What Do We Owe One Another Essay Paper

What Do We Owe One Another
What Do We Owe One Another

What Do We Owe One Another

Essay/Discussion Memo

This quarter, through the lens of different perspectives, we have asked the questions: what is just, and for whom am I morally responsible? In achieving justice, what do we owe one another, what is fair, and what is in the individual versus the common good?

Consider a real-world current event or issue and answer the following question:

What, if anything, do we owe one another, and for whom am I morally responsible?

To begin, you must find at least one news article from a reliable and verifiable journalistic source recently published describing a real-world event or issue that interests you. Consider which course concepts, readings, films, and lectures provide insight to the question above in the context of your event or issue by applying our perspectives on moral philosophy and reflecting on the relationship between law and justice. Compare, contrast, and analyze different perspectives that we covered in C10, and come to a conclusion. These include: Utilitarianism, Kant, Egalitarian Liberalism, Libertarianism, Rawls, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Legal Theory, Aristotle, the Narrative Conception, and the Political Responsibility Model.

Reliable and verifiable journalistic news sources include publications like: the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, The Economist, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, PBS News or National Public Radio, Politico, Time, or wire services like Reuters or the Associated Press. You must include the source of the article(s), publication date(s), and author(s) in your Works Cited/ Bibliography/ References page. Thus, be sure to track and download your news article(s) while conducting research.

You have significant freedom to respond to this prompt. Be sure to develop a thesis based on this prompt to frame your paper, analysis, and conclusions. You should develop an argument, and avoid merely “summarizing” what you read. Your essay should meaningfully integrate and apply a variety of course materials to support your arguments. You do not need to conduct any outside research to complete this essay, other than selecting your news article(s).

In general, we will evaluate the quality of your analysis, and the extent to which your essay reflects a clear understanding of the perspectives and materials discussed in class, as well as writing, citation/attribution, spelling and grammar, proofreading, and coherent organization.

It should be 4 full pages, and no more than 5, double-spaced, in 12-point font with 1” margins. It must include, in addition to the essay, a Works Cited or Bibliography page.

Indicate your name, course name, and SID # on an unnumbered cover page (see example format below). Try to add a creative/descriptive title. Please see your course syllabus for more essay writing guidelines and resources, including the academic dishonesty policy.

In your analysis and throughout your final paper, you must:

  1. Specifically, and productively integrate and refer to your reading materials assigned throughout the quarter. You need not incorporate all of our materials, but select several concepts and excerpts that are relevant and responsive to your chosen issue and use them in a meaningful way. Be sure to support and attribute with citation (including author and page reference) any ideas that are not your own, as well as direct quotations. ?
  2. Identify and use at least one news article about your event/issue, described above. ?

Beyond these instructions, you have ample freedom to develop a thesis and respond to the

prompt based on the context you have selected for analysis, and as it relates to course themes.

FORMAT AND TIPS – See your syllabus for guidelines regarding written essays and papers.

1.Title Page – provide an attractive and accurate final title that reflects your project, and format it this way:


On Moral Obligations and the Case for a Border Wall

First M Last

Student ID 111222333

C10 – Foundations of CLS?

2.Your final essay should be four (4) full pages in length, and a maximum of 5 (five), not including the title page or bibliography/works cited. ?

3.It must be double-spaced, in 12-point professional font, paginated, with 1-inch margins, in APA, MLS, or CMS format (whatever you prefer and are comfortable using for citation). ?

4.It must include a Works Cited, Bibliography, or References page of all sources used in your paper. You may include either end of sentence citation or footnotes (whichever you prefer). ?

5.Proofread your assignment carefully before submission: spell check, be clear with words and sentences, and organize your ideas. Writing, organization, and clarity count!

Writing Your Essay: Tips and Guidelines

The Basics:

  • The paper should be formatted as a Word document.
  • Consider adding a creative/descriptive title.
  • The paper should have a front page that includes heading information (name, ID, date, course) plus the title, centered. Your essay should not start on that page.
  • The paper should be paginated (best is to have last name and page #; don’t place a number on the title page).
  • All documentation/support/evidence (short quotes, long quotes, paraphrased material, and special facts) must be cited (author and page).
  • You must include a Works Cited reference page or Bibliography at the end. You may use footnotes, rather than end of sentence notation.
  • You may use MLA, CMS, or APA format
  • Avoid the use of contractions and informal phrases.
  • You must carefully proofread! Papers indicating a lack of proofreading will be returned ungraded with late penalties in assessment.
  • This paper should ideally read, not including the Works Cited page of references, 4-5 pages. It should be no shorter than 4 full pages, and no longer than 5 full pages.
  • Double-space your essay with 1-inch margins.
  • Meaningfully and effectively integrate course material into your paper to support your analysis (see Essay Organization, below).

Essay organization (your paper should contain the following):

1.Introduction with thesis/statement of argument/ statement of purpose, background, and/or context

2.In-depth, meaningful presentation and analysis in body paragraphs

3.Use of examples/support/evidence; explanation and analysis of evidence (in other words, you want your reader to be clear as to why you are using the examples you provide and how they support your paper’s thesis)

4.Specific integration and acknowledgment of other scholar’s ideas into your own argument, without plagiarizing, including any counterarguments

5.Brief conclusion. How do you want to sum up the paper without restating the whole thing? What do you want to leave your reader thinking about?

Elements Considered in Assessment:

  • Structure and organization (clarity, purpose, efficiency, logical, readable)
  • Content (accuracy, explains concepts, supports assertions, understands material, evaluates material, relates ideas)
  • Effort (meaningfully integrates course material, not superficial, demonstrates thoughtfulness/care, creativity)
  • Proofreading (lack of editing, confusing, multiple mistakes of spelling/grammar/writing, incompleteness, awkward presentation, etc.)


Essays will be processed automatically through turnitin.com, after you upload to Canvas. They must include a bibliography or works cited page of the readings used. Additionally, you must include either: (1) citation to the author and page number within the text of your essay, or (2) footnotes. For example:

Some critics assert that pornography represents, and thus perpetuates the subordination of women, even though the acts are pictorial (MacKinnon, 26-27).

This is typical citation format used in the social sciences. At the end of “pictorial,” you could also place a footnote if you prefer, which is more typical for law. Use whatever citation format you are most comfortable and familiar with: APA, MLA, CMS, or for law, the Harvard Bluebook.

You may cite either the page number of the document as formatted by the course packet, or use the original document’s pagination.

Note: it is best to go to the original sources from the required and optional readings to support your analysis. Show us that you’ve read and understand the material. If you cite to Dr. Berk’s lectures or Powerpoint for some arguments you are making, simply indicate that with the date. For example:

Lecture, 1/29/18

Berk Powerpoint, 1/29/18

For cases, either of these will work:

Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Sup Ct (2003)

Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Sup Ct (2003)

In general, I am more concerned that you are attributing to sources to avoid plagiarism, than the style or format you choose when doing so.

Just demonstrate that you know how to cite to the author/source of an idea or quotation, and don’t be too anxious if you have not yet learned about citation format styles (APA, MLA, CMS).

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