Reaserch On Materialism
Activity 18: Considering Your Task and Your Rhetorical Situation – The Writing Task
Up until this point, you have been paying careful attention to a single text, working hard to understand the writer’s argument, including how he develops and supports that argument. But Andrew Lam is just one voice in the conversation—and in fact, the argument he makes about consumer culture and garbage production participates in several ongoing conversations about these and related issues. Now it is your turn to respond to these issues by joining a conversation of your choice.
Writers respond to rhetorical situations by taking rhetorical action. That is, they target specific audiences and occasions and use their words to change how others think, act, or feel. For this assignment, you will take rhetorical action in two ways: research and advocacy. You will first research, interpret, and synthesize multiple sources that deepen your audience’s understanding of the issue. The research option will thus be a reading-based argument essay that may respond directly to Lam’s article as one of the sources.
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Be mindful of what you research because after your essay is complete, you will use the information you have gathered to create an advocacy project. You will develop a communication plan and artifacts (e.g., PSAs, emails, posters, digital stories, tweets, policy recommendations, infographics, etc.) directed at changing your audience’s response to the issue. You will present your advocacy project to the class. But you do not need to stop there. You can implement a change in your school or community, such as adopting “The Last Straw” program (a program aimed at eliminating single-use plastics), creating a school composting program, or persuading school administrators and raising funds to install campus hydration stations that encourage the use of refillable water bottles.
BOTH steps of this assignment are required to include the following:
· Citations from multiple sources (for the advocacy option, these may appear in the artifacts as footnotes, in-text citations, links, references, expert testimony—whatever is most appropriate for the genre selected)
· A works-cited list
· Reading-based argumentation
· An answer to a question at issue
· Appropriate and effective use of genre conventions
See below for additional directions for step one.
Step #1: Research Project
Write a 1,000 to 1,500-word research paper responding to a question at issue related to the topics of consumer culture and waste management. Begin by designing and conducting a research project investigating your question. Consider the work that others have done to address this issue. Gather, analyze, and evaluate evidence from multiple sources. Look for significant trends in your data. Present your findings through a well-organized essay crafted for an academic audience.
In addition to reading scholarly sources (i.e., sources vetted through a peer-review process and published by academic presses), you may also conduct research by doing any of the following:
· Obtain a food scale and weigh your food waste after each meal. Record your data in a spreadsheet. Analyze trends in your data and draw conclusions using evidence-based reasoning. Include graphs or charts of your data in your research essay.
· Conduct field research at a grocery store on any of the following: product packaging; product origin; product expiration dates; consumer use of plastic, paper, or reusable bags; waste management, etc. Include photographs in your research essay.
· Conduct field research at a waste management facility. Take a tour or attend a class if possible. Many waste management facilities offer educational programs to the public, including classes in home composting.
Pairing Up Research is usually conducted by a community of scientists working together. If you prefer to engage in a group experience, you may work with 1-2 other people for both the research and advocacy portion of the assignment. However, you will need to fill out a group contract and get teacher approval. Once you have contracted to work with a group, you can not switch out of the group.
P u r p o s e
10 8 6 4 The response is fully sustained and consistently and purposely focused: ● Claim is introduced, clearly communicated,
and the focus is strongly maintained for the purpose, audience, and task
The response is adequately sustained and generally focused: ● Claim is clear, and the focus is mostly
maintained for the purpose, audience, and task
The response is somewhat sustained and may have a minor drift in focus: ● Claim may be somewhat unclear, and the focus
may be insufficiently sustained for the purpose, audience, and task
The response may be related to the claim but may provide little or no focus: ● Claim may be confusing or ambiguous;
response may be too brief, or the focus may drift from the purpose, audience, or task
O r g a n i z a t i o n
The response has a clear and effective organizational structure, creating a sense of unity and completeness: ● Consistent use of a variety of transitional
strategies to clarify the relationships between and among ideas
● Effective introduction and conclusion ● Logical progression of ideas from beginning to
end; strong connections between and among ideas with some syntactic variety
The response has an evident organizational structure and a sense of completeness, though there may be minor flaws and some ideas may be loosely connected: ● Adequate use of transitional strategies with
some variety to clarify the relationships between and among ideas
● Adequate introduction and conclusion ● Adequate progression of ideas from
beginning to end; adequate connections between and among ideas
The response has an inconsistent organizational structure, and flaws are evident: ● Inconsistent use of transitional strategies and/or
little variety ● Introduction and conclusion, if present, may be
weak ● Uneven progression of ideas from beginning to
end, and/or formulaic; inconsistent or unclear connections among ideas
The response has little or no discernible organizational structure: ● Few or no transitional strategies are evident ● Introduction and conclusion may be
missing ● Frequent extraneous ideas may be evident;
ideas may be randomly ordered or have an unclear progression
E v i d e n c e
The response provides thorough and convincing support/evidence for the argument(s) and claim that includes the effective use of sources (facts and details): ● Comprehensive evidence (at least nine direct
quotations) from sources is integrated; references are relevant and specific
The response provides adequate support/ evidence for the argument(s) and claim that includes the use of sources (facts and details): ● Adequate evidence (at least six direct
quotations) from sources is integrated; some references may be general
The response provides uneven, cursory support/ evidence for the argument(s) and claim that includes partial or uneven use of sources (facts and details): ● Insufficient support (five or less quotes); some
evidence from sources may be weakly integrated, imprecise or repetitive; references may be vague
The response provides minimal support/ evidence for the argument(s) and claim that includes little or no use of sources (facts and details): ● Evidence from source material is minimal
(4 or less direct quotations) or irrelevant; references may be absent or incorrectly used
E l a b o r a t i o n
The response clearly and effectively expresses ideas, using precise language: ● Effective use of a variety of elaboration
techniques ● Vocabulary is clearly appropriate for the
audience and purpose, maintains an academic tone, and does not contain connotative diction
The response adequately expresses ideas, employing a mix precise with more general language: ● Adequate use of some elaborative
techniques ● Vocabulary is generally appropriate for the
audience and purpose, mostly maintains an academic tone without connotative diction
The response expresses ideas unevenly, using simplistic language: ● Weak or uneven use of some elaborative
techniques; development may consist primarily of source summary or may rely on emotional appeal
● Vocabulary use is uneven or somewhat ineffective for the audience and purpose; may include connotative diction
● Inconsistent or weak attempt to create an academic tone
The response’s expression ideas is vague, lacks clarity, or is confusing: ● Minimal, if any use of some elaborative
techniques; emotional appeal may dominate ● Vocabulary is limited or ineffective for the
audience and purpose ● Little or no evidence of academic style;
includes connotative diction
5 3 1
The response demonstrates an adequate command of conventions: ● Adequate use of correct sentence formation, punctuation,
capitalization, grammar usage, and spelling
The response demonstrates a partial command of conventions: ● Limited use of correct sentence formation, punctuation,
capitalization, grammar usage, and spelling
The response demonstrates little or no command of conventions: ● Infrequent use of correct sentence formation, punctuation,
capitalization, grammar usage, and spelling
Includes a comprehensive work cited list that details each work used in proper MLA citation format.
Includes a complete work cited list that mostly follows MLA format.
Work cited list is incomplete and/or incorrectly formatted