Your essay must have a clear, original thesis, well-developed supporting points, a logical organization, and writing that is free from major mechanical errors. In addition, you are required to incorporate (via direct quotation or paraphrase) information from two readings. These references to outside work must be correctly cited with an in-text parenthetical citation of the author’s last name and the page number); however, you will not be required to compose a Works Cited page.
You will compose a thesis-driven essay that makes use of two of the following four essays (all essays are in Chapter Seventeen of Greene and Lidinsky):
Jim Tarter’s “Some Live More Downstream than Others: Cancer, Gender, and Environmental Justice,”
Curtis White’s “A Good without Light: The Seamy Side of Sustainability,”
Anna Lappe’s “The Climate Crisis at the End of our Fork,”
Michael Pollan’s “Why Bother?,”
Each of these essays addresses the broad topic of environmental sustainability—how humans interact with the natural world, our responsibilities as citizens of the natural world, and the gap that sometimes exists between the rhetoric of the environmental movement (“organic,” “sustainable,” “community-owned”) and the economic and social realities of the movement.
You will write a critical, thesis-driven essay on some conversation raised in the readings or suggested by them. In order to write your essay, you will need to hone in on a specific conversation of interest represented in the readings, and then craft your own thesis that makes a contribution to that conversation. Your thesis must articulate your own contribution, not simply reiterate arguments made in the readings. Remember that you must incorporate two of the above readings into your essay. There are many possibilities; you will need to develop your own topic/define your own conversation, and it should not be simply a summary of the articles. You should create a thesis statement and write an argumentative essay that seeks to prove your claim. Your audience is educated peers who have not read the texts you will mention in your essay.
What topics are common to the readings?
Which issue or idea discussed do you find most interesting?
What evidence or support from your own experience could you use to develop an argument?
What evidence or support do the readings provide?
What social, political, or economic questions do these article raise? How do you respond to these questions?
What value questions do these article raise? How do you respond to these questions? Can you articulate an arguable claim about these questions?
Are there aesthetic or scientific dimensions to the issue that would be interesting to explore?