Essays must be at least 4 full pages, typed, double-spaced, and stapled. Times New Roman 12 pt font. They must be well-written and well-organized. — Some reference to and short quotes from the relevant class readings is expected and required. However, too much direct quoting could negatively affect your grade since it doesn’t really show me that you understand the material. — Severe penalties will result from any plagiarism, e.g. either course failure or paper failure. — A separate bibliography is not necessary as long as you clearly indicate in parentheses in the text the source and page number of a quote or reference. — Some very limited reference to an outside source is permitted but not necessary; just be sure to make clear its relevance to answering the essay and do not get sidetracked from the main topic or answering the question. Regarding the content of essays, your grade will primarily be based on the following: — Please be sure to answer all parts of the question and to address all the topics mentioned in it. — The degree to which you show an understanding of all relevant reading and class discussion, including appreciation for opposing beliefs. Ignoring important and relevant material is a serious flaw. — Your ability to integrate and synthesize the relevant material in a coherent and well-organized way. — How well you defend your view with argument and potential objections. — I expect to see evidence of your careful critical thinking about the issue that you write on. One way to do so is through the use of an example to illustrate a point (either from real life or perhaps more hypothetical). Another way is to apply an ethical theory to the issue in question. — I expect high-quality, well-written, and reflective essays. Please see me during office hours or make an appointment if you have any questions or wish to show me a first draft. In what circumstances (if any) do you think that capital punishment is morally justifiable? Why? Be sure to explain how they differ from some cases which you do not think are morally acceptable. Defend your answer critically addressing arguments on both sides (i.e. from in the readings in DMI Ch. 12). Be sure to discuss the idea of “retribution,” the issue of deterrence, and the problems of arbitrary application and discrimination.
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