Fall 2015 Hessler Paper

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Hessler Paper Assignment: Fall 2015

Due Wednesday 23 September in class

Social Change

Into the 1970s Chinese worried about having enough food; today the population is chubby and early-stage diabetes epidemic. This, of course, is but one of many social changes, from marriage patterns to where people live and work.

Hessler’s travelers provide examples galore of these changes, snapshots of incongruity that reflect people who grew up in one world and are trying to adapt to another. Pick one example from Hessler and think about what it might reflect. Be sensible; when you can, ground your analysis in economics. I’m looking for thinking and argumentation, not right and wrong answers.


Organize carefully; this is intended to be a short (3-4 page) paper.

• State your theme clearly in your introductory paragraph. (You probably don’t need two initial paragraphs.)

• Provide example(s) in your next two-three paragraphs.

• Your analysis is at most two paragraphs.

• Tie it back to the wider of rapid income growth in your conclusion. Alternatively, indicate what additional questions your example/analysis raises, or what data you’d like to verify your sense of what is going on.

Note that your conclusion should not repeat any of the content, particularly not the introduction. You are writing a short paper, not a book – the reader will remember what you just said!


Papers should be “clean” with the paper title, author and date at the top of the first page, in 11- or 12-point Times Roman (or other serif) font, using 1″ margins (Word’s default margins are too big). Include the honor code pledge at the end. I highly encourage you to use the writing center, and by all means get some other pair of eyes to proofread your work.

References should be (Hessler, #) – author, page in parentheses – the first time, unless you are using Hessler as a subject. Then it’s Hessler (#). All subsequent references should be merely the page number in parentheses (#). You should then append a one-item bibliography at the end, in a standard format. [If in doubt, can cut and paste from the syllabus!]

Prose should be forceful. Avoid the passive voice; indefinite modifiers – “some” “many” – don’t belong in an econ paper. If you know the magnitude, state it. Otherwise let the context speak for itself. Above all, be concise.

Due Wednesday 23 September in class.