Ethics in Writing

Final Teaching Project

Objective: Students should have a clear understanding of ethics and how it impacts their lives. Students should understand the concept of nominalizations and be able to make their writing more precise. Students will explore Plotagon while making a video for class.

Audience: High school juniors

Duration of Unit: 6 classes of 45 minutes each class


  1. Students will write a one to two page reflection over ethics in their lives.
  2. Students will be required to create a Plotagon Video showing an ethical dilemma.
  3. Students will post their videos to the class discussion board and comment on two of their fellow classmates videos.

Day 1:

Objective: Students will gain an understanding of the ethical concerns in writing.


I will introduce the idea of ethics to my students and then I will have them an article titled “Make this simple test:’ A lesson in ethics in the technical writing classroom” that I found in an educator’s database. The article discusses using a taste test to help students understand the concept of ethics. So I decided to first read the article with them and then have them try the test from the article.  The first day we will focus on just the article itself. I think it will be important to read the article together and let them annotate and discuss the important points in the article. They need to be able to use the article to help them connect to the concept of ethics.

Citation for article:

Settle, Martin. “‘Make this simple test:’ A lesson in ethics in the technical writing classroom.” Technical Communication, Feb. 1994, p. 116+. Educators Reference Complete, Accessed 23 Apr. 2018.

Product: Students will not have a visible product for today’s lesson but they will deepen their understanding through the lesson tomorrow.



Day 2:

Objective: Students will deepen their understanding of ethics through the taste test demonstration.


We will begin the lesson for today with the taste test described in the article. I think it will be a fun and engaging way for the students to get into the idea of ethics. After we have finished the taste test, than students will begin writing their one to two page reflections over ethics in their lives. These reflections will be typed and turned in to our online classroom.

Reflection Topic: How do ethics impact my daily life, both in school and out?

Product: Students will begin to work on their reflections.



Day 3:

Objective: Students will be exposed to the concept of nominalizations.


We will begin this class with a short lesson over nominalizations.

Link for the video:

Students will view the PowerPoint labeled Nominalizations Mini Lesson.

After the students have watched the video we will discuss what makes nominalizations harmful to the clarity of our writing. I found a great article that gives some simple tips for spotting and correcting nominalizations.

Link for Article:

After I have shown the video and gone over the presentation, the students will have an opportunity to practice correcting nominalizations through a short lesson. (I have attached the file for this lesson in the folder: Lessons.Excessive.Nominalizations)

The students will spend the remainder of the period working on reflections if time allows.

Product: Students will turn in their nominalization exercises for a grade.



Day 4:

Objective: Students will write their reflections and begin the process of creating their videos.


I will pass out the requirements for the video portion of their project. (Video Requirements File)

Sample Video from my Project:

Today students will have the whole 45 minute class period to work on reflections and videos. Reflections will be due at the end of class.

Product: Students will be able to turn in completed reflections by the end of the period.



Day 5:

Objective: Students will work to complete their videos and post them to the class discussion board.


Students will have today to make sure they can get their videos completed and posted to their class discussion board.

Product: Students should have completed videos turned in to the class discussion board.



Day 6:

Objective: Students will engage in an educational discussion through the use of the electronic discussion board over the videos they have created.


I originally planned to complete my unit in five class periods but I ultimately decided that I needed one more class period to make sure all my students not only posted their videos but also commented on each other’s videos through the discussion board.

After they have completed their online discussion they will write in their personal journals about the experience and whether or not they feel they have a better understanding of ethics.


Product: Students will post two comments about their classmate’s videos.


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