ENGL124 Omnivore’s Dilemma Essay Please begin work on your essay #2 draft, so that you at least have a few pages to work with. This can be just half as lon

ENGL124 Omnivore’s Dilemma Essay Please begin work on your essay #2 draft, so that you at least have a few pages to work with. This can be just half as long as a full draft.

English 126: Essay #2:

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Omnivore’s Dilemma

Assignment (15%)

Two draft versions of your introduction are due on Thurs. 3/28. A half-draft is due on

Thurs. 4/11. A FULL DRAFT of essay #2 is due on Tues. 4/16, and the final essay is due

on Thurs. 4/25

. You may want to complete this paper earlier, though, since the third

essay will be due shortly afterwards. This paper should be 5-6 pages long. Please type the

essay in 12 point font, double spaced, with 1” margins all around.

•Limit the scope of you paper. You need to make sure you have a thesis statement, which

is a central argument in your introductory paragraph which you support throughout the

essay, and which you revisit in your conclusion.

•Close analysis of specific passages from texts, use of quotations from the text,

observations, personal experience, etc. are important. Use MLA format for documenting

sources. Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay, including the book and

your outside sources, if any.

•Part of your grade for each essay includes the writing process: posting drafts,

commenting on peers’ work (posted on peer editing discussion group), and revising,

according to course deadlines. If you have used any outside sources, submit a page from

each outside source with your final essay (screenshot, scan, or link).

• No Plagiarism!

Do not copy your essay or any phrases in your essay from the web or

any other source, unless you use quotations and give proper bibliographic citations..

Choice 1: Rhetorical Analysis

What is a rhetorical analysis? See relevant class handouts. You will be analyzing

Pollan’s persuasive strategies in the essay,

including appeals to the audience through

ethos, pathos, and logos, as well as his use of other literary devices,

such as metaphor,

repetition, or irony to get his point across effectively.

Choose a particular chapter or chapters, or a particular thread of inquiry, such as

the cattle industry, the poultry industry, the hidden costs of industrial farming, local vs.

industrial organic farming, fast food, the ethics of eating animals, the meaning of food in

our lives, etc. (topics thanks to Professor Mikolavich).

As a writer for

The New York Times Magazine

and a professor of

journalism at UC Berkeley, Pollan suggests we have become “unhealthy people obsessed

by the idea of eating healthily” (3). He looks into the complex conditions that have grown

up around our food consumption, and reminds us, ultimately, that “we eat by the grace of

nature, not industry” (411). What persuasive strategies does Pollan use to educate and to

influence?

In your analysis, provide a close reading of selections of

Omnivore’s

and a well-

supported rhetorical analysis. You may draw upon your personal experiences with food

and your observations of the role of food in our culture to help to illuminate Pollan’s

strategies and to assess the effectiveness of his claims.

For this assignment, I would like you to critically and closely read selections from

Pollan’s book and analyze Pollan’s argument about the impact of food industries and

government policies, assessing how he uses these arguments to advocate that we “eat

with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake” (11).

Take into account what knowledge Pollan assumes the audience has. What values

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does he assume the audience holds?

Your overall analysis needs to be organized like a conventional, unified essay—

with an introduction, thesis that ties together your major points, analysis of quotes from

the texts, and a conclusion restating and tying up your thesis.

Choice 2: Research on a “Thread”

Choose a particular chapter or chapters, or a particular thread of inquiry, such as the

cattle industry, the poultry industry, the hidden costs of industrial farming, local vs.

industrial organic farming, fast food, the ethics of eating animals, the meaning of food in

our lives, etc. (topics thanks to Professor Mikolavich).

Analyze this topic as Pollan presents it in

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

and draw upon two

reputable outside sources (ideally from the library or library electronic databases) to

further develop on this topic.

This topic requires two outside sources in addition to

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

.

At least half of your essay should draw upon and analyze material from

The Omnivore’s

Dilemma

, such as illustrations of how “the health of these animals is inextricably linked

to our own by that web of relationships,” ecological connections and the food chain (81).

