You must write a one page topic proposal. This document must:
1. Identify your topic.
2. Identify and explain its origin in your Idea Collection. What article(s) or topic of interest did it stem from?
3. Name the debatable claim you’ll be exploring. This can either be a working thesis/initial position or a statement clarifying what you’ll be looking into.
4. Discuss why you think this topic is a good one for this paper. You can think of this as a place to explain your connection to the topic and what you hope to learn from or accomplish by writing about it.
Your ultimate goal here is to get yourself centered and on track for the project. You are also writing to persuade me that your topic will work and that you have at least some level of commitment to it.
You should have at least 3 potential sources here. I’ll give extra credit if you have 4 or 5.
An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of source citations. Each citation is followed by an annotation: a brief summary and evaluation of the source. It helps you identify the content, quality, and relevance of the source.
1. The MLA source citation
2. The summary portion, at least 2-3 sentences.
Here’s a starting template:
The main purpose of the article is _____.
The key question/concept that the author is addressing is ____.
The main inferences/conclusions in this article are ____.
3. The evaluation portion, at least 2-3 sentences. Examine the context. Consider the author’s credibility, the timeliness of the source, the bias, etc.
Here’s a start:
The author demonstrates credibility by ____.
This argument seems relevant because _____.
4. The statement of use section, at least 1-2 sentences. How might you use the source in your final paper?
This is an important source for my paper because ____.
Example: (Indent it properly, please).
Nabhan, Gary Paul. “Drowning in a Shallow Gene Pool: The Factory Turkey.” Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation. University of Arizona Press, 2002, pp. 156-74.
The main purpose of Nabhan’s essay is to explore the genetic history of the wild turkey; he does so in the form of a creative but seriously researched essay. He looks at early species of wild turkeys and discusses their initial domestication (and thus genetic alteration) by Mesoamerican villages in the American southwest. Though genetic alteration occurred, the bird had a varied practical purpose and symbiotic value–there was no need for one particular trait to be over developed. Later, European influence made the modern turkey virtually unrecognizable in the service of increased meat production goals–in the 1800s, turkeys reached maturity earlier, could breed and reproduce more frequently, had dulled senses, more meat, and were visually uniform.
The key concept that Nabhan is addressing is the idea that Native genetic alteration indeed affected the make-up of food, but not dramatically, and plant and animal food sources adapted naturally to their environment. Modern genetic alteration increases production but makes our food sources (the turkey being just one example in Nabhan’s book) something that can only survive in a factory farm setting. The main inferences in this article might be that Native farming was sustainable, productive, and did not have an adverse effect on the environment but modern production is actually less sustainable and more harmful because it necessitates a factory environment. Nabhan demonstrates credibility with his extensive primary research–he studies at museums and historic sites, interview experts on Native farming techniques, and visits a turkey factory. He also refers to many established scholarly writers on the subject.
This is an important source for my paper because it helps to support my argument that factory farms do not truly increase productivity. Our food is altered to aid production but the long-term environmental impact and financial expense of factory farming makes the production gains less remarkable–factory farms might be unnecessary if we were able to return what Nabhan calls “enduring seeds,” the native plants and animals that are more naturally adapted to specific environments.
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