Can someone review the introduction of my ethical essay please and help make it sound smarter?
If a good friend of mine has developed a substance abuse problem and I know their parents are unaware of the situation I would have two options. I could spill the beans, or keep my mouth shut. But what is the right thing to do in this situation?
This is a really good start! The idea for your thesis is strong. You could tweak the introduction, though, to make it more thesis-like (i.e. sound "smart"). There are several possibilities. Since your essay is about ethics, one thing you could do is to restate it in a different way, using a question and the conditional tense: "My good friend has developed a substance abuse problem. I know that his parents are unaware of the situation. What should be my proper ethical response? I have two options. I could remain loyal to my friend, say nothing to his parents, and encourage him to seek help. Or, I could bypass my friend and go directly to his parents to get him help. If I remain loyal to my friend and do not tell his parents, what would I do if he refuses to seek help? Should I then proceed to tell his parents? Or, should I encourage my friend to seek help while at the same time telling him that if he does not seek help, I will have no choice but to tell his parents, for his own good?"
In this way, you have listed your two options, but with qualifiers because there are different levels to these options and to explore the ethics, you would have to outline all of these options.
I don't know what theory of ethics you are studying, but whatever it is, you need to refer to that in the essay. For example, are you going to need to discuss ethics according to some theory of moral development (i.e. Kohlberg)? If so, you will need to get right into this in the next paragraph, but don't forget a good transition sentence.