Ethics Essays & Philosophy Term Paper Help


(Updated on November 3, 2020)

A term paper on ethics is usually a long, logic-based writing in which a student explores a particular ethical issue.  Ethics is a division of philosophy that focuses on morality.  Therefore, term papers on ethics can be assigned in any number of college courses.  Term papers on ethics aren't intended to be documents recounting the writer's individual reasoning supporting his/her own moral beliefs.  Rather, term papers on ethics should be academic and scholarly and focus on logic and analysis.

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Term papers on ethics should take as their topics very specific ethical issues that can be reasonably discussed in a thorough way in the space of a ten-or-so page paper.  This means that a student should focus on one very particular aspect of an ethical issue in which he/she is interested.  For instance, it's probably unwise to tackle such a huge ethical issue as capital punishment in a report, simply because it would take far too long; however, exploring the ethics of providing religious consultations to individuals who will be executed is a much smaller division of the issue that can be reasonably explored in the available space.  Students should always prefer these narrow topics as the subject of term papers, as they will allow the student to make far more complex and detailed arguments.

Ethics Essays & Philosophy Term Paper HelpOften, ethical issues are complicated and nuanced.  In order to clearly argue its points, a term paper on ethics will commonly make use of illustrative examples.  These illustrative examples often consist of hypothetical or actual situations that allow the reader to concretely envision and vicariously experience the ethical conundrum the report explores.  Students should strive to make these examples general so that they can appeal to a diverse audience.

Because a term paper on ethics is intended to elicit complex thought about ethical issues, learners should avoid dichotomous thinking and analysis.  Dichotomous thinking is more commonly expressed as black-and-white thinking, wherein one aspect of an issue is good, and the other aspect is necessarily bad.  Often, ethical issues are much more complex than this.  Term papers on ethics should invite and explore this complexity to truly grapple with the issues they discuss.  This may mean that the learner will have to explore the merits of ideas that are in opposition to his/her personal beliefs.  This may be difficult, but will result in complex thinking and analysis and an accomplished, well-thought-out paper.

Philosophy Essays

A philosophy essay is a relatively brief document that presents a writer's individual interpretation, analysis, or opinion regarding a specific philosophic idea, work, or concept.  Often, philosophy essays will present an analysis of one philosophic text or teaching and argue for a particular interpretation.  Other philosophy essays will examine a variety of philosophic views on a single topic or argue against the validity of certain schools of philosophic thought.  Some philosophy essays may even have the student discuss an issue using the student's own philosophic argument.  Although there are many varieties of philosophy of criminal justice essays, all of them share a focus on the writer's own ideas and analyses.  This is the way in which philosophy essays are different from philosophy research papers: philosophy essays are rooted in the writer's own, original interpretations.

Philosophy essays will typically be arguments, meaning they will seek to advance the writer's particular ideas or interpretations in a persuasive fashion.  These arguments should be cast in a clear and assertive sentence or group of sentences known as a "thesis"—the main point of the argument.  The report should then proceed to defend the argument using logic and analysis.

It is common for a philosophy essay to be an analysis of a particular philosophic document.  In such philosophy essays, it's best for the student to select one very narrow aspect of the text to discuss.  For instance, a philosophy essay on Aristotle's The Politics may wish to make an argument about Aristotle's assessment of gender roles in the text.  This essay would then present its argument in a thesis statement, such as "Despite the historical context in which he/she was writing, it seems that Aristotle believed in the equality of the sexes."  Then, the writer would seek to defend this interpretation using various examples and quotations from The Politics as evidence.  This interpretation should be the student's own—not another scholar's.

Philosophy essays may also analyze how different philosophers have addressed a single topic.  For instance, an essay may discuss the similarities and differences between the views of Aristotle, Cicero, and Plato on the role of the political leader.  This essay would use examples from the works of all three philosophers to explore its point about those philosopher's similarities and differences.

Other philosophy essays may seek to point out the inconsistencies or inadequacies of certain philosophic premises or schools of thought.  In this type of assignment, the writer would critically analyze a certain argument and point out its logical flaws.

