Philosophy 3100 - Ethical Theory (honors)

Short Papers


See syllabus for length requirement.

Regarding format, your paper must:

Failure to conform to these rules will hurt your grade.

Regarding content, the main things these short paper should do is give you a chance to explore your own idea relating to something from the reading or something from class. Once you have identified the idea you'd like to discuss, you need to be sure you do at least these two things in your paper:

  1. provide whatever background is required to present your idea. This part of your paper will likely be merely repeating things from a reading or from class in your own words, but it is still quite important
  2. clearly explain your idea. Your idea might be a criticism of some idea from a reading or from class, an objection to some argument we discussed; a way for some theory to avoid some potential problem; or just anything that relates to our material that you found intersting and worth writing down.

If you have room, you might also consider

  1. addressing a possible objection to or criticism of your idea. This would, of course, require first explaining the objection or criticism before you address it.

Regarding style, you should:

General Guidance. Here are two helpful guides on writing a philosophy paper. Please look them over.

Cheating: You are encouraged to discuss your paper with others in the class; however, the paper you turn in must be your own work. Students turning in duplicate or near-duplicate papers will receive an F for the entire course and may be subject to expulsion from the university. I take cheating very seriously.

Do not quote much or at all in your papers. I want to hear the ideas in your own words. But if you must use the words of others, put them in quotation marks and cite the source. Otherwise, you are plagiarizing. Plagiarism will earn you an F for the whole course and possible expulsion from the university.

Extra Assistance: I am more than happy to provide assistance to you as you work on your paper. Feel free to come to office hours with questions or just to run a rough outline by me.