Watch these presentations. When you click on one of the links below,
a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the new screen to
You need Adobe Reader to view PDF files.
(Optional) Read the following chapters from the textbook.
Chapters 11 and
D. The following Optional Links will help you do better in your course but they are not required.
Critical Thinking Essay (20 points)
A critical thinking essay isn't difficult
to write but it is a very structured piece of writing so it’s important that
you read and follow the steps below in order.
What is Critical Thinking? before you do any
work on your essay. We cannot take the time to fully explore what is
meant by critical thinking. You do, however, need to have some general
idea what critical thinking means in order to write a good critical
What is a Critical Thinking Essay? before
you go any farther. A critical thinking essay is very similar to an
exploratory essay -- a type of writing with which you may be familiar.
It has a specific focus and a specific structure. Don’t try to wing
Look at your topic carefully and make sure
you understand it. Try rewriting it using your own words but keeping
the meaning the same
of the limiting resources in our economy is time. As a society, we make choices
about the allocation of time between work and other pursuits. In her 1991 book,
The Overworked American, Juliet Schor documented the "unexpected decline
of leisure." Even then -- before the infamous eighty-hour workweeks of the New
Economy -- the average American was working one month more per year than had
been the case two decades earlier.
And not only are Americans working more now than
they use to, they're working more than workers from other countries. In the
US, most workers are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours
a week, whereas most European workers become eligible at 35 hours per week.
In addition, workers in Europe have guaranteed vacation time -- five weeks in
France -- a benefit not available in the US. Almost 1-in-4 Americans
do not receive any paid vacation or paid holidays.
As a result, the typical US worker puts in about 2,000 hours per year compared
to 1,700 hours per year in France and Germany. In fact, the US is the only advanced
economy that does not require employers to provide paid vacation time and paid
There is no right or wrong answer to the question
posed by your topic and I'm not as interested in your answer as I am in your
rationale. For example, go back to an example I used earlier. You start out
in favor of the death penalty because you believe it has a deterrent effect
but all of the research shows there is no deterrent effect. If you end
your essay still in favor of the death penalty, that's okay. If you end your
essay still in favor of the death penalty because it has a deterrent effect,
that's not okay since your rationale is not consistent with factual information.
Look at the information and research
about your topic in the margin notes and presentations from your course
and in the links below. Use the information from these sources to write
your essay. However, do NOT use any direct quotes, citations
or references from these sources. The essay is too short
for direct quotes ... use your own words. As for references, I've given
you the sources so I'll know where the information came from. (I've
tried to give you a wide range of sources and opinions in the reference
list below. Inclusion on the list does not constitute an endorsement
of either the sources or the opinions.)
No-Vacation Nation Revisited (See also the links in the report's bibliography.)
Why we should all be working a 3-day week (and why it's good for business
Productivity and the Workweek: Shorter Hours
What’s Wrong with a 30-Hour Work Week?
US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
American Time Use Survey
Charts from the American Time Use Survey
International Labor Comparisons
Resources for Economist or Economic Analysis
What Can Time-Use Data Tell Us About Hours of Work?
Economic Policy Institute: Living Standards and Labor Markets
What’s Wedged between Productivity, Living Standards?
Forecast: Shorter Working Week Soon Inevitable
Labor Regulation in the 21st Century
Shorter Work Week Network
More Enjoying Longer Leave, Shorter Work Week
Shorter Work Week as Stimulus
Shorter Work Week: History and Arguments For and Against
Time for Jobs: How Shorter Work Weeks / Work Years Can...
What Unions Do: How Labor Unions Affect Jobs and the Economy
free Adobe PDF reader
Online Databases: Some of the links above may
take you to an article's abstract rather than the complete article. If you want
to see the entire article but the site requires registration and/or payment,
try your college library's online database. Almost all articles can be accessed
through a database ... that's why colleges purchase databases for student use.
Call your college librarian and ask for your username and password and for directions.
I do not expect you to use additional sources of
information on your topic. If you do, you MUST cite and reference any additional
sources using one of the following formats.
APA (American Psychological Association): regularly used by most social scientists
APSA (American Political Science
Association): used (in conjunction with APA) by political science publications
MLA (Modern Language Association): not generally used by social scientists but if you are a humanities
major you may be more familiar with this format
CMS (Chicago Manual of Style)
Turabian: a variation of the CMS
You can find style sheets and/or links for each
of these styles on the
Writing page, the link for which is at the top of
Online Courses page.
You may use any font and line spacing you
wish when formatting your essay but the content of your
essay must be a minimum of 750 words. You must also adequately
cover your topic, though, and you may find it difficult to completely
cover your topic in 750 words unless you are extremely concise. If you
feel you need more length to cover your topic, you are welcome to write
a longer essay. However, you are only required to write an essay the
content of which is 750 (not 749) words in length. If the content (that
does not include your name, type of assignment, citations, etc ... only
the content of the paper itself) is not at least 750 words in length
I will return your paper to you unread.
Your critical thinking essay should follow a specific outline. Before you begin
the writing phase of your essay, read
What Makes A Paper Good? and
Critical Thinking Essay Format. The outline given in the second link
is the one you need to follow in your essay. Too, take your time proofing your
essay for spelling and grammar mistakes. If spelling and grammar are not among
your talents, ask a friend who is good with spelling and grammar to proof your
essay. “A” papers do not have spelling and grammar mistakes!
Under the Optional Links section at the
top of this page, I have posted a link to my grading rubric for the critical