PHIL 4120: Professional Ethics

Dr. Robert Lane, University of West Georgia

Fall 2010

 

 

Term Paper Instructions

 

These instructions supplement the more general instructions found in my online document, "Writing a Philosophy Paper": http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/paperResources.html . I expect you to follow instructions in BOTH documents.

 

Before starting work on this project, read this document by James Pryor:  http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/guidelines/writing.html

 

Your term paper must be an argumentative essay on some topic within legal ethics, medical ethics, or business ethics.

 

If you are choosing to write on a topic other than those we will cover in class (i.e., other than those listed on the course schedule), you should speak with me before beginning work on your paper. I encourage you to come speak with me about your paper, in any case.

 

The final version of your term paper is worth 30% of your total course grade.

 

 

Mandatory Term Paper Proposal (due Sunday October 10)

 

Your proposal must include two items:

a.       A summary paragraph. This summarizes the paper that, at the beginning of your work, you believe you will be writing. This paragraph will almost certainly change as you write and re-write your paper—that’s OK. The purpose this paragraph serves in your proposal is to communicate to me what sort of paper you intend to write. It should establish the question or questions you will be asking, the way in which you intend to answer them, and the claims for which, at this early point, you think you will be arguing. It should be no shorter than 150 words.

b.       An outline of the paper you expect to write. This should be as detailed as you can manage at this early stage. You may use whatever outline format you like. The point is to show me, to the degree possible at this early stage, the structure of the paper you think you will end up with.

 

I will not assign a grade to your proposal. However, if it is not detailed and thoughtful, I may deduct 5-10% from the grade I assign to the final draft of your term paper. For example, a proposal that consists of a single sentence (e.g., “I want to write about Wasserstrom’s criticisms of role morality”) is neither thoughtful nor detailed and will result in penalty of 10%. You need to communicate to me, in your summary and outline, exactly what aspect(s) of Wasserstrom’s views you will be investigating, what questions you will be asking about them, and what conclusions you think you will be defending.

 

I will give you my comments and suggestions when I return your graded proposal. The more detailed your proposal, the more comments and suggestions I can make, so give me as much detail as you can. Note, however, that it is possible to get full credit for this part of the assignment even if I think the topic you’re proposing needs to be dramatically changed.

 

Email your proposal to me, in a Word document, by no later than 5pm on Sunday October 10. Because of the unreliability of the UWG email system, follow these instructions to submit your proposal:

1.       Send one email, with the proposal document attached, from your own UWG email account to both my professional and my personal email accounts [I will give you these addresses in class.]

2.       Send a second email, with the proposal document attached, from your personal email account (gmail, hotmail, or whatever it is you use) to both my professional and my personal email accounts.

 

I will accept your proposal at any time before the deadline, but it must be turned in to be by no later than 5pm on Sunday October 10.

 

 

Mandatory Draft (due Sunday October 24)

 

·         It must be a solid draft, something that you have already spent a good deal of time on.

·         It must contain an opening that explains to the reader what you’ll be doing; a solid, detailed, clearly structured body; and a conclusion that summarizes your results.

·         You should proofread it for grammatical mistakes and other technical problems, and include a bibliography, just as you would a final draft.

·         This draft must be at least 1,250 words.

 

I will not assign a grade to your draft. However, if it is obvious that you have not much thought and effort into it, I may deduct 5-10% from the grade I assign to the final draft.

 

I will give you extensive written comments and suggestions as to how you can improve your paper. If the draft you turn in is of sufficient length (2,500 words) and quality to qualify as an “A” paper as it stands, then I will accept it as the final draft.

 

Technical Requirements

·         Include a word-count at the beginning or end of your essay. Failure to include a word count may result in a reduction in the grade you receive for the final version of your term paper.

·         Include page numbers at the top or bottom of each page.

·         Your essay must be typed and double-spaced. This will give me plenty of room to write comments on your papers. No handwritten essays will be accepted.