Your overall analysis needs to be organized like a conventional, unified essay—with an

introduction, thesis that ties together your major points, analysis of quotes from the texts,

and a conclusion restating and tying up your thesis.

Choice 3: Prepare a Meal

(topic thanks to Professor Fannin)

Pollan culminates his book by preparing and serving a meal that he hunted and foraged

from the wild, for the most part. For this assignment, I would like you to critically and

closely read selections from Pollan’s book and analyze Pollan’s experiment in self-

sufficiency, much like Thoreau’s two years at Walden pond. What does he hope to learn

by creating a meal from its natural sources? All in all, I would like at least half of your

essay to be drawn from

Omnivore’s Dilemma

, including specific quotations.

As part of this assignment, prepare your own meal. Unlike Pollan, you do not have to

hunt your own wild boar or forage wild mushrooms. Your meal can be just for yourself

or a few people, rather than the group Pollan hosts. But I would like you to take this

opportunity to investigate the kinds of issues Pollan explores: “What it is we’re eating.

Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what, in a true accounting, it

really cost . . . we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and what we’re eating is never

anything more or less than the body of the world” (411). Part of your essay should give

an account of how you prepared and ate your own meal.

Your overall analysis needs to be organized like a conventional, unified essay—with an

introduction, thesis that ties together your major points, analysis of quotes from the

texts, and a conclusion restating and tying up your thesis. In describing your meal,

though, you may venture more into the narrative, storytelling mode.

1

ENGL 126 Essay #3: Creative Research Paper (20% of course grade)

For essay #3, a creative research paper, you will be writing a 6-8 page paper on a

topic of

your choice

. A unique aspect of this project is that you are required to do field work

(interviews, observations, participation), along with library research, which should make

this a more memorable experience for you. All the better if your research paper departs

from the conventional academic format. Along with credible sources, you may use

graphics, video, artwork, etc. to convey your message. Build a nuanced argument using

effective sources and a sensible organization. It’s vital that you choose a

topic

that

engages and excites you.

This should be an original paper, not a research paper that

you wrote for another class.

Requirements

length: 6-8 pages

Works Cited and Works Consulted (if needed), including citations for interviews,

Youtube, Facebook, etc).

Sources:

Reading

: At least 80 pages of reading (a minimum of 4 sources).

You must use a

minimum of 3 library sources

. This could include books, articles and newspapers from

the databases, reference sources, etc., at DVC library or another library.

Field Work

: In addition to the above, you must

use at least 3 items of field work

drawn

from at least two of these categories:

•Interviews

•Observation

•Participatory Experience*

*A participatory experience involves doing something yourself, not just watching it be

done. This could include cooking a meal, marching in a protest, volunteering at an

environmental organization, applying for a modeling agency, rotating the wheels on your

car, writing a piece of music, etc.

Other optional sources: workshops and cultural events

Media 1 (film, music, photos, visuals)

Media 2 (film, music, photos, visuals that you create).

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________________________________________________________________________

We will also work on developing a

Critical Question

to help focus your research. Rather

than just giving a factual, encyclopedic account, you’ll want to present an arguable thesis

answering a question of significance and interest. Your critical question should be along

the lines of the following questions, but narrowed to fit your specific topic:

What problem under your topic needs solving or addressing? What’s the problem with the

solutions?

What standards of judging something exist in your area? Where are the disputes?

What ethical or moral issue(s) exist that need exploring?

What do you envision the future would look like for your topic (based on a careful look

at the present and past)?

What do the best thinkers think and argue about? What do the experts disagree about?

What’s been the influence of a particular person or subject on our culture?

How do you account for an interesting, complicated, inexplicable, or perplexing aspect of

our current society?

______________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Critical Question Litmus

(Write your Critical Question (CQ) on a notecard and run it through these tests with your

peers to see how you might make it better)

1. Yes-No Test: Is CQ a yes/no question? (It shouldn’t be).

2. Been There, Done That Test: Does your CQ feel like it’s been asked, discussed, and

answered many times before (since high school)? ( It shouldn’t.)

