Students are required to write an argumentative philosophy paper that closely observes the following structure:
Issue/Thesis/Methodology: State clearly and precisely what the issue is you propose to discuss (~500 words). Include a clear thesis statement, expressing what the paper will seek to accomplish, and include a statement of the methodology you will use to accomplish this. Each of these (i.e., thesis statement and methodological statement) can be done in one or two clear sentences each.
Positions on the Issue: Summarize the leading positions (not fewer than two, not more than four) taken on the issue (~500-1000 words). This will require research into the issue, particularly focusing on various positions taken on a particular issue at hand. You may exclude here the position that you will argue for in the next section of your paper so that you include here only positions other than your own that you wish to summarize and describe as carefully as you can.
Support for Your Position: State and give support for the position you favor (~1000-1500 words). Describe the position you favor on the issue as carefully and precisely as you can here. Then provide support for your position, using the strongest support that applies, and referring also to relevant research that can help you defend the position that you favor.
Objections to Your Position: Explain why the position you favor, along with its argumentation as you’ve explained it, is able to address two of the strongest objections that might be raised against it (~500-1000 words). So, state two objections (one at a time), and then answer each objection with the strongest response you can give in defense of your own position.
Term papers should include all four of the sections outlined above. The format of the term paper should also include the following elements:
1.5 spacing, one-inch margins, size 12 font in Times New Roman, a title page, a bibliography page, and Chicago/Turabian citations with footnotes.
A helpful link for that citation format can be found below: [ (Links to an external site.)]
For undergrads: The term paper cannot be more than 4,000 words and cannot utilize any outside sources beyond the course textbooks without instructor approval.
For grads: The term paper must be at least 4,000 words and must utilize at least three academically-acceptable sources—e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, books, etc.—beyond the course textbooks.
For all students, you must write on one of the following three topics:
When, if ever, is it morally permissible to obtain an abortion?
When, if ever, is it morally permissible to forgo life-sustaining treatments?
When, if ever, is it morally permissible for a physician to assist with a suicide?

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