Essay Directions


The case study for this ethical decision-making essay assignment was written by Chloe Wilson and is titled Picking up the Slack (2013). This case study presents a common ethical dilemma that you find when working on a team. Your assignment is to write an essay analyzing this ethical scenario. The following are the steps to follow:

· Read Picking up the Slack case studyso you understand the ethical dilemma that Greg is facing.

· Explain why this is an ethical issue that requires an ethical decision.

· When facing an ethical situation, one way to determine what action to take is to examine how ethical theories impact decision making. Think of ethical theories as different decision-making styles or decision rules.

· Learn more about ethical theories by reading some of the articles listed on the reference page. One source is A Framework for Thinking Ethically. It describes the Five Approaches to Ethical Standards .

· After readingthe Framework article, find at least two other sources that you will use in your essay. One of these sources may be your textbook.

· Once you understand the ethical theories, analyze the ethical dilemma from more than one ethical perspective. How would you apply these different ethical perspectives to this dilemma? Suggest steps to solve the ethical issue. Discuss the possible consequences of the solution. Determine the action Greg should take using more than one ethical standard.

· A Glossary of Ethical Terms is listed on pages 3-4 of this assignment.

· A reference list of online sources follows the glossary on the last page of this assignment.

· Now that you know more about ethical decision-making and determined a course of action based on these approaches, analyze this dilemma from your own ethical perspective. What values and beliefs guide your decision and actions? What would you do if you were Greg?


· 600 – 800 words total (about 2 ½ – 3 1/2 pages).

· Your name and section number in the top right hand corner of the first page.

· Center the title of essay at the top of the first page.

· Double-spaced using 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri.

· Four sources (see information below.)

· Proof your essay for grammar, syntax, and spelling errors. Use effective word and phrase choices.


· In your essay, you will refer to the Picking up the Slack case study and A Framework for Thinking Ethically article. These sources must be cited in the text of your essay and in your Works Cited or References page. Otherwise it is considered plagiarizing.

· In addition to these two sources, two other sources are required of which one may be your textbook.

· Plagiarizing Policy: If all sources are not properly cited in the essay and Works Cited or References page, then zero point will be earned for this assignment.

ESSAY GUIDELINES (How to write your essay)

1st Create the Introduction (first paragraph):

· Write as if you do not know who will be reading your essay and assume your reader has not read the case study.

· Clearly state the ethical dilemma that will be analyzed in the essay (topic sentence).

· Provide a brief summary so the reader has a full understanding of the issue (remember the reader has not read the case study). Summarize the situation with fairness to all parties.

· End your introduction with a clearly stated purpose, which is your thesis statement. Tell your reader what will follow in the body of your essay.

2nd Develop the Body (2-4 paragraphs):

· After reading A Framework for Thinking Ethically , follow the directions above and analyze the ethical dilemma using the Five Approaches to Ethical Standards Consider the implications and consequences of each decision if these approaches were applied to this situation. Assume your reader has no knowledge about these approaches so explain the key concepts. (2-3 paragraphs)

· If you were involved in a situation like this, what would you do? Analyze the situation from your own ethical perspective. Clarify the beliefs and values that guide your ethical thinking, conduct, and decision-making. Did your decision change after learning more about the Five Approaches to Ethical Standards that you can use to evaluate an ethical dilemma?(1 paragraph)

· For the body of your essay, follow these writing guidelines:

· Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that effectively states the purpose of the paragraph.

· Develop sentences that are logical and clear. Ideas should flow logically. Paragraphs should be unified and work together to support the thesis.

· Make paragraphs coherent by using effective and appropriate transitions between ideas and paragraphs.

3rd Write the Conclusion (last paragraph):

· Restate the thesis.

· Provide a summary and closure.

Essay Checklist and Important Reminders

· The essay should not sound as if the writer is answering a series of questions.

· The purpose of the essay should be clear to the reader.

· The thesis should be clearly stated in the introduction.

· Relevant background information should be provided in the introduction so the audience has a clear understanding of the ethical issue and why an ethical decision is required.

· The introduction should engage the reader.

· The essay is well-organized.

· The essay is written in Standard English.

· The essay is free of grammatical and syntax errors.

· Word choice and phrases are appropriate and effective.

· Main ideas are fully developed, supported, and show critical thinking.

· Ideas flow logically. Sentence structure is correct, coherent, and varied.

· Outside sources are integrated smoothly in the essay. The essay includes correctly formatted in-text citations and a correct Works Cited or References page.

· The essay follows MLA or APA guidelines.

· The conclusion provides closure and restates the thesis.

· The essay reflects a sense of audience.

· The tone and style are appropriate for the essay’s purpose and audience.

· There is a clear voice and point of view. The writer is identified with a quality (honesty, sincerity, intelligence). The audience should get a sense of the writer.

· Facts are distinguished from opinions.

· Opinions are supported and qualified.

· Opposing views are represented fairly.

· Essay is spell-checked and edited.

GLOSSARY OF ETHICAL TERMS (by AACU and Stephen F. Austin State University)

· Character traits associated with ethics include honesty, truth-seeking, integrity, responsibility, respect, compassion and empathy.

· A core belief is a principle or fundamental belief which guides a person’s actions or decisions. A core belief can change over time.

· Ethics refer to standards of right and wrong that influence our core beliefs and values, our ethical conduct and ethical thinking. Our ethics guide our daily actions and behavior, including our communication with family, friends, co-workers, and the community.

· An ethical dilemma is a problem or situation that requires a person to choose between alternatives based on standards of moral conduct.

· Ethical standards impose obligations to “do the right thing,” to stand up for our rights and the rights of others.

· Ethical perspectives/concepts are the different theoretical means through which ethical issues are analyzed, such as ethical theories (e.g. utilitarian, natural law, virtue) or ethical concepts (e.g. rights, justice, duty).

· Ethical Reasoning is reasoning about right and wrong human conduct. It requires you to be able to assess your own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. Your ethical self-identity evolves as you practice ethical decision-making skills and learn how to describe and analyze positions on ethical issues.

· Context is the historical, cultural, professional, or political situation, background, or environment that applies to a given ethical issue.

· A perspective is a world view that informs core beliefs and ethical opinions. It is how one sees oneself, other people, and the world. Perspectives are not limited to theories and concepts in ethical philosophy. They may also include political and religious convictions, cultural assumptions, and attitudes shaped by one’s family, background, and experiences.


Association of Colleges and Universities. (2010). Ethical Reasoning Value Rubric.

Stephen F. Austin State University. (2014). Personal Responsibility Value Rubric.

Frey, William. (December 2, 2013). Ethics of Teamwork. OpenStax-CNX. Retrieved from

“NCA Credo for Ethical Communication.” National Communication Association.      National Communication Association, Nov. 1999. Web. 8 Mar. 2015.      <      Public_Policy_Platform/PDF-PolicyPlatform-NCA_Credo_for_Ethical_Communication.pdf>.

Velasquez, M. et al. (May 2009). A Framework for Thinking Ethically. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at

Santa Clara University. Retrieved from

Wilson, C. (March 11, 2013). Picking Up the Slack (Big Q). Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Retrieved from Picking-Up-the-Slack#sthash.rIt9MhNt.dpuf



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