How to Write an Ethics Essay: Tips, Topics, and Ideas

How to Write an Ethics Essay: Tips, Topics, and Ideas
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write an Ethics Essay: Tips, Topics, and Ideas
  2. Branches of Ethics
  3. What is an Ethics Essay in Its Essence?
  4. What to Write About? List of Great Ethics Essay Topics
  5. How to Start an Ethics Essay?
  6. Tips on Making Your Paper Perfect
  7. Ethics Essay Example

During your graduation, you will definitely face many complicated assignments (like to create an apa essay format), overcome thousands of demanding tasks and handle a lot of stressful situations. Luckily, not every task is a real threat to your school or student life. Is it true that easy assignments do exist on your way? The answer is positive, and an ethics essay is one of them.

Branches of Ethics

Before you start working on your essay on ethics, it's important to understand the concept of “Ethics”. This is a branch of philosophy that deals with morality and concepts of appropriate and inappropriate behavior (right and wrong individual conduct). Ethics includes the main rules of human behavior. It defines how people must behave in certain situations. 

There are several branches of ethics we will review shortly. The descriptive branch includes what all the people believe to be wrong or right. On this basis, the law describes and decides if particular actions are normal or inacceptable. It's interesting that over time, the moral principles in society can change. That's why descriptive ethics is also called comparative ethics: it compares the ethics of various societies and various times. 

Another important branch is normative ethics. It describes particular norms or sets of actions. These norms involve rules on how a person should act in a certain situation. It means that normative ethics decides if behaviors or actions are right or wrong. This branch of ethics is also called prescriptive ethics because it has certain principles to define if a particular action is wrong or right.

Meta-ethics includes various ethical concepts. This branch of ethics doesn't care if the action is wrong or right and questions about the description of morality. In general, meta-ethics doesn't have strict definitions of rightness and goodness. This is a very abstract way to analyze ethics.

Applied ethics includes the various philosophical examination of actions. The examination goes from a moral point, and this branch is quite important for professionals: rulers, teachers, administrators, doctors, etc.  

What is an Ethics Essay in Its Essence?

Ethical essays require arguing for a particular moral conviction. You must find the proper words to defend your ethics position as well as your point of view by putting strong arguments. An ethics essay is quite a tricky one. You are expected to develop logical counter-arguments and find the way to disprove them. Show your personal, individual suggestions are correct. Note the sources your work is based on must be reliable. Choose the proper topic for your work. Raise the everlasting question about people’s values and morality or impact of moral principles on an individual's life. Eventually, you'll deliver a good ethics paper that will meet the expectation of the most discerning readers.

What do you know about this type of academic paper, and how does it differ from the reflection or analytic paper? Start with the definition of the issue to see the difference. What is ethics? It is a code of practice; an unwritten policy society sticks to in daily experience. Without noticing, we follow the ethical standards to integrate society, keep us together, and help to interact with people. Each person tends to disagree with the numerous rules. It might be a perfect topic when you create an argumentative ethics essay.

What to Write About? List of Great Ethics Essay Topics

Before start writing, be sure you choose a proper topic. For more inspiration, check a theme related to professional ethics, personal ethics or general ethical issues. This way you can easily find a decent topic to develop an essay on ethics. Choose the one that corresponds to your beliefs. Maybe you have seen a controversial movie recently that gave rise to a dispute with your friends? Or read a book that highlighted human actions in a bad light? Think about newspapers. For those who are seeking for “foot thought”, media is a treasure chest.

