Length: 6 to 7 full pages
Your goal is to Identify and research a controversial topic in the country you have chosen and then write a non-biased controversy analysis essay.
What is a controversy? A contentious social issue that has a larger relevance for a society of those living within it. It may involve a debate or dispute, an issue surrounded by disagreement, multiple viewpoints, and multiple arguments and counterarguments. Remember, this does not necessarily means it is an actual problem.
What is a controversy Analysis? An analytical essay that incorporates research on key arguments made by people or institutions that have a stake in an issue. The purpose is to demonstrate a thorough consideration of a variety of viewpoints on a topic and to analyze the arguments made by others.
About the content of this essay
Write an analytical essay that examines your chosen controversial topic within its rhetorical situation. In your research, you will identify specific claims within the issue and evaluate the validity of these claims; you will examine the persuasive strategies employed by key people, groups, or stakeholders; and you will explore the similarities and distinctions between diverse viewpoints.
The purpose of your essay will be to address the multiplicity of perspectives on the controversy without making an explicit argument about it. You should use research to define the issue, the rhetorical situation, including the stakeholders, and then in your essay you will present their arguments thoroughly and fairly, and examine how the arguments interact within its rhetorical situation. Consider the arguments’ construction, specifically purpose, context, and audience; connections between arguments; and the strengths and weaknesses of each argument.
Important things to remember as you write your paper
1. You are simply looking into what is being said on this issue so you should not include your opinion or reflections anywhere in this paper. Other than a statement of your thesis and your topic sentences, most of your paper’s material will originate from your sources.
2. Your thesis statement/question should focus on the issue and why it is controversial. Even though the stakeholders are very important, they do not need to be a part of your thesis.
3. You need to have at least 5 different sources in your essay and at least 2 of them should be academic. You can, and will probably have, more than 5 sources but this is the minimum requirement.
4. Synthesizing your sources means providing a summary of the arguments they are presenting and evaluating the source’s strengths and weaknesses. We are not doing a rhetorical analysis of each source; instead, we are using our knowledge of rhetoric to evaluate the sources and the information they provide.
5. Be careful with your word choice. Do not choose words that demonstrate biases on the topic. Also, keep in mind that you are talking about a foreign country and therefore need to be respectful and show cultural awareness of the issue you are addressing. Always avoid judgmental words or phrases, and be very careful with overgeneralizations.
6. Keep your paper always focused on the controversial issue. Some of the information you find may be very interesting, but be sure to not deviate from your main topic.
7. Provide enough context from the country of your choice for the reader to understand the issue. Think that your audience is not just me as your teacher, but this could be any person who is interested in learning about this issue before forming their own opinion. Therefore, include any information that could be vital to understand this issue and the controversy around it.
8. Be sure to cite all of the information you take from your sources. Alternate you citation style and make sure that the author and the content you are citing is always stated clearly. Check the Rules for Writers book, or Purdue Owl for citation formatting.
9. Organize your paper by perspectives and not by source. This means that you can have multiple sources under the same perspective or view of the issue; if this is the case, talk about them in the same section of your paper. This does not necessarily means in the same paragraph though.
10. Carefully choose the sources you will use. Do not just chose any source you find that talks about the issue. Just sources that provide a clear view of the perspective on the issue you are exploring. Make sure your sources are credible.
11. Be careful with paragraph length. You should never have a paragraph that is an entire page of length. Remember, use the PIE structure and focus on 1 idea per paragraph.
12. Use an academic/formal tone throughout your paper.
About the format: your paper has to be written using a legible font in size 11 or 12, please do not use a bigger font to accomplish the length requirement easier. The paper has to be 6 to 7 double-spaced pages. This does not include the works cited page. Use appropriate MLA format to organize your paper. Use 1’’ margins in every corner. Remember this is a research paper so format is very important.
Citations: Include in-text citations, and don’t forget to add a work cited/references page at the end of your essay. Use MLA or APA format for this requirement. Be consistent with the style you chose. See Rules for Writers or Purdue OWL.
The Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest
Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world and plays a significant role in the worldwide ecosystem. However, it is suffering the world’s highest absolute rate of deforestation (Laurance et al., 2002). The serious deforestation triggered the controversy of exploitation or preservation, and it has continued for many years. In order to comprehend the insight of the controversy, I will explore the rationale behind the deforestation and its influence to the Amazon rainforest in this paper. Moreover, I will also investigate the measures of control the deforestation.
