What Is a Personal Ethic Statement?

... BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

A personal ethics statement is written by an individual to clarify her values or moral principles.

1 Features

A personal ethics statement includes ideals that are important to a person, such as honesty or integrity. In the statement, a person defines these values and describes what she will and will not do to live by them.

2 Benefits

Writing a personal ethics statement can help clarify individual values. When a person knows what is important to her, she is more likely to make decisions based on her true priorities. For example, if a woman realizes that health is important to her, she may begin to live a healthier lifestyle by exercising and eating nutritious food. She may set boundaries to make sure she has time and money to live healthfully.

3 Length

A personal ethics statement will vary in length. Longer statements do not indicate a greater ethical capacity. Some people can define their ethical values in a few sentences, and others prefer several pages.

4 Changes to Ethics

The Life Lesson Network describes writing personal ethics as a "process of articulating our expectations of ourselves." Personal ethics may change over time, and statements should be re-evaluated annually.

5 Misconceptions

A personal ethics statement is not a list of unreasonable ideals that a person must reach to be "good." Ethics are priorities, not demands. It is not necessary to be perfect to be considered ethical.

Mary Ellen Chiles began her writing career at the "Southwest Standard" in 2003. She earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Missouri State University in 2007.