You are a hotshot journalist who has been asked to write a smart piece on food and technology. What are the key themes people should be thinking about? Don’t just state that history is important or recite course topics. DESCRIBE WITH EXAMPLES how history helps us think more critically about food and technology.
This assignment will show me that you’re able to use the course material to make smart arguments about the future of food using historical precedents.
As a comprehensive final exam, your answer should draw 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 support from course material. 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.
DO NOT simply provide a prose version of the syllabus outlining the topics we covered. Think thematically and synthetically. I’m looking for you to highlight WHAT you think are the most important themes/topics we’ve covered AND explain WHY they are the most important.
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 who asks you what you learned in your food technology class. If you just recite facts or historical tidbits your learned at some point this term, your audience (including me) 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 considered or maybe have thought about only superficially? Again, think thematically and synthetically.
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! To be succinct: MAKE A CASE for what you think are the most important big picture themes this semester—don’t just describe some topics we’ve covered or keep repeating that history is important. EXPLAIN HOW.
Again (and again), think thematically and synthetically. And give SPECIFIC EXAMPLES. Don’t write a whole paragraph about olives making people sick. So what?!? Write a paragraph or more about consumer trust, industrial growing pains, or the role of the media, in which you mention olives making people sick as a specific historical example.
Anything in your text that refers to a specific point or idea (and obviously direct quotations) 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). Do not cite entire works without a page number or page range.
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