Thesis Construction – 5 paragraph needed Ethics Regarding the Environment

Thesis Construction

Choose one of the following issues and write a five paragraph essay in which you provide three reasons why the issue is ethically significant. The paragraphs of your essay should conform to the following guidelines:

  1. Paragraph 1:
    Provide a brief introduction to the issue. Your introduction must make clear to the reader exactly what issue you are choosing and what you take to be the boundaries of the issue. For example, if you were writing on criminal punishment, you would need to make clear whether you were considering only imprisonment and harsher penalties, or whether you were also considering penalties such as fines for speeding. (Note, you may not write on criminal punishment, this is just an example). The final sentence of your paragraph must be a thesis sentence which lists the three reasons you will put forward in your essay.
  2. Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4:
    The first sentence of each paragraph must be a topic sentence that clearly states what reason you will be considering. The remainder of the paragraph should make clear why this is a reason for thinking the issue you have chosen is ethically significant. Each paragraph must contain at least four sentences.
  3. Paragraph 5:
    Conclude your essay by very briefly reviewing the three reasons you have discussed and why they show the issue is ethically significant. Your paragraph should contain a paraphrased restatement of your thesis.

Your ultimate goal in this assignment is to create a thesis in relation to a debatable ethical topic from the list below and to begin examining the reasons that you have for the position that you take on the topic. Please read the instructions for the Final Paper before starting this project. The following are the general topics from which you must create your thesis. The questions under each topic are meant to help inspire your thinking. You should not attempt to write on all the questions. The Final Paper will only be five to six pages, so it is important that you use these questions to create a much more specific topic that you will address in your Final Paper. 
Again, do not attempt to answer all of these questions. Instead, use these questions as a springboard for the creation of your own concrete and clearly defined thesis statements. To the right of the topics, you will find the weeks in which these topics are covered in the course. Please go to those weeks and begin using the resources in those weeks to gather information for your papers.


  • What does it mean to respect the environment in the way we as individuals live our lives?
    • What kinds of behaviors would that involve?  
    • What kinds of behaviors would that exclude?
  • Do we as individuals have moral obligations toward the environment when our own behavior has very little direct effect on the overall state of things?  
  • How should we weigh human needs and/or desires against environmental impact?  
  • Does a government have an obligation to care for its natural resources as well as its human citizens?  
    • How should the answer to this question effect political policy?

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