Impacts of climate change
Writing Assignment Instructions and Rubric
This writing assignment asks you (each individual student) to write (typed) one page (front only), single spaced, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman, 11 point font that answers the following prompt. (So the entire assignment is one page based on the previous specifications; it is not one page per question). Your name, section number and PID number should be in header on that page (that is, they do not take up space in the main body of the text; they are inside the 1 inch top margin).
To begin with, take a scan of the following websites:
(A) http://nca2009.globalchange.gov/midwest [especially this one]
After having reviewed these websites, imagine that, upon your graduation from MSU, you move to either some place in Michigan (anywhere) or the city of Chicago. Choose one or the other, and if “some place in Michigan,” specify both the city/town and region in Michigan. Assume that you never move for 50 years. Then, using the websites on Midwest climate change cited above, speculate and imagine how climate change would change your life in 50 years from your (bachelors) graduation from MSU. Start by considering what your life is like today according to your (1) health, (2) family life, (3) financial well-being and prospects (economics), (4) religious views and orientation, (5) cultural beliefs and customs, and (6) political positions. For each of these six areas, write down what your life is like now. After you have done so, write down how your life would remain the same or change in each of these six areas based on climate change. For each statement of change or staying the same, make sure that you describe what you see as the major trends in each of the six areas that would be occurring based on climate change in the Midwest. Staying the same counts as a trend. For each statement of change (or remaining the same), you need to give the evidence of environmental change from the websites referenced above. You only need to cite them parenthetically after the sentence in which they are referenced by writing in (A), (B), etc. based on the order labeling above. Students do not need to cite or even use all of the documents (just one is sufficient).
This assignment is worth 60 individual points. The rubric is as follows:
12 Points for accurate synthesis and citation of climate change impacts in the region you chose to live in (Chicago or somewhere in Michigan) based on the websites above. Recitation instructors will decide on how to weight inaccuracies in the scoring. But the basic idea is that you cannot refer to a climate change impact that is not among those referenced in the websites. You also must refer to it appropriately. For example, make sure you talk about an impact in the location in which it is predicted to occur, or make sure to not exaggerate too much the costs, damages, alterations and/or benefits associated with it.
6 Points for clear and concise expression of what your life is like now in the six areas. Note that you do not have to truthfully portray yourself given some of these areas are ones that you may wish to keep private. You can simply create a profile of what you are like now that you think will reveal interesting implications of climate change 50 years from now in Chicago or somewhere in Michigan.
12 Points for clear expressions of the different climate change trends in each area (2 points each). These expressions should be consistent with how the instructor presented the different areas in Week 2. They should also be described stylistically in a way that is similar to how Fagan describes these changes in The Great Warming. That is, you should see this assignment as, in some respects, requiring you to do what Fagan does in his book. However, in this assignment, you are projecting into the future and talking about your own life.
12 Points for clear expressions of the changes (or staying the same) in one’s individual life. It is important that you do not just say something like, “My culture will change.” Rather, write one or two concise sentences that take some important aspect of your culture and show how it will change (or not). Avoid generalizations and be specific. But you need not be comprehensive.
12 Points for the cleverness of your scenarios. Clever scenarios involve ones that account for as many shifts as possible in society as responses to climate change. Clever scenarios are also ones that work in in interesting ways within the actual predicated impacts of climate change. That is, use your imagination as much as possible given the realistic predictions for climate change impacts in Chicago or somewhere in Michigan. You should aim to reveal how climate change may shape your life (even if nothing changes) in ways that are not obviously apparent and that we tend not to think of every day. So aim to be insightful as possible into how climate affects you.
6 Points for keeping within the formatting instructions. Each instructor may specify further formatting instructions but will not change the ones stated at the beginning of this document.
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