3. Is your CQ open-ended, speculative, disputable in a fair way (reasonable, smart, wise

people will legitimately disagree). (It should be)

3

4. Hey, That’s My Old Research Paper Test: Will the answer to your CQ create a

conventional, familiar research paper (based mostly on information available by reading)

(It shouldn’t).

5. Critical Thinking Test: Will answering your CQ force you to do high level analysis

(the higher levels on Bloom’s taxonomy)? analysis, synthesis, evaluation (It should).

6. Creativity Test: Is your topic and CQ well-suited to the spirit of the assignment

(traditional/web reading, interviews, observing, doing yourself, critical thinking)?

7. Know-It-All Test: Do you already know the answer to your CQ before you start your

project? (you shouldn’t)

8. Where does your topic and CQ fall on the passion scale? Does your topic/CQ fascinate

and excite you? Do you actually want to explore the answers to the CQ?

_______________________________________________________________________

Research Checklist: Make a list of important sources you should check. Think of creative

ways to search, using not only your topic (memory) but also prominent people in the field

(Oliver Sacks), related topics (brain functioning), or even the opposite (forgetting).

________________________________________________________________________

Creative Research Proposal:

1. At the start of your proposal, explain what your final Creative Research topic is (you

can’t change the topic. You should choose something you are really interested in so that

you can develop your research over the time period needed). Then write one (or possibly

two or three) Critical Questions on your chosen topic.

2. Write a paragraph explaining what draws you to the topic. What makes you curious?

What do you love about this topic? What might you expect to find out? What do you

know about your topic? What would you like to know? As you plan your project,

consider how your questions will require you to participate in critical thinking–analysis,

synthesis, evaluation.

3. Report on what you have read so far, both traditional and online. You can include

4

reading that you’ve done in the past.

4. Report on what you plan to do–who you might interview, what you might observe,

what you might do for participation, what you might create.

5. Tip: Start making a works cited right now and develop a system to keep track of which

source you found what information from.

6. Questions or concerns? Include these in your proposal.

_______________________________________________________________________

DUE DATES:

Thurs. 3/14

Final research proposal due.

Thurs. 4/11 Research question due and research checklist due.

Thurs. 4/25 Two versions of your introduction for essay 3 due

Thurs. 5/2 Annotated Bibliography and half-draft of essay 3 due

Tues. 5/7 Full draft of essay 3 due

Thurs. 5/16 Final paper due (Final paper, Drafts, Scans or screen shots of a page

from each source, Peer Review Sheets, Research Proposal, Research checklist, and

Annotated Bibliography

)

________________________________________________________________________

• You must provide SCANS OR SCREENSHOTS of selected pages from all printed

source materials you use for this essay as well as Internet sources. You must also

submit an Annotated Bibliography.

These are required parts of this assignment, and

your essay will not be accepted if not accompanied by photocopies/printouts of selected

pages from your sources and an annotated bibliography. In your Works Cited list, include

full information about all of the sources you used or consulted.

?

No Plagiarism!

Do not copy your essay or any phrases in your essay from the

web or any other source, unless you use quotations and give proper bibliographic

citations. Also, please write this original paper yourself and do not reuse a

research paper from a previous class.

Essay #3 Research Checklist

Write a critical question or questions about your essay #3 topic to help guide your research and writing. Remember that as with your other papers, this paper should have an arguable thesis/opinion, topic sentences, and evidence from your research to support your main idea:_______________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

example: Does volunteering for students take up too much time, or is it more beneficial?

What can students contribute to society by volunteering?

Research checklist

Important sources you plan to check:__________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________

Make sure you have included the following in your final essay #3: (below you do not need to decide on your final sources, but I would like you to start listing possibilities)

at least 3 library sources (these could be from any library or bookstore, including the electronic databases at DVC library:

1.___________________________________________

2.___________________________________________

3._____________________________________________

3 pieces of original field work by you:

1.__________________________________

2.__________________________________

3.____________________________________

Is your field work from at least 2 of the following 3 categories?_____

interviews: you interview someone whose opinion would be of interest about this topic
observation: you observe something in person, such as how your classmates use their cell phones
participatory experience: you participate in an experience, like giving a survey or joining a protest

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