Continuing with our discussions of real world writing issues, I’d like us to go back to the question of ethics in business and technical writing.
Try to remember an ethical dilemma you had in a real situation involving writing perhaps in the workplace or in school. Describe that real situation and explain how you reacted to it. This situation should be one that actually happened, but if you cannot think of one in your own experience, you can describe one that you are certain happened to a colleague, friend or family member. It must be a situation that happened to someone you know well. It cannot be something that you read about.
After describing the issue, explain how you or your colleague dealt with the situation. If the experience happened to you, discuss if you would do anything differently now that you have some hindsight. Or if this ethical dilemma happened to someone you know well, explain if you would have done the same thing.
This description, explanation and analysis should be a minimum of 200 words.
Please remember that these ethical dilemmas do not have to be as tragic as the space shuttle Challenger O ring example from the chapter we read on business ethics, but they should have a writing component.
As another example, here is a ethical dilemma prompt from another text called Technical Communication (39):
“It is late April, and you need a summer job. On your town’s news website, you see an ad for a potential job. The only problem is that the ad specifically mentions that the job is ‘a continuing, full-time position.’ You know that you will be returning to college in the fall. Is it ethical for you to apply for the job without mentioning this fact? Why or why not? If you believe it is unethical to withhold that information, is there any ethical way you can apply?”
Do not write on this prompt, but you can use it as an example to help you think of an ethical writing dilemma you, or someone you know well, faced.