this project has two goals:
To give you the opportunity to research one food related issue in greater depth than we will be able to discuss in lecture.
To show how making use of different perspectives (population, markets, commons, political economy, environmental ethics, social construction) provides different ways of understanding a food related problem’ and its possible solutions.
Your projects will be graded according to three criteria: (1) How well you identify and describe your food related issues; (2) how well you compare and contrast how different perspectives help us understand your issue; and (3) the overall quality of your paper, including grammar and the use and proper citation of outside sources.
Research and Planning
While you are welcome to approach this project in whatever way you see fit, my suggestion is to work in the following way:
Identify a food related environmental issue. You are welcome to choose whatever issue interests you, so long as it involves some social component (i.e., people) and some natural component (something to do with the non-human physical world). Some of the issues that you mentioned in your opening survey include: food scarcity; starvation and malnutrition; genetically modified organisms/food; pesticide use; industrial agriculture; obesity; consequences of an increasingly globalized food production system; diabetes; and waste. Be specific. Rather than write about “obesity,” for example, write about “obesity in Los Angeles” or “obesity in the South” or “obesity in Vietnam.”
Research your issue. If you cannot find enough material, you might (1) consider changing the issue that you’re looking at or (2) making an appointment to work with me in office hours. The UCLA Library also offers a number of resources to help you find material. You must cite at least 12 independent sources. These may include Wikipedia, encyclopedia entries, newspaper articles, online blog posts, policy papers, and scholarly research articles. Online search engines and Wikipedia are easy places to begin, but you might also want to consider the research guide prepared for Geography 132 (Food and Environment), a list of Geography Journals and Databases, or Lexis Nexis (an excellent database for news articles).
Remember, your UCLA student fees give you access to a range of materials. You should not have to pay for accessing any of the articles that you find. As the library’s website points out: “The Library’s online subscription resources can always be accessed from computers and wireless networks on campus. However, off-campus access is restricted to current UCLA, students, faculty, and staff who have set up their computer using one of the following methods.
Bruin OnLine Proxy Server: A browser setting which will automatically divert you to a UCLA logon page when you first access a restricted site.
Virtual Private Networking (VPN): A program you can download and install. The VPN software must be logged on manually before you access a restricted site, but works for all programs on your computer.
Mednet VPN: VPN for UCLA mednet users.
VPN for Mobile Devices: Most tablets and smartphones have built-in VPN software which can be configured to use UCLA’s VPN.”
Review your materials. What perspectives are you going to choose? What sorts of words/ideas/debates show up in your research that connect to our classroom discussions? For example, if I were writing about pesticide use in Turkey today, I might begin by asking these questions: Why are pesticides being used? Is pesticide use connected to a changing economic relationship between Turkey and the European Union? What are the costs (individual and social) of pesticide use? Then I would return to my notes: The perspectives that talk most about cost and economy are “markets” and “political economy”. How does each perspective provide a different way of understanding cost and benefit? How would each perspective analyze the problem and offer solutions? How are they the same and different? This analysis will change for every project. I would be delighted to discuss this more in office hours or over email.
Writing the Project
Your project should include the following sections:
An introductory paragraph that states the food related issue you’re going to analyze and the two perspectives (at least) that you’re going to compare and contrast.
One-two paragraphs that describe your issue for readers who might not be familiar with the specifics of the issue. All key facts and issues should be correctly cited.
The bulk of your paper (~4 pages) will compare and contrast how two different perspectives would identify the ‘problem’ and offer solutions for it. You should demonstrate that you understand what it means to think in terms of population, markets, environmental ethics, etc. and that you are able to apply those perspectives to your specific issue. This can be demonstrated in many ways, but you are strongly encouraged to quote from newspaper reports, policy briefs, and scholarly articles that best represent particular perspectives. If you quote, please make sure to correctly cite your source(s).
A conclusion (no more than 2 paragraphs) that could include your own opinion on the issue and whether your thinking about this issue has changed over the course of the project.
Other things to remember
Your paper should include at least 12 independent sources. Please use footnotes to cite your sources; use the Chicago Manual of Style as a reference.
Your paper should be 5-7 pages, not including any bibliography. You do not need to include a title page. You may include a bibliography, but it is not necessary if you include full citations in your footnotes.
Do not plagiarize. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, see this website, visit the UCLA Writing Center, or make plans to work with me in office hours. When in doubt, cite your source.
links – http://guides.library.ucla.edu/c.php?g=180412&p=1185628