Personal Ethics and Responsibility

Personal Ethics and Responsibility

Personal Ethics and Responsibility


Submit a 200- to 300-word essay in which you identify what ethics looks like in the context of your personal leadership as a Walden student. Specifically: Personal Ethics and Responsibility

  • What is ethics, and why is it important for you to behave ethically?
  • How can you, as a Walden student, conduct yourself ethically and in alignment with the University’s five guiding principles of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility?
  • For each of the five guiding principles, provide at least one specific example of an action you will take. To support your proposed action examples, include at least two references to Walden’s Code of Conduct or other parts of the Student Handbook, or the other Learning Resources from this week that you feel are relevant. As a reminder, be sure to paraphrase, where possible, to demonstrate your understanding of the topic and provide the original sources of the information you reference in your essay.




















Title of Your Paper, Centered, and Using Both Upper and Lowercase Letters

Your Name Here

Walden University






Instructor’s Name

Course Title and Number



Center the Title of Your Paper Here

This formatting should be used as a template for all your assignments here at Walden, unless you have been directed to format your essay differently by your instructor. If you read this essay carefully and print a copy for your use, it will be a great help as you create your assignments. Because bachelor’s levelstudents do not write extensive research papers, the appropriate requirements for your assignments will differ from those for graduatestudents. Most of your written assignments will take the form of essays with opening and closing paragraphs, a clear purpose that is accomplished in the course of the essay, and logically organized paragraphs that develop your ideas. Please note that the best introductory paragraphs identify a specific topic or problem, highlight what has been said or done concerning this topic, and offer a new and significant argument or perspective about the topic. As you construct your introductory paragraph, remember to engage the reader and to express the purpose you hope to fulfill in the paper. In addition, the introduction should offer thesis statement, which is usually the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.A strong thesis is like a roadmap for your readers, presenting the route you are planning to take in order to hit all of the highlights of your topic. For more help on how to create a focused thesis statement, make sure to check out

This template generally follows APA formatting, but the exceptions are significant. A number of features appropriate for a long manuscript or for a dissertation are not necessary for relatively brief assignments. For example, you do not need to provide an abstract or Table of Contents for every assignment unless your instructor indicates otherwise. Also, note that the sixth edition of the APA manual allows for first person singular, meaning that you may to yourself, the singular author of the essay, using the pronouns I, me, and my.However, you may not use the first person plural (we, us, our)unless you are referring to yourself and a group of authors who are writing the assignment. Personal Ethics and Responsibility

Throughout your paper, consider the way a paragraph looks on the page. The indentation and length of a paragraph convey a message to the reader, suggesting a brief or extensively developed unity of an idea. Two naturally emphatic places in any paragraph are the opening sentence and the closing sentence. The opening sentence of a paragraph is often called the topic sentence, which should provide a mini-roadmap for what you plan on discussing in the paragraph. For a more comprehensive explanation of how to write effective topic sentences, make sure to review the Writing Center’s information on topic sentences. Take advantage of the positions of both the opening and closing sentences in a paragraph; use them for emphasis and for guiding your reader.  Personal Ethics and Responsibility

Specifically, the opening sentence, or topic sentence, of any paragraph provides a natural opportunity to direct the reader from one idea to another. The sentence may function as a combination topic and transition device, suggesting to the reader where this particular section is headed. You may also use single words or phrases to connect your ideas to one another. Think of transitional expressions such as the following as glue or signposts: also, in addition, moreover, therefore, similarly, in contrast, although, orhowever. For a list of commonly used transition words and phrases, make sure to review the Writing Center’s resource on transitionsand check out the Writing Center’s blog post on effective transition use.As the author, you have theresponsibility to demonstrate for the reader the relationship between one idea and another so that the reader never has to guess at the logical organization of your ideas. Notice that I am writing about organization, and this sentence becomes a bridge to the next paragraph. Personal Ethics and Responsibility

Another way that you might wish to indicate organization to your reader is the use of headings. However, inmany of your assignments, no headings are required.  If your paper exceeds five pages, or if you think that headings will help to convey the organization and clarity of a particularly complex paper, then consult theWriting Center’s headings informationfor the correct formatting of the various levels of headings. Remember that headings alone will not accomplish what your writing should accomplish. In other words, your heading may announce “Conclusion,” but if a number of paragraphs introducing new ideas follow that heading, it is rather like a false advertisement and will confuse the reader.

