The final paper takes its cue from the title of this course, “Critical Trends and Issues in the Contemporary World.” Throughout the semester, particularly through our four books, we have identified and discussed several different critical trends issues that affect the contemporary world. The purpose of this paper is for you to identify one of these issues and explain why our authors believe this issue is important and how they think we should address it.
1) Identify a significant trend or issue in the contemporary world.
2) Identify evidence or examples from the books that indicate why the authors believe this trend or issue is important.
3) Relate how each of the authors of the books suggest we handle or address this issue for the future. Given the content of our books, it is most likely that the trend or issue that you identify will be a contemporary problem that needs a solution. But you may instead identify a trend or issue that is a positive development in our society. If that is the case, for the third objective, focus on how the authors suggest we preserve or expand this positive development.
In order to successfully complete this essay, after finishing each book in the class, students are encouraged to write down a list of major issues that the book addresses. For example, in Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the list could read: women’s roles, government corruption, poverty, pollution, informal economies, class/caste conflict, etc. For each of the main issues that you identify, you may also want to make a quick note of specific examples from the book that address those issues. (Don’t forget to include page numbers so you can find it again when you are writing the paper later.)
Review your lists after each book, updating them if new ideas occur to you. Once you have finished all four books, use your lists to identify a trend or issue that appears in at least three of the books. You may find several, which will allow you to pick the topic that most interests you.
The Criteria: Content
1) Students should identify and discuss just one critical trend or issue.
2) Students should discuss at least three of the books assigned for our course. Your books should receive a similar amount of attention in your essay. In other words, it should be clear to the professor that you read all three books closely. If a book is mentioned only in passing or receives significantly less coverage than the other books, the professor will assume that the student did not read it or did not read it carefully.
3) For each book, students should use evidence or examples from the books to illustrates the authors’ perspectives and arguments about the trend or issue addressed in the paper.
4) The paper should focus on the arguments of the authors. In other words, your paper is not your opinion on the topic.
The Criteria: Mechanics
1) The paper should be six to seven double-spaced pages (works cited/bibliography not included). Please use standard margins (one inch) and font size (twelve points).
2) Your introduction should identify your chosen trend or issue (objective one), and briefly introduce why the authors believe the issue is significant and how the authors suggest the issue should be addressed (objectives two and three).
3) This is a scholarly essay. It should be written in a scholarly tone and include the basic elements of a paper—an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.
4) The paper should be written in Standard American English and be carefully edited and proofed. Posted in the assignments folder is a writing guide that identifies and explains common mistakes made by students in their papers. You should consult the writing guide when composing and editing your paper. Students should NOT use the first person (I, me, we, us) or second person (you) in their essay responses.
Your sources, which are restricted to the books, should be cited, including in-text citations and a bibliography or works cited page. You may use APA, MLA or the Chicago Manual of Style.
Papers should be submitted via the Assignments section of Desire2Learn. Unless previous permission has been arranged, papers emailed directly to the professor will not be accepted. Late papers are accepted at the discretion of the professor, usually in the case of illness or emergency. In such cases, the professor may require documentation. Students should contact the professor within 48 hours (weekends included) after paper due date to arrange a make-up paper.
Academic Honesty Policy
Again, you are not permitted to consult any sources other than the books. Doing so will result in an automatic zero on the assignment. Moreover, students who violate the student code of conduct regarding academic honesty—including plagiarism—will be submitted to the Office of Community Standards for disciplinary action.
Identify a significant trend or issue in the contemporary world.
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