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The argumentative research paper is about ”


This is both a research & argumentative paper

Your opinion matters and you have to choose one side of the argument. This is not the time for toeing the line.

You will need approximately 5 sources

You should have approximately 2 quotes per page. Limit block quotes to one per page.

The page limit is 1800 words double-spaced. I will take either Times New Roman 12 or Calipari 11

You can use the “I” voice and am completely open to showing “Proof” by the experience or conversations you’ve had with people about your topic.

Content and Development
• Original analysis
• Clear, precise, welldefined, arguable
• Addresses assignment
• Clear, specific,
well-defined, arguable thesis
• Addresses assignment
Research and Support
All points fully developed
Cogent analysis; original and insightful
Shows command of the text(s), ideas and
methods of the assignment
Persuasive reasoning develops and supports thesis
• Examination of text(s) informs
insightful analysis
• Evidence is well-chosen
• Evidence is skillfully integrated
to support key points
• Overall organization skillfully and logically builds
support for the thesis
• Paragraphs are cohesive
• Clear and smooth transitions
• Excellent arrangement
May have left minor points undeveloped
or unsupported
Analysis goes beyond the obvious
Shows a good understanding of the text(s),
ideas and methods of the assignment
Pursues thesis consistently
May have a minor factual or conceptual
• Examination of text(s) reflects
thoughtful analysis
• Evidence includes some strong
support from the text(s) and/or
outside sources
• Integration of evidence primarily
supports key points
• Overall organization is
• Paragraphs are organized
• Clear transitions
• Logical arrangement
Uses sophisticated
sentences effectively
Word choice is appropriate and varied
Academic tone
• Thesis is present but
focus of argument is
general or vague
• Poorly stated and/or
poorly placed
• Marginally addresses
• Leaves some ideas undeveloped or unsupported
• Analysis is general or only examines the
obvious but does address the assignment
• Primarily shows understanding of the
text(s), ideas and methods of the assignment, though there are some errors
• Examination of text(s) reflects
basic comprehension
• Evidence includes some support
from the text(s) and/or outside
• Evidence is integrated poorly
• Overall organization is
loose but main ideas stand
• Paragraphs are weakly unified
• Some awkward transitions
• Acceptable arrangement
• Extraneous information
• Some awkward grammatical errors which do
not impact comprehension
• Occasional problematic
word choices
• Primarily academic tone
• Thesis is present but
is vague or not central to argument
• Unfocused or does
not address the assignment
• Does not develop ideas adequately
• Analysis is weak or cursory
• Inadequate understanding of the text(s),
ideas and methods of the assignment
• Digresses or does not adequately address
the assignment
• Confuses some significant concepts
• Examination of text(s) does not
show evidence of basic comprehension
• Evidence includes inadequate
support from text(s) and/or outside sources
• Insufficient or awkward textual
support or use of source material
• Overall organization is inadequate
• Paragraphs not coherent
• Inadequate transitions
• Illogical arrangement of
ideas or wanders from one
topic to another
• Some awkward grammatical errors which do
impact comprehension;
one or two major patterns of grammatical
• Suffers from wordiness,
limited vocabulary, and/
or awkward word choice
• Not academic tone
• No discernable thesis
• Does not address the
• No textual examination
• Uses no acceptable evidence
• Fails to cite sources
• Overall organization
presents no discernable
structure of ideas
• No plan for arrangement is
• Multiple grammatical
errors impact comprehension
• Poor word choice and
linguistic variety
A: Minimum of (3) for each sub-score; total score 20 or greater and (2) for Format.
B: Minimum of (2) for each sub-score; total score 14 or greater.
C: Minimum of (1) for each sub-score; total score 9 or greater.
MLA format is
there may
be a few
errors (2)
Few awkward sentence
structures and/or
grammar errors; grammar conventions are
primarily observed
Appropriate word
Academic tone
Does not develop ideas adequately
No analysis
Does not address assignment
Dominated by narration, plot summary or
unsupported personal opinion
D: Total score 4 or greater.
F: Total score less than 4 or (0) for Format.
Cites evidence and
inconsistently and/
or the convention is
not MLA
No in-text
citations /
FYE rubric
Writing Process
Student significantly revised and improved the essay based on feedback
Rubric grade is increased by
one letter grade to determine final grade
Student improved the essay based on feedback
Rubric grade = final grade
Student made limited use of feedback or only corrected surface errors
Rubric grade is decreased by
one letter grade to determine final grade
F (50)
Student did not respond to feedback (no second draft)
Final grade = F (50)
Rubric Essay Grade =
Final Essay Grade =
Mary McGuinness
Mr. Street
English 102 – 069
1 May 2012
The Healthy Food Fight
In the United States today, two-thirds of the population is overweight, and one-third is
clinically obese; if this current trend is to continue, an estimated one-fifth of United States healthcare
expenditures will be devoted to treating the consequences of obesity in the coming years (Lang,
Barling, and Caraher, 111). Based on statistical data provided from various sources, the majority of
the blame for such high numbers of obesity, cancer, and disease are closely linked to the unhealthy
eating habits of individuals. According to the United Nations in September of 2011, diseases such
as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer caused by obesity now pose a greater health burden than
infectious diseases do in America (Barbella). Obesity in America is no longer an issue that only
affects the individual; it has escalated into a social issue that is affecting the entire country. Solutions
need to be put into action. In the past, countless programs promoting Americans to eat healthy and
exercise have been put into place, but they have failed to put halt on the soaring rates of obesity.
Therefore, we must take our actions a step further. In order to initiate a decline in the growing
number of cases of obesity, cancer, and disease plaguing our country, we must educate Americans
about healthy eating options and practices, make those foods easily and readily accessible and
affordable for everyone, and mandate these through legislation.
Today, it is a widely known fact throughout the United States that the number of overweight
and obese citizens in our country is a heavily increasing issue. Obesity is defined as one having an
excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass, which is
determined by calculating one’s body mass index (Lang and Heasman 64). When obesity is brought
up in conversation, many people assume that the only person affected by the heavy issue is the
person whose health is deteriorating as an effect of their excess weight. This, however, is not true.
Not only do the increasingly high number of cases of obesity in American effect the health of the
obese individual, their issue of obesity is also extremely costly to the United States as a nation.
Currently, the estimated cost of obesity and overweight Americans is $117 billion dollars annually
(Lang and Heasman, 68). These tax dollars of healthy Americans, are not going towards bettering
our armies and navies, or promoting healthy eating habits. Our tax money is currently being
redirected to pay the health expenditures of Americans, who have a tendency to overeat and take
poor care of themselves. The enormous cost behind the issue is one reason why the obesity
epidemic in our country must be addressed. It is negatively affecting our country’s economy as a
whole, and as a result, we are all paying for it.
The solution to many seems simple: encourage people to eat healthy and exercise often.
However, the problem is far larger than that. Although national programs have been established to
promote healthy eating and increased physical activity, obesity levels have still continued to increase
dramatically (Lang and Heasman, 66). Because these programs have failed to put a halt on the
growing rate of obesity in America, we have now reached the realization that preaching solutions
does not help fix the problem. Instead, the government must head the fight to end obesity a step
further, by establishing and enacting a policy that requires all Americans to become educated on
what exactly what it is that they are eating. This can only be achieved through policy put in place by
those who we, the people, choose to put into office. Citizens need to be empowered, they need new
attitudes towards food, and they need education, in order to change what they eat (Schlosser).
At the root of the healthy food fight, the issues and controversies surrounding eating habits,
is the average American’s lack of knowledge about what they are consuming. People often say, “you
are what you eat,” therefore in order to maintain a healthy diet and weight, it is imperative that
citizens know what they are eating. In Wendell Berry’s article “The Pleasures of Eating,” he
emphasizes how imperative associating agriculture and farming with eating is. Berry explains that
when eater’s minds aren’t associated with farming, then they suffer amnesia, which is misleading and
dangerous to their health (Berry, 232). The people described in the above statement are examples of
“industrial eaters,” which are people who do not know that eating is an industrial act (Berry, 323).
