Description: An essay that presents arguments using evidence and applies theory to a contemporary

ethical issue.

Weighting: 25%

Length and/or format: 1000 word argumentative essay

Purpose: to engage in well-researched and constructed critical thinking about an ethical issue rather

than respond to a case or dilemma.

• The essay should be 1000 words (excluding the reference list.)

• The goal of the essay is to engage in well-researched and constructed critical thinking about an

ethical issue rather than respond to a case or dilemma.

• Avoid the “scatter gun” approach, i.e. aim vaguely at anything you think might be a possible target.

Think carefully about what the issues are raised by the topic and STRUCTURE your response. 

 As such, the essay should provide clear indications to the reader by use of headings and subheadings as to what part of the argument is being dealt with.

 The essay should provide an abstract of what is treated and the conclusions reached.

• The essay should be properly researched. You must show you can find and use reliable academic

studies. You should cite a minimum of 10 references used in your work.

• Those sources that you use must be referred to in the text of your report

(citations) and listed in the Reference List. Failure to do so is against Academic Regulations. The format

of your citations and reference list must follow the Harvard version found on the student resource site

and illustrated in the unit outline reference list. Note: many of the books listed in your unit outline

reference list are available in the library.

• The essay should be properly formatted: on A4, one-sided, at least 1.5 line spacing and font at least

12pt, leave adequate margins for comments.

• It must also be accompanied with a printed “Turnitin” report of originality. A digital version must be

also provided on LEO.

Essay topics: Choose ONE

1. “It is ethical to advertise toys, sugar-loaded cereal or non-violent games to children as long as it is

truthful and as long as children understand the message.” Discuss.

2. “Self-interest is the bottom-line of human motivation. That fact means that reward and punishment

are the only really effective tools for a responsible manager.” Discuss

3. “A strong organisational culture is the surest way to avoid having the organisation’s name in the

media for the wrong reasons.” Discuss.

4. The environment should be protected because and only because human livelihoods depend upon it.


5. In a multi-cultural society, the only practical expression of common values is the law of the land.

People have their own moral principles but they cannot reasonably expect to be any more ethical than

obey the law. Discuss.

6. In any struggle between an individual’s character and the culture of the organisation where he/she

works, the culture will almost always win. Discuss.

(Please choose ONE essay topic of the above options and clearly state which one you chose on top of

the essay).


• The essays should show understanding and use of THEORETICAL concepts in ethics.

• Positions, points of view need to be argued and evidence needs to be used. Any of the statements

made in any essay topic may or may not be true. Think about whether you agree or not first!

• A good essay is planned, with a clear structure that enables the reader to follow the argument. It is

usually better to provide headings and sub-headings to indicate the structure and provide a guide to

the reader about how each section contributes to the overall argument.

Many of the following sites are provided for you to find your relevant professional codes.