Final Take Home Essay

Urban Studies 101: Final Take-Home Essay

Your essay is due to Professor Hackett by 11:59p on Monday 12/19/16 and represents 50% of your final exam grade.

There will also be an in-class multiple choice exam on: Wednesday 12/21/16.

STEP 1: Choose one urban social justice issue from the 2nd half of the semester.

These include:

  • Housing affordability, community change and resistance (gentrification), public space, criminal justice, immigration policy, and urban futures.


STEP 2: Use this issue to respond to the following five prompts.

  1. Give a summary of the issue you have selected. Outline the points and concepts discussed in class in a logical and synthetic way that coherently summarizes the issue.
  1. Situate this issue in relation to the longer historical development of NYC. Think: Population migrations, business and labor market trends, policy orientation. Your response here will rely heavily on course readings from the first half of the semester.
  1. Examine a case study that exemplifies this issue. It could be a new housing development in your neighborhood, a BID in an area, heavy policing of a community, etc. Summarize the case study and try to make sense of it in relation to your expertise (see Q1 & 2) on the issue. Compare and contrast what we’ve been discussing about the issue, with what you’re seeing/learning about with respect to this case study. This will require outside research.
  1. Describe how this issue is related to trends in (racial) economic inequality. There are two parts to answer here: 1) how has this issue arose as a symptom or result of (racial) economic inequality, and 2) how is this issue contributing to and worsening (racial) economic inequality.
  1. Why did you choose this issue to cover?


  1. Be organized and intentional with your thoughts and words.

Suggestions: Make an outline first. Be clear and direct when constructing sentences. Be selective in your word choice.

  1. Know that you have an audience, the reader – and making sure they understand what you’re writing is key.

Suggestions: Read a paper or paragraph aloud. This is a useful exercise for imagining how your work will appear to a reader.

  1. Include a reference page at the end of your essay that includes the sources used from each portion of the essay. Use one reference page for all resources. Use internal citations throughout your essay as you see fit.

Suggestions: See Owl Purdue’s Writing Center. More information under ‘Resources’ on course Resource page.

These expectations will serve as the criteria for evaluating your essay.


Email to (or share with, if using Google doc) by 11:59p, Monday 12/19/16

Subject line or Name of Google Doc: “First Name, Last Name, US Final, 12/2016


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