Your challenge is to write a review/critique of some webpage that discusses whether GMOs are safe (just Google ‘are GMOs safe’ or something similar). Questions to consider in your essay:
Don’t choose something that is super long or complex; that creates way more work for you than is necessary here. Also, don’t choose anything that is super short and trite; it simply won’t give you enough material to work with.
This assignment shows that you’re able to apply the course discussion and activities in the real world by critically analyzing some source that you might read even outside of this course. This is the goal of the entire course—see the learning objectives on the syllabus!—to help you think carefully and historically about diet and health. As with all your assignments, the goal is to put the course to use in addressing ‘real-world’ discussions about food production issues. The best essays will draw together various themes from the course. In other words, be sure you are analyzing your webpage in terms of the course.
You should begin your essay with a quick summary of the source—no more than a few sentences—so that your readers have an idea of what the point is (assume they have not read it themselves).
Then, comment about the evidence used to make the point. Maybe there are “scientific” studies, maybe anecdotal evidence, maybe nothing. Relatedly, how does the author establish expertise or authority?
Are you convinced by the evidence? What is problematic or missing? What are the assumptions of the author about the nature of diet and health?
In the process of getting your ideas on paper, you might end up with something like: “This article does not cite any research. The lack of research means it is difficult to understand if it should be trusted.” (22 words)
During revisions, you should rephrase this to: “The article’s lack of research compromises its authority.” (8 words) This gives you much-needed space for more analysis!
Note: Revisions are hard! But they are the only way to make your writing shine.
If you are not pleased with your grade, you can revise and resubmit them within 2 weeks of getting them back. You get an average grade between the two, though I tend to count the second one a bit more. I encourage you to meet with me about your essay before revising it to make sure you have a clear plan for revisions.
Please email me anytime with questions or concerns, including whether a particular source will work with the assignment. It is always worthwhile to talk about these things in class, too. Don’t hesitate to ask.