Here some examples of ethics essay topics and cases you might find useful:

  1. Do journalists have the right to interrupt people's private life?
  2. Drugs should not be made legal in the world.
  3. Ethics in society essay: it is wrong to conduct experiments on animals as they are nature creations.
  4. Euthanasia: people suffering from pain and incurable diseases should have the right to die in law.
  5. Responsibility for punishment: is it right to remove a kid from a family for one single slap.
  6. Colonization theory: humanity has to think about moving to other planets.
  7. Fast food consummation: how society should punish parents who encourage their kids to eat unhealthy food.
  8. Education revolution: colleges/universities don’t focus on employers’ needs and labor market.
  9. А violation of medical confidentiality due to saving lives
  10. Can kids have plastic surgery and Botox injections?
  11. Kids' bullying: is it right to tattle to a college administration?
  12. Cruelty to animals: should we be silent if our relatives or friends abuse pets?
  13. Cheating on a test: should a student tell the tutor that his mate doesn't deserve high marks?
  14. What should media write about: deliver context that the public wants to hear or tell us the naked truth?
  15. Drinking at the prom: is it right to have a loud party for teenagers under 21?
  16. Who is judged: should football players be paid more than doctors and engineers?
  17. State foundations and church: why should they be separated?
  18. The right to suicide: what to do if a person doesn't want to live?
  19. Gathering information about clients: do the companies have a right to collect their customer's personal data?
  20. To be or not to be: must students learn classics profoundly or it doesn’t correspond to the modern society requests anymore?
  21. Robin Hood in a law: should the rich people pay more taxes and share their income with the poor?
  22. The weapon allowed everyone: can we change the system?
  23. How schools avoid responsibility: why do we have less physical education today?
  24. Truth leads you to the abyss: is it necessary to be sincere if it gets you into troubles?
  25. Public praying at the school: is the religious act interfering with the rights of agnostics?
  26. Do education institutions and tutors responsible for low test scores?
  27. Respect for the family: should teenagers always follow adults' decisions?
  28. The importance of a team building: does one member of a group can be more valuable than others?
  29. Inappropriate behavior: why weirdos make us feel strange?
  30. Is it appropriate to develop scientific programs for a human cloning?

Or you can turn to philosophy in search of the ethical dilemma. A broad reading and literature studying are important to define a proper approach. It is your starting point to elaborate a strong writing piece.

How to Start an Ethics Essay?

As we've already mentioned, there is not a big difference between various academic papers. They all followed the same standards and consist of three separated parts:

  • Introduction. When you elaborate an outline on ethics, find the hook to inflame the readers' interest. Put thesis statements that represent a key idea.
  • Body. This part is your issue description. Ethics essay demands to disclose the author's judgment and suggestions in this paragraph. In order to deliver strong evidence, turn to the most reputable sources. You have to prove by all means your point and make the ethics paper sound more persuasive.
  • Conclusion. It is a final chord of the paper on ethics where you summarize your key ideas. Make it concise.

Tips on Making Your Paper Perfect

  • Don't use clichés because they weaken any writing piece
  • Put your thoughts clearly. Don't choose too difficult words.
  • Keep your sentences smooth!
  • Identify the key point in the opening sentences.
  • Discuss your argument with a person who disagrees with you.
  • Keep the required format (MLA, APA, or Chicago)
  • Write less than 1,500 words: 3-4 pages.
  • Don't waste time. Meet the deadline for submissions.

We hope our guide helps you get useful knowledge, and we are eager to see you are making significant progress soon! If you have any doubts about ethics writing, find professional assistance and let skilled authors create the top-notch paper.

Ethics Essay Example

Personal Ethics and Decision Making

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, ethics is defined as “moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.” Therefore, in an ideal world, ethics should play the ultimate role when making a decision. If ethics are the principles which guides one’s behavior then, ideally, all decisions should be made entirely based on ethics. Unfortunately, such is not always the case.

A few problems arise when one tries to make an ethical decision, especially as a leader. First, ethics may mean different things to different people. For example, my religious and spiritual beliefs are the foundation for what I deem ethical. However, for someone else, ethics might be based on laws or their own personal understanding of what is right or wrong. Generally, I do believe there are some behaviors that all can agree upon as being ethical or unethical. For example, most people understand that stealing from someone or murder is wrong. However, it is difficult, at times, to have similar ethical expectations of others as one does of themselves because of these differences in the understanding of ethics. Additionally, there are times when it might be easier for a leader to make an unethical decision for an immediate gain or to appease the wants of others. Examples of these include leaders who embezzle money or use other schemes to make money quickly or unlawfully.

