Monday, 25 November 2013

in-class writing assignment

The take homewriting assignment is to prepare a compare and contrast essay on the topic of a guaranteed basic income such as the scheme heading towards a national referendum in Switzerland right now.

What if a guaranteed basic income were introduced in Poland? Assuming it was implemented, how would it be implemented? Would it be means-based or universal? Would it apply at birth or at some specified age? Who would qualify? How would it impact the economy? We explored these questions and came up with a list of categories that would be impacted:

* Social assistance would likely be scrapped (which is the plan in Switzerland if the referendum succeeds)
* The money supply would be affected but how? Most social assistance is not fungible (housing assistance has to be spent on housing, and so forth)
* Would a GBI stimulate artistic expression?
* What about entrepreneurial activity?
* Would it be cheaper due to administrative savings? Would it result in smaller government?

The ideal essay will make claims based on reasons because of evidence. It will make certain assumptions about what form the GBI would take if it were implemented in Poland. It will compare and contrast a selection of the most relevant areas of society which would be impacted including relevant warrants (connections between claims and reasons which are not self-evident) and it will conclude with an informed opinion whether such a scheme could succeed in Poland (everyone agreed it was impossible) and what are the reasons based on evidence (historic evidence was the most often cited in class) which support their conclusion.

Students can cite any references they have but if they submit electronically, they should use to format it correctly. They can help each other, it's not a test. Hand-written papers using citations can just cite sources inline. I don't think too many sources are necessary.

The aim of this exercise is to demonstrate their understanding of the form and content of an academic compare and contrast essay. paying attention to audience, purpose, style, organisation.

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