Should beef and poultry be free of growth hormones?

| March 16, 2014

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Guidelines about choosing a topic:
As part of helpful handouts, I’ve included an expanding file of essays and another with quick, provocative graphics, both to help you come across a research paper topic that will engage your interest. I’m tired of the boring high school topics, and in fact, I forbid students to write about abortion or school uniforms or death penalty or ghost sightings (or any other religion-based topics). I’m looking for complex issues addressed in the language of public discourse in a pluralistic society (not “God says such-and-such”; but “X number of Americans hold these moral values; therefore….”.
You can use a topic from a subject of interest like art or music, as long as you keep it to MLA style argument and don’t turn it into a mere report. You MUST take a side on an issue others hold opposing views upon, and countering opposing views must be a part of your argument. Do NOT just “tell both sides.” Your objective is to win your own argument, to convince readers your opinion is right.
If you haven’t got a topic yet, skim through the Contemporary Arguments section of the text, Ch. 22 ? 28. Sophisticated arguments that show creative thinking on currently hot topics (not the tired political football ones) and have relevant quotes from the textbook, either philosophical or topic-specific, will get top points.
Step 1:
This step is an electronic version of the index card work that used to be standard preparation for research papers. To do this step, you need to have a topic and the articles that you will use to make your argument! In the final step, you will need to make a nuanced 4 to 6 page argument with 4 to 6 quality sources, at least four of them from the College of the Desert Library’s on-line databases or your textbook.
Begin by putting an MLA Style header on your paper. As noted, this paper is an electronic version of index card work, so it should NOT read like a finished argument! Your title can be Research Paper Step #1.
Item One, Paraphrase
A) Find an article that has material you might be able to use for your research paper.
B) Document your source! For example, here is an article that would be useful in a paper arguing for fewer restrictions on freedom of information:
UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection?the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights?Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. Joint Statement On Wikileaks. Organization of American States. December 21. 2010 https://www.oas.org/en/iachr/expression/showarticle.asp?artID=829&lID=1 February 23. 2014.
C) Select a section of the text at least as long as the following excerpt:
…the right of access to information should be subject to a narrowly tailored system of exceptions to protect overriding public and private interests such as national security and the rights and security of other persons. Secrecy laws should define national security precisely and indicate clearly the criteria which should be used in determining whether or not information can be declared secret. Exceptions to access to information on national security or other grounds should apply only where there is a risk of substantial harm to the protected interest and where that harm is greater than the overall public interest in having access to the information. In accordance with international standards, information regarding human rights violations should not be considered secret or classified.
D) Paraphrase the item. That means re-write it in your own words without losing any of the content! Double-space as you would in a paper. Show an in-text citation that would be adequate to lead your reader to the article documentation in a Works Cited page. For example:
A specifically detailed system of exceptions to the right of access to information should protect overarching public interests such as national security and private rights and personal security. National security should be defined precisely by secrecy laws and the criteria used to determine whether or not information can be declared secret should be indicated clearly. Only in cases where there is a substantial risk to the protected interest and where that harm is more serious than the overall public good of having access to the information should any exceptions to information access be made on national security or other grounds. Information regarding human rights violations, in accordance with international standards, should not be considered secret or classified (U. N. Special Rapporteur).
Item Two, Summary
A) Find a second article that has material you might be able to use for your research paper.
B) Document your source! See the Skills A assignment or the MLA handout in the Course Information area for help. I’ve taken the excerpt below from:
Jefferson, Cord. "When People Write for Free, Who Pays? Gawker.
C) Select a "chunk" of the article 8 to 10 lines long (even if you have to take more than one paragraph). Indent the chunk as a block quote. For example:
Becoming a successful writer?or journalist or actor or wigmaker?is an ambition that, like pretty much everything else in society, is rigged in numerous ways to favor people who start off with money. Far too many successful writers will tell you that their line of work is a meritocracy, as tech blogger-cum-entrepreneur Jason Calacanis did last month, saying that the only reason there aren’t more minorities in tech writing is because they’re not working hard enough. This is a self-serving lie for successful writers to promote, because inherent in it is that the writer telling it is a very talented and hard worker, better than his feckless and pathetic contemporaries who are less successful (Jefferson).
D) Summarize the item. That means write a brief version about 25% as long as the original. Double-space as you would in a paper. Show an in-text citation that would be adequate to lead your reader to the article documentation in a Works Cited page. For example:
Like many things in our society, success in writing is rigged in plenty of ways to favor people with money. Quite a few bloggers who have become successful free-lance writers say it’s all meritocracy, implying they are just more talented than their peers who earn less. For example, Jason Calacanis mouths the self-serving claim that there aren’t more minorities in tech writing because they are lazy (Jefferson).
Item Three, Short Quote:
Now, add all of the rest of the sources you will use in your paper, doing a short quote from a demonstrated block quote for the first, and your choice of paraphrase, summary or short quote from a selected block quote for the remaining sources. [See the quoting demonstration in Course Information].
Note: I’ve found that saving a document as an .rtf or .htm file will often preserve the formatting. If you can’t get an uploaded copy and paste document to show that, don’t worry too much about it. I can see from the way it’s organized if you’re reasonably on track with MLA formatting.
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