I am currently a student in Environment 201, Ecological Issues in Society. I am taking this class as a pre-requisite to the Program in the Environment major.
Every other week in this class, we were required to write a current event on a topic that related to something we had previously learned about in class. These responses were required to be two pages, double spaced, and focused on a summary of the article we read, how the article connected to class, and why the information presented in the article is important.
It’s very different to be able to write a paper for a science class, rather than an English class, which is why I thought it might be interesting to include this in my portfolio.
The structure of our response papers required that we have a summarizing paragraph, a paragraph that connects our paper to a topic (or topics) we learned in class, and our last paragraph needed to be a “why is this important” paragraph, which made a claim as to how knowing this information could benefit society and the future of the global environment. As I wrote my responses I tried to keep in mind some of the lessons that I learned in Writing 100, such as making sure that I had enough analysis for my evidence. Sometimes this was difficult for me in my response papers because I felt as if I had so much evidence to use from the articles I read or what we had learned in class, but I found that when I included all of that information I did not include enough analysis. Also, I think that our response papers really demonstrated the idea of an evolved argument – I started with the simple parts of analysis in my paper, then I made connections and lastly I wrote the implication as to why these environmental articles and ideas should be important to society.
For the last paper we were able to write our response about an environmental movie recommended by our professor. I chose to write about the movie, “No Impact Man”, which details the story of a man’s life in New York, as he tries to live with no impact on the environment for a year. I received a 19/20 on this paper, and my GSI told me it was one of the better ones he has seen this semester.
My introductory statement to my concluding paragraph is really the implication of why this movie about a man who wanted to be 100% environmentally friendly for a year is important.
Although we have decided that yes, in the United States in this day and age it is impractical and nearly impossible to live with absolutely no environmental impact, it is very important that the human body as a whole recognizes how everything they do can have a negative impact on the environment.
I could not have come to this conclusion without watching the movie as I had no idea beforehand how hard it is in this day and age to try and live without having any impact at all on the environment. It’s actually impossible. As I wrote my response paper though, I realized that it is still extremely important that people acknowledge that our climate is changing and that we need to do something about it. I think if I were to turn this response paper into a complete essay, I could turn this sentence into a thesis statement.