GLOBAL ISSUES MIDTERM – FALL 2020

Professor Guth

Please focus on the following points as you prepare your essay.

  1. The essay question requires that you integrate information taken from several different (referenced) sources, to organize that information, and to summarize the information with conclusions that may be new to you.
  2. Begin with a thesis statement, (or a claim) that you will explain and justify in your
    essay. Support your ideas with a rationale and evidence (not opinion statements such as “I think”) that are logically organized throughout the essay. Your ideas and the support should be clear to the reader.
  3. Select relevant material to illustrate your points and provide specific references to class readings as well as additional research that you conduct. Your essay must make substantive reference to at least three resources. Do not cite, quote, or reference from Wikipedia or general non-verifiable sources. References should follow a standard APA citation format.
  4. Your essay should reflect appropriate grammar and syntax.

Essay:

The economist Jeffrey Sachs argues that specific and achievable goals help to develop more effective policy reforms.

As an example, he quotes President John F. Kennedy who gave the commencement address at American University in 1963. In that speech, Kennedy said: “By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it and to move irresistibly towards it.”

Kennedy meant the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty needed to have specific and achievable goals to be effective, and Sachs means that the clarity of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help achieve policy reform.

How would you use the same idea of specific and achievable goals to think about changes in policy or society in relation to sustainability? Specifically,

1. Justify the relevance of Kennedy’s statement with respect to the UN SDGs with specific references to the role of governments and private corporations.

2. Identify two of the SDGs that you consider important (as they relate to either your local community or to your core values). With the two selected SDGs, evaluate the interdependence of those goals while considering how the funding needs and action plans for the goals are interconnected.

Parameters: Each essay must be 3–4 pages, double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman typeface with an additional page for references.

Grading Rubric (4=ideal and 1=unacceptable):

Explanation of topic/issue/problem to be addressed

4) Response does a clear, explicit, and full job of identifying and explaining the importance of the TWO SDGs and how the TWO SDGs are interconnected for sustainability
3) Response does a good job of identifying the TWO SDGs although some questions remain as to the importance of both or how the TWO SDGs are interconnected for sustainability

2) Response does an adequate job of identifying the TWO SDGs but without clarity about the importance or interconnectedness for sustainability
1) Response does not include TWO SDGs or does not explain their importance or relation to sustainability

Evidence of selecting and using information to investigate a point of view or conclusion

4) Response does a clear, explicit, and full job of using source(s) with interpretation/evaluation to provide evidence for the response. Viewpoints of experts are questioned and analyzed.
3) Response does a good job of using source(s) with interpretation/evaluation to provide evidence for the response, but some questions or lack of clarity remain. Viewpoints of experts are subject to questioning.
2) Response does an adequate job of identifying the source(s) with interpretation/evaluation to provide evidence for the response but without clarity. Viewpoints of experts are taken as mostly fact, with little questioning.
1) Response does not include the use of sources or provides no interpretation/evaluation of the evidence. Viewpoints of experts are taken as fact, without question.

Influence of context and assumptions

4) Thoroughly (systematically and methodically) analyzes own and others’ assumptions and carefully evaluates the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
3) Identifies own and others’ assumptions and several relevant contexts when presenting a position.

2) Questions some assumptions. Identifies several relevant contexts when presenting a position. May be more aware of others’ assumptions than one’s own (or vice versa).
1) Shows an emerging awareness of present assumptions (sometimes labels assertions as assumptions). Begins to identify some contexts when presenting a position.

Conclusions and related outcomes (implications and consequences)

4) Response clearly explains a conclusions and related outcomes (consequences and implications) are logical and reflect student’s informed evaluation and ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.

3) Response does a good job of explaining a conclusion that is logically tied to a range of information, including opposing viewpoints; related outcomes (consequences and implications) are identified clearly.
2) Response does an adequate job of explaining a conclusion that is logically tied to information (because information is chosen to fit the desired conclusion); some related outcomes (consequences and implications) are NOT identified clearly.

1) Response does not include a conclusion or the conclusion is inconsistently tied to some of the information discussed; related outcomes (consequences and implications) are oversimplified.

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