At Walden, your writing is expected to reflect standard edited English. In other words, it should appear as grammatically correct, formal, written English intended for silent reading. Scholarly readers do not usually speak in (or listen to) standard edited English; in their oral dialect, they naturally use contractions, slang, repetition, and all kinds of interpersonal oral signals to one another. In a rather formal writing context, however, none of those elements of speech are particularly useful or appropriate. In particular, APA style does not allow for the use of contractions (e.g., write it is instead of it’s) or informal slang (i.e., use office assistant instead of office boyand students or learners instead of kids).The writing that you are submitting for a gradeis more formal than you may be accustomed to. Take the time to read your writing aloud or consult a grammar source regarding some stylistic elements you might have forgotten over the years; to avoid contractions, bullets, and the use of bold type; and to be sure that your sentences are clear to your reader. Write in your authentic voice but in your most intelligent and interesting voice as well. Imagine what questions your reader might ask you, and then provide your reader with well-developed, detailed, specific ideas rather than vague generalizations.

One essential way to develop your ideas is to ground them in the course materials you have been reading or in additional evidence-based sources that you discover in the course of your studies. When you refer to the author of a required reading or to a statement by an expert on a video, you are offering a context for your idea that stems from the published research by experts in your field. For example, if you are writing about how Beach (1999) approachedorganizational change and you allude to his explanation of institutionalizing change in his book Leadership and the Art of Change,you are demonstrating your scholarship, which is an expected behavior of an exemplary Walden student. Conversely, if your thinking remains vague and general and you do not ground your ideas in references, your ideas are likely to be underdevelopedand taken as your opinion. Let your readers know that you have read (or viewed) and learned from the writings of theorists and scholars by either paraphrasing their ideas or quoting their language and following either the quote or a paraphrase with an in-text citation. For example, you can directly quote a source using the format illustrated by the following sentence (note that you use past tense to report research): Knowles (1998), an authority on adult learning theory, described students as “motivated to learn to the extent that they perceive that learning will help them perform tasks or deal with problems that they confront in their life situations” (p. 67). The reader may be so intrigued with this allusion to Knowles’s idea that he or she may wish to follow up by consulting the same reference. If you want to quote material that is 40 or more words in length, you would create a block quote, such as this quotation from the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010), which states:

Readers will better understand your ideas if you aim for continuity in words, concepts, and thematic development from the opening sentence to the conclusion. Continuity can be achieved in several ways. For instance, punctuation marks contribute to continuity by showing relationships between ideas. They cue the reader to the pauses, inflections, subordination, and pacing normally heard in speech. (p. 65). Personal Ethics and Responsibility

Note that the block quotation as shown above is double-spaced. When you end your quotation, make sure the next paragraph transitions from that information, so your reader can follow you. You might also want to include other theorists’ ideas to substantiate the above information. Note that if you are citing a course video, you should not directly quote from it because a video does not have page numbers. However, you can easily paraphrase the information and cite the publisher of the videoin a parenthatical citation, like this: (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). Also remember to includecomplete reference information for the cited source in the reference list, for your reader to further investigate if he or she chooses.

Additionally, you may choose to cite a fellow student’s discussion post or other shared course workto substantiate your own perspective. Citing other students is a way to use all resources available to you, and it demonstrates your willingness to give credit to your online colleagues. For example, in a critical analysis of a source, you might remark that a fellow student named Alex Jones identified an author’s study as “interesting but lacking in practical application to the classroom” (Jones, 2012) to indicate how your views harmonized with those of other classmates. Information on how to cite discussion posts and other more unique references in APA are found at theWriting Center’s citations web page.