Berry claims that citizens lose the connections between eating and the land due to the producing,
selling, and marketing of industrial foods, where the overriding concerns of the companies aren’t
quality of health, but rather volume and price. In order to repair this cultural amnesia, Berry urges
Americans to participate in food production by growing something, prepare their own food, learn
about the origin of the foods they buy, and buy food produced close to home (Berry). To prevent
the creation of a greater number of “industrial eaters” in America, our government needs to
establish programs in our communities to increase the knowledge of food contents through
educating people about healthy foods and their properties.
Many people believe that it is easier for a person to break a habit while they are young,
therefore educating children about healthy eating should begin prior to them entering pre-school.
Parents should begin to instill healthy food choices in their children through promoting portion
control and a well-balanced and healthy diet. Once kids understand what healthy foods are, and how
they can make meals and snacks for themselves, then they have been empowered and put on a path
of healthier eating for the rest of their lives (Kinsman). To be sure that healthy eating habits are
instilled in children, the healthy eating education should continue through public school education
Although beginning to teach and develop healthy eating habits in children prior to preschool would be ideal, it cannot be expected that all parents will agree with this, nor will all parents
follow through with this plan. This is one reason supporting why healthy eating education must be
implemented through our public school systems. Rising obesity rates among children are particularly
troubling to health professionals, as it suggests massive problems of degenerative disease for the
future (Lang and Heasman, 65). To prevent high cases of disease and poor health in the future, we
need to develop a health program nationwide today, to be taught in every public school system.
Although current education cuts may cause difficulties in the funding of these programs, they are
necessary. A universal program would ensure that all children are getting the same information;
therefore there would be a common ground of knowledge among Americans regarding healthy
eating. These programs would provide the children with the skills, social support, and reinforcement
needed to develop healthy eating behaviors. The school systems could incorporate the parents of the
students, by holding one fun event monthly that encourages healthy eating practices. With more
community involvement, which leads to more support, the children are more likely to be encouraged
to be successful at eating right.
In addition to the establishment of nutritional programs in our public school systems, we
also need to place limitations on classroom snack foods. Between the years of 1977 and 1996, the
number of calories children consumed in typical snacks in one day increased by 120 calories
(Wootan). As a result of this enormous and unhealthy increase, congruent regulations should also
be placed in our school systems nationwide, limiting the consumption of high sugar snacks in from
the classroom setting during birthday and holiday celebrations only. Although banning high sugar
snacks would be idea, completely outlawing certain things, such as alcohol, in the past has backfired.
Americans do not like being told no; therefore I feel that limitation is the most effective plan of
policy. Serving healthy snacks to children is important to providing good nutrition and supporting
lifelong healthy eating habits; some healthy classroom snacks include fruits, vegetables, healthy
grains, and low-fat dairy foods (Wootan).
While utilizing the collectivist value system by promoting the education of healthy foods to
decrease obesity and disease in the United States may be a start, this measure may not be enough to
address and initiate change to the issue at hand. Through government implementation of a law to
better humankind and make progress towards a healthier future, the use of the progressive value
system can be put into consideration as means to promote change in obesity, cancer, and disease
In America today, it is less expensive for one to buy high processed, sugary food than it is to
buy healthy, natural food. This is due to government subsides of crops such as corn, soybeans and
other commodities. Commodities are raw agricultural materials that can be stored or processed
(Food & Water Watch and the Public Health Institute, 4). In laymen’s terms, this means that the
government pays farmers to grow certain crops. They do this so that the subsided crops can be used
to make processed foods, such as cereal and chips. Crop subsidies enable junk foods to be cheaper
and more plentiful for the consumers, which is why we can buy a double cheeseburger from
McDonalds for one dollar. Subsides are the main reason why high calorie food are less expensive
than healthy food options, such as green vegetables and whole grains. Government policies have
favored the production of high-fat foods, thus creating a situation where these less healthful foods
are more plentiful and cheaper for the consumers than their lower-fat counterparts (Sims, 3). In this
case, our government is being hypocritical. Although the government is promoting the dangers of
eating high fat foods, explaining that they are the leading cause of obesity, they are promoting those
same foods that they claim to be dangerous. This may be the reasoning behind why although healthy
eating is being promoted, we have yet to have seen a change in obesity rates; unhealthy junk foods
are more affordable for the average American than healthy foods are.
Although we can educate people about how to eat healthy, if the means for purchase are not
there, then ultimately the consumer will be forced to buy what they can afford. The price of food is
a key driver of obesity: saturated fats from dairy and meat and hydrogenated (trans) fats are relatively
cheap (Lang and Heasman, 69). Due to subsides, usually the less expensive food is the unhealthy
and processed food. Within the United States, the poor are typically more obese than the more
affluent (Lang and Heasman, 69). In order to make better food more affordable to a larger number
of people, the government needs to stop subsidizing commodity crops. As a result, overproduction
of the crops that are the base ingredients of unhealthy foods would come to steady decline (Food &
Water Watch and the Public Health Institute, 2). This would decrease the over abundance of high
processed foods, and increase their prices, which are currently driven down because of subsides.
With the extra funds that were used to pay for subsidizing in the past, the government should put
this money towards decreasing the cost of healthy food options, such as leafy greens, vegetables, and
fruits. This would make healthier food choices more readily available and affordable to those who
need it most. As a result, more people would have the available means to eat better, which would
decease the obesity rate in the United States.
The idea of cutting subsides may be upsetting to some people, farmers in particular. This is
because the commodity farmers would no longer be receiving safety net payments from the
government, in the form of either a counter-cyclical payment (made to producers only when
commodity prices are very low), or direct payments (made to producers – regardless of the price of
the crop, based on the amount of land they have historically farmed) that keep them from going out
of business (Food & Water Watch and the Public Health Institute, 4). However, the cutting of
subsidies would be for the greater good of the most people, making healthy options more accessible
to many more people, while only harming a few along the way. The cost of the few farmers affected
is heavily outweighed by the benefit this would bring to many Americans across the country. If the
government cuts subsides and puts that money towards the decrease in healthy food prices, many
less affluent Americans, who typically have a higher tendency to be obese, will be given a greater
opportunity to be able to get their hands on healthier foods that will increase the quality of their
Together, we must understand that the obesity crisis in America is not an issue of the
individual; however, it is a social issue that is taking negative tolls on our country as a whole. We, as
citizens, need to make the unhealthy eating choices of others our problems as well, in an effort to
better, or in some cases save their lives, and our tax dollars. As stated prior, simply promoting
healthy eating and exercise in the past has been ineffective. Instead, we must take our actions a step
further. If the government is to implement a policy that requires a national program to be placed in
our public schools, which would work to educate our youth about healthy eating practices, there is
hope for the future in that the number of cases of obesity affecting our country would come to a
steady decline. Once our government provides citizens with the knowledge to eat better to live
healthier and more fulfilling lives, they must also provide them with the available means to do so.
That being said, if our government cuts subsides, and decreases the prices of healthy green foods,
more Americans will be able to afford better, more wholesome meals for themselves and their
families. Through rigorously educating our youth about how to eat healthily and the heavy
consequences, such as cancer, disease, and obesity, if you do not, in combination with more
affordable prices of nutritious foods, we can put an end to our countries increasing number of cases
of obesity. As an effect, our government will no longer have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars
annually to pay the steep healthcare expenditures for the overweight and obese citizens of the
country. The future of the obesity crisis is in the hands of Americans; together, we must take control
of it.
Annotated Bibliography for “The Healthy Food Fight”
Barbella, Lisa. “Should sugar intake be regulated?” Get Healthy. Global ed. Get Healthy. 9 Feb. 2012.
Web. 18 Feb. 2012. This article discusses the harmful effects that sugar has on the human
body. Barbella provides a number of statistics as supporting data. As a result of the high
rates of cancer and disease she reports, she provides policies to move towards a healthier
future. This source will be relevant to my writing because of the factual statistics Barbella
provides, which can be used as supporting data to back my claims.
Berry, Wendell. “The Pleasures of Eating.” The Carolina Reader. Ed. Lee Bauknight and W. Matthew
J. Simmons 3rd ed. Southlake: Fountainhead Press, 2012. 322-26. Print. This article discusses
the importance of people knowing what kind of foods they are consuming and where they
have come from, in order to live a healthier life. Berry includes a number of cause and effect
claims, as well as stipulate definitions. This article is useful in giving definitions of things
such as an “eater” and an “industrial eater”, and clarifies the differences between the two.
