A guide to choosing great ethical essay topics


The same cliché ethical topics get chosen every year while teachers and professors yearn for some original material. When looking at your ethics subject, try to relate to something that touches on your own experience. You can also look at your own political climate and tell your reader that according to the past experiences of society, there’s a possible crash coming that needs to be prevented. In general, research is always a must in writing an ethical essay. Having your facts straight will make for a powerful argument that will win your reader over.

Something you’re familiar with

If you’re writing something you can relate to, that will carry over to your reader. Is there some unethical event taking place in your area? Did you see something on the news that begs to be challenged? Try to take something contemporary and extract 500 words on how it’s wrong, or even better, how it’s perceived to be wrong, but is actually right.

Example: Robin Williams’ suicide: Is it wrong for us to think of depression as a metal disease?

Research before you speculate

When writing on something that you haven’t experienced first hand, you always run the risk of presumptuous writing. This can be embarrassing if your readers know more about the ethical ideal than you do. For this reason, research the heck out of your subject. Make sure you put yourself in the shoes of those who are affected by your topic, or those who have experienced it in the near past.

Example: Is western society’s insatiable craving for new technology driving the slave labour market in the east?

Learn from history and apply it to today

Sometimes speculation can be gotten away with if you’re writing about an era that no one alive today lived in. When doing this, be sure to relate the past to the present. Urge your reader to consider the events of history and to learn from the mistakes our predecessors made. This is the essence of ethical essays, in that they attempt to persuade the reader to see an ideal as right or wrong.

Example: Do we have another Hitler hiding away in our current government?

It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your paper after you’ve chosen your topic. This will help you to see if your argument is valid and if it will stand the scrutiny of your teacher or professor. Keep it clean, but don’t be afraid to be a little bit controversial with your ethical essay.

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