Essays for Module 3 (105)

A message from Mike Laser:

“I put together this list of essays from the textbook for my students, for Module 3. I figured they have enough to do for their other subjects without having to skim every piece in the book. I didn’t summarize every piece in the book — only the ones I thought might be good starting points for Module 3 projects. Other teachers may have different choices, and they could post their suggestions in the Comments section.”
Hope this is helpful for some people.


Essays from Everyone’s an Author:

– About Food, Farming, and Agribusiness:

o Barlett/Steele, Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear – p. 817

 a long (20 pages) article about Monsanto’s aggressive tactics as it promotes its genetically-modified seeds and other agricultural products.

o Bittman, et al., A Food Policy Could Save Lives – p. 868

 an op-ed proposing a national food policy that would ensure access to safe, healthy food to all Americans—which will entail a fierce battle with the agricultural industry.

o Freedman, How Junk Food Can End Obesity – p. 931

 Freedman argues that most of the food that most Americans eat is processed food, and therefore, the best way to improve public health would be to make processed food healthier, rather than trying to convince people to eat more fresh vegetables.

o Schlosser, Why McDonald’s Fries Taste So Good – p. 1051

 a detailed report on how big food companies create flavors artificially (amazing facts in every sentence!)

o Spriggs, On Buying Local – p. 150

 a college student’s essay outlining the benefits of buying food grown locally on small farms.

o hooks, Touching the Earth – p. 968

 an essay about the connection African-Americans had with nature in the agricultural South, and the damage done to the human spirit when we have too little contact with nature.

– About Technology, and how it affects us

o Carr, World and Screen – p. 889

 an essay arguing that using a GPS takes us one step further from direct connection with the world around us.

o Pinker, Mind over Mass Media

 an essay arguing that the brain adapts well to new technologies, contrary to the dire warnings that greet every innovation.

– About the Working Poor and Poverty

o Ehrenreich, Serving in Florida – p. 917

 The author describes what happened when she took a job as a waitress in Florida to see if she could survive on the salary that low-income Americans earn.

o McMillan Cottom, The Logic of Stupid Poor People – p. 1011

 Answering the question, “Why do poor people buy luxury items they can’t afford?” the author argues that these purchases open doors, by making their owners seem “acceptable.”

– About Immigration

o Vargas, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant – p. 1078

 an essay/memoir by a man who came to the U.S. from the Philippines at age twelve and built a successful career as a journalist: he’s still undocumented.


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