 2020. You can sign up for his newsletter and learn more about his activities at: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics.