Writer’s choice

Before you read the instructions, notice that the writer should have read through the book, which called”Global Issues, Local Arguments:Readings for Writing” by June Johnson.

Essay #1–Trading Goods

Our first essay is a response to the readings from Chapters 3, and should include specific references to the text when appropriate. You may also develop the essays with examples from your own lives, including other courses you taken that covered similar themes. In other words, personal experience is o.k. as evidence, but keep in mind that this essay is primarily a response to a text.

The introduction of the essay must clearly focus on a thesis, and the body of the essay must have clear and specific examples to develop supporting points. Try to conclude the essay by connecting the issues your essay discusses with your audience (your instructor and the other students in the course). See the English 110 essay rubric for more ideas on how to develop and self-assess your writing.

The essay must be 4-6 double-spaced pages in length, using a font such as Times New Roman in 12 point size (10001500 words). The essay must also follow MLA style–see the handbook A Writer’s Resource for information on MLA style.

The specific essay questions are from the “Writing Assignments” sections at the end of the chapter and are reprinted here:

1. Choose one of the following claims about free trade, sweatshops, and consumerism and construct a well-developed argument in favor of or against this claim. Write for a neutral or indifferent audience of your peers who have not thought much about this issue.
A. Free trade benefits developing countries.
B. Encouraging free trade agreements helps the United States economically and geopolitically.
C. Consumers in rich nations hold responsibility for the exploitation and social injustices experienced by workers and people in developing countries.
D. Americans should think beyond themselves and the pursuit of bargain prices when they shop.
E. Consumers and citizens should demand government and corporate quality control of domestic and foreign manufactured goods instead of expecting quality control by the manufacturing countries.
F. Protecting American industries and agriculture with tariffs and quotas on imports is economically sound.
2. Role-play this situation. Suppose a friend says to you, “I really feel bad that workers are laboring under life-threatening conditions to produce the jeans (or sneakers, or sweaters, or CD player) I buy. However, practically, I don’t have the time right now to figure out how to be a college student, prepare for a career, work at my part-time job, and change my consumer habits.” Write an argumentative response to your friend in which you either agree and elaborate on the difficulties of changing our consumer habits, or disagree and propose some concrete ways to learn about manufacturing processes and the treatment of workers. For evidence to build your argument, you might use these sources: the affordable prices of super discount stores; the good sales at local malls; the convenience of retail catalogs; personal experience; the readings in this chapter; other research you have done; and the following websites, which explore the ways that goods are produced
i. Responsible Shopper (www.responsiblehopper.org)
ii. American Apparel (www.americanapparel.net)
iii. No Sweat Apparel (www.nosweatapparel.com)
iv. Ethical Threads (www.ethicalthreads.co.uk)
v. Clean Clothes Campaign (www.cleanclothes.org)
3. Thinking about the contribution one of the writers in this chapter has made to the general publics understanding of the issue, write an essay in which you analyze the argumentative strategies of one of the following: Ha-Joon Chang, Thom Hartmann, Jeffrey Sachs, or Froma Harrop. In your analysis, you might focus on the writer use of analogy, evidence, description and narrative, or personal experience as support for his/her claim and reasons; the writers credibility and authority; or the match between the genre of the argument, the audience for the argument, and the writerword choice and level of formality. You may want to include a short summary of the argument in your introduction. Write to attract readers like yourself to this writer argument or discourage them from reading it.
4. A number of the readings in this chapter (as well as Ed FinnHarnessing Our Consumer Power in Chapter 2) put pressure on the link between consumers in rich nations and the condition of workers in sweatshops around the world. However, some analysts and journalists argue that sweatshops greatly benefit workers in developing countries and that consumers can help these workers most by continuing to buy the goods they produce. Considering these views and consumer responsibility, write a policy proposal for a consumer group, expressing your informed view of sweatshops and consumerism. Argue your case for boycotting irresponsible companies, for pressuring companies to make their manufacturing practices transparent, for rewarding socially responsible companies with your business, or for political action to encourage economic development in poor countries.

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