Each student will write a 1800-2000 word essay (not including the title page, table of contents, and bibliography) that combines the insights and arguments of the second and third discussion boards into a single carefully-articulated work.

ETHC 101 Capstone Essay Instructions: combines the insights and arguments of the second and third discussion boards

Summary

This assignment is an essay that brings all of the knowledge and skills developed in this course to bear on a single ethical issue. Each student will write a 1800-2000 word essay (not including the title page, table of contents, and bibliography) that combines the insights and arguments of the second and third discussion boards into a single carefully-articulated work. Format should be 12pt, Times New Roman font and in Turabian format.

Content

Begin your paper with a brief introductory paragraph that clearly states your goals, thesis, and method. State what metaethical theory you are contrasting to a Christian ethic, the issue in applied ethics you are addressing, the conclusion(s) on that issue that you want to defend.

Next, provide a lengthy and detailed comparative analysis of the two metaethical theories—Christian ethics and another theory—showing which theory is stronger. This will likely reflect what you argued for in your Discussion Board Two thread and the feedback that you received from the professor and/or classmates who responded to your thread. Here you can go into much more detail than you could in the Discussion Board, which was limited to 600 words. If you use half of your paper on this section, then it will be roughly three to four pages.

Next, proceed to the applied ethics issue that you discussed in your Discussion Board Three thread. Here you should greatly expand upon your argument. Add detail, nuance, and argumentation, providing a fairly complete and comprehensive argument for how a Christian ethic would approach this issue. Or, if you defended an alternate theory in DB 2, formulate an application based on that theory. You may illustrate the issue with real-life examples, but please do not fill your paper with anecdotes. You should anticipate possible objections to your approach to the issue and respond to them in an objective and informed manner. (For ideas on how others might object to your approach, a good place to begin would be your classmate’s reply to your DB3 thread, but you need not stop there. Your own imagination and the many books and articles that have been published on issues in applied ethics can provide a wealth of possible arguments relevant to every issue.) You are encouraged to use quotes from sources as a way to support your arguments, but quotes should not make up more than one and a half pages of your essay.

Your final paragraph should reflect what you have argued in your thesis. It should recap what you have accomplished and how you have accomplished it.

Research

This paper is not required to utilize any sources outside of those that were used in the class (the two textbooks, the videos, and the PointCast presentations), but use of additional resources is permitted and encouraged. At the minimum the paper should utilize the resources from the class. All resources used must be listed in the bibliography and any resources quoted, paraphrased, or alluded to must be documented via footnotes formatted according to Turabian.

Remember, your footnotes and bibliography (if you had one) do not count toward the 2000 word limit. You will be penalized if you exceed the limit, so please do not.

Format

Your paper must begin with a title page that includes a paper title, your name, the date, and the course name and number. The second page of your paper must be a table of contents. The last page of your paper must be devoted to your bibliography. The paper must utilize 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one inch margins. It must be double-spaced rather than triple-spaced between paragraphs and there should be only one space after the end of each sentence.

Any documentation in the body of your paper must be done via footnotes formatted according to Turabian. If you are not familiar with how to do this, simply look it up online. There are many websites that explain Turabian formatting. Footnotes should be single-spaced 10 point Times New Roman font.

Your paper must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. If you submit it as a .pdf or anything other than a Microsoft Word document it will not be graded.

Format Example

Title Page

Table of Contents

Body of Paper:

  • Introduction
  • Metaethic
  • Application
  • Conclusion

Bibliography

Miscellany       

Proofread your work before handing it in! Errors of spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation will affect your grade. This is a university-level writing assignment. Please write accordingly.

The deadline for this assignment is 11:59pm on Monday of Module 7. Submit your finished paper via the SafeAssign link on Blackboard. SafeAssign is a program that checks your work for plagiarism. Plagiarism is immoral, unchristian, and will not be tolerated. The consequences for plagiarism are significant and SafeAssign makes it easy to detect. If you are not sure what plagiarism is, it is your responsibility to find out. Ignorance is no excuse. Do not plagiarize!

This assignment contributes to achieving and assessing the achievement of all four of the Course Learning Outcomes.

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 7.

Capstone Essay Grading Rubric

CriteriaLevels of Achievement
StructureAdvancedProficientDevelopingNot PresentPoints Earned
ContentAdvancedProficientDevelopingNot PresentPoints Earned
Thesis Statement35 points First paragraph includes a thesis statement and final paragraph(s) reflect accomplishment of the thesis.25 to 24 points Contains something that is close to a proper thesis statement and the conclusion basically reflects its accomplishment.1 to 24 points Thesis statement is unclear and conclusion does not clearly reflect its accomplishment.0 points No thesis statement and conclusion is unconnected to any thesis 
Style35 points Appropriately academic style of writing, free of slang, informalities, sermonizing, anecdotes, etc.25 to 34 points Occasional lapses from academic style, such as slang, informalities, sermonizing, anecdotes, etc.1 to 24 points Frequent lapses from academic style, such as slang, informalities, sermonizing, anecdotes, etc.0 points Style is completely non-academic 
Tone35 points Appropriately philosophical tone: obvious care for objectivity and respectful consideration of multiple perspectives; nuanced and insightful discussion of positions and arguments.25 to 34 points Occasional lapses into subjectivity; some one-sidedness;  positions and arguments are painted with a broad brush, etc.1 to 24 points Many lapses into subjectivity; consistent one-sidedness;  positions and arguments lack detail and nuance, etc.0 points No attempt at writing with a philosophical tone. 
Understanding35 points Discussion reflects detailed knowledge of the issues in metaethics taught in the course and very appropriate application of this knowledge to the applied ethics issue selected.25 to 34 points Discussion reflects some knowledge of the issues in metaethics taught in the course and a reasonable attempt to apply this knowledge to a selected issue in applied ethics.1 to 24 points Discussion reflects some but not much knowledge of metaethical issues, perhaps with some minor confusion, and some attempt to apply this to the chosen issue.0 points Discussion reflects no knowledge of the metaethical issues taught in the course. 
Argument35 points Argumentation is logical (free of fallacies, including appeal to emotion).25 to 34 points Argument is basically logical, though with some appeal to emotion, unsupported assertions, or other similar issues.1 to 24 points Argument falls short of being logical by committing multiple fallacies, appealing to emotion, making unsupported assertions, or other problems of this sort.0 points No argument is present 
Length15 points Meets length requirement: 1800-2000 words (not including footnotes, title page, table of contents, and bibliography).10 to 14 points Word count exceeds 2000.1 to 9 points Word count is less than 1800 words.0 points Document is blank 
Components20 points Contains a title page, table of contents, footnotes, and bibliography.15 to 19 points Some required components missing.1 to 14 points Many required components missing.0 points All required components are missing. 
Format20 points Body of paper is double-spaced with 1-inch margins and 12 pt. Times New Roman font; footnotes are single-spaced 10pt. Times New Roman; footnotes and bibliography are formatted according to Turabian.15 to 19 points Some degree of deviation from the prescribed format.1 to 14 points Considerable deviation from the prescribed format.0 points Complete deviation from the prescribed format. 
Proofreading20 points Free of grammatical, syntactical, punctuation, spelling, and other such errors.15 or 19 points Some grammatical, syntactical, punctuation, spelling, and other such errors.1 to 14 points Many grammatical, syntactical, punctuation, spelling, and other such errors.0 points Pervasive grammatical, syntactical, punctuation, spelling, and other such errors. 
Total/250
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