Final Research Paper



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Final Reasearch Paper Prompt

What is the purpose of this paper?

You are going to make an ethical argument on one of these general topics:

Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Suicide
Delivering Health Care
Animal Welfare
Environmental Ethics
Racism, Equality, and Discrimination
Sexual Morality
Free Speech on Campus
Drugs, Guns, and Personal Liberty
Capital Punishment
Political Violence: War, Terrorism, and Torture
The Ethics of Immigration
Global Economic Justice
Your argument must use at least two (2) sources from our text and two (2) of the optional sources listed. For each topic there are a minimum of two (2) required readings you must use. Please see your section for the reading sets.

You must choose one and only one general topic and set of readings. You may not mix and match the readings. You are not required to use sources beyond this list. If you would like to use a source not on the list, you must have your instructor’s approval. This paper should be presented in MLA style or APA style and be between 1250 and 2000 words (roughly five to eight pages not including the Works Cited or References).

Where do I begin?

First, you need to create a strong argumentative thesis that acknowledges and engages with at least one significant counter-argument:

Although the American prison system works well a retributivist system, it should not use the death penalty because the death penalty undermines both the concept of imprisonment as just and is inadequate as a form of retribution for murder.

Your thesis will be different from mine but it will share these traits:

It will be a well-formed argumentative statement that acknowledges at least one counter-argument (the death penalty is the ultimate form of retributivist punishment is the counter-argument here)
It will be arguable in that an intelligent, moral adult could reasonably take the other side (you may not argue that child abuse is bad because no intelligent, moral adult could take the position that child abuse is good)
Second, you need to use all of the texts in a meaningful way to either support or refute your position. You do not need to write a formal précis of each text but you do need to summarize the arguments you are using from each text well enough that a reader who had not read the original pieces could understand the information in the original.

Third, you will need to write a well-formed, academic argument in support of your thesis that acknowledges at least one significant counter-argument and attempts to rebut that counter-argument.

Finally, you need to conclude with a paragraph that summarizes your essay with a focus on how you have reached a more nuanced position on the initial thesis.

What should I avoid?

You may not use first (I, me, us, we, our) person or second (you, your) person anywhere in this paper other than the conclusion. This is an academic argument and should be wholly conducted in the third person. Be sure that you adequately introduce, cite, and explain all support from your readings. Do not use external sources for this paper without prior approval from your instructor.

A “string of quotes” paper where you summarize the sources but do not make a cogent argument of your own. Your sources are there to support or dispute your main argument, which you need to spend most of the paper establishing and elaborating. A manifesto is a position statement that does not acknowledge outside sources or their contribution to the main idea. Your goal is a well-supported argument where your ideas are clear without becoming a manifesto and you have used other texts as forms of support without creating a string of quotes.

What is the grading criteria for this assignment?

An “A” paper will be:

in correct MLA 8 or APA format throughout, including a Works Cited or References page. (See the Purdue OWL referencing site for any questions or consider seeing a writing consultant or seeking etutoring.)
of appropriate length, not significantly longer than 2000 words or shorter than 1250 words.
well-constructed with a clear introduction, an argument that actively engages with both its topic and the required theoretical works, and a meaningful conclusion
thorough in its coverage of the argument, not missing or misinterpreting any major points.
thorough in its use of required sources
relatively free of mechanical errors.
A “C” paper will be:

in a format other than MLA 8, APA, or no discernable format but with some attempt at organization and with a bibliographic reference page
of reasonable length, not significantly longer than 2000 words or shorter than 1250 words.
an attempt at well-constructed with a clear introduction, an argument that has a clear thesis but may not integrate it supporting sources well, and a conclusion that may be poorly developed
spotty in its coverage of the argument; missing, misinterpreting, or misrepresenting some major points.
missing the use of two or more required sources
readable, although there may be consistent and persistent mechanical errors the author makes sense.
A “F” paper will be:

in no discernable format without an attempt at organization or a bibliographic reference page.
of random length, significantly longer than 2000 words or shorter than 1250 words.
lacking a clear demarcation among sections or lacking two or more sections.
missing, misinterpreting, or misrepresenting the main argument and major points.
missing the use of all required sources
difficult to read due to consistent and persistent mechanical errors.

Additional resources for assignment

File attachment final_paper_rubric.pdf ( 34 KB; Jun 7, 2020 8:21 am )

Originality of submissions will be verified by Turnitin. Your submission will be sent to Turnitin to be electronically reviewed for plagiarism. Only the following file types will be accepted: PDF (.pdf), Word 97-2003 (.doc), PowerPoint (.pps, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx), Word 2007+ (.docx), PostScript (.ps), rich text (.rtf), HTML (.htm, .html), WordPerfect (.wpd), OpenOffice (.odt), plain text (.txt)


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