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(You the writer can choose the topic that you want to write about, try to refrain from writing about politics)Anything else should be fine. Read the instructions and follow the format.

The Problem Identification essay, 2 pages, single spaced, establishes your ability to invent a scholarly

research question from the larger and more complex problems of business ethics. This essay is, essentially,

the 1


section of any longer piece of writing, and should exhibit your ability to:

1) Describe the overall


of the problem at hand.

2) Describe the


as it emerges from the context.

3) Invent a

research question

or specific problem that you want to interrogate.



for your Research Question, a brief

lay-of the land

narrative that provides a broad

description of the problem at hand. This general comment shows what brings you to the

issue, often by way of setting down the current scholarly debate, or by describing a scene

from a film, book, or news event.

Set-up Sample:

“The themes of




are being discussed in many

quarters of the left today. This is no doubt a consequence of the crisis of class politics and

indicates the growing awareness of the need for a new form of identification around which to

organize the forces struggling for a radicalization of democracy.



as you see it, which hints at the Research Question itself. This brief narrative


the issue at hand so that you can then ask a specific question for your research.

Problem Sample:

“I believe that the question of political identity is crucial and that the attempt

to construct


identities is one of the more important tasks of democratic politics. But

there are many different versions of citizenship and vital issues are at stake in their contest. The

way we define citizenship is intimately linked to the kind of society and political community we




Research Question

(#1 above) which can take the form of a stated problem (“In this

essay I want to interrogate the ways


informs our identity-constructs”), or an actual

question (“In what ways does


determine our identity?) This is the single most

important component of your writing.

Research Question Sample:

“How should we understand


when our goal is both a

radical and plural democracy? Such a project requires the creation of a chain of equivalence

among democratic struggles, and therefore the creation of a common political identity among

democratic subjects. For the term


to actually mean this and function in this way, what

conditions must it meet?”


Research Method

and a glimpse of your Researched Argument. This



shows how you plan to address the question through research, and how your argument will

emerge from your findings.

Research Method Sample:

“These are the problems that I will address, and I will argue that the

key task is how to conceive of the nature of the political community under modern democratic

conditions. I consider that we need to go beyond the conceptions of citizenship of both the

liberal and civic republican tradition while building on their respective strengths.”




3)Research Question

4)Research Method

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