Does money lead to happiness?

Textbook: Money Changes Everything. Lawrence Weinstein, ed. New York: Bedford, 2015

Essay #1: Money and personal happiness
Over the first month or so of this class, we will have read and discussed how money affects us personally (you personally, but also by extension, people personally).  To be exact we will ask whether or not money, having it or not, can lead to happiness our own or otherwise.  For the first essay, you are going to join in the written conversation and offer your point of view, your response to the question: Does money lead to happiness? 
Write a 1200-1500 word essay that develops your opinion in response to the question above. I do not expect you to respond to all of these questions, but some of these are a good place to start, to help you come up with possible writing direction.  Do you believe having more money makes us happier?  How? In what way would extra money make us happier?  In what way does being poor make us happy?  Does it?  Does thinking about money create unhappiness (whether we have money or not)?  Does thinking about others who have money make us happy or unhappy? How you answer any ONE of those questions could become the foundation for a thesis.
Use information from your Money Journal.  All the material that youve gathered in the journal is fair game.  It is a great source for ideas.  You might visit your journal for a place to start.  Any idea that struck you during the time you were keeping the journal might make for a great essay topic.  You cant just copy the money journal as your essay, but any one entry might be a good leaping point.  Any idea that you found yourself returning to might be a focus.
Use information from our readings.  Any of the readings in chapter one are fair game.  You must refer to at least one of these readings (or other data from the text) in your own essay.  This reference might be in order to support your own point. It might be a point for you to disagree with and then launch into your own perspective on money.  I cant tell you how you react to these readings, to like them or dislike them, agree or disagree; that depends on you. 
Use information from our class discussions.  Among other reasons, this is why we discuss the readings, so you can exchange ideas and weigh them against others.  Its a time for us to make sense of the readings, but also to connect to them and air them out.  Whenever we have open class discussions (not directions, like introductions to assignments), you should be thinking what do I think about this?

Your essay will be evaluated by: 
Your ability to clearly and concisely express your opinion, your stance, about how money affects our personal happiness.
Your ability to develop your idea in great depth, using sufficient evidence from your primary work (information from your journal entries, from your personal experiences, from your own observations.)
Your ability to connect secondary evidence (texts or data from our book) to your opinion and clearly explain those connections for the reader.
Your ability to organize your material in a logical and appropriate manner, to give the reader a sense that your idea is developing, growing toward an idea of significance.
Your ability to write clearly and coherently in a tone appropriate for the audience and occasion.

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