Note to the students:
Please focus on the following points as you prepare your essay.
1. The essay question requires that you integrate information taken from several different
(referenced) sources, to organize that information, and to summarize the information
with conclusions that may be new to you.
2. Begin with a thesis statement, (or a claim) that you will explain and justify in your
essay. Support your ideas with a rationale and evidence (not opinion statements such as “I
think”) that are logically organized throughout the essay. Your ideas and the support
should be clear to the reader.
3. Select relevant material to illustrate your points and provide specific references to class
readings as well as additional research that you conduct via FDU library resources. Your
essay must make substantive reference to at least three resources. Do not cite, quote, or
reference from Wikipedia or general non-verifiable sources. References should follow a
standard citation format (APA, MLA, Chicago) per your instructor.
4. Your essay should reflect appropriate grammar and syntax.
Common Essay: UNIV 2002
The economist Jeffrey Sachs argues that specific and achievable goals help to develop more
effective policy reforms. As an example, he quotes President John F. Kennedy who gave the
commencement address at American University in 1963. In that speech, Kennedy said: “By
defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help
all people to see it, to draw hope from it and to move irresistibly towards it.” Kennedy meant the
Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty needed to have specific and achievable goals to be effective,
and Sachs means that the clarity of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help achieve
policy reform. How would you use the same idea of specific and achievable goals to think about
changes in policy or society in relation to sustainability? Specifically,
1. Justify the relevance of Kennedy’s statement with respect to the UN SDGs with specific
references to the role of governments and private corporations.
2. Identify two of the SDGs that you consider important (as they relate to either your local
community or to your core values). With the two selected SDGs, evaluate the
interdependence of those goals while considering how the funding needs and action
plans for the goals are interconnected.
Parameters: Each essay must be 3–4 pages, double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman typeface
with an additional page for references. Essays will be submitted via WebCampus for grading.
UNIV 2002: Global Issues | Common Assessment Page 2
Rubric (4=ideal and 1=unacceptable): For the purposes of learning outcomes assessment across
sections, the following measures and rankings will be used.
Explanation of topic/issue/problem to be addressed
4) Response does a clear, explicit, and full job of identifying and explaining the
importance of the TWO SDGs and how the TWO SDGs are interconnected for
3) Response does a good job of identifying the TWO SDGs although some questions
remain as to the importance of both or how the TWO SDGs are interconnected for
2) Response does an adequate job of identifying the TWO SDGs but without clarity
about the importance or interconnectedness for sustainability
1) Response does not include TWO SDGs or does not explain their importance or
relation to sustainability
Evidence of selecting and using information to investigate a point of view or conclusion
4) Response does a clear, explicit, and full job of using source(s) with
interpretation/evaluation to provide evidence for the response. Viewpoints of experts are
questioned and analyzed.
3) Response does a good job of using source(s) with interpretation/evaluation to provide
evidence for the response, but some questions or lack of clarity remain. Viewpoints of
experts are subject to questioning.
2) Response does an adequate job of identifying the source(s) with
interpretation/evaluation to provide evidence for the response but without clarity.
Viewpoints of experts are taken as mostly fact, with little questioning.
1) Response does not include the use of sources or provides no interpretation/evaluation
of the evidence. Viewpoints of experts are taken as fact, without question.
Influence of context and assumptions
4) Thoroughly (systematically and methodically) analyzes own and others’ assumptions
and carefully evaluates the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
3) Identifies own and others’ assumptions and several relevant contexts when presenting a
2) Questions some assumptions. Identifies several relevant contexts when presenting a
position. May be more aware of others’ assumptions than one’s own (or vice versa).
1) Shows an emerging awareness of present assumptions (sometimes labels assertions as
assumptions). Begins to identify some contexts when presenting a position.
Conclusions and related outcomes (implications and consequences)
4) Response clearly explains a conclusions and related outcomes (consequences and
implications) are logical and reflect student’s informed evaluation and ability to place
evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.
UNIV 2002: Global Issues | Common Assessment Page 3
3) Response does a good job of explaining a conclusion that is logically tied to a range of
information, including opposing viewpoints; related outcomes (consequences and
implications) are identified clearly.
2) Response does an adequate job of explaining a conclusion that is logically tied to
information (because information is chosen to fit the desired conclusion); some related
outcomes (consequences and implications) are NOT identified clearly.
1) Response does not include a conclusion or the conclusion is inconsistently tied to some
of the information discussed; related outcomes (consequences and implications) are
Note to the students: