Future Forecasting, TREND ANALYSIS


Based on the definition of the word “trend” provided in class, students will identify a current trend in U.S. culture and research the origins, causes, effects, and future prospects for the trend (TRENDANALYSIS). The trend should be of short to medium length (3-20 years).  Students should use MLA format. The paper should be no less than four full pages in length, not including works cited, and no more than four pages in length. A minimum of five sources are required for the paper. The paper should state what the trend is and what is causing it. In addition, the thesis should state SPECIFICALLY how long the trend will continue into the future and why it will end. The paper should include at least three reasons why the claim is true.

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The paper should also use at least one other technique mentioned in the article on future forecasting: “Methods and Approaches to Future Studies.” This should be clearly mentioned and integrated into the paper.

The paper must follow MLA formatuse at least one short quotation, and include correct in-text citations or indentifying tags for all five sources.

Note: Trends are everywhere. From percentages of the population who vote, to percentages of the increase in the price of cotton, trends are a mathematical representation of an increase or decrease in a particular phenomenon over time. Students need only choose their favorite pastime or hobby to find a trend. Ask yourself questions such as: Are you new to the pastime? How long have you known about it? How long do you foresee the pastime remaining popular? How much money does the pastime generate as an industry?

Sales figures are a great way to talk about the strength and length of a trend. They allow you to examine the increase or decrease of a particular phenomenon—namely the amount of money generated by a trend.

Do you play videogames? What are the sales results for the last three years, and what are the projections for the next five? Any subject which interests you can be analyzed in terms of trends.

The best way to lay out the paper might be the following:

1. Introduction/Thesis Statement. This paragraph should identify what the trend is, and why it matters, then make a predictive claim (thesis claim) about how long the trend will continue, and why the claim about trend length is true. An example is:

“Accelerating growth in the trend of live goldfish swallowing will continue until 2027, when PETA will get the government to outlaw it, goldfish prices will rise too high, and people begin will swallowing swords instead.”

Notice that the reasons are all universals that can be used for other topics: Government will get involved to regulate the trend, popularity will raise the price too high for most to afford, people will get bored with the current activity and switch to something else. These are not, of course, the only reasons why trends end.

2. Brief history and explanation of the causes of the trend (one paragraph).

3. 3-4 paragraphs explaining the reasons why the trend will end when you say it will (reasoning). This is where the future forecasting techniques can be used. Be sure to include evidence supporting your reasoning.

4. At least 2 counterarguments (a discussion of those who think the trend will not end when you think it will, and why they might be wrong)

5. Conclusion

Grading Rubric for Trend Analysis/Future Forecasting Essay

MLA Format (25):

            Proper heading, Name/Page in Header:                                                         

            Correct Usage of italics for long work/quotation marks for short                 

            Spacing, Margins Correct, Paragraphs Indented Correctly                        

            Correct Usage of Quotations/Quotation Marks                                              

            Correct in-text citation of paraphrase/summary:                                             

            Paper is Times New Roman 12 pt. type:                                                                                                            

            Works Cited Page Correct Format:                                                                

Thesis (30):

            Strong, Specific Claim about length of trend in P1:                               

            Provide Proof Synopsis after Thesis Statement (Reasons trend will end)            

            Paper follows thesis/presents reasoning to support thesis                              

            Paper includes and rebuts Counterarguments                                                 

            Conclusion restates thesis:                                                                              

Grammar/Standard American English Used (15):

            Sentences Use Correct Syntax, Avoid Frags, Run-ons/Comma Splices:       

            Paper Avoids Use of Passive Voice:                                                                   

            Sentences Bleed Logically from one to another                                             

            Paper Avoids WASTE OF WORDS:                                                             

            Verb Tense Consistency, Plural/Singular Agreement:                                   

            Paper Avoids Semicolons, uses correct punctuation                                      

            No sentences begin with “It”                                                                          

            Paper Avoids Use of adverbs wherever possible (especially very):               

            Paper Avoids Informal Language (a lot, a bunch, I, us, etc.):                        

Paper Follows Prompt (30):

            Paper Includes TA and a second technique from article:                               

            Paper Discusses History of Trend, reasons for trend:                                    

            Paper Integrates Five Sources:                                                                        

            Paper is exact length:                                                                                     

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