Critical Essay

Critical Essay Instructions


Length: 2000 ±200 words

In Simple English Please!


  1. Choose an issue in professional ethics that pertains to a particular type of professional. Although the issue you choose may have arisen from a specific situation you will not be writing this as a case study, rather your perspective will be more general in nature and similar to the philosophical articles.


  1. Write a critical essay aiming to resolve the issue you pose by considering a range of possible positions on the issue. In your analysis, you will defend and develop your argument(s) in support of a position on the issue by considering any relevant considerations that have bearing on determining the best position from an ethical point of view. In your analysis, you will provide arguments and reasons that also show why the positions that you reject are less satisfactory from an ethical perspective than the position you defend. The argument(s) and reasons of your analysis will include considerations regarding relevant factual claims, ethical values and principles as well as ethically significant consequences or implications of a position. The goal of this assignment is to defend the most ethically satisfactory position on your chosen issue as well as showing why the alternative positions are ethically less satisfactory.




This essay is not a case study.  You are not analyzing an issue from a particular scenario where particular people are involved, but you are analyzing a more general issue that arises for some kind of professional.  So, you begin with an issue question that expresses a moral problem that tends to be faced by some group of professionals.  For example, the issue might be something like: “Is it morally right for doctors to perform active euthanasia or assisted suicide for patients, under certain conditions?”  or maybe “What are the conditions that should count as necessary in justifying doctors participating in assisted dying for their patients?”

From here, the assignments are similar in how you go about presenting an analysis.  Consider the possible answers/resolutions to the issue you pose, and clearly state these, as these will be the options that you will analyze.  Similar considerations apply, here, in terms of whether your issue question is a Yes/No question or a more open ended question.  Present reasons for the possible answers, critically discuss these reasons and, by the end of your analysis, you should have reached a conclusion (direct answer to the issue question as you have posed it), based on the reasoning you have provided.  Note that an open-ended issue question, such as “Under what conditions is it morally justifiable for doctors to assist their patients in dying?” will require, for an answer, a subset of the conditions you consider and discuss; in other words, once you discuss possible conditions under which an action may be justified, you will come up with a short-list, which will include the conditions that you have argued would be necessary to justify the action.

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