Assignment: Extended Writing 2

Assigned:
Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017
Due:
Friday, Dec 1, 2017 by 5pm
Collaboration:
You are expected to submit your own writing. If you use outside resources (including our course texts) you must cite those sources.

Identify a topic where misinformation plays an important role in the discourse around that topic. You may not choose a topic we have already discussed in class. Your essay should address these questions:

  1. What effect does the misinformation have on the discussion of this topic?
  2. Who presents this misinformation? Why might they do so?

In addition to these broader questions, provide background on the topic and at least two specific examples of misinformation to support your analysis. Make sure to clearly explain the details that are obscured or overlooked along with your examples.

Do not forget to present a thesis in your essay; we will not go through any explicit thesis-preparation exercises for this writing assignment, but you may find it useful to work through the exercises we used to prepare for the previous extended writing assignment. Regardless of how you select your thesis, make sure you identify a common theme; your writing should not just present two unrelated examples of misinformation along with background on your topic; look for patterns, surprising contradictions, or other details that tie your examples together with your interpretation.

For example, this thesis statement does not do a good job expressing a coherent idea:

Advocates on both sides of the debate over organic farming offer misleading information. Advocates for organic food production romanticize natural farming methods, while those in favor of conventional farming ignore the risks of many common agricultural practices.

This thesis statement simply lists two facts about a debate. While these facts may be connected later in the essay, the thesis statement doesn’t indicate any particular connection. In addition to setting us up for a boring list-type essay, this thesis statement offers no specific interpretation.

The following thesis statement would make for a much more interesting essay:

Both sides in the debate over organic farming rely on misleading claims that obscure the critical issue of sustainable agriculture; supporters of conventional farming misrepresent the potential harms of chemical-intensive farming, while advocates for organic farming needlessly limit themselves to many outdated practices that threaten critical water resources.

This thesis statement offers two connected observations of misinformation: conventional farming relies on many practices that are harmful, but advocates ignore the effects of these practices. However, in discarding these practices, advocates for organic farming also rule out many modern advances that actually make agriculture less environmentally costly, such as chemical fertilizers. This thesis statement offers two connected examples along with an interpretation: these two cases of misleading information obscure a critical issue in the debate.

Requirements

Your final written work should be at least four, but no more than six pages of text in an 11pt serif font (e.g. Times New Roman) with 1.5 line spacing and one inch margins. You should include a title (be creative), your name, and the subtitle “Extended Writing 2” on the first page of your writing.

As with all work for this course, you are required to cite your sources. You may use the course texts, but I encourage you to find additional sources. Use MLA citations for this paper. Your bibliography should generally contain at least four sources, and does not count toward the page limit. If you have questions about how or whether to cite a source, please contact me or make an appointment during office hours.

Submitting Your Work

You only need to submit an electronic version of your writing. Plase email it to me with the subject [TUT 100] Extended Writing 1. Include your writing as an attachment, or link to a Sharepoint or Google document that gives me permission to provide comments on your writing. I must receive your email before 5pm on the due date.