In a few months since it became known to the public, coronavirus Covid-19 has firmly become a part of our lives. No matter where one lives, the news about its spread and measures taken against it are perceived with unfailing attention. It is only natural that professors and instructors both in high school and in college make it a topic of their assignments, especially in disciplines like ethics, which are commonly concerned with controversial themes. This sets a previously unknown challenge in front of students, as there is still very little information about the coronavirus, and reliable sources of data are hard to find and distinguish from rumors. In such a situation, one needs a detailed and comprehensive guide more than at any other time – and it is our job to provide it. In this guide, you will find all the data you need to write a well-informed essay on the coronavirus and the issues associated with it.
At a glance, this does not seem to be much of a problem – after all, you already have to write about the coronavirus, so what is there to choose from? However, there are plenty of ethical concerns related to this issue, and you should be careful to choose something that meets the following requirements:
Some examples of potentially viable topics include:
The problem with the coronavirus is not that it is hard to find information about it, but that it is all too easy. Just like with any other currently important topic, there is so much said about it now that one has to be very careful when using any of this data. There are few academic sources with 100 percent authoritative data, and even the sources that one can commonly trust (official documents, well-reputed news agencies, etc.) are prone to mistakes and misinformation. All this calls for special measures when looking for the data on the coronavirus.
Checking your facts is important for any academic paper, but it is especially true for a burning issue like the coronavirus crisis. What we know about it is highly volatile and little of it is 100 percent verifiable. You should take any news report or a piece of data about it with a huge pile of salt. The Internet is rife with fake news, rumors and information of doubtful provenance. Right now, it may be outright impossible to be sure if this or that report has anything to do with reality – all you can do is do your best to check and recheck everything you find multiple times before using it in your essay. Here are a few suggestions:
A thesis statement is the primary idea of your essay around which you build the rest of your argument. In it, you express what you want to say, while in the rest of the text you simply provide evidence and arguments to persuade the reader that you are right. The most important requirements applied to it are:
An outline is a detailed plan of your essay, not simply enumerating the points to cover in the introduction, main paragraphs and the conclusion, but also detailing a host of smaller things: how you will start your essay, how you connect individual paragraphs to each other, what evidence you will mention at each point and so on. Many students believe it to be an unnecessary step and jump right to writing the essay proper as soon as they finish gathering information, but it is a wrong approach, as you are likely to waste more time on rewritings and corrections than you would save by skipping the outline.
When writing about a sensitive topic like coronavirus, you should maintain balance between establishing the connection with your readers with the very first sentence and not stepping on anyone’s toes. Avoid making any sweeping statements or at least be very careful when expressing yourself to make sure they cannot be misunderstood, as you do not know whom you can offend or annoy. As you write about the ethical aspects of dealing with the pandemic, you have to be particularly careful about it. Some ways you may start your essay include:
The body paragraphs are where you elaborate on your thesis statement, provide additional details and in general try to prove that your point of view is viable. Depending on the size of your essay, it may have any number of body paragraphs, however, usually it is no less than three. Each body paragraph covers a single point – do not gradually move on to the next idea within the confines of a single paragraph or jump back and forth between two topics. Separate what you are talking about into distinct chunks – it will make it easier for you to write and for the reader to comprehend.
The structure of a body paragraph is usually as follows:
Here you enumerate the outcomes of your research, investigation or contemplation and show how and why what you wrote is meaningful as a part of the bigger picture. At this point, you should no longer introduce any new information – only sum up what you already said and draw conclusions from it. Usually this part of an essay contains a short summary of your paper – once more, you mention the most important points you made so far and how you interpreted them. As your essay is concerned with ethical issues, it is important to dedicate some space to explaining your position.
After that, you should not just tell what conclusions you made, but also point out what they entail and in what direction the further study of the issue may and should proceed based on your findings.
Due to the nature of the crisis, the situation may change even over the few days you spend writing your essay. If there are any significant new developments, you should edit your essay to account for them. All the requirements concerning checking the quality of the sources apply. Pay special attention to the statistical data – not only does it change every day, but also the earlier reports may be questioned in light of newer findings.
Ethics is by definition not a straightforward subject, especially when we are dealing with a totally new problem, like the one posed by Covid-19. Different people may have completely different ethical standpoints on the same issue, and so far, we do not have clearly defined bodies of research and literature to back up any of them. In this situation, it is particularly important to make yourself clear. Reread the entire essay and make sure you express your position straightforwardly.
Writing about sensitive issues like the coronavirus pandemic requires careful approach and choice of words. It is easy to pass as insensitive or offensive. Before finalizing your essay, go over it and make sure you maintain a consistently neutral and professional tone without venturing into either callousness or sentimentality.
While grammatical and orthographical errors may not seem like a particularly important issue when compared to your topic in general, your professors and instructors still consider it to be as crucial as ever. Therefore, dedicate at least one rereading fully to checking your text for grammatical and orthographical correctness. Do not rely on automatic online grammar checkers too much – they are often stumped by more complex sentence structures and have many other drawbacks. Do editing and proofreading yourself or ask a reliable friend for help.
Writing about the coronavirus retains all the difficulties associated with writing on ethical issues but adds a host of extra problems, like the newness of the problem and doubts in the legitimacy of every bit of information. However, if you follow these steps, we believe that you can successfully complete your assignment.