Economics is the study of human behavior as it relates to the allocation and distribution of scarce resources. In microeconomics, the focus is on specific markets, firms, and individual choices. Macroeconomics, however, uses some of the same principles and views of human behavior to study the economy at large. We look at sectors, key markets, and the flow of goods and services, among other issues.
The purpose of the CAT Apps is to encourage you to think about topics that affect our society today. You are welcome to look for reputable news sources and explore various points of view before reaching your own conclusion. I also want to reinforce concepts that we’re learning in class and provide an opportunity for you to apply economic models. I believe that one of the biggest things you gain from college is perspective, and regardless of your chosen field, all of you will need to be aware of economic issues to grow into more informed voters and members of society.
As a secondary purpose, I believe that writing is an essential skill – regardless of your chosen career path or major. I am not perfect, and I do not expect perfection from you. What I do hope, however, is that we can all achieve a level that is sufficient. For those of you who are already decent writers, I encourage you to push yourself further. Focus on details such as transitions, the integration of references, and the strength of your arguments. And for those of you a little less confident, I encourage you to use services at the AEC. Please pay attention to corrections they suggest as you will not always have the advantage of a tutor in your corner!
Finally, the CAT App is literally an assignment designed to assist in the development of your critical thinking. Everyone says it’s important, but how often do you really get a chance to practice? This is your opportunity to evaluate statements, decipher if there are other reasonable explanations, and specify what information you could research to make a decision. From the inventors of the Cat App, this is Skill Step 1. Skill Step 2 involves learning to separate relevant and irrelevant information when researching a real world problem, identifying and explaining the best solution for that problem, and explaining how changes in circumstances could affect the recommended course of action.
Skills: The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course but also prepare you for future civic engagement. The following skills are from Bloom’s Taxonomy and apply to this particular assignment.
- Understanding basic disciplinary knowledge (see terms below for suggestions)
- Applying basic disciplinary knowledge in an unfamiliar context
- Analyzing – what information do we get from various sources? Can we distinguish between legitimate sources and “fake news” or unsupported opinions?
- Synthesizing – put it all together. What do the various stakeholders or sides have to say about a particular issue?
- Judging / Evaluating – which side do you agree with and why? No solution or side is ever perfect. What makes the option you chose better than any alternative solutions?
Knowledge: These assignment will also help familiarize you with the following content knowledge from this course. Keep in mind that you will not address all concepts and could include others depending on your approach.
- Labor Markets
- Demand for Labor
- Supply of Labor
- Cost of Living / Standard of Living
Task: Please refer to the CAT App 2 in D2L. The prompt includes three separate questions. Answer each of the questions as requested. Question 1 might be answered in 3-5 sentences. Question 2 is where you should place the bulk of your efforts. I expect 2-3 paragraphs minimum, but I ask that you not exceed 6 paragraphs. You are looking for alternative explanations and should have 2-3 ideas that differ from those expressed in the prompt. If you find yourself repeating the same thing over and over – please stop. Also, paragraphs should be short (3-5 sentences each). The last question, much like the first, requires a short but well thought out response with 2-5 sentences in one paragraph.
Steps for a Successful Paper:
- Read the prompt carefully. Be sure you understand all questions.
- Brainstorm alternative explanations. Be sure that alternative explanations do not confirm the hypothesis. Describe at least three alternative hypotheses, making sure to relate them back to content from class.
- Organize your paper by question. Sections do not need to flow, but each paragraph should be concise and thorough.
- READ THROUGH YOUR PAPER. Correct grammatical errors. Be sure explanations are clear. Remove repetitive statements and all “fluff” (unnecessary information that fails to provide any insight into the matter.)
- Submit your paper by the specified due date.
Criteria for success:
A successful paper is one that is well-written, presents sufficient ideas succinctly, and generally follows instructions contained within this document. Please note that all papers are analyzed using Turn It In, so do not plagiarize. Also note that you may not submit a similar paper to me as you did another course. While the topic may be the same, the analysis and discussion should be different.
This paper is graded on a 0-100 scale, and will count 10% towards your final grade.
First Question – 16.67% for content
Second Question – 50% for content
Third Question – 16.67% for content
Grammar / Flow / Presentation – 16.67%
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