Category Archives: Society

An Essay on the Principle of Population

In his famous “An Essay on the Principle of Population“(1798), the English economist Thomas Malthus argued that, since geometric growth of population outstrips arithmetic growth of the food supply, we actually need poverty, disease, and starvation to restore the balance. While this theory was popular in the nineteenth century, very few would accept it today.

Point out the major developments in science, economics, and government which, since the time of Malthus, have counteracted his argument.

An Essay on the Principle of Population

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Real Estate Speculation

Today many people speculate in real estate, especially around large cities like Toronto and Vancouver. How is it done?

First consult a real estate agent or someone you know who has profited from real estate.

Focus, then write a brief outline to establish the order of your process. Now do the first draft, leaving whitespace.

Perhaps the act of writing has uncovered steps you had forgotten; add them.

In your next draft make sure to define technical words your audience may not know, and add any missing transitions between steps.

Does a point lack a good example? Add it. Is a passage off-topic or a phrase or word unnecessary? Delete it.

Finally, test your prose aloud before publishing the final copy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Third-World Children

For one week read the international news feed from your favorite news site, paying special attention to reports that have implications for Third-World children.

Choose one event or issue that arouses either your approval or your indignation, then respond to it in an essay.

Using evidence from the article, make an inductive argument for your point. Use argumentation and persuasion in the proportion you think most effective.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Job You Have Had

Think of a job you have had.

Write a page of rough notes about it, then, looking these over, decide how socially useful or useless the job was.

Now write an inductive argument showing the evidence for your conclusion.

After a rapid first draft, examine what you have said: Do the examples support your thesis? If not, change your thesis to reflect what you have discovered while writing.

Are your examples fully enough explained to make sense to the reader? If not, elaborate. Or is there deadwood? Trim it out.

Read your second-to-last version aloud to help fine-tune its style.

Read the final version aloud to the class.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

American Influence in Canadian Life

What degree of American influence do you detect in these aspects of Canadian life.

  • Computer software
  • Eating habits
  • Fashions
  • Film distribution
  • Foreign policy
  • Hockey
  • Inflation
  • Interest rates
  • Language
  • Pollution
  • Popular music
  • Social services
  • Television programming
  • Textbooks
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Group That Has Been Poorly Treated

Identify a group that you believe has been poorly treated by Canadian society (for example the handicapped or disabled, the elderly, native peoples, farmers, immigrants, refugees, single parents, etc.).

Take notes, then write an inductive argument in which you present the evidence that led to your belief.

In your next draft revise to seek an effective balance of argumentation and persuasion.

Now share this draft and apply your classmates’ best advice.

At home, read aloud to detect wordiness and awkwardness. Edit.

Finally, read your good version to the whole class and be prepared to answer questions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Utopia

Throughout the history of the world, writers have tried to conceive better worlds than the ones they actually lived in. Look up the word “utopia” in Wikipedia and read about the various attempts at conceiving the perfect society. Do you think these efforts were worth the time and energy the authors put into them? Or do you think the world would have been better off if theses authors had tried to do something concrete to improve the actual world they lived in? Take a position and support it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cities

Is the big city “a wondrous toy” as the song goes, or is it a hill of swarming ants? Is it a creative showcase for a country’s talent and skill or is it a drain on the energies of millions of people who must struggle for survival from day to day? Can it be both? Is it something else? What does the city mean to you? Describe your view of the city in specific detail.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How Should We Respond?

Even among professionals who work with young people, the question of how to deal with teenage crime has led to hot debate. Some believe that teenagers convicted of crimes should be treated just as adults would be. Others believe that young offenders should be given firm but understanding discipline. In an essay for an adult audience, take a stand for the approach you think is the more fair and effective. You should have no trouble finding newspaper articles reflecting both points of view to aid in your argument, but draw from your own experience and observation as well.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email