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Essential Academic Writing Skills


Essential Academic Writing Skills

Tutor-Marked Assignment 01

July 2018 Presentation

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment



This tutor-marked assignment is worth 45% of the final mark for COR160 Essential Academic

Writing Skills.

The cut-off date for this assignment is 2355hrs on 31 August 2018.


Submit your solution document in the form of a single MS Word file on or before the cut-off

date shown above.

Additional instructions:

1. You will need to indicate clearly on the front page your name, student ID, course title

and assignment number. Note also the following:

 Spacing (between the lines): 1.5 or double spacing

 Font style: Arial or Times New Roman preferred

 Font size: 12 preferred (min 11 and max 13)

2. Summarise using your own words as much as possible. You must document all

information that you use from another source, or you will be penalized severely. You

must acknowledge these by using the APA documentation style. This includes both

in-text citations and end-of-text referencing.

3. If you copy from the work of another student, regardless of the course or programme,

you will be severely penalized. You are not permitted to re-use material from past

assignments whether in part or in full. All of the above actions can result in your

failing the TMA.

*Remember that accurate and proper documentation of information from secondary sources

is essential because SUSS takes a very serious view on plagiarism. All information from

secondary sources will be detected by the Turnitin software that your assignment will be put

through in Canvas and anything that is not acknowledged and properly documented will be

taken as an instance of plagiarism and your assignment may be failed.


You will find Chapters 3 (Critical Reading), 7 (Summary, Paraphrase, Quotation), 8a

(Synthesizing), 8b (Synthesizing Sources) and 9 (Locating, Mining and Citing Sources) in

your COR160 textbook useful. Refer also to the relevant on-line study units.

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


Question 1

New study finds clear divide among social classes in Singapore


DEC 28, 2017, 6:00 PM SGT


DEC 29, 2017, 9:50 PM

Charissa Yong

Regional Correspondent

The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – The sharpest social divisions in Singapore may now be based on class,

instead of race or religion, a study released on Thursday (Dec 28) suggests.

The Institute of Policy Studies’ (IPS) Study On Social Capital In Singapore shows that on

average, Singaporeans who live in public housing have fewer than one friend who lives in

private housing.

People who study in elite schools also tend to be less close to those in non-elite schools, and

vice versa.

About 3,000 Singapore citizens and permanent residents were interviewed and asked to name

the people they have ties with for the study, which is the first of its kind on such a scale here.

Researchers said the findings suggest a clear class divide in Singapore. They called for

policies that encourage more mixing along class lines to mitigate this trend.

“We have shifted from a society based on race to one based also on class,” said National

University of Singapore (NUS) sociologist Vincent Chua, one of the study’s three


“We’ve done a pretty good job in fostering multiculturalism and mixing between ethnic

groups, but maybe the next step now is to increase efforts to increase mixing between class

groups,” he added.

IPS deputy director Gillian Koh and NUS sociologist Tan Ern Ser also worked on the study,

which was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

From January to July last year, respondents were asked about the people in their social

networks, including who they discussed important matters with, or confided in when they

were feeling down.

Learning outcomes

 Cite sources in writing using the proper citation and referencing style.

 Evaluate information critically from various sources to respond to a task.

 Synthesise information from various sources in writing in response to a given task.

 Develop a rhetorical structure of an essay.

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


They were also asked to name who they played sports with, got help from for household

matters such as collecting mail, and who they spent the most time with on social activities.

They were then asked to give details about the people they named, such as age, race, and

whether they considered them to have attended an “elite” school.

Results show that a typical Singaporean has an average of 5.8 acquaintances and friends in

his social network.

But while people were able to easily name a friend of a different gender or age, and even race

or religion, they more rarely named someone from another class.

This preference for those from their own kind of class was strong even after researchers took

into account uneven group sizes – about 80 per cent of Singaporeans live in public flats, so

there are fewer private-housing dwellers for them to meet.

Despite the vast majority of Singaporeans living in public housing, private-home dwellers

had more ties with others who lived in private homes than with those who lived in public


Said Dr Chua: “Even if you give people equal opportunities, they will still gravitate to hang

out with their own kind. So we have to think of ways to disrupt this.”

The researchers suggested that Singaporeans flock to their own kind because they feel they

cannot connect with others due to cultural differences.

For instance, those from outside their circle may speak English differently, or have different

social norms and hobbies.

People may also feel those from other classes are not interested in socialising with them, said

the researchers in a statement.

“People like to be with people like themselves,” said Dr Chua.


Another finding from the research was that those with more diverse networks tend to have

stronger feelings of national pride and trust towards people from other races, religions or


Having more friends from different backgrounds broadens their world view, said the


This helps people think in terms of the nation, rather than only about their own group and its


The researchers said strengthening the national identity is one reason people should be

encouraged to interact more with others unlike themselves.

Another reason is to make sure that Singapore remains an egalitarian society.