·         Do not put your name anywhere on your essay. Rather, identify your paper with your student number (NOT your social security number). This will help me grade your papers anonymously.

·         You MUST include a bibliography, even if there is only a single source that you cite. See “Writing a Philosophy Paper” for details. Failure to include a bibliography may result in a reduction in grade you receive for the final version of your term paper.

 

Email your draft to me, in a Word document, by no later than 5pm on Sunday October 24. Because of the unreliability of the UWG email system, follow these instructions to submit your proposal:

1.       Send one email, with the draft document attached, from your own UWG email account to both my professional and my personal email accounts [I will give you these addresses in class.]

2.       Send a second email, with the draft document attached, from your personal email account (gmail, hotmail, or whatever it is you use) to both my professional and my personal email accounts.

 

I will accept your draft at any time before this deadline, but it must be turned in to be by no later than 5pm on October 24.

 

 

Final Version of Term Paper (due Monday November 29).

 

Technical Requirements

·         Include a word-count at the beginning or end of your essay. Failure to include a word count will result in a reduction in your grade.

·         Include page numbers at the top or bottom of each page.

·         Your essay must be typed and double-spaced. This will give me plenty of room to write comments on your papers. No handwritten essays will be accepted.

·         Do not put your name anywhere on your essay. Rather, identify your paper with your student number (NOT your social security number). This will help me grade your papers anonymously.

·         Do not hand in your paper in a binder, folder, etc. Simply staple the pages together in the upper left corner.

·         You MUST include a bibliography, even if there is only a single source that you cite. See “Writing a Philosophy Paper” for details. Failure to include a bibliography will result in a reduction in your grade.

 

Printed copies of your papers must be turned in at the very beginning of class. No late papers will be accepted without penalty unless I have given you prior permission.

·         I will accept your paper at any time before the deadline (i.e., you do not have to wait until November 29 to turn it in).

·         If I receive your paper later than one hour after the beginning of class, you will lose one letter grade; if I receive it later than two hours after the beginning of class, you will lose two letter grades; if I receive it later than three hours after the beginning of class, you will lose three letter grades; I will not accept any papers later than four hours after the beginning of class on the due date.

·         I recommend that you have a copy of your paper printed out the evening before it is due. If you wait until that morning to print it out and you run into problems (lost disk, printer failure, etc.) which prevent you from turning your paper in at the beginning of class, you will be penalized.

 

Length: 2500 words minimum. DO NOT GO UNDER THE MINIMUM LENGTH OF 2500 words. You may go over 2500 words, but remember that part of your grade will be based on conciseness, so in presenting your argument(s) you should be as concise as possible and avoid extraneous material.

 

 

A Reminder About Plagiarism

 

If you use another person's words or ideas without giving him or her credit, you have committed plagiarism and thereby violated the Honor Code of the University of West Georgia.

 

When you quote from someone else’s work, including from your textbook(s) or from my lecture notes, you must indicate that you are quoting, and you must cite the source, including the page number [this should be done in a footnote or an endnote]. Quoting without indicating that you are doing so constitutes presenting someone else’s words as your own. This is plagiarism.

 

When you use someone else’s ideas without indicating that those ideas are not your own, you have committed plagiarism. This is true, even if you are not quoting their exact words. If you employ someone else’s ideas in your paper, you must cite the source of those ideas [this should be done in a footnote or an endnote]. If you put their ideas into your own words but do not say that those ideas are someone else’s, you have committed plagiarism.

 

If you commit plagiarism in this class, you will receive an "F" for the entire course. You will also be reported the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and recommended for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion from this institution.

 

 

Use of Class Lecture Notes

 

One of the most common errors in term papers for my courses is that students rely too heavily on my online lecture notes in writing their papers. One of the points of the paper is that you show me that you can read and critically respond to philosophical writing. You will do this only if your paper demonstrates that you are dealing with the source material about which you are writing. You will not do this if your paper explains my own lecture notes back to me. For this reason, I urge you not to refer to my lecture notes in writing your paper.