You’ve probably heard that you should take your vitamins. Of course they are crucial for health in minuscule amounts, but are we really in danger of falling short? Why is there so much focus on them? We’ve already seen them discussed in McCollum, but this week we look more closely at the discovery and marketing of vitamins in the early 1900s. The way the mere idea of vitamins reshaped nutritional thinking is still with us today. These readings also help us think about the relationship between scientific expertise and common sense. Be sure to check out the PREVIEW VIDEO; it might help with the quiz as well.
No M/W reading responses due this week! You can read whenever you want (just get everything done before you do Friday’s assignment), and I’ve removed the those daily headings so it’s not confusing.
W: To emphasize and clarify some points from the previous weeks, there is a 15-point QUIZ on the MAIN, GENERAL, BIG-PICTURE ideas from the last two weeks, drawing from primarily from the READINGS and VIDEOS (see the two video links listed under Week 6; familiarity with the discussion board posts and my replies will be helpful as well). If you’ve been neglecting any of these, you’ll want to spend some time with them before you take the quiz. If you’ve been keeping up with the work, you’ll be fine even without any review. There are no tricky details!
F: Weekly Reflection, but something a bit more creative that serves a similar purpose—to show me that you’ve learned from our readings and can apply them to contemporary rhetoric about diet and health.
Are vitamins and supplements really necessary? Google some variant of that question and read through a handful (between 3 and 5) of articles that you find on the first page of search results. Ignore sites that are obviously all marketing with no substance to them.
USE THE READINGS FOR THIS WEEK to analyze the kinds of arguments you find. Do they fall into distinct groups? What kinds of evidence do they give? Are they convincing? Does the HISTORY of vitamins (that you have just read about for this week) explain the rhetoric we still see?
Figure out what 3-4 main points you want to make about your SET OF ARTICLES and clearly organize your ~800-word posts to make those points. Posts are worth up to 15 points, based on your organization, clarity of analysis, and use of the readings.
Be sure to copy and paste the URLs of your sources into your post (top or bottom is fine). No formal citations required—but be sure the URLs of the sources you consult are listed somewhere. You will directly reference most of your sources in your description and analysis, and you should also list sources that inform your analysis even if you don’t explicitly reference them.
BE CAREFUL: In your essay you are generalizing WITH SPECIFIC EXAMPLES about a SET of articles (3-5). DO NOT summarize each article one by one! You might however, want to describe how one particular article stands out as different from others.
For your set, generalize how they communicate about the need for vitamins (however they characterize that), the kinds of evidence they use, and the kind rhetoric they employ (which might be similar to what’s described in today’s article on ads). MAKE SURE YOU’RE USING THE READINGS TO INFORM YOUR ANALYSIS.