Business Ethics

Business Ethics

Week IV

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This term paper is a response to the article by Michael Sandel, “What Money Can’t Buy.” So first you need to complete the reading.

What exactly do you have to write in this paper?

You need to tell me if you agree with Michael Sandel, the author of this article.

More specifically, the assignment is this:

In 300 words defend your opinion about the argument in the reading “What Money Can’t Buy.”

How to write the paper:

Step 1.
First you need to read carefully the article by Michael Sandel “What Money Can’t Buy.” Your paper is a response paper so you can’t write a response paper to an article that you haven’t read.

Step 2.
Make sure you know very well what the author argues. Then, ask yourself if you actually agree with his specific argument.

Step 3.
Make a decision; take a stance. Do you agree or do you disagree with the author’s reasoning? You need to decide and you can’t change your mind in the middle of the paper. If you change your mind, you should write a new paper.

Let’s say you disagree with the author’s argument. Then say at the very beginning that you disagree and specify what exactly you disagree with and why. Be sure to explain your reasoning. Point out what is it that the author is mistaken about. Point out the weakness of the author’s position.

What if you agree with author’s reasoning?
If you agree with the author’s argument, you will have to explain the way in which someone intelligent could reject the author’s argument. Just because you agree with the author that does not mean you can merely repeat the author’s words as your reason for agreeing with him. So you can’t say you agree with his argument and then copy his thoughts. You will still need to think critically and meet the challenge of possible criticism of the author’s argumentation. Thus, agreeing with the author will not make your essay easier to write!

Either way, you must engage in critical thinking.

Most importantly, you need to have an opinion, formulate that opinion, and defend it.

What does it mean to defend your opinion?

To defend your opinion, in a philosophy paper, means what it sounds like – you will need to defend your view against possible attack or criticism.

This means you have to be aware how someone can try to undermine your view. Make sure you do not think of that someone as an idiot. Instead, imagine how someone intelligent can reasonably disagree with you.

This “possible” disagreement is called a counterargument. Without the counterargument your paper will be poorly argued. As a result, you can’t get a high grade for the paper even if you say numerous interesting things. Indeed, you should NOT say many things. Do NOT make a list of interesting ideas. Focus only on defending one specific idea, not many ideas.

Do you need an introduction and a conclusion?
– No. In this paper you do not need an introduction or a conclusion. If you include an introduction and a conclusion in your paper, you will have to write a much longer paper. The challenge is to defend your idea in 300 words, not 100 words plus 200 words of introduction. Again, you should produce 300 words of continuous reasoning without interjecting anything irrelevant to your main thesis.

Should you quote the author or summarize the reading?
– No. Quotes and summaries will not count towards the 300 words requirement.

I will not lower your grade for typos, misspellings or grammar mistakes.

Here is an example of how to structure the paper.
You can begin like this:

“Sandel argues that it is morally wrong to sell or buy certain things, for example citizenship – it would be morally problematic if US citizenship was for sale. The sale and purchase of human kidneys is also morally problematic. The reason why this is wrong, according to Sandel, is that ……….
I disagree with this argument because …….. Sandel would say to this that ……. But I think he does not take into consideration that……..”


If you agree you can say:
“…………. I agree with Sandel’s reasoning. One may, however, point out that this argument is weak because …….. But this view does not take into consideration that…… “

The above is just one example of what you can do. You are free to change the wording.
But remember not to say anything superfluous or irrelevant to your main point. Avoid repeating yourself.

Grading rubric:

A level grade:
To earn an A level grade, your paper needs to have a clear and specific thesis. Your main idea is your thesis. The idea cannot be vague or merely implied. The reader should be able to find that single sentence, at the beginning of you essay, which contains your main idea.

An A level paper also demonstrates that you understood the author’s argument. If you do not read the article carefully or you misunderstand the point of the paper, then you can’t earn an A, even if you write an interesting paper overall.

An A level paper contains a counterargument in which you show how someone can undermine your position. Of course, you should not merely point out how someone can disagree with you. You should also confront that disagreement and tell me why in the end your line of reasoning wins the argument.

B level grade:
If your paper contains too many ideas, or one unclear idea then your paper is probably at a B level. If your paper has one clear idea/thesis but you forget to explain your reasoning for that thesis then the paper is also at a B level.

Remember, your paper cannot be just a list of things. Do not make a list of reasons or a list of examples. If can give an example to make your point, but don’t fill your paper with examples.

Lastly, plagiarism will earn you an F for the paper. Plagiarism is not only copying sentences from other sources but also asking someone to write the paper for you.
You have to write the paper by yourself and you must think for yourself. If nothing comes to your mind, then give yourself more time to think.

Good luck,
Prof Smith

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