ethics_essay_competi.. - James Madison University

Thomas J. Masterson Annual Ethics Essay Competition
Instructions for the Essay & Personal Statement
Participant Instructions To participate in the TJM competition, you must submit both a
personal statement and an analysis of a case. The personal statement should recount and discuss an
occasion in your life when you faced an ethical dilemma. An ethical dilemma typically involves a
situation or decision in which someone benefits in some way and someone else is harmed,
or in which someone's rights are exercised and someone else's rights are denied. This need
not be an occasion when you behaved well, though it could be. But it must be an occasion when
you faced a choice, made a decision, and acted--and then learned something (either at the time or
later, upon reflection) about right and wrong. The example can be drawn from any time in your life;
e.g., childhood or adulthood, and from any part of your life, e.g., from school, work, sports, church,
a romance, or time spent with friends. In the discussion, be sure to make it clear why this was an
important event in your life and what you learned from it.
The case analysis must identify key issues of fact and provide a clear statement of the ethical
dilemma. It must set forth your strategy for resolving the dilemma and the reasoning that supports
your strategy. Be sure to discuss what the consequences of your recommendation will be for the
main actor and others in the case. In evaluating both the personal statement and the case analysis,
judges will consider your adherence to the directions (as stated in both this document and the
writing instructions) and your writing skills. In addition to proper word choice, grammar, and
spelling, they will look for a clearly stated purpose, organization, balanced logical argumentation, and
content that maintains reader interest.
Requirements for the personal statement and analysis of the case
1. This is individual work. It must be done on your own and pledged by the James Madison
University Honor Code. Include a cover sheet with your name, date submitted, and your honor
2. For the analysis of the case, you are limited to 900 words or three pages, which ever is shorter.
(Cover sheet does not count.) There is not a page limit for the personal statement.
3. Use 12 point Garamond font; print only on one side of the paper; double-space entire paper;
indent paragraph 5 spaces; exactly one inch margins (top, bottom, and sides); use left margin
justification only (do not justify the right margin); do not use any headers or footers; and do not
put page numbers on the pages.
4. Follow all instructions. Failure to follow instructions, and failure to include requisite cover
sheets, one for the essay and one for the personal statement, disqualifies your submission from
current Mon.05.Feb.2007