Bittman, Mark. “Bad Food? Tax It.” The Carolina Reader. Ed. Lee Bauknight and W. Matthew J.
Simmons 3rd ed. Southlake: Fountainhead Press, 2012. 378-82. Print. This article discusses
the benefits of placing a tax on unhealthy foods, which Bittman claims are the leading cause
to negative health issues. In the article, Bittman provides data to support this theory of
imposing taxes on sugary foods, as well as the positive outcomes it would result in. This
article is beneficial to my paper because it provides data to support my claim of policy;
placing taxes on unhealthy foods will help improve the health of Americans.
Food & Water Watch and the Public Health Institute. “Do Farm Subsidies Cause Obesity?
Dispelling Common Myths About Public Health and the Farm Bill.” Food & Water Watch and
the Public Institute.” Food and Water Watch and the Public Institute. Oct. 2011. Web. 10 April
2012. This article discusses what exactly government subsides are and how they are currently
affecting the obesity crisis in America. From this article, I am able to define terms such as
commodities and direct payments. This article also provides me with statistical data to
support my argument that cutting subsides would decrease the production of unhealthy
Kinsman, Kat. “Get your kids into the kitchen and feed them for life.” CNN. CNN. 17 Feb. 2012.
Web. 18 Feb. 2012. This article from CNN discusses the importance and benefits of
parents teaching their children how to cook and provide healthy meals for
themselves at a young age. Throughout the article, Kinsman uses a number of cause
and effect claims to support her beliefs. Kinsman incorporates a number of value
systems into her work. This article provides an easy alternative to fight childhood
Lang, Tim, David Barling, and Martin Caraher. Food Policy : Integrating Health, Environment
& Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print. This book provides a lot of
statistical data from The WHO’s World Health Report regarding about overweight
and obesity in the United States. The article goes into depth concerning the amount
of money overweight people cost to the healthcare system, due to their high
vulnerability to disease and cancer. This book will be helpful to my essay because it
will provide statistical data to support the push for change in fighting obesity.
Lang, Tim and Michael Heasman. Food Wars: The Global Battle for Mouths, Minds, and
Markets. London: Cromwell Press Limited, 2004. Print. This book covers a wide
selection of topics that could be applicable to my essay. One section of this book
describes the food industry’s response to growing rates of obesity in recent years. It states
that in 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives stated that overeating is a problem of the
individual, not the courts. The book goes discusses the uses false advertising,
mislabeling, and tainted foods which can be used to describe how food companies grab
consumers into eating their foods.
Nestle, Marion. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Los
Angeles: University of California Press, 2002. Print. This book discusses how food
companies are able to influence government nutrition policies through lobbying; as
a result, interests of food companies win over the nutrition and health of Americans.
The book also discusses how obesity is plaguing America, and how a large cause of
that is because marketing companies are targeting young children by promoting
sugary foods. This book is resourceful for my essay because it discusses why the
government isn’t putting many policies into place to promote healthier eating, as
well one reason why obesity is a growing problem effecting young kids.
Schlosser, Eric. “Access to Good, Healthy Food Should Be a Basic Human Right.” The Atlantic.
Global ed. The Atlantic. 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. Schlosser’s article discusses the
importance of all humans having access to wholesome food. The article discusses some of
the harmful effects of conventional farming, while advocating for organic farming, including
data to support his beliefs. The data in this article helps support one of my claims of policy;
if people educate themselves as to where their food comes from, and are proactive about
what they are eating, they will live healthier lives.
Sims, Laura S. The Politics of Fat. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1998. Print. This book discusses that
although Government-sponsored ads continuously warn Americans about the dangers of
high fat foods, food and agricultural policies have been placed in favor of the production
and pricing of those foods. The book includes data stating that although awareness of the
health dangers of consuming fats is growing, there has only been a slight decrease of intake
of fatty foods. The article goes into detail about how people choose what foods they eat.
This article will be helpful in writing my article because it provides the logic behind how
many Americans go about choosing to eat unhealthy foods.
Wootan, Margo. Healthy School Snacks. Center For Science In the Public Interest, 2012. Web. 10 April
2012. This website provides me with useful statistical data regarding the average calorie
intake of elementary school aged students at snack time. It also provides me with a useful
definition of a healthy snack.

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