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Draft notes

As promised, I'm posting a couple of examples of papers I think approached this assignment well. Neither are perfect, but I think they get the general idea. Here's the first:

On the other hand, Indur M. Goklany, the author of “Saving Habitat and Conserving Biodiversity on a Crowded Planet,� a journal article in BioScience, argues that technological advances, like the implementation of genetically modified crops, actually help the environment. Using genetically modified crops prevents further deforestation, irrigation, and fertilizer runoff, and allows the same farmland to feed more and more people. In addition, habitats are not being displaced by new farmland. According to Goklany, “If technology had been ‘frozen’ in 1961, then merely to feed the world’s 1993 population at the inadequate levels of 1961, it would have been necessary to increase agricultural lands by at least 80% over 1961 levels� (941). Therefore, with new technology, farmers have been able to increase yield and prevent creating new farmland. This scholarly source is very credible, coming from a respected journal, and it contains a good amount of scientific data to clarify and support its positions. The viewpoint of the author is that GM crops and other new technology can actually be beneficial to the environment. There is much disagreement between this source and the first source, written by Vandana Shiva. Shiva may have argued that this land, with intensive industrial cultivation, may become unsustainable, and therefore not beneficial to the environment at all.

This writer does a good job of giving some context for the source, summarizing its most important points, and then reflecting on it. The best part of the second paragraph to me is the connection to a previous source. The credibility question can actually be addressed in the first part of the first paragraph, just by stating that this is a scientific study (and therefore scholarly) which is richly detailed.

Here's another example:

In the book “Energy Eating: The Vegetarian Way�, Lucy Moll stresses the idea of the “biological food craving�. She describes this biological food craving as, “a nutritional need for a certain type of food to balance brain chemicals� (88). She argues that these cravings are not only normal, but necessary to fulfill as well. It is the body’s way of voicing its needs. By denying the body these needs, it is being denied of the opportunity to function at peak ability. When the biological food cravings are fulfilled, “high spirits, calm nerves, energy, better concentration, clearer and quicker thinking, improved memory and heightened physical performance� may be experienced (88). This is because it is brain chemicals that are triggering the craving. More specifically, it is neurotransmitters that trigger the craving. The most common neurotransmitters that are associated with cravings are endorphins, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and neuropeptide Y (88). When these transmitters are satisfied, they are able to release the good feelings listed previously. This also explains why women tend to get more cravings, especially chocolate, during certain times of their menstrual cycle. The fluctuating hormones and neurotransmitter cause the brain to trigger more cravings then at other times (100). While this all seemed great and wonderful, I found a lack in an explanation to why it is these transmitters that cause the food cravings as opposed to other ones. I also wondered if the only reason we crave food is because we want that pleasurable feeling. That lead me to thinking whether the underlying cause of food craving is the body’s actual way of craving the pleasure hormones, and food is an easy way to obtain them. While I found this book to be a helpful source in my research, I think it could have touched on some more in depth reasoning.

Here again, this writer introduces the source, summarizes it, and then gives some reflection. The "I" here isn't totally necessary--the writer could have just said that "Moll fails to explain why these transmitters..." rather than inserting herself. I'd also like to see a connection to the other sources used in this paper. But this gets the general idea down.

Hopefully this helps! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you're unsure of my expectations for this piece.