Ethical Issues

Assignment: Every field of study and work has rules and boundaries. Some are well-defined and others are being discussed and sometimes argued about as they progress toward some sort of a concensus. Find three items about a current moral or ethical issue being discussed in the published literature of your field of study. Include chapters from books or articles from library-subscribed journals. Write a brief critical annotation for each and provide a proper citation using the stylesheet preferred in the field. Also include the call numbers of books and the names of the databases used for periodical articles.

How to:

  • To find a book use a keyword search on the SOUTHcat, USA Libraries Catalog. Enter the word ethic? with the question mark and your field of study (e.g. ethic? psychology). The question mark allows for different forms of the word to be retrieved: ethic, ethics, ethical. See the Catalog Tutorials if you want more information about searching our catalog.
  • For reference books you might add the word encycloped? and your field, (encycloped? criminal justice) then check for entries on ethics within the book.
  • To limit to circulating books (allowed check out), use the "Limit To" window to select "University Library Bookstacks."
  • For articles go to "Articles, Indexes, Databases." Select an appropriate database for the field or EBSCO's Academic Search Premier, a multidisciplinary database. Search using the word ethic* (this time with an asterisk) and in the second box put your field of study.
  • For help, come to the Reference Desk or go to


Support: Offer students a list of some current moral or ethical issues in the field. Here are some topics and information resources. Provide a printed code of ethics (if there is one in your specialty.) Recommend important journals and databases and style sheet websites. Alert the Library Reference department.

Use: Vary the number of articles, books or reference books as wished. Use as a group project. Use as a precursor to a full research paper.

Objectives: Learn to think as a professional using current ethical debates. Practice using the catalog and disciplinary databases. Learn the citation style for the field.