The Amazon rainforest is approximately 6.7 million square kilometers in the Amazon basin, which occupies almost forty percent of South America (“Amazon | Places | WWF”). Bases on the excellent climate and resources, it has astounding biodiversity – it is the habitat for probably thirty percent species in the world (Butler, 2016). Meanwhile, the rainforest’s tremendous contribution to the global carbon cycle is also benefit to not only human but also the worldwide ecosystem. Human activities in the Amazonian area can be retrospect to thousand years ago and the indigenous live with the rainforest harmoniously for many years. However, in the last 40 years, the rainforest has suffered severe destruction (Ometto, Aguiar, & Martinelli, 2011).
The reasons of deforestation are usually linked to the development of population and economy. Cattle ranching is regarded as one of the major factors that causes deforestation. Adam David, a journalist from the Guardian, claims that the cattle industry accelerates the deforestation of Amazon Rainforest.
In the article British supermarkets accused over destruction of Amazon rainforest, Adam first summaries the report from Greenpeace. According to the report, the demand of meat is driving the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. It mentions several British supermarkets that sale the meat from the cattle ranching that responsible for the illegal logging. However, the supermarkets refuse to admit that the products are from the Amazon. Meanwhile, the report reveals that some companies use the leather associated with the Amazon destruction. Adam then states the position of Greenpeace. It wants both companies and customers to stop purchasing the products from the illegal industrial chains that cause the destruction. The Greenpeace Campaigners’ effort to the report was introduced next. They compiled the government, company and trade information from many countries to reconstruct the global circulation of the products made from Amazon cattle. And they also utilized satellite images, monitor flights and clandestine visits to evaluate deforestation due to ranching. The report exposes that the companies used sneaky device to make the origins of products hard to trace, and the meat ultimately sale to the supermarkets. The last part of the article is some declarations from supermarkets and companies. Some of them denied the products from the Amazon and some announced that they will negotiate this issue (Adam, 2009).
In this article, Adam David uses credibility rhetoric appeals. This article is based on the investigated report from Greenpeace, and Adam quotes the Greenpeace forests campaigner Sarah Shoraka’s words. Since the organization and the campaigner are the insider of the cattle industry of the Amazon rainforest, their report and opinion are reliable. Furthermore, the author presents the issue in a non-bias way. He not only writes the opinions from the organization that composed the report, but also cites many companies’ declarations. The companies are criticized in the report, so their response is the supplement of the issue. It allowed the article objective thus credible.
On the other hand, the soya farming is also a main causes of the deforestation. In the article How Soya is Driving the Agriculture Frontier into the Rainforest from the Greenpeace report Eating up the Amazon that published in 2006, the dramatic rising of global commodities markets prompts the soya farming, hence result in more deforestation of the rainforest. The report declares that the soya exports from South America expended since late 1980s, and the summation of soya exports from Brazil and Argentina first exceeded the United States in 2003. In 2004, the yield of the soya in Brazil reaches 50 million tons through approximately 230 thousand square kilometers’ field, which is similar to the area of Great British (Greenpeace, 2006). In order to enlarge the farming field, the large commodities traders and the governors of several states in Brazil united to exploit the savannahs on the edge of the rainforest. Because of the finite land resources, the soya field continuously expand into the Amazon rainforest and become a threat to the rainforest. The soya farmers aim at most of the Amazonia public land that “unprotected and vulnerable” (p.13). They use all the methods that legal or illegal to clean up the trees on the surface of the ownerless lands. The abundant investment, guaranteed market, and the infrastructure projects stimulates the farmers to clear more land to cultivate soya (Greenpeace, 2006).
This report was composed with logical and credibility rhetoric appeals. The Greenpeace organization investigated the deforestation situation of the Amazon rainforest for several years, and gained a lot of effective data through the investigation. Besides, this report also presents some facts with images and figures that allow it more persuasive.
The influence of deforestation has been researched for many years. Ecosystem Decay of Amazonian Forest Fragments: a 22-Year Investigation is a journal article that synthesized the major findings from the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP) in 22 years. This article was composed by William F. Laurance, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, and other scientists from BDFFP. Their study focuses on the fragments result from deforestation. The result suggests that “the effects of fragmentation are highly eclectic, altering species richness and abundances, species invasions, forest dynamics, the trophic structure of communities, and a variety of ecological and ecosystem processes” (Laurance et al., 2002, p. 605).
