Individual Ethics Essay

Since computer science and information technology affect more and more people today, professionals in these fields have a responsibility to consider various ethical issues related to their work. Thus, before graduation, every FYP/FYT student is required to do something to think about ethical issues. This includes writing a 600-word analytical essay to discuss one ethical issue that an engineer in the field of computer science or information technology may face in the workplace.

The Task

  1. Consider contemporary issues in your chosen FYP/FYT topic and choose one scenario.
  2. Take one of the two approaches suggested below to pick a topic and theme.
  3. Relate your writing to your FYP/FYT category (and your specific FYP/FYT, if possible.)
  4. Try to somehow relate your writing to the ethical codes (WFEO and HKIE) that guide the behavior of professional engineers in Hong Kong.
  5. Use the official ETHICS ESSAY TEMPLATE.

Possible Scenarios


  • The social context of computing
  • Professional and ethical responsibilities
  • Risks and liabilities of computer-based systems
  • Intellectual property
  • Privacy and civil liberties
  • Environmental, economic or educational issues in computing

Approaching Your Topic

  • TWO Approaches YOU CAN TAKE

    1. Write a brief essay on your FYP from one of two standpoints:
      • Application for end users
      • Backend

      Look at one ethical issue either from the viewpoint of end-users or the backend and discuss your position.

    2. Relate your FYP ethical issue to an "outside source" and discuss it
      • Relate your FYP to an ethical issue based on an "outside source"., i.e., a journal article, a course you took or something you can reference.
      • Discuss your position.

  • Suggested Overarching Themes

    • Responsibility
    • Security
    • Privacy

  • Other considerations (for specific types of projects, i.e., gaming, database, vision & graphics and AI)

Key Requirements

  • Task Achievement
    • Logical and Coherent, with a good balance of description and analysis of the ethical issue
    • Assertions supported with evidence

  • Organization
    • Introduction and conclusion
    • Effective development of ideas in paragraphs
    • Logical argument

  • Language
    • A range of vocabulary and grammatical structures

Basic Checklist

  • Introduction
    • Have you provided background information about what you are going to write on?
    • Have you stated the purpose of your writing?
    • Have you provided an overview?

  • Findings / Ethical Implications
    • Have you analyzed the ethical issues which arise from your case?
    • Have you explained what ethical rules were breached?
    • Have you given your opinion on the case?

  • Conclusion
    • Have you restated the purpose of your writing in the conclusion?

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