Moral and Ethics

Examine a contemporary ethical/ moral issue through the lens of one of the theories we discussed and explain how a subscriber to that theory would view the issue.Paper Grading Rubric:

This is an example of the way in which I grade all research papers. Below is an approximation of the number of points one would get depending on the paper they turn in. Should the need arise I may give half points when it seems appropriate. All papers will be returned with a breakdown of why they earned the grade they did. Each grade is determined by dividing the number of points earned by the total of available points. So, if a paper received 25 out of 35 potential points their grade would be a 71 percent.

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Supporting Arguments

Counter Arguments


Quality of Written Material


Explanation: This category concerns how well a student is able to explain to the reader (me) the relevant theory/ theories that are being employed and how they relate to the topic of the paper.
1 Point: The student’s paper made no sense and they clearly did not try.
2 Points: The student attempted to make sense of the theory but there were serious misunderstanding that clearly shows the student did not understand the material.
3 Points: The student has an introductory understanding of the material and showcased it in the paper, but there was room for more explanation or the explanation offered was not fully on point.
4 Points: The student effectively explained the theory/ theories used.
5 Points: Not only did the student effectively understand the theory/ theories, but it’s clear from their explanation that they did additional research that aided them in developing a stronger understanding of the material.
Persuasiveness: All philosophy papers are argumentative in nature, so this section concerns itself with how well a student is able to make a case for their thesis. By this, what is meant is that a student is able to connect together their thesis with their provided materials to make it seem that the claim that was made at the beginning of the paper has merit. This also concerns any and all arguments made by the student throughout their paper.
1 Point: The essay did not attempt to make any arguments or forward any position.
2 Points: There are arguments but they make very little sense and they are not persuasive. There is no real thesis being advanced.
3 Points: There is a thesis and arguments being forwarded but it is not very strong or persuasive.
4 Points: There is a thesis and decent arguments but there was room for improvement.
5 Points: There is a well defined thesis and strong arguments.
Supporting Arguments: For this section, I look at the supporting materials, such as arguments made by other theorists and relevant information found elsewhere to see if they are being used effectively, that they are relevant to the thesis, to see if enough supporting materials were used given the scope of the thesis, and to ensure that the student both understands and properly explains their point.
1 Point: No outside supporting arguments were presented in the paper.
2 Points: Outside arguments were present but they were few in number and insufficiently explained or inaccurately presented.
3 Points: The arguments presented were adequately represented but there were too few.
4 Points: There were a sufficient number of supporting arguments and they were properly explained.
5 Points: There were a good number of arguments presented and they were masterfully represented.
Counter Arguments: This section mirrors the one above in that I look at the counter arguments provided and examine it for all the same criteria as with supporting ones, but I also look to see if the counter arguments are adequately refuted by the student as well. So, if a student provides a counter argument and does little or no work to persuade me not to side with the counter argument, this will be marked against them.
See above for the point breakdown, except it’s for counter arguments.
References: This section is concerned with everything involving citing and referencing outside works. I look to see that all works are properly cited in some fashion, that all quotations are made known to the reader, that there is a bibliography with all relevant works accounted for, and I also look for general formatting features associated with this section, such as neatly presented citations and that the reference page is structured in an organized manner. I do not assign a specific writing format (i.e. Chicago or APA) but I do look for generally held citation formatting that is common across all the systems. Finally, I look for a consistency in the style used by the student (i.e. not sloppy).
1 Point: There were no bibliographic entries or citations.
2 Points: Either the bibliography or the citations were missing and what was presented was improperly set up and insufficient.
3 Points: There was a bibliography and a works cited page but there were few references presented and the entries were sloppy. Also this may be given if the references presented were weak (I.E. not proper sources like .com)
4 Points: Both are present and there are a sufficient number of references. Most of the references were decent and the presentation manner is adequate.
5 Points: Both are present, they are represented well and the references used are strong.
Quality of Written Materials: This is a catch-all for the actual written work as a written work. I check the paper for obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, sentence structure, the delivery of the student’s points and the flow of the paper. This is not a space to reward people who have a strong written voice, per se, but rather to make sure that the quality of the student’s writing is on par with what an average college student ought to be capable of.
1 Point: The paper is unreadable.
2 Points: The paper is riddled with errors but readable.
3 Points: The paper is readable but the number of errors make it look like a rough draft.
4 Points: The paper is adequate but could have used some additional revisions.
5 Points: The paper is free of errors.
Formatting: Here is where I make sure that the student followed all of my required formatting points that were listed on the syllabus. So, things like the paper being the required length, that it possesses a works cited page, its 12 point font and there were citations, etc.
1 Point: The student disregarded all formatting requirements.
2 Points: The student disregarded some, such as page length.
3 Points: The paper fails to abide by one of the formatting suggestions.
4 Points: There were minor discrepancies between the formatting requirements and the paper (such as an unprofessional font like comic sans).
5 Points: The student fully abided by the formatting requirements.

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