Said NUS’ Professor Tan: “Race and religion are potent divisions which we cannot ignore,

but the class divide may be happening because of globalisation, which leads to greater


He added: “What it means is that we should continue to equalise opportunities and make sure

everyone is brought up to speed in terms of skills training. We don’t want to be a society

where the class divide and social inequality become wider.”

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


There has been much discussion in the media with regard to responses by the Singapore

government and various individuals to the issues raised in the article above. Many issues in

relation to income inequality have been debated in the discussions. The two articles provided

below reflect some of the sentiments regarding this issue.

In about 750 words, write a synthesis essay on the ways in which Singapore can reduce

income inequality. You must formulate a thesis about this issue and provide evidence that

will support your thesis. The thesis for this TMA01 is a viewpoint that does not have to be

persuasive – that is, it is the conclusion you arrive at based on summarising and synthesising

the information you researched on this topic. Relevant information for you to gather would


 Issues (social or economic or educational or political or etc.) surrounding income inequality

 Evidence for effectiveness of current measures to reduce income inequality

 Evidence against effectiveness of current measures to reduce income inequality

 Improvements to existing efforts to reduce income inequality (100 marks)

Guidance Notes

1. Use process writing to develop a rhetorical structure for your essay.

2. Strengthen your thesis with relevant examples and illustrations.

3. You may include any additional but relevant information to the ideas that have already

been given in the scenario and articles.

4. You should use at least 5 research sources to help you write your essay. The given

articles are considered as a separate research source each and can count towards the 5

research sources. Synthesise information from these various sources in your writing.

5. You are to use credible and reliable sources to help you write this essay. Evaluate

information critically from various sources in your response. Marks will be deducted for

non-credible and unreliable content.

6. Remember to use accurate grammar, correct sentence structures and a tone appropriate to

academic writing. Cite sources in your writing using the proper citation and referencing

style. Marks will be deducted for poor English.

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


Article 1:

Why Singapore gives top priority to fighting income inequality


FEB 6, 2018, 5:00 AM SGT


In Parliament yesterday, Mr Gan Thiam Poh, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, asked whether the income gap in Singapore has widened in the past 10 years and whether an inter-ministerial

committee can be set up to look into better integration of all social classes. The response as

given by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:

We must keep Singaporeans together. Maintaining social harmony is very much at the top of

the Government’s priorities.

There are three aspects of this issue: income inequality, social mobility and social

integration. They are inter-related.

Over the last half century, income inequality has increased in almost all developed

economies, including Singapore. The problem is most acute in large cities, for they tend to be

where a country’s wealth is created and concentrated.

Singapore is both a city and a country. Our Gini coefficient is higher than that of many other

advanced countries. But it is similar to or lower than other large metropolitan centres such as

Beijing, Shanghai, London, New York and San Francisco.

Despite the longer term trend of growing inequality, over the last 10 years, income inequality

in Singapore has declined slightly. The Gini coefficient has fallen from 0.470 in 2006 to

0.458 in 2016. After we account for government taxes and transfers, the 2016 figure was

even lower at 0.402.

And unlike in many developed countries, the real per capita household income of the lowest

quintile increased by 40 per cent over the same period, keeping pace with the median



As globalisation and technological disruption have widened income inequality, the

Government has over the years intervened more aggressively to support the less well-off.

In the long term, quality education, home ownership and affordable healthcare are the

fundamental means by which our citizens, especially those from poorer backgrounds, can

improve their lives.

In addition, we have many targeted, means-tested assistance schemes which provide transfers

and subsidies to lower-income groups. For example, the Workfare Income Supplement

scheme tops up their cash earnings and CPF accounts, and helps them build up their

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


retirement savings.

Over the years, we have made significant changes to our system to fund this increase in

social expenditure – from the introduction of GST in 1994 to the increased reliance on Net

Investment Return Contributions (NIRC) as a source of revenue.

NIRC is now our largest revenue source, exceeding any single tax, including the GST. But

though we have far more extensive social safety nets now than we did in the 1970s and

1980s, it is important to strike the right balance: Providing sufficient transfers to support

those who need extra help so they can help themselves, but without diminishing their

incentive to work or discouraging enterprise.


The second aspect of this is social mobility. Some degree of income inequality is natural in

any economy. It gives people the motivation to strive to do their best and improve their lives.

But in a fair and just society, this inequality must be tempered and complemented by social


Every citizen, no matter what his social background is, must have the opportunity to do better

and move up in society, based on his efforts and talent. Nobody should feel that his social

position is fixed based on his parents’ income level or position in life.

Many government policies are directed at improving social mobility and countering the

tendency of a mature society to stratify. Education is a critical plank of the Government’s


We have made major investments in our pre-schools and school system to ensure that every

child has access to quality education and a good start in life, regardless of income. MOE’s

Financial Assistance Scheme, and substantial bursaries and subsidies, make quality education

affordable to all.

There are countless examples of children from low-income families who have risen to the top

in the professions, academia, government and the private sector with the support of these

schemes. New programmes like KidStart will further strengthen the support system for

children from lower-income and vulnerable families.

