Genetically Engineered Foods Essay.
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> Explore the list of topics for the position paper below, taken from each of the three parts of The Omnivore’s Dilemma:
> Part I:
> Genetically engineered foods
> Sedentary lifestyles
> Connection between poverty and obesity
> Marketing of unhealthy food to children
> Factory farming
> Type II diabetes
> High fructose corn syrup
> Trans fats
> Nutritional labels
> Part II:
> Processed foods
> Food-borne illnesses/ poisoning
> Chemical pesticides
> Agricultural pollution
> Fossil fuels and global warming
> Global food crisis
> Corn fed vs. grass fed
> Part III
> Animal rights
> Animal abuse
> Fast food restaurants
> Organic vs. industrial food
> The Position Paper
> A four-paragraph format is sufficient for this type of paper.
> First Paragraph: Introduction and thesis statement: The first paragraph will have a thesis statement at the end of it signaling the main argument of the paper. See the information above on the thesis statement, which can take a stand on the problem or the solution. Before this point, several sentences worth of attention-grabbing ideas should exist. Remember that readers may be an indifferent audience, and your job here is to entirely enthrall, alarm, shock, or disturb them – to take them out of their proverbial comfort zone and into the controversial issue that you’re about to argue. Tyler Ohmann’s introduction in his paper “Allowing Guns on Campus Will Prevent Shootings, Rape” found in Chapter 11 of the textbook Writing Today provides a perfect example of an attention-grabbing introduction. The first three sentences consist of an actual occurrence of an on-campus rape and robbery. The fourth and fifth sentences indicate that it isn’t an isolated incident; this kind of crime continues to occur. The final sentence contains the thesis: This crime could be stopped if guns were allowed on campus.
> Consider using an anecdote or short story as Ohmann did in his introduction. Think about your topic and a story related to your topic; you may use The Omnivore’s Dilemma to find anecdotes on these topics. If your topic were cheating in sports, start off with a story from the doping scandals that have rocked the cycling world: Floyd Landis, the 2006 winner of the world’s premier cycling event, the Tour de France, was stripped of his title, denying—and later admitting to—using performance-enhancing drugs. Or it could be personal: relay the story of your foray into online dating and the hilarious messages from potential dates, who turn out to be nothing like their pictures or descriptions. Consider the way Kate Dailey started her essay found in Chapter 11, “Friends with Benefits: Do Facebook Friends Provide the Same Support as Those in Real Life?” Her introduction is about a real-life acquaintance who posted news of her young son’s death on her Facebook page, leading Dailey to ponder what the term “friend” really means, and whether online friends serve the same purpose as actual friends.
> Second and third paragraphs: The second and third paragraphs will have the same pattern: Present the opposing view and your view; discuss why your view is superior. Have two points of contention; each point will be discussed in separate paragraphs. Of course, be clear that you disagree with opposing views. For example, in Tyler Ohmann’s position paper in Chapter 11 of the textbook Writing Today, he argues that guns should be allowed on campus for self-defense. He first explains that our Second Amendment grants us the right to bear arms; his opponents disagree, claiming that the Second Amendment cannot be interpreted as the right to bear arms. He argues that his ideas are right on target, so to speak, and that allowing students to carry guns is a solution to violence. In another paragraph, Ohmann argues that guns provide students with a sense of safety and comfort; his opponents claim that guns create an uncomfortable environment on campus. Throughout the paragraph, he convinces the reader that guns are a safe solution.
> Consider the thesis statement from above: “Standardized achievement tests should be abolished because they don’t accurately predict students’ performance, and they reduce schools to test-taking institutions.” The second paragraph would take the stand that tests are not good predictors of students’ future performance; the point of contention would be that these tests do let schools know how proficient students are in the tested subjects. The entire paragraph would attempt to convince the reader that these tests don’t tell much of anything about students’ actual abilities. Below is what the third paragraph of the position paper on this topic might look like:
> Second, standardized tests should be abolished because they reduce schools to test-taking institutions. Some believe that schools serve many other purposes aside from preparing students for tests. They claim that, far from being test-taking factories, schools these days provide a solid foundation for all students, whether they will attend college or go directly into the workplace. On the contrary, schools cannot provide a solid foundation if all they do is “teach to the test.” Teachers engage in “drill-and-kill” exercises that force students to memorize facts and figures rather than think critically about issues and solve problems. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are needed in both college and in the workplace, but teachers have no time to develop these skills when they’re forced to teach skills valued only on tests. The amount of time devoted to test-teaching is almost unconscionable; several months ahead of the standardized test, the drilling and killing begins. The math and English teachers are not the only ones affected; music and art classes cease to exist, and physical education classes consist of robotic reading of short passages and answering end-of-chapter questions. And if students are doing poorly on these tests, then their electives become Extra Reading and Formulaic Math, and Saturday tutoring sessions are not out of the question. Their mission to prepare well-rounded students becomes lost in a quagmire of rote memorization and a narrowly defined set of skills that someone has deemed worthy.
> Above, the paragraph begins with a topic sentence, which is the second reason found in the thesis statement. The second sentence above is the first point of contention that opponents claim. Then, the third sentence explains the opponents’ claim in further detail. The rest of the paragraph convinces the reader of the topic sentence, explaining how and why schools lose their mission when they become test-taking institutions. Note the strong, passionate language found in these words and phrases: unconscionable, drilling and killing, robotic reading, and quagmire.
> If you decide to use ideas from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, be sure to paraphrase, summarize, or quote the borrowed idea accurately; then follow the idea with a citation. For paraphrases or summaries of the authors’ ideas, the format for citations would be (Pollan, 2006). For quotations, the format would be (Pollan, 2006, p. XX) where XX should be substituted with the correct page number.
> Fourth paragraph: Conclusion: In this last paragraph, detail your main argument again, followed by why the future looks brighter due to your ideas. Predict how or why your ideas lead to positive outcomes. In Ohmann’s conclusion, he reiterates his argument and concludes that carrying a gun will mean safer campuses in the future. The writer of the standardized test paper above would conclude that doing away with these tests would mean that schools are free to attend to their real needs: preparing students for college and the workplace. Several sentences are needed for this last paragraph; leave a strong final impression.