Choose a Topic:Choose a topic that is current.It doesnâ€™t have to be in the news at the moment, such as congressional ethics.It can be an issue that is currently being debated, such as restorative justice or even abortion.
Research your subject matter:This can be done online; through secondary sources, such as books or newspapers; or through primary sources, such as interviews.Please make sure that you research more than one perspective of your topic.Your goal is to gain as much knowledge from different perspectives as possible.Make sure you cite the sources.
Write a narrative of the topic:Tell us what the issue is in a format that conveys a story.Raise the issue/s in your narrative.
Analyze the subject matter:Give pros and cons of each perspective.Use data to support each position.Think about how others would view this topic â€“ utilitarians, contractarians, Kantians, etc.Are you basing your conclusions on moral, rational or legal authority.
Conclusion:After presenting your topic, presenting the different perspectives and using the information to base a conclusion that satisfies your ethical standards, explain what your opinion is about how this issue should be resolved.Donâ€™t worry about how others would decide the outcome â€“ this is your conclusion. I never base a grade upon your conclusion.
The paper is to be 5 â€“ 7 pages, 12 point, double-spaced.Cover pages and citation pages are not considered to be part of the five page minimum.
In law school the format is Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion.You can use this IRAC format or make your report more narrative.
I can tolerate minor spelling or grammatical errors, but please donâ€™t challenge my tolerance.Proper use of words such as youâ€™re/your, theyâ€™re/there/their, two/to/too impress me.Improper use does not.
Possible Topics:Wire-tapping; congressional ethics, drones, gun control, immigration, truth in politics; police investigation and interrogation methods; death penalty; lawyersâ€™ role in criminal justice; decriminalization of prostitution, gambling, drugs; abortion; white collar crime; torture; physician assisted suicide; electronic surveillance vs. bail; etc.