Contemporary Issues in Economics

Final Project
Contemporary Issues in Economics
“If students don’t become analytical, independent and in-depth thinkers and problem solvers, they become the opposite:  dependent, shallow or non-thinkers who become part of the problem.”

                        Marilyn Page, Curriculum and Instruction, Penn State University

As you complete your study of economics, you will demonstrate your ability to analyze an economic problem.   This final is a required assessment and is worth 30% of the grade.  It is due on the last day of the semester, which is May 4, 2018
Content Criteria:

  1. You have researched and understand the topic


  1. Multiple perspectives are explained thoroughly and clearly.


  1. You have clearly explained and defend your position and you have refuted opposing viewpoints with appeals to reason.

Tasks and Procedures

  1. Begin your research. You must use a minimum of seven sources.
  2. Write your position paper. In the paper you will:


  1. Explain the controversial issue.
  2. Take a position on the issue.
  3. Use ample evidence to support your position and to refute the opposing

view-point.  Your paper must use the technique of appeals to reason in order to
argue for your viewpoint.

  1. Include an annotated bibliography of no less than seven sources.

The bibliography will note how you used each source.
Papers:  All papers are due no later than May 4, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Each student will write their own paper, submitted on to the safe assign in Blackboard. A grade of zero will be given for any paper which is not typed, submitted on or before the due date, or does not include an annotated bibliography. Plagiarism will result in a zero.
Paper Criteria:

  1. Each student will write his/her own paper. The position paper will explain the policy question and then answer the question; taking a position on the issue, support that position with ample evidence and refuting the opposing viewpoint.


  1. The paper will be typed, uploaded onto the safe-assign portal on Blackboard no                                    later than May 4, 2018 at 11:59 P.M.


  1. The paper will be no less than five and no more than seven typed pages. You will use a 12-point font and double space with 1-inch margins.


  1. An annotated bibliography of no less than seven sources will be included. A paper without a properly prepared bibliography will receive a grade of zero.


  1. Self-evaluation must be included. This will be a typed, one page or more assessment of how well you believe you did on this project.  Discuss the rigor of your research,

what you learned and what questions you still have.
Topics:  The following are suggested topics.  You must choose a controversial issue which has multiple perspectives.  If you choose to work with a partner, you may share resources but each student must submit their own paper. You need to let me know what your topic is by April 22, 2018 and if you are working with a partner.

Domestic issues:

Should the minimum wage be a “living wage?”
Should assault weapons be banned?
Should school vouchers programs be expanded?
Should social security be privatized?
Should net neutrality be guaranteed?
Should college be free?
Should there be public funding of sports complexes?
Environmental issues:
Should the Clean air Act be expanded?
Should off-shore drilling be expanded?
Should NY state begin fracking for natural gas?
Is recycling cost effective?
Are there viable alternatives to fossil fuels?
Should the U.S. join in the Kyoto agreement to reduce carbon emissions?
Is Climate Change real?
Trade and Globalization
What is the most effective way to reduce world poverty?
Is microfinance a blessing or a curse?
Should the U.S. quit NAFTA?
Are the benefits of import tariffs greater than the costs?
Has outsourcing been a blessing or a curse?
Your choice – please email me with topics you would like to research.

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