Essay Composition and Critical Reading Online

Write an essay 1200 words in length based on one of the topics below. The essay should have a clearly defined thesis statement, a logical argument set forth in the supporting paragraphs with substantial concrete references to the text, and a clear concluding statement. Please refer to the textbook, Essay Writing for Canadian Students for advice on how to write a strong essay. The thesis should express your position in relation to the essay from the textbook and the research you are conducting. The thesis should be something that is debatable within the scope of the essay (that is, there are general “for” and “against” positions).

Pay attention to essay structure as well as grammar and writing development that you have learned throughout the course. Research is required for this essay. You must cite at least three sources, one of which must be scholarly. Be sure to include a Works Cited and to format your essay in MLA style. You may not write on the same work that you wrote on for your analysis essay. Submit your essay in Word or pdf form on Blackboard. The essay is worth 30% of your grade for the course.

Essay Topics

Chelsea Vowel’s “What is Cultural Appropriation?: Respecting Cultural Boundaries” discusses how and why it is important to understand and respect others’ cultures and traditions. How have other scholars defined and explained cultural appropriation? Write a definition essay on the concept of cultural appropriation. Synthesize Vowel’s and others’ understandings and explanations of the idea in order to articulate your own.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada released a report in 2015 calling Canadians to act upon reconciliation. It is up to all of us to listen and to hear Indigenous stories. Using Chelsea Vowel’s “What is Cultural Appropriation?,” Curtis Gillepsie’s “Learning to Unlearn,” and/ or Richard Van Camp’s “Canada, You’re like My Favourite One-Day Uncle and I Love You,” as your primary texts, write a research essay on the importance Indigenous perspectives and reconciliation, including specific reference to the TRC calls to action.
What is consumerism, and how does it relate to our contemporary capitalist society? Discuss Maggie Helwig’s “Hunger,” E.M. Forster’s “My Wood,” and/ or Mark Fisher’s “Good for Nothing” in terms of consumerism. What do these essays imply about consumerist habits and/ or capitalist society? How do their ideas on these concepts intersect with those put forth by other scholars?
M. Forster’s “My Wood” explicitly addresses the effect of land ownership on the psyche, and yet it was written over seventy years ago. Research contemporary views on how city design, land and home ownership impact individuals and communities. Compare and contrast Forster’s views with those of contemporary scholars in order to evaluate Forster’s position.
Discuss the complex and dynamic roles of men and women in contemporary Western society. Taking bell hooks’ “Feminism is for Everyone” and/ or Scott Russell Sanders’ “The Men We Carry in Our Minds” as your primary texts, research and write about what scholars have said about gender roles in North America and how they affect individuals and communities. Synthesize others’ views in order to articulate your own.
Mental health is currently undergoing a crisis in contemporary Western society. Referring to Mark Fisher’s “Good for Nothing” and/ or Maggie Helwig’s “Hunger” as your primary text(s), discuss scholars’ understandings of mental health and why it is such an urgent problem today.
Discuss Angie Abdou’s “Summer Hockey Camp: What’s Love Gotta Do With It?” in terms of the rising costs of children’s sports. What is the effect of parents’ investments—both in terms of time and money—on their athlete children? How and in what ways has children’s sports as an industry worked to serve or to harm families in recent years?
Taking Laura Robinson’s “Girl Unprotected” as your primary text, research the extent to which sexual abuse in sports has been addressed in contemporary Western society. How does power in semi-professional or professional sports relate to the problem of sexual abuse?
David Suzuki’s “It Always Costs” critiques our reverence for progress and suggests that new technologies always come with a cost, environmental or otherwise. Research and read other articles by Suzuki and explain how his argument in “It Always Costs” relates to his overall stance as a public scientist. It may be useful to narrow down the scope of “technology” to something manageable with the length of this paper.
Referring to Robert Bringhurst’s “The Persistence of Poetry and the Destruction of the World” as your primary text, discuss how spirituality—particularly a polytheistic understanding of the world—is connected to the environment and to education (particularly poetry, as suggested in his title).

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