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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:


Thesis Paragraph
: Introduce the topic, explain the scenario and the ethical dilemma.

Defensible Moral Standards (Pro

: 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.).

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.

Refutation of Con

: 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).

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.


Directions (follow closely to not lose points): Write a college-level essay in which you argue your position on abortion. You will be graded on your ability to construct a sustained argument using outside sources, data, ethical theories we covered in class, as well as proper usage of grammar and syntax. a.) You are required to label each part of your argument using the format for moral argumentation sheet. b.)  Use chapter nine on abortion for definition, sources and data and document source by putting “textbook p.__”. c.) Use at least one independent (non-textbook)  source and document it. d.) Use no more than two lines of quotation for textbook or outside source(s) e.) avoided in pro-argument and pointed out in con-argument logical fallacies.





–used format for moral argumentation sheet & labeled argument accordingly


–used and documented sources from chapter nine


–utilized and documented at least one independent source


–used no more than two lines of direct quotation


–used ethical theory (-ies)


–demonstrated knowledge of proper argumentation


–avoided logical fallacies


–used proper grammar and syntax

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