You need to write and submit a 8-10 page argumentative essay that is related to the topics that we are discussing, or that is related to any other issue in medical ethics/bioethics. You do not have to pick a chapter or topic or problem that we have gone over and write on that.
Note: late papers are worth a maximum of 1 point.
General Recommendations & Advice
You should check with me about the suitability of your topic before you start writing. Also, the more you can tell me about your topic and what you think you want to cover in your paper, the better my answer to you can be.
Next recommendation. Use at least 5 scholarly references (the textbook/readings don’t count, and you don’t get to use websites like www.abc.com videos). Don’t use the bible or koran or any other religious text as your scholarly references. Also, make sure that you actually use the references. Don’t simply quote a sentence or refer to the source once. This isn’t an exercise to see if you can cut and paste references from the web onto your reference page. That’s an important skill, but it’s not relevant here.
It’s called a “research paper” because you will need to (a) do the research, and (b) write your argument based on that.
Note, this isn’t a “tell me what you think about xyz” or a “describe how you feel about xyz” assignment. There are assignments like that in your other classes, but this is a philosophical exercise that involves an argumentative essay.
If you do not know what an argumentative essay is, this website explains that, and for the most part, shows what your paper should look like:
Note: although you need to use APA format for your paper, do not include a cover page or an abstract. Just put your name, and start writing. Canvas knows what class you’re in, the date, etc.
You will submit these papers through Canvas, and Canvas uses an app called TurnItIn. Basically, Turnitin is a website that scans your paper for copied text or what it thinks might be plagiarism. It then assigns a percentage to your paper. That percentage represents the degree to which Turnitin thinks that your paper is un-original (which is a polite way of saying “might be plagiarized”).
I recommend that you not “borrow” text from another source, and that you do not attempt to simply retype something in your own words. Turnitin is not perfect, but it is very skeptical, and I will take its recommendations. If you have any questions about this, or about what Turnitin thinks of your paper, you should submit your paper well before the deadline so that you can see what Turnitin thinks of it. I.e., if you turn your paper in early enough, you can, if necessary, resubmit it in time to get the maximum points. You only get to resubmit once (see below).
You need to upload your paper to Canvas (there will be a specific Assignment posted for that). No email attachments, no hard-copy papers, and no late papers.
Submit your papers in pdf form, via Canvas. Papers submitted in Word or other formats (google doc, etc) will be worth a maximum of 0 points. I will not email you to notify you that you have uploaded the wrong format, and I will not ask you to please submit the pdf according to the instructions.
1. Did you use APA format (mostly for references)?
2. Did you select a suitable topic, and present a coherent philosophical argument?
3. Did you meet the page length requirements?
4. Did you use appropriate and sufficient References?
5. Did you write the paper? Did you avoid plagiarizing?
6. Did you submit your paper in pdf format?
7. Did you meet the deadline?
8. Did you upload through the proper Canvas Assignment? (i.e., not email or Canvas messaging)
The research papers will be graded according to several factors, but mainly these will count the most:
1. following instructions re: formatting, page-length, correct upload, date submitted, etc. Among the most common reasons for a zero (0) score is submitting a Word doc instead of a pdf, for example. Some students also submit a 2-page paper, including a title page. You should not include a title page, and I don’t really recommend a 2-page submission.
2. writing quality, grammar, spell-check, etc.
3. clarity of argument, clear direction and point(s). Try not to ramble. Everyone does it, including me. But try to really watch for it. Stay focused, and keep pounding away on the points that you want to make.
4. originality, appropriate degree of reliance on other sources, consistency with the standards that would be expected for a “research paper” in a typical (not necessarily an MSU) college course
5. suitable tone, proper voice for academic work
6. TurnItIn score, which measures TurnItIn’s judgment about plagiarism, original content, and so on.
This is a weighted set of criteria, and not every paper will be held to exactly the same weight per criterion (i.e., in some cases, if a paper is very original and well-argued, it may not be held to the same standard for grammar issues, or vice-versa). Also, depending on the significance of the criterion to an individual paper, that criterion might count very little, or it might count a letter grade or more.
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