Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Econ 200 Telecourse - Term Paper Instructions

Fall 2005


As indicated in the syllabus, there is an optional term paper for this course. The paper will be worth 150 points, the same as the mid-term and final exams. The paper is optional and may be submitted in lieu of the mid-term or final exam. You may also elect to take both the mid-term and final exams AND submit a paper - in this case the two highest grades of the three will be recorded and the lowest discarded.

The paper, for those who elect to do one, will be due no later than noon on Wednesday December 7, 2005. Papers may be handed in prior to this date.

The topic of the paper must be chosen from one of those listed below:

- PRIVATIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY. For this you can either examine the present system and present ECONOMIC arguments in favor of keeping it as is or abolishing it outright, or you can analyze one of the current plans for reform and give arguments for accepting or rejecting it.

- PRIVATIZATION OF GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES. Pick one of the following economic activities (all of which are provided mainly by government but do have some private sector counterparts) and explain how it could be privatized (i.e., sold to investors, sold/given to employees of the entity, given to taxpayers, etc.), the economic effects of the choice of privatization and the economic benefits/losses of having the free market provide the goods/services rather than the government. The activities are:

U.S. Postal Service
Air Traffic Control System
Tucson Water
Public School System (K-12)
Pima College
University of Arizona
National Parks, Forests and other lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management

- HIGH OIL PRICES AND OIL COMPANY PROFITS – What is causing the high prices; should oil companies be criticized or penalized for their current high profits; how will the market solve the problem of high energy costs; what is the difference between government and market approaches to high energy costs; which approach to the current "crisis of high prices & energy shortages – the market approach or the government approach is best and WHY?

After choosing a topic from above and researching it, take a stand, on one side or the other, and present economic arguments for or against the position you have chosen.

While political, sociological, philosophical, etc. views/ideas/effects can be included in the paper the main thrust MUST be on economic factors and effects. THIS IS TO BE AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM FIRST AND FOREMOST. You are to choose an area within the scope of the assignment, define the problem, as you see it, and, using Economic Reasoning, provide a clear cut solution to the problem.

Minimum formatting requirements are as follows:

• The paper must be typed on 8 1/2" X 11" paper.

• Material drawn from outside sources must be cited using a recognized footnote format.

• Each paper must contain a bibliography showing all sources from which information was obtained.

• Pages are to be numbered and stapled (unless submitted electronically) together in proper order.

• Paper must contain a cover page showing title of paper, student's full name and date submitted.

• Points will be deducted for errors in spelling and grammar.

Students' must do their own research and writing (typing can be done by another). No credit will be given for plagiarized papers.

Minimum research requirements:

• The bibliography must contain AT LEAST ten (10) books, articles, internet sites or video/audio tape sources.

• Non-print media sources (i.e., video, audio, radio, TV or other electronic media - other than computer databases and the World Wide Web) may be used for research but these may not exceed one third of the total research sources used.

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