We are also investing in our people through SkillsFuture to ensure that Singaporeans can

continue to improve themselves and their prospects throughout their lives.

Because of these measures, our social mobility is good compared with other countries.

One study, looking at the proportion of children from the 20 per cent of households with the

lowest incomes who do well in life and later reach the 20 per cent of households with the

highest incomes, found a higher proportion in Singapore making this transition than in the

United States or Denmark.

We must not and will not let up on maintaining social mobility, because it will get harder to

narrow and bridge class divisions as our society matures.


COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


The third aspect is social integration. We want Singaporeans to feel that we are one society;

that we share experiences, values and outlooks; that we identify with and care for one

another; and that we are united and will fight together in the face of adversity.

Moderating income inequality and ensuring social mobility will help to strengthen our


In Singapore’s multiracial, multi-religious context, we have to do even more to reinforce our

shared values, and actively create opportunities for interaction and integration both across

different social classes and between different races and religions. Only by living, working,

studying, serving, playing, mourning and celebrating together do we become one people, one


In Singapore, we are deliberate and proactive in our approach on social integration.

The Minister for Culture, Community and Youth has responded in a separate reply on our

measures to promote social mixing and integration. In particular, our urban planning and

public housing policies have enabled ethnic and social integration, and distributed access to

good schools, healthcare, parks and recreation across the island.

We design shared spaces within our neighbourhoods, such as the playgrounds and parks,

shopping malls and hawker centres, and sports facilities, in order to maximise social



Hawker centres are a uniquely Singaporean institution where people of all backgrounds

mingle and enjoy good, affordable hawker fare. We have a good mix of flat types in each

HDB neighbourhood. The People’s Association organises all sorts of activities in our

neighbourhoods and precincts, bringing together people from all walks of life.

In national service, Singaporeans train and serve together in the defence of our nation,

strengthening our national identity and fostering cohesiveness.

The issues of mitigating income inequality, ensuring social mobility and enhancing social

integration are critical.

If we fail – if widening income inequalities result in a rigid and stratified social system, with

each class ignoring the others or pursuing its interests at the expense of others – our politics

will turn vicious, our society will fracture and our nation will wither.

This is why this Government will strive to keep all Singaporeans – regardless of race,

language, religion or social background – together.

There is already a concerted and coordinated effort among government ministries to tackle

these challenges together in various fora. It is, therefore, not necessary to set up a specific

inter-ministerial committee to look into these issues.

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COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


Article 2:

Income disparity gap still too big: Sylvia Lim


The New Paper

March 1, 2018

Social and economic inequality remained a major topic on the second day of Budget debate,

with a majority of speakers addressing the issue.

Several members of parliament brought up social inequality as the main issue in Singapore,

citing the issue as integral to ensuring the progress and cohesion of Singapore as a nation.

According to Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), the income disparity gap

between the higher and lower income groups in Singapore remain bigger than many

developed countries, even after governmental transfers.

Ms Lim said: “In 2017, the household income for the top 10 per cent is more than $13,000

per person per month, while that for the 20th per cent at the lower end is about $1,000 per

person per month – 12 times more unequal.”

She called for the Government to do a longitudinal study to better understand the impact of

government policies on social mobility over time.

She, like several other MPs, proposed a review of specific policies to reduce inequality

among the different income groups. Areas covered included education, taxes, healthcare and


Ms Lim suggested a review of healthcare insurance schemes in Singapore to bridge the

inequality in deductibles and co-payment between private insurance plans and MediShield

Life for elderly and lower-income Singaporeans.

She said that MediShield Life, unlike private insurance policies, requires co-payment and

deductibles to prevent overconsumption.

She said: “While the annual deductible for persons aged 80 and below is between $1,500 and

$2,000, the annual deductible for those aged 81 and above is between $2,000 and $3,000.

“Thus, the most senior of our people aged 81 and above, who have the least income and most

health problems, have to foot bills up to this higher deductible before MediShield Life will

kick in.”

This, she said, was on top of the higher premiums older people already have to pay. Other

policies suggested to curb the issue of inequality included Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar’s (Ang

Mo Kio GRC) suggestion that there is still room for an increase in personal and corporate

income tax for the higher earners despite an increase made in 2017.

She cited examples such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, where tiered income tax could go as

high as 40 per cent.

COR160 Tutor-Marked Assignment


She suggested the possibility of income tax being progressive based on earnings. For

instance, those with accessible incomes between $320,000 and $500,000 could be charged 22

per cent; 24 per cent for those who earned $500,000 to $1 million and 26 per cent for those

with accessible incomes above $1 million.

Dr Intan also proposed a progressive corporate income tax rate, particularly for MNCs and

large companies, increasing the flat 17 per cent for all companies to 17.5 per cent to 18 per

cent for those companies bringing in anything above $1 billion a year.

She also suggested a tax on branded goods purchased online.

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—– END OF COR160 TMA01 —–