Your final essay must meet all of these standards to pass:
1. 1,500 words (approximately five pages);
2. contain a bibliography at the end, which contains at least ten sources, none of them wikipedia or similar non-college-level sources;
3. all quotes and paraphrasing and the bibliography must be in strictly MLA format;
4. must quote from a minimum of two different essays or other materials you were assigned to read and/or watch throughout this quarter (these include all the readings from American Earth, as well as the interviews with writers, the New York Times article, the videos, and so forth); the quotes you use must be relevant and used as evidence to support your argument;
5. must state a clear thesis—which is a conclusion of your argument in that it states your position on your issue/topic—in the introduction
6. must use a variety of types of reasons for supporting your conclusion/thesis, including statistics, research findings, case examples, and authoritative sources; you may also use personal experience and testimony, but those cannot be your only evidence;
7. must conclude with a prescriptive assumption—that is, a closing statement about how the world MUST be in the future.
You must choose a topic from one of these topics:
a) the world’s oceans
b) the global oil industry
c) industrial farming practices
Within these topics are enormous possibilities. You must choose a specific argument to make. You can choose ANY topic that appeals to you—but it must relate to these subject areas.
Here are some possibilities to show you how focused your essay must be. Notice that each topic is posed as a question, so that your essay is your answer to the question.
1. Should shark-finning be made illegal?
2. Should California ban plastic bags?
3. Are electric cars a good solution to oil consumption in the United States?
4. Shuld GMO foods be banned in the United States?
5. Should strawberry farmers stop using pesticides?