ENG 103: FOOD RESEARCH PROJECT
WRITTEN INQUIRY: COMPOSING SELF Fall, 2012
Instructor: Catherine Keefe Email: email@example.com
DUE DATE: Final Draft due on Wednesday, Nov. 28 posted on your blog.
"Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will tell you what kind of man you are."
Jean Brillat-Savarin's "Aphorisms of the Professor," IV
In his essay,” Picnic in the Democratic Forest," John T. Edge argues "for a democratic way of looking at our food culture..." and for writers to "document what real people cook, what real people eat."
Let's take Edge up on that challenge and explore one item of food with in the context of our culture and our time.
You will begin by selecting one item of food. You will need easy access to buying, eating, and preparing it. Pick something that can represent something more than the item itself. For example in King Corn, the two college students explore the changing face of American farms and meat production through a single ear of corn. For example in "Behold a World," Shehla Anjun explores the political violence unsettling her birth home of Karachi through the history of the pomegranate.
You must be able to research the history of the food you select, and learn about any political, ethical, historical, economic, geographic, or health implications associated with it.
You will need to interview a person with first-hand experience in bringing that food to market, or who prepares that food for others as a job.
You will also need to get input from others about that their experiences with that food either via a written or oral survey, or a field observation, or a media survey.
Lastly, you will incorporate your personal experiences into this Food Research Project.
Your final project will read very much like the story of pomegranates told by Shehla Anjum in "Behold a World," or like Victoria Blake's story of where her food comes from in "From Pig to Pork Chop." But yours will also include at least two multi-modal elements, original photos, original art, original video footage, or original music.
Ultimately, you will create a research driven, academically sound, multi-modal presentation of nonfiction to add to the body of knowledge about one particular food consumed in California in 2012 from the perspective of an emerging voice from Generation Z.
PROCESS IN 5 EASY STEPS:
1 - READ (All readings are posted on Summits Guide under READING DUE for Fri. Oct. 19 and Mon. Oct. 21, and Wed. Oct. 24)
"Food Waste is Overwhelming. Here are Five Things People are Doing About It" and "A Squash's Journey: From the Shelf to the Hungry."
"Picnic in the Democratic Forest" by John T. Edge
"Behold a World" by Shehla Anjum
"From Pig to Pork Chop" by Victoria Blake
"Encounter: Ruth Reichl," an interview with Michelle Shabtai
"A California Avocado Tour" by Andrew Wilder
"Eleven Ways Advertisers Make Food Look Delicious" by Colin Perkins
2 - DEVELOP A RESEARCH QUESTION OR TOPIC OF INQUIRY THAT WILL DRIVE YOUR PROJECT.
3 - CONDUCT RESEARCH.
A. Use existing library sources for information about the food's history, and its place within the political, ethical, historical, economic, geographic, cultural or health milieus.
B. Find one person to interview about some aspect of the food: its growth or production, its preparation, its distribution. The interview must be conducted in-person and off-campus at a spot related to the person's work with the food. Helpful Interview Tips Here
AA. Create insightful, interesting interview questions.
Take notes on surroundings ("Encounter: Ruth Reichl" offers an excellent example of this.)
BB. Be prepared to e-mail or call interviewee if you have follow-up questions
during the writing process.
C. Create your own original research method to get first-hand experience with one aspect of the food's production, preparation, distribution, or eating. Methods might include:
Observe in the Field
Conduct a Survey
Conduct a Media Survey
4 - Compose your Food Research Project. Write one 1,800 - 2,200 word story weaving all your elements together.
You will include:
1) Your personal experience with the food item.
2) All your research - Print sources, In-person Interview, and First-Hand Experience
5 - Include at least two multi-modal elements, properly credited.
Choose two from this list:
original photos, original art, original video footage, or original music.
Your intended audience is your class peers and, potentially, readers of newspapers or nonfiction journals, including “The Panther,” “OC Weekly,” “Orange County Register” or “The Los Angeles Times” and readers who discover your blog.
10/25: FINISH READINGS, SELECT SINGLE FOOD ITEM TO WRITE ABOUT, COMPOSE OUTLINE OF RESOURCES AND POTENTIAL INTERVIEWEES, AND SELECT METHOD OF ORIGINAL RESEARCH.
11/1: CONFIRM DATE FOR INTERVIEW AND FIELD OBSERVATION. CONTINUE TO WORK ON OTHER RESEARCH.
11/7: FIRST DRAFT DUE, POSTED ON YOUR BLOG BEFORE CLASS.
11/16: MEET TWICE WITH SMALL GROUP. ALSO ATTEND ONE-ON-ONE CONFERENCE WITH ME. VISIT THE WRITING CENTER WITH YOUR DRAFT.
11/26: SECOND DRAFT DUE, POSTED ON YOUR BLOG BEFORE CLASS.
11/28: FINAL DRAFT DUE, POSTED ON YOUR BLOG BEFORE CLASS.
Value: 250 points
Grading will be based on:
Subject & Depth – Is this one distinct research question of compelling interest to others, especially within the context of your life and generation? Have you selected a food with a connection to a larger political, economic, historical, or cultural issue beyond your own life? Does this specific food touch a wide variety of lives beyond your own? Have you addressed how this food and your research fit into a larger context outside of yourself? Did you conduct original and meaningful library research? (40 points.)
Original Research Component - Was your Original Research Component meaningful and did it add to the body of knowledge about one specific aspect of your food? Did you take full advantage of the opportunities within your time and means to get valuable insight? Do you present your findings accurately and tell the reader specifically what you did?(40 points.)
Interview - Did you find a person to interview that could offer you new insight into your food? Is the interviewee's role, relative to that food, important and unique? Did you find someone with true authority to offer you information? Have you set up the interviewee so the reader can understand this authority? (40 points.)
Personal Story - Have you included relevant first-hand experience with the food? Do the scenes you share draw a reader into the project with vivid description, and well-selected action? Have you offered new information or new insights about a topic that were previously unpublicized or unrecognized? Have you answered a "so what?" for a reader who doesn't know you, and thus given any reader a reason to care about your project? (40 points)
Observation – Are your research methods sound and true? Do you explain the significance of your research in relationship to history, culture, political importance, or human interest? Is your story alive with scents, and sounds and sights? (30 points)
Language & Presentation- Have you used self-selected rhetorical elements to draw the reader into your story? Do you include other outside cultural elements to incorporate the "unending conversation" about food in your project? Have you considered exactly who your audience is - your peers - and provided a perspective that will resonate with your audience? Do your multi-modal elements enhance the story with originality and impact? (30 points)
Format –Have you properly addressed the challenges and limitations of your research? Have you fit your findings into the larger ongoing conversation about the issue? Is your presentation free from errors in grammar, punctuation, or typos? Are all elements properly credited and all sources hyperlinked or quoted properly? (30 points)