The purpose of this essay is to choose an issue or idea that is related to the readings by Michael Moss, Eric
Schlosser (for morning classes only), and Michael Pollan and to research and explore that issue. There are
several important things to think about: 1.) You should be interested and/or have experience with the topic 2.)
You should not repeat or rewrite information from research. We often refer to this as “an information dump.” 3.)
You are not required to create an argument that asks you to find an answer to a problem. Nor do you have to call
for action. 4.) What you are doing is investigating an issue in the same sense that Moss, Schlosser (morning
classes), and Pollan write as journalists rather than scientists. 5.) Past experience with this essay indicates
that hands on types of research reap benefits.
Your first essay examined writing strategies; most of you discussed language, description, narrative, and
research as important strategies. Use those same strategies in your writing. In order to write a well-researched
paper, your research must be academic and you will be required to conduct at least one interview. Google and
general internet research cannot be used for this essay, so keep that in mind as you choose a topic.
Here are suggested strategies for this essay:
• First and most importantly, find a specific focus from the very large and general topic you have chosen. As you
write, go back over and over to refine the specific topic of your work. (This is the key to success for this
writing project. If you are writing more than eight pages, your topic is too general.)
• Develop your ideas with any of the writing strategies that you analyzed in the first essay.
• Your essay should be no less the six and no more than eight pages not including the Works Cited page.
• Your writing does not have to be an argument, and you do not have to draw conclusions. However, the essay
should have a clear central idea (thesis) and a strong conclusion that does not summarize what you have written.
• Your writing should be exploratory rather than argumentative. So, rather than saying “fast food companies must
remove all sugar, salt, and fat,” you want to research the presence of sugar, salt, and fat in fast food.
Discover various ways of thinking about the topic. Look at different perspectives. Be objective in your writing.
• Trust your own authority. Blend material from your own experience and observations. Your experience is an
important source of information; however, do not turn the essay into a personal narrative. Moss, Schlosser, and
Pollan included themselves in their writing, but it was limited and used for a purpose.
• Avoid generalizations such as “in today’s society.” Anchor your work in specifics – observations, experiences,
statistics. The information that you choose should support or develop an idea or claim. Use information toward
• Let your passion for the topic come through. The information should challenge or complicate what you have been
thinking about the topic. Employ surprise.
• Find a persona – a writing voice. Don’t be a conduit for information; have a voice in the information.
• Make this writing assignment interesting for yourself and your enthusiasm will shine through.
Adding outside sources
• Direct quotes should be brief and work only as support or evidence. Your voice should be louder than outside
• No block quotes should be used for this assignment
• Each paragraph is developed with mostly your own words with outside sources acting as support or evidence
• 6-8 pages in MLA format
• No less than 3 peer reviewed academic sources
• At least 1 interview with an authority in the field
• A clear and concise central point that is developed in the body of the essay
• Not required but may be included –visuals such as photographs (placed correctly with the text), charts, graphs,
or other illustrations that will add to the information.
to be on organic foods vs. inorganic foods. Maybe pic a couple products and research the
different items or synthetic toxins put in inorganic foods that organic foods don’t have. Also how animals are
raised organically opposed to inorganic. If there can be a graph included that would be great but no more than
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