Dr. Alexander Gonzalez
PHI 2604 Format for Moral Argumentation
The format for argumentation that you will use to write the essay and you must label the parts of your essay accordingly:
1. Thesis Paragraph : Introduce the topic, explain the scenario and the ethical dilemma.
2. Defensible Moral Standards (Pro – Argument) : Present an argument for the side of the ethical dilemma you are taking by appealing to one or more moral standards as basis for your argument. [i.e., Aristotle’s formal principle for justice, Mill on injustice, the principle of no-harm, etc.]
3. Then present data and/or others’ arguments that support your position (use references, data, etc.).
4. Con-Arguments (arguments that challenge the moral standards you are appealing to) : Recite arguments (with reasons and data) that are against your position, that is against what you are arguing for. Be careful of straw man arguments.
5. Refutation of Con – Arguments : Using data and providing reasons, pick apart those arguments that are against what you are arguing for. Show why or how these arguments fail or are inaccurate (e.g., false premise[s], invalid reasoning, counterexamples exist).
6. Summary/Conclusion (Passage of moral judgment) : Summarize your argument and state why it is the fair and moral/just answer to the ethical dilemma.
Using this format you will have more than ample opportunity to express your grounded opinion throughout the essay.
This is a formal college essay, therefore avoid: colloquialisms (e.g., slang expressions), and remember that unclear writing signifies unclear thinking. Maintain clarity of thought, provide relevant premises, and proofread for proper grammar and syntax.