In the Extrinsic Factors Affecting Fragment Biotas part, the authors mainly explain the sample, area, edge, and distance effects of fragment. The sample effect suggests that the small patches has lower diversity. It is because once the habitats of some species that have high endemism were destroyed, the species only have little chance to exist for long time. The area effect illustrates the relationship between species richness, extinction rate and the size of fragment. Generally, the bigger the size of fragment, the higher the species richness and the lower extinction rate. The edge effect reveals that the microclimate change in the near-edge area has negative influence to the species not exclusively in the edge are, as well as in the interior rainforest. The dramatic increase rate of tree mortality and damage is one of the most serious effect. Some trees cannot survive when face the light, humidity, and temperature change suddenly. Although some animals react positively to edges, many other animals reflect negatively to the edges. Consequently, the negative-reflected animals would be vulnerable to the fragment. The distance effect exposes that even fifteen to one hundred meters’ clearings can be the insuperable blockade for some species. They are not able to recolonize even in short distance isolation. Some species can get through the small clearing but are obstructed by larger areas (Laurance et al., 2002).
This is an organized journal article. The information was presented clearly and is easy to follow. The authors utilize several figures, a lot of data, and a large amount of reference to allow the article to be logical. Additionally, the vocabulary and sentences of this article are precise and formal. It is the characteristic of scientific papers.
The severe deforestation has already attracted people’s attention long time ago. The previous mentioned report Eating up the Amazon that published in 2006 raises the outcry of Amazon deforestation. The Amazonian government, industry, and civil society negotiated and reached the agreement – the Soy Moratorium at that time. Ten years later, does it work effectively for protecting the rainforest? There is a short essay 10 years ago, the Amazon was being bulldozed for soy. Then everything changed write about the agreement. It tells that the moratorium has done the successful work of restricting the extension of soya field.
The author Paulo Adario first introduces the history of the moratorium. It is the answer from soya industry to the pressure form protest. The initial target of the moratorium was stopping the trade with the farmers who clear the rainforest. In the later years, it experienced extension and several times of renew. And finally in 2016, the moratorium was indefinitely renewed. The next part of the essay is the achievement of the moratorium. In ten years the amount of soy is up to 260 percent, but only a few of it produced in the new fields. At the end of the essay, the author states that there are still some threats to the rainforest, and people should work for it (Adario, 2016).
The author uses emotional rhetoric moves in his article. Some words such as fight and struggle have the intention of encouraging people to oppose the deforestation. Furthermore, he cites some reliable data and articles that from academic resource, so that allowed the essay more credible.
The article How to Save Tropical Rainforests by Rhett Butler lists the accessible social methods of conserve the rainforest generally. He argues that people should concern about the poor farmers and establish the fund of rainforest conservation. He thinks that the modern agriculture technique should be generalized to the farmers to improve the productivity. Besides, he claims that the farmer should have the ownership of the lands, and it can bring economic benefits to them. In order to create the fund of rainforest conservation, he suggests to charge the ecosystem services fee, start the ecotourism, and appeal for Corporate sponsorship. He offered some solutions of conserving the rainforest with his own opinions, and those explanations make his methods persuasive.
In a conclusion, the controversy of exploiting or preserving the Amazon rainforest is still an important environment subject. Generally, the causes of deforestation are usually associated with the economic benefits. Since there are many negative effects result from the deforestation, people come up with many methods to resolve the problems. Some of the methods are effective and some of them are still the theory.
Adam, D. (2009). British supermarkets accused over destruction of Amazon rainforest. the
Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2016, from
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changed.. Greenpeace International. Retrieved 26 October 2016, from
Amazon | Places | WWF. (2016). World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from
Butler, R. (2016). Amazon Wildlife. Mongabay.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from
Butler, R. (2012). How to Save Tropical Rainforests. Mongabay.com. Retrieved 26 October
2016, from https://rainforests.mongabay.com/1001.htm
Greenpeace,. (2006). Eating up the Amazon (p. 13). Amsterdam: Greenpeace International.
Retrieved from https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/legacy/Global/usa/report/2010/2/eating-up-the-amazon.pdf
Laurance, W., Lovejoy, T., Vasconcelos, H., Bruna, E., Didham, R., & Stouffer, P. et al. (2002).
Ecosystem Decay of Amazonian Forest Fragments: a 22-Year Investigation. Conservation
Biology, 16(3), 605-618. https://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.01025.x
Ometto, J., Aguiar, A., & Martinelli, L. (2011). Amazon deforestation in Brazil: effects, drivers
and challenges. Carbon Management, 2(5), 575-585. https://dx.doi.org/10.4155/cmt.11.48