Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment

Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment

Personal Ethical Action Plan – One of the core assumptions regarding ethics in this course is that it is not a matter of if you will face an ethical dilemma, but when.  Moreover, it is easier to respond the way you want in such a situation if you are prepared ahead of time.  Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to help you prepare yourself by developing a Personal Ethical Action Plan (PEAP). This plan is based on your self-analysis of core concepts associated with ethics, and how they associate with your ability to choose an ethical course of action when faced with an ethical dilemma.


Your assignment is to write a paper that incorporates your self-assessment into a personal ethical action plan (i.e., how you will prepare yourself for responding in the face of an ethical dilemma).  Altogether your final paper must be at least 2000 words (not including any appendices you might include).  Make sure to include an introduction and conclusion.  Cite any resources you draw from using APA format, and follow appropriate rules regarding quotation and citation (see Academic Dishonesty section of the course syllabus). Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment.

Content Resources: You should draw the material for your analysis from topics and issues covered in class.  You may supplement with additional research/resources if you would like. A primary resource for you is the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) book and/or the related videos assigned during the course.  A recommended reading schedule for the GVV book is included in the section descriptions below, to help you to best complete this assignment. Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment.

The final paper consists of six parts, which will be turned in two at a time throughout the term. The six parts are:

  1. Core values

List and discuss your core values. The “Funeral Exercise” and the “Five People Five Attributes Exercise” should have helped you to tap into your deep, fundamental (core) values. These exercises should be included in an Appendix that appears at the end of your document and the appendix should be referred to in the text of your paper. Drawing from what you learned during these assignments about what you value most in life, and what you hope to accomplish in it, describe your core values. Be sure to discuss how you identified these core values and how you envision them helping you in future ethical dilemmas. Consider dedicating a paragraph to each of the values you identified in order to fully describe each in detail. Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment.

  • Reading: Chapters 1 and 2 from GVV will be helpful in successfully completing this part of the paper.
  1. A Tale of Two Stories

Complete the exercise entitled “A Tale of Two Stories” and answer all the questions associated with Parts 1 and 2. Once you have completed the Tale of Two Stories exercise, write it up for inclusion in your PEAP. This section should include a brief (one paragraph maximum for each story) description of each of the two stories and then a significant exploration and comparison of them. Focus on what you can learn from these experiences that will help you in the future as you face similar ethical dilemmas. Be sure to identify what you wish you would have done differently in the story where you did not give voice to your values.

  • Reading: You will need to read Chapters 3 and 4 from GVV to complete this part of the assignment.
  1. Personal Professional Purpose

Describe your personal professional purpose. To spur your thinking, refer to and answer each of the Questions of Personal Purpose from the “Key Self-Assessment Questions” in the Giving Voice to Values book. Once you have considered each of these questions, craft a succinct statement of professional purpose. Then, describe this purpose in greater detail by including your responses to each of the personal purpose questions. Do not include the questions in Q&A format but utilize paragraphs to answer them in a way that integrates well with the rest of the Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment paper.

  • Reading: Questions of Personal Purpose from the “Key Self-Assessment Questions” in GVV.
  1. Self-Story

Write a self-story that allows you to align what you think is right with who you already think you are. These self-stories should be broad enough that they could be used in a variety of situations where your morality or ethics are challenged. Think of a way of explaining why your values and morals are important to you and why it would be difficult for you to go against them in the workplace. This can be the basis of your Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment self-story.

A successful self-story typically takes one of two forms: (1) a description of a particularly vivid past experience that cemented within you a firm desire to follow your values or (2) a description of the source of your values that helps explain why they are so important to you. Either of these options could be utilized to successfully create a self-story that can be used in the workplace to defend your values-based choices.

  • Reading: Chapter 6 from GVV provides much more detail about the purpose of and the importance of the self-story.
  1. Voice

Do a self-assessment regarding voice. Start by answering the Questions of Personal Communication Style and Preference in the “Key Self-Assessment Questions” from Giving Voice to Values. You should also think about the types of issues that get you to take a stand. This exercise builds on what you learned in Part 2 (A Tale of Two Stories) but asks you to speak more broadly to the tendencies you have in terms of voicing up. You can draw upon your life’s experiences to think about how you tend to speak up, not just in situations where your ethics are challenged, but generally when you are faced with situations where you want your voice to be heard.

  • Reading: You will want to read Chapter 7 of GVV thoroughly to complete this part of the Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment paper, as well as Questions of Personal Communication Style and Preference in the “Key Self-Assessment Questions”.
  1. Not Acting on Values

What are the reasons and rationalizations you most commonly use when you decide not to act on your values? What are those you hear others around you use?  Think of specific examples.  What can you do to address these reasons and rationalizations, so they do not lead to unethical choices (but rather allow for ethical choices to be made)? Oftentimes our own thoughts are what keep us from speaking up. We can increase the likelihood of our speaking up by foreseeing the potential reasons and rationalizations that we might use and plan ahead of time how we will overcome these potentially silencing thoughts.

  • Reading: See Chapter 8 from GVV for more information about how to successfully complete this part of the paper.

Final version of the Personal Ethical Action Plan

To complete your Personal Ethical Action Plan, combine your edited versions of parts 1-6 and any appendices.  Add an introduction and a conclusion to your document. Do not include a cover page or table of contents, just put your name at top of first page. You will submit the final version of your plan electronically via Canvas upload, and you will also submit a printed copy of the plan in class.

Due dates: Due dates for individual parts and revisions will be listed on Canvas.

Submissions: You are to submit BOTH a hard copy in class and electronic version on Canvas for all parts of the PEAP. Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment.

Additional resources: The Undergraduate Research and Writing Studio can provide valuable help in refining your writing.  Before you visit the studio identify what specific aspect of your writing you would like help on; examples are “transitions and flow”, “sentence structure”, etc.

Students who visit the Undergraduate Research and Writing Studio will receive extra credit points toward the Personal Ethical Action Plan. Details for extra credit will be announced in class.

Personal Ethical Action Plan Grading Rubric:

A (90-100% of points): Will be given only for truly outstanding insight, analysis and representation of the issues and reflects an impressive and exceptional (unusually high) level of performance. The paper reflects superior learning with respect to ethics and a sincere and honest attempt to apply course concepts to your own situation. It is presented in a well-organized and highly effective way. The paper shows a deep level of self-reflection, and clearly articulates this self-reflection as it relates to course concepts. The application includes a broad range of the materials in the GVV book to show that you have read and understood the core messages of that book. You clearly address what you have learned. There are no grammatical or presentation errors. Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay Assignment.

B (80-89% of points): Will be given if you do a great job and meet the expectations—you did what you were supposed to do and did it well. The paper reflects good learning with respect to ethics, and reports an expected level of performance regarding the application of course concepts to your self-analysis. Student shows very good self-awareness and a reasonable action plan to help them prepare for handling ethical dilemmas. There were few grammatical or presentation errors.

C (70-79% of points): Will be given if there were some problems or misunderstandings, the paper was incomplete, or there were serious grammatical or presentation errors.

D or F:  Will be given if the paper shows little effort, is poorly crafted, and does little to meet the goals and guidelines of this assignment.

This Personal Ethical Action Plan Essay assignment adapted from the Personal Ethical Action Plan