Now, glance back over this essay to note that it is a well-developed piece of writing and not merely a five-paragraph, perfunctory essay. Notice the transitional expressions that allow your mind to move smoothly from one idea to the next. Not all paragraphs are the same length, suggesting that the author is able to develop ideas in various ways. Try to determine what single topic unifies each paragraph. Ask yourself, “What question does this paragraph attempt to answer?” Sometimes it is helpful to write out one to two words that highlight the main idea beside each paragraph. After you have done this for each paragraph, then you should review each sentence of the paragraph to make sure it reflects this main idea. All of your sentences should not look or sound alike, either; some are brief and direct, while others are more complex and flowing. For tips on varying sentence structure, see this Writing Center resource.With practice and time, you can create an assignment that not only looks professional but also conveys your ideas powerfully.

Some program tools can assist you in creating documents with a professional appearance. The MS Word Troubleshooting site can be a helpful resource. If you have MS Word 2007, go to File and then Word Options down at the bottom of the box. Then click on Proofing and select the various components from the Grammar and Style settings. Then click OK. To check your documents go to Review and then select ABC spelling. When a green squiggle line (indicating potential grammatical error) or a red squiggle line (indicating potential spelling error) appears, right click on the line, and you will get a message about the possible error. If you would like a more complete review of grammar usage, Grammarly, an automated grammar checker offered free to Walden students, is another program to explore. To access Grammarly, simply click the green button that appears on the Writing Center website. However, remember that these grammar tools are not as wise as the judgment of the author who has consulted a grammar or usage dictionary.

Finally, just before submitting your work to your instructor, ask yourself, “Have I fully addressed the complete assignment?” Then in your concluding paragraph, end your essay, rather like the last gesture of tying the ribbon on a present. Some writers close an essay with a concise summary of key ideas, as in the following sentence:“In this essay, I have examined the key requirements for the written assignments undergraduate students write in the Walden bachelor’s program.” Others like to offer an idea that takes the reader beyond the implications of this particular treatment of the topic. For more information on writing an effective conclusion, make sure to check out the Writing Center’s resource on conclusions.However you choose to close your essay, do close the door firmly, thereby giving the reader a satisfying sense of completion.



American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington DC: Author.

Beach, L.R. (2006). Leadership and the art of change: A practical guide to organizational transformation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.

Clark, R.E. (1994). Media will never influence learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), 21-29.This is an article found on hard copy. For information about how to cite an article you found online, use the next entry.

Constantine, S. (2006). Correction in the countryside: Convict labour in rural Germany 1871-

  1. German History, 24(1), 39-61. doi:10.1191/0266355406gh362oa According to

the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.)

guidelines for citing sources, cite the DOI number whenever one is available. The

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier, a number specific to this article that can

help others locate the source. For a useful chart that explains how to locate a DOI, make sure to review this flowchart from the Writing Center.

Intrigue, A., & Allure, P. (2006). An article without a DOI number. Journal of Citing Correctly,

99(3), 331-355. Retrieved from           If a DOI

number is not available, replace with the url of journal’s homepage.

Jones, P., & Boozer, C. (2001). No DOI and no journal homepage? Old Journal That Does Not

Have Its Own Homepage, 4(3), 34-44. Retrieved from

Academic Search Premiere database.If a DOI number is not available and if—in a

rare instance—the journal does not have its own homepage, provide the name of the


Knowles, M. (1998). The adult learner. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2006). Introduction to scholarly writing: Purpose, audience, and evidence [DVD]. In Series Title. Baltimore, MD: Author.The title of the program goes before [DVD].  The title in italics is the name of the series.  There is no period after the title of the video before [DVD].

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Name of program [Video webcast]. Retrieved from

Malborne, C. (2006, June 29). Re: Environmental responsibility [Online discussion group]. Retrieved from CourseID=2321812&Survey=1&47=2565415&ClientNodeID=404183&coursenav=0&bhcd2=1149711503














For reference list examples and information, see the Walden University Writing Center’s APA reference list website.



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