REL 342, Term Paper Assignment
In this paper, I would like you to develop an argument regarding either a contemporary (within the last five years) case relevant to business ethics or a general theme important to business ethics. Examples of the former might include the recent Target data breach case, the GM recall case, or the Hobby Lobby contraception case (or a less well-known case drawn from your own experience in business). Examples of the latter might include fair wages, off-shoring, or environmental responsibility. Please note: these are just examples; I want you to pick a topic that interests you. The paper should identify and summarize the key ethical issues, using the ideas and vocabulary we discuss in class, and it should make a specific argument – i.e. “It is/is not ethical for Duke Energy to operate coal ash ponds because…” or “It is/is not ethical for American apparel companies to contract with factories in Bangladesh because…” Note that the BECAUSE part is key – in the past, many students have argued that a certain action was/was not ethical but have failed to explain the philosophical basis for their view. You must consider the key points on both sides of the argument, but you must also make clear which side you think is right.
Your paper must be 1500-2000 words in length (no less, no more), it must develop a clear, central argument, and it must cite at least 4 scholarly sources. Be sure to cite your sources properly. Plagiarism is a very serious issue, especially in an ethics course! If you plagiarize, you will fail the assignment, and most likely the course. If you have any questions about citation, the Wesleyan library has numerous resources available through its link on the college website. Of course, I am also happy to help in any way I can.
We will take an iterative approach to this paper, meaning that you will write it in stages. The first step will be to submit a thesis – a one or two-line summary of your argument – and an outline. This will help make sure you are on the right track before you proceed too far with your writing. The second step will be to submit a final draft. The due dates for each step are as follows:
Thesis and outline – 5 points
Final draft – 35 point