Answer the following question: What can we learn relevant to our present food system and about our relationship to food by studying the history of food and technology?
This assignment shows that you’re able to summarize key course themes and use the course material to make smart arguments about the future of food using historical precedents. As a final exam, your answer should draw widely from the entire course to show me how much of the material you’re now able to use. Your essay is to an extent an opinion piece, but I care less about what your opinion IS than how you back it up. In other words, you can argue anything you want—there’s no right or wrong answer per se—but you need to make a coherent argument supported by historical evidence and examples. Think thematically and synthetically.
Pausing the obvious for a moment: Your audience is NOT ME as your professor who is grading your paper. It’s someone you want to impress and who asks you what you learned in your food technology class. If you just recite facts or historical tidbits your learned in the class, your audience will not be impressed. They want the big picture. The so what. The who cares. What kinds of issues are important for this person to think about that they probably haven’t or maybe only superficially? Think thematically and synthetically.
There is no set structure like for the book review. But your paper must make a coherent argument throughout, not just randomly drift from topic to topic in the hopes of mentioning everything that you think I might be looking for. I’m definitely not looking for that! You have already practiced doing this with your book reviews and summaries.
In general, think thematically and synthetically and give specific examples. Don’t write a whole paragraph about olives making people sick. Who cares?! Write a paragraph or more about consumer trust or the role of the media in which olives making people sick is mentioned as a specific historical example.
Anything in your text that refers to a specific point or idea should a have parenthetical page reference. These show me as the grader how you are using course materials in your review. Use author/date format like (Gibbs, 75). When we’ve read more than one thing from an author, cite a short title of the work as well, like (Jenkins, Food Fight, 33).
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