I. Cells/Genetics

II. BodyInternal

III. BodyExternal

IV. Population/Environment



Your Ethical Issue Essays

[Word download of this document]

WEEE man [link]

 (NOTE:  The instructions for peer feedback have changed.  No more color groups.  You just do it on our course Ning social network that you can link to from the website home page--see instructions there).

What are the ethical issue essays?

For each of the four course units, I am asking you to write a short essay on a particular ethical issue related to the topics for that unit.  The goal of these essays is to allow you to see the “real-life” importance of the themes that we are addressing throughout the semester.  This assignment is also designed to evaluate your ability to apply what you have learned and explain the importance of those course topics to some issue that affects all of us.  It should also help you to understand and appreciate multiple points of view or perspectives, even if you don’t agree with all of them.

The essay should be approximately one to two pages in length.  It must be entirely written by you.  It must reflect your review of the online presentation related to this issue.  It does NOT need to include citations.  It does NOT need to “take a stand” or defend a particular view on this issue.  In fact, what I am most interested in is your ability to explain differing viewpoints on a particular issue.  Many of you may already have experience writing an essay and that will make this assignment easier for you. For those who don’t, here is one approach you might use to get started on your first essay.


How should I get started on my essay?

My suggestion is that, as you read the online material presented for each issue, you keep in mind the need to write your essay. 

  1. Take notes on what you believe are the key features of each issue.  Try to begin to define the contrasting or differing viewpoints on the issue that are presented.
  2. Then make a list with a short name for the different sides or perspectives or viewpoints on the issue. Sometimes there might be only two viewpoints.  Sometimes there might be more.
  3. Make a very short, brief and informal outline for your essay.  You don’t have to use Roman Numerals and all of that.  Your outline might just look like this:

                                                              i.      Introduction:  What is the issue?

                                                            ii.      Viewpoint 1:  [give it a name, describe it briefly, who holds this viewpoint?]

                                                          iii.      Viewpoint 2:  [give it a name, describe it briefly, who holds this viewpoint?]

                                                           iv.      Viewpoint 3:  [keep on for as many viewpoints as necessary]

                                                             v.      Summarize the differences between the viewpoints.

                                                           vi.      Return to your definition of the issue.  How do you see it unfolding or being resolved in the future?

  1. Once you have your outline, quickly write a short paragraph for each point in the outline.
  2. Edit, edit, edit.  Go back and reorganize your paragraphs.  Read each sentence out loud and make sure it makes sense.  Make sure the order of the sentences is logical.
  3. Post your essay to your blog.


I would like you to feel free to be creative on this assignment.  The above steps are only suggestions for getting started, if you need them.  The outline is deliberately very general and you could quite effectively structure your essay in a different way.


What are the critical elements to include in my essay?


Evaluation Guidelines for Ethical Issue Essays

Here are detailed guidelines on what constitutes a Baseline essay (C-level work), an Effective essay (B-level work) and an Exemplary essay (A-level work).  Each essay is worth ten points. If you complete an essay, but it does not fulfill the baseline criteria, you will receive five points, or less if it is a minimal effort. 

Baseline Essay (C-level work, 7 points)

Essay has title, introductory paragraph that defines issue, presents at least two viewpoints on issue from course website material, and returns to analyze what these viewpoints tell us about the issue.  Writing is understandable.  A baseline essay can be done fairly quickly.


Effective Essay (B-level work, 8 points)

Essay has title that explains something about issue, introduction that shows good understanding of issue, presents all viewpoints on the issue that are found in course website material, shows good understanding of those viewpoints, and summarizes viewpoints in a way that shows how they relate back to the ethical issue.  Writing is well organized and edited.  Give yourself a good block of time to complete an effective essay.


Exemplary Essay (A-level work, 9-10 points)

Essay has informative and well-thought out title, introduction that shows sophisticated understanding of the importance of the issue, presents at least two viewpoints on the issue in a clear and sophisticated way that shows how they are related and who represents those viewpoints, returns to analyze how the viewpoints relate to the issue and the relevance of the issue to the human condition.  Writing is well organized and carefully crafted, reflecting a third or fourth draft.  Writing an exemplary essay will require a serious investment of time.



Peer Feedback on Ethical  Issues Essay

Please go to our course Ning Social Network--see home page for link.  Register and respond  to the Disucssion Forum that I've created for the ethical issue for this unit.  this will give you the five points for your peer feedback for the ethical issue essay for this unit.  You might also want to post something else...some music, photos, or a plea for study partners, answers to a question, whatever.


Please address course correspondence and questions to:


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© Larry Frolich 2007

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.

But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.

You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.

                            --Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


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