For most leaders, making ethical decisions tends to be the goal. I firmly believe that more often than not, leaders do make ethical decisions for the betterment of their organization or business. There are cases when making an unethical decision might be easier, but the true character of a leader is tested when they are confronted with such a decision. Making the easier decision is not always the best decision for a leader’s personal sake or for the organization/business. Recognizing that not all decisions are ethical, one’s moral principles acts as a guide for their behavior and decision making. Therefore, ethics do (and should) play a major role in decision making.

As previously mentioned, my religious and spiritual beliefs shape my personal ethics. I grew up in a very Christian family (one grandfather was a pastor and the other is a deacon), so from a young age, I was instilled with a belief in God and His teachings, according to the Bible. As I get older, I am learning that a spiritual journey and relationship with God is one that is personal and cannot be easily taught or given by others. Therefore, I will admit that as I continue on my personal journey with God, my personal ethics are still being developed and shaped. Some behaviors that I may have thought were acceptable in the past, I no longer view the same. For example, I have a lot of passion for the organizations I am involved with, especially S.M.A.R.T, which is great as a leader. It is my passion which keeps me dedicated to the organization. However, because of this passion, when things are not going as I want them to, it might cause me to communicate in a way that is considered disrespectful to others. Either my tone, the loudness of my voice, or the things that I say have made others feel disrespected. Personally, I find disrespecting others to be unethical. Although I may not consciously decide to disrespect them, it is a result of my behavior. While, at one point, I made excuses for my “lashing out” but considering it my “burning passion for the organization,” I now realize that it is unacceptable. As a leader, and person, I should always aim to be respectful of others, regardless of my own feelings. Moreover, I was able to recognize the impact that my behavior was having on other members of my executive board – they, too, began to think it was okay to conduct themselves in a similar manner.

My personal ethics include values such as: respect, honesty, caring, and fairness. When making a decision, I tend to consider these four values the most, in conjunction with how my decision might better the organization. The goal, for me, is to always aid in making an organization or someone else better. These four values tend to help me ensure that my decisions are well-rounded and ethical. I have already alluded to the role respect plays in my decision making. I consider how I might communicate a decision, or I consider other aspects of people’s lives and how this decision might impact them. I try to ensure that all of my decisions are respectful to others. I also aim to always be honest in my decision making. When I need help, I ask for it. I try to be as transparent as possible about any decision I have made and why. I am always willing to share my reasoning and am open to feedback from others. My compassionate side also comes out when making a decision. In most instances, I really try to consider the needs and circumstances of others. For example, S.M.A.R.T. can be a demanding organization, so when making decisions, I always consider the other aspects of our member’s lives and how my decisions could be more of a burden than a help to them. Lastly, I try to make sure my decisions are fair for everyone involved. If I want to inconvenience or be unfair to anyone, I would rather it be myself than someone else.

Communication is key in relation to personal ethics. As previously mentioned, ethical standards differ for different people. Therefore, I find it most difficult to try to understand the reasoning of others’ ethics, rather than communicating my own. I tend to be a very direct person. I get straight to the point, especially as a leader. Therefore, I simply share with others what I believe and value. I also communicate my personal ethics through my actions. If my decisions are made according to my ethical beliefs, then others should be able to recognize, through my behavior, what my personal morals are.

Overall, being an ethical decision maker is important to me. As a leader, I understand that I play a part in establishing what is considered right and wrong, based on my actions and decisions. My hope is to always be an example, and being ethical is the foundation of setting a good example for others. The old adage, “actions speak louder than words” rings true in relation to ethics. I aim to show people what my moral principles are based on my actions. At times, it can get difficult because I might let emotions cloud my judgment, but after all, doing the right thing for the sake of others is most important to me.