Due: Friday 8 December 2006, in class
This assignment is an individual assignment in which you will write a short paper on a societal implications topic brought up in class. Note that this paper is due only two days after the final programming assignment. There are two goals of this assignment:
Select one of the topics below, or pick your own topic that is related to the readings and discussions in class. You can also pick one of the topics below and rephrase the question.
Note that we will grade you on how well you express your opinion, not your opinion itself. Pick a topic that you find interesting or important and form an argument using your knowledge of the issues involved.
Your paper should be between 1.25 and 2 typed pages long.
Single-space, 10pt font, 1'' margins (approximately... we won't actually measure them).
Please write your name and the topic on the first page.
An important requirement for the paper is that you present two possible positions on the topic that you pick (i.e., present both arguments and counter-arguments to your main conclusion).
To help you with the assignment, we suggest the following 7 paragraph format. You do not have to follow this format.
Hopefully, everyone will get a good grade on this assignment.
The following criteria will be used when grading your papers:
Extra credit will be given if the arguments for both positions are equally convincing. Being able to argue convincingly for a position you do not hold is a valuable skill, because it gives you a deep understanding of your opponents. People with this skill are especially good at forging agreement between groups in opposition.
Extra credit will also be given if you provide references for facts that you mention. Any format for the citations and references is acceptable, as long as they allow us to locate and read the document you refer to. At the very least, references should include either
Do not plagiarize. If you want to quote an article or piece of news, make the quote clear by surrounding the text with quotation marks, and add a reference to the article.
Please bring a printed copy of your paper to class.