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Ethics Essay



The Ethics Essay Contest challenges students to analyze an ethical dilemma and write a thought-provoking essay that identifies the ethical issues at hand, weighs the possible decisions, and offers a logical argument for the best and most ethical action in the given scenario.


  • All Citadel undergraduate students are eligible to participate
  • Essays must be the original and creative work of one student and adhere to the standards of the Honor Code
  • Essays must be submitted by email as an attached Word Document to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Essays must include a title page with the student’s full name, email address and phone number
  • Essays are due no later than February 28, 2013
  • First Prize winner receives $400, Second Prize $200, Third Prize $100



  • Essays should be in 12pt, Times New Roman font and should be double spaced
  • Essays should be approximately 3-4 pages long
  • Essays should observe the rules of standard English grammar and punctuation
  • Essays should address the ethical dilemma provided and present a clear, logical plan for how to solve the ethical dilemma
  • Essays should utilize a standard citation method (MLA, APA, etc.) if outside sources are used
  • Essays should include a title page with the author’s name and email address, but the rest of the paper should not contain your name or an indication of your identify, as the panel will judge the submissions blind


Tips for Writing an Ethics Essay

  • You are arguing for what is ethical rather than what is legal or what is standard practice. Ethics is obedience to the unenforceable, so don’t get caught up in legality.
  • There is no one “correct” answer to the dilemma. You should frame your proposed solution within some type of ethical reasoning or ethical framework and use that tool to argue for your point of view.
  • When you use ethical reasoning, you should consider multiple points of view as well as the long term and short term consequences. Ideas such as truth, fairness, and justice are often important to consider as well.
  • Remember that in writing a good argument, you should anticipate what someone opposed to you might say. Address any potential counterarguments to your proposed solution.
  • The essay should not simply be a list of answers to the questions provided. These are a brainstorming tool rather than a template. The essay should be composed in a logical way, but not in any specific format. The way you structure the essay is up to you.



Essays will be blind judged by a panel of faculty and staff members based on a rubric. The rubric takes into account critical thinking, creative thinking, written communication skills, problem solving skills, ethical reasoning, and leadership reasoning.