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An essay on the topic of food and lifestyle

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you will write an essay on the topic of food and lifestyle. Although the requirements for this essay are largely similar to those for the previous es- say, there are a few new major differences:

  1. In addition to using a two-dimensional thesis, same as the previous essay, tem- plates from Chapter 7 and Chapter 10 should be used to clarify the importance and the scope of your topic. Refer to the sample thesis in the following guidelines.
  2. Use metacommentary templates to clarify all quotations in the body paragraphs. Refer to Chapter 10 for templates.
  3. In developing the body paragraphs, use rational, emotional, and ethical appeals to strengthen your argument. Refer to the link on Blackboard for further explanation.
  4. Craft rhetorically effective sentences by using antithetical, cumulative, periodic, subjunctive mood, inverted order, and varied openings in sentence construction, in addition to the basic compound and complex structures we have used in the pre- vious essay.
  5. Use transitions to build stronger connections between your ideas. For a list of commonly used transitions, please refer to pages 104-106 in our textbook.

Here are some questions for you to consider when you decide on what to write:

1. In “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” Michael Moss offers an insid- er’s view of how food industry engineers and markets its products to get consumers ad- dicted. Moss admits that consumers, “while not powerless, are extremely vulnerable to the intensity of these companies industrial formulations and selling campaigns” (662). What do you think the government, food retailers, and consumers should do to pushback against the food industry?

2. Now you know some of the strategies food industry use to get you hooked, what ac- tions should we take to protect ourselves?

3. In “How Junk Food Can End Obesity,” David Freedman argues against Michael Pol- lan, a wholesome food advocate, praising what fast food restaurants and processed food manufacturers have done to make their products healthier. Freedman goes further to argue that junk food shouldn’t be the problem, but the solution to obesity crisis in America. Do you agree with Freedman? What are the specific actions these industries have done or should do to create positive impact on our lives?

4. Radley Balko argues that the government should stop intervening in what Americans can eat; instead, it should try to help us develop a stronger sense of responsibility of our own health. Is that the right way to fight obesity? What specific efforts or measures can the government take to make people more responsible for our own wellbeing?

5. Radley Balko suggests that insurance companies should be allowed to “reward healthy lifestyle, and penalize poor ones” in order to make individuals accountable for their own health. Do you agree? What other steps can be taken to encourage Americans to live a healthier lifestyle?

6. David Zinczenko shows great sympathy with “portly fast-food patron,” blaming the fast food industry for spreading the epidemic of obesity among Americans, especially among children. What do you think are the causes of obesity in America?

7. Radley Balko and David Zinczenko may not completely agree with each other on gov- ernment efforts to help Americans live a healthy life, but both of them are aware of the urgency in fighting obesity. What kind of role do you think the government should play in addressing the obesity crisis in this country?

8. In the debate on what and how Americans should eat, Mary Maxfield tries to demystify and demoralize our cultural anxiety over eating by arguing that food “isn’t moral or im- moral.” Do you agree with her argument? Write an essay in which you present an alterna- tive formula for eating.

9. What’s wrong with the Western diet? Why does Michael Pollan strongly advocate an escape from the Western diet? Write an essay in which you argue that there are or there aren’t alternatives to a Western diet.


I. Organization

A. Your essay should have an introduction, body paragraphs (minimum eight, including two summary paragraphs, three discussion paragraphs, and three refutation paragraphs), and a conclusion. Using the MLA format, you need to use in-text citation for every quota- tion and paraphrase of other authors’ ideas.

B. In the introduction, you need to include the following:

1. An opener or hook that grabs your reader’s attention. You can start with a question (usually rhetorical), an interesting anecdote, or shocking surveys and statistics. For good examples, refer to the essays in our textbook.

2. A brief context of what other people have said or written on the issue. Use the tem- plate for ongoing debates (24-25). Here you do NOT need to identify the titles of work and the names of authors. You will do so in the summary paragraphs that follow.

3. State your own argument in a one or two sentence thesis statement. Your thesis should be two dimensional, including both the opponent and your own arguments.
4. Use one of the templates for establishing why your claim matters. Refer to pages 98-99 for a list of commonly used templates.

Sample thesis: Although it is not as prestigious as four-year universities, a community college offers many students unconditional admission, flexible schedules, and a variety of rigorous programs. Ultimately, what is at stake is making higher education accessible to working class families when college tuition has been skyrocketing. Essentially, I am ar- guing not that people shouldn’t pay attention to the reputation of the college they go to, but that they should pay more attention to the college can offer. (The underlined part makes use of the templates that state the importance and scope of your topic, which is the additional part required for this assignment.)

C. In developing the body paragraphs, you need to:

  1. Write a summary for each of the two articles you refer to in your essay, and there should be TWO separate paragraphs.
  2. Develop your own main points outlined in your thesis in THREE separate para- graphs. These paragraphs need to start with topic sentences that clearly de- velop the subpoints in your thesis statement. Each one of these paragraphs needs to make use an appeal to your reader: logical, ethical, or emotional.


3. Address the opposing view in THREE paragraphs: First, acknowledge the opposing view. In this paragraph, you need to refer to at least one specific view from an article you’ve read. Second, point out any merit you perceive in the opposing view. Third, offer a counterargument against the opposing view. Refer to Clive Thompson’s use of refutation on page 354.

D. In writing the conclusion, you need to:

1. Recap your main points without repeating the same words or phrases used earlier in the essay.

2. Offer a suggestion, solution, prediction, warning, or call to action for your reader to consider.

II. Content

A. On the subject you write about, you need to establish a position that is reasonable, open-minded, and substantial. Try to make your argument transparent and thought-pro- voking without being provocative. Have a strong opinion, but don’t sound opinionated.

B. Use ideas from other writers to support or form a contrast with yours. Refer to at least two different texts for this essay.

C. Whenever you refer to outside texts, always remember to integrate their ideas into your own writing by adding your comments and elaboration. Never quote without com- menting;

III. Format

A. Try to use the templates we’ve learned in class in introducing ideas and quotes into your writing. This is an important requirement for this essay assignment.

B. Use proper in-text citations when you quote or refer to another writer’s ideas.

C. Prepare a list works cited at the end of your essay. For both in-text citations and works cited page, follow the MLA style.

D. Your paper should be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman 12 point font. Put information about yourself, instructor, course, and assignment on the upper left hand corner of the first page of your paper. Use header and pagination.

IV. Language and Mechanics

A. Follow academic writing conventions, such as writing in the present tense, avoiding excessive use of first person pronouns, and leaving out inappropriate or informal expres- sions. Make sure you introduce your quotes with proper words (37).

B. Try to challenge yourself by using some new vocabularies to better articulate your thoughts.

C. Use proper punctuations, especially when using quotations.

D. Make sure you understand your sentence construction. You need to write some com- pound and complex sentences to demonstrate the use of coordination and subordination.

E. Write more effective sentences by using different sentence structures (simple, com- pound, and complex), varying the lengths of sentences, starting sentences with different beginnings, and constructing sentences with rhetorical features (cumulative, periodic, subjunctive and inverted).