Length: 4500-5000 words
Topic: Ethical dilemmas in advertising and marketing
Instructions: Choose an ethical dilemma that arises in a profession related to your major or career
plans. Feel free to be creative 🙂 In the paper, you will present background information
concerning the dilemma, apply two ethical theories and a professional code of ethics to it, and
defend your own proposed solution to the dilemma.
Sources: 8 outside research sources (at least 6 peer-reviewed), 1 professional code of ethics,
and 2 other course readings
List of Sections: Use the following sections in this order.
1. Introduction (5% of the paper): Draw in the reader in an engaging way and introduce
your topic. Make the last sentence a thesis presenting the solution you will defend.
2. Background (30% of the paper): Present background details about your dilemma,
including how it arises in a profession, relevant facts, history, laws, and current events,
and some responses to the dilemma that have been considered. Give a general
overview, while also focusing in particular on facts that will feed into your persuasive
arguments later in the paper.
Cite from 8 outside research sources as part of the background section. 6 should be
peer-reviewed sources (scholarly journal articles or books published by university
presses). Other sources can include news reports, essays, interviews, or videos from
recognized and unbiased authorities.
3. Theory Application (20% of the paper): Choose two ethical theories covered in the
course—(a) Benedict’s cultural relativism, (b) Kant’s categorical imperative (either
form), (c) Regan’s modified categorical imperative, (d) Mill’s utilitarianism, (e) Aristotle’s
virtue ethics, or (f) Noddings’ care ethics. For each of the two you choose, take a
paragraph to summarize the view and explain what it might recommend regarding your
dilemma. Cite details from the relevant course reading for each theory.
You can focus on theories that fit with your own eventual solution. For example, if you
will give broadly utilitarian arguments later in the paper, then start here by describing
what Mill would say about your topic. Alternatively, you may want to bring in a theory
that you will ultimately reject. For example, if you will later argue that cultural relativism
is inappropriate for resolving your dilemma, you could preview its response here, while
noting that you will ultimately reject the theory.
4. Professional Code Application (10% of the paper): Choose a professional code of
ethics that relates to your dilemma and explain what it might recommend in regards to
your topic, citing from the code of ethics. Give a general overview, while focusing in
particular on details that feed into your persuasive arguments below.
5. Persuasive Arguments (30% of the paper): Propose and defend a specific solution to
your dilemma, using logically-compelling arguments. Your solution can be a certain
“side” of the debate you believe is correct, or a more limited proposal or intervention to
help address the dilemma. Do not just survey the different sides of the debate or
summarize views you found in your research. Instead, defend a specific thesis with your
own creative arguments. Bring in facts and concepts from earlier sections of the paper
to help support your main claims. Anticipate questions or objections people might have
about your solution and respond to them as part of this section.
6. Conclusion (5% of the paper): Signal the end of the paper and summarize your main
conclusions. End with a memorable closing.