Some philosophy essays may require a learner to examine a particular ethical or philosophic issue using his/her own philosophic approach.  In such reports, the student should seek to apply his/her own logic and critical analysis to the issue at hand.

Every philosophy report should be written in a very academic and analytic tone.  To this end, all philosophy reports should avoid the use of the first-person voice ("I" and "me") and the inclusion of anecdotal or personal information.

Ethics Term Papers

An ethics term paper is an in-depth and scholarly discussion on an issue of morality.  Ethics term papers are typically composed as the culminating assignment of a term of study in philosophy or ethics, and are assigned so that students who have studied ethics can demonstrate the critical thinking and logical reasoning skills they have gained throughout the course by applying them to a specific ethical issue.

Ethics term papers will likely require a research component, but an ethics term paper isn't the same as an ethics reference project.  A document that's strictly an ethics research paper would require the student to report on a variety of others' ethical stances and opinions about a particular ethics topic; an ethics term paper, on the other hand, will often be more focused on the student's own ideas and reasoning regarding the ethics topic, and will use secondary sources only as points of reference and defense for his/her own interpretation.

Because ethics is about morality, it can sometimes be easy when writing on topics of ethics to be biased towards one's own beliefs.  Ethics reports should heartily seek to avoid such bias.  An ethics term paper isn't a place in which an individual should assume moral superiority; rather, it should be a philosophic and academic investigation into moral and philosophic ideas surrounding particular issues.  This means that the student must seek to fairly examine many sides of an issue—even sides with which he/she doesn't agree—and analyze their merits.  This can often be a difficult task, as many learners have personal or religious convictions regarding many ethical issues.  Students should remember, however, that an ethics term paper is intended to investigate and explore morality in the same way that a biology term paper is intended to investigate and explore biology—it should be treated is an intellectual undertaking, rather than an emotional one.  This means that a student can't cite a certain document or individual as being the arbiter of absolute knowledge on an issue; this wouldn't be a logical or critical investigation, but an assertion of personal opinion.

Another error writers of ethics reports should avoid is assuming an ethnocentric stance.  Ethnocentrism is the conscious or unconscious assumption that one's own culture is better than others.  Many people may fail to take into account the influence of culture on morality, and judge morality based on the ethical norms of their own culture.  When completing an ethics term paper, learners should strive to step away from an ethnocentric perspective and view the topic at hand as objectively as possible.

Philosophy Dissertation

A philosophy dissertation student in a doctoral philosophy program will need to complete a PhD philosophy dissertation in order to graduate from the program with a PhD degree in philosophy.  A dissertation is a lengthy research document that learners write after they have spent an extended amount of time studying a particular, philosophical subject.  When it comes to completing a philosophy dissertation, there are many different topics that a student may wish to focus on for his/her research.  However, the general format for a philosophy dissertation will be the same as a dissertation for any other course.

In order to complete an effective philosophy dissertation, students need to start at the beginning by making sure that they understand what a dissertation is.  A dissertation is a document that learners write after they have researched something that interests them.  Unlike any other type of paper, the report often requires that students spend months or years researching a particular topic.  The dissertation is often the single document that will make or break a student's career.

Students should understand the weight of the report before they move forward in order to ensure that they make good choices.  Once they understand the role of the report, they should make a concerted effort to select a dissertation topic that interests them.  Often, students select a topic that's related to something that they want to pursue as a career.

With the topic selected, learners should complete a philosophy dissertation proposal, which they will submit to an advisor and institution sponsoring the research.  Once the philosophy dissertation proposal is approved, learners should develop a firm plan for how they will go about researching their topic.  This research may involve experiments and interviews as well as traditional research methods, such as reading through books and periodicals.

Students may begin writing their philosophy dissertations once they're satisfied that their research is complete.  Each philosophy report should begin from a comprehensive outline.  Also, philosophy reports should be reviewed and rewritten many times before they're officially submitted and copyrighted.

A philosophy dissertation is very similar to many other types of academic works.  Just like many other student papers that a student may write, philosophy dissertations require a vast amount of time for performing research on a topic.  However, due to the nature of philosophy dissertations, the thesis is the most important academic document that a learner will write.  Most students only write one report in a lifetime, but they may write many other types of academic works, such as essays or reports.

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