Ban It! Project: Essay & Presentation

21 Oct

Ban It! Project: Essay & Presentation


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


Cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago have all banned plastic shopping bags due to their detrimental effects on the environment. For this essay, pretend you have the power to ban a specific material product from use. What would you choose, and why? Make an argument in which you explain the negative impacts of this product and why banning it would improve our environmental and social health.


This essay requires both research and argument. You must research your chosen item regarding the aspects of the materials economy as learned in “The Story of Stuff”: consumption, resource extraction, production/manufacturing, and disposal. Your essay needs to use research to make a compelling argument that comes from your own unique voice and perspective.


Your audience for this essay is someone who is not knowledgeable about your product or any of the concepts we have learned leading up to this project. It is your job to educate your reader, so explain things simply and clearly. You want anyone to be able to pick up your essay and completely understand it.


Questions that must be addressed in your essayand presentation (poster or video):

  • What main resources are being used to make this product?
  • How/where/by whom is it being manufactured?
  • What are the effects of its disposal?
  • How would society benefit from its eradication?
  • What might be used in its place?


Remember, this is a persuasive/argumentative essay. In order to support your argument, you must use at least 1 quote from “The Story of Stuff,” at least 4 outside sources, and one database article (as learned on our Library Instruction Day) to support your claims. Your sources must be credible (no Yahoo answers, Wikipedia, or other websites that cannot be traced to actual people or legitimate sources). Any information that you are not directly quoting must be paraphrased and cited. Plagiarizing will result in a failing grade for the assignment.


Presentation Options:

You have the option of either making an 11” x 17” color poster to present your findings or you can submit a video of you presenting your findings about your banned product. Specific details are listed on the next page.






BAN IT! POSTER (50 points)

Digitally design and print a professional-looking academic poster that answers the below required questions, as well as your specific reasoning for why your product should be banned. Digital design means using a computer – no hand drawn or collaged posters will fulfill the requirements of this assignment. (We will have one lab day where I will go over how to make posters using PowerPoint, although you are welcome to use other programs).


Your poster must be printed in color on paper no smaller than 11” x 17”. These requirements are not negotiable. A black and white poster printed on standard sized paper will not receive credit. 11” x 17” posters can be printed at Staples or Office Depot for about $2. You can also go to the Highline Print Shop here on campus. (See info on next page).


Poster requirements:

  • 11” x 17” professionally printed color poster that addresses required questions*
  • Has a good balance of pictures and text
  • Is clear and easy to read/view
  • Has limited to no white space


Student Printing at the Highline Print Shop:
– Located in building 16-132
– Student printing Monday-Friday, 12 – 2 pm
– A one-sided, 11 x 17 colored poster costs around $1.50
– For a double-sided, 11 x 17 colored poster costs around $2.00
(They print the 11 x 17 file on a 12 x 18 sheet of paper and students have to trim the paper down to 11 x 17 by themselves, or a print shop staff can help them)
– The Print Shop handles payments by selling $5, $10, or $20 punch cards to students (they don’t handle cash)
– The PowerPoint pptx file that students use to create the poster needs be converted to a PDF, for faster and easier printing.
– Students need to save the PDF file of their poster to a flash drive and take it down to the print shop and they will print it on any kind of paper you choose.


Your poster must also include information from at least three sources mentioned in your Annotated Bibliography, along with a References or Works Cited page. (This can simply be a text box or note on the bottom, side, or back of the poster). Any posters that do not include source information could technically be considered plagiarized.


Along similar lines, you’ll want to use caution when selecting images, graphs, and/or charts to include in your design. Photographs, blueprints, and other visual texts borrowed from an internet search or from an article must include a citation. We’ll talk more about this in class, but if you feel confused by how or when to cite, please ask. (But know, that when it doubt, always cite!)


Ban It! Video

Your video needs to be a five minute presentation on your product and why you believe it should be banned. You must have a visual aid. This can be a PowerPoint, Google Slides or Prezi presentation, or any other visual aid that you believe will help you convey your message. In your presentation, you need to address the below listed questions, as well as your specific reasoning as to why you believe this product should be banned. You may use flashcards and/or a script to present. (Please do NOT read directly from your slides. Points will be deducted if you do). See sample Ban It! Presentations on Canvas as a reference. Enthusiasm must be displayed while presenting to earn full credit.


Required questions that must be addressed on your poster or in your video:

  • What main resources are being used to make this product?
  • How/where/by whom is it being manufactured?
  • What are the effects of its disposal?
  • How would society benefit from its eradication?
  • What might be used in its place?




Ban It! Project Requirements:

  • Research-driven persuasive/argumentative essay with a minimum of 6 pages (no more than 8) typed, double-spaced, MLA or APA format
  • A minimum of 5 outside sources (not counting things we read in class) retrieved from library and online research
  • Presentation of either an 11” x 17” color poster or 5-minute video
  • Completed rough draft for in-class peer review
  • Respond to all the required questions
  • Introduction with a hook and that clearly describes your proposed banned product and why it is a problem
  • A clearly stated thesis that includes why you believe this product should be banned, and how it will help our environmental and social health to do so
  • At least one quote from “The Story of Stuff”
  • Counter-argument clearly addressed and used as a jumping off point to further your own argument
  • Alternative product introduced and clearly explained as to why it’s a better option (this needs to be in its own paragraph separate from conclusion)
  • Conclusion that reiterates why your product should be banned and that leaves reader with an empowering takeaway
  • Proper in-text citation (MLA or APA) and
  • Works Cited on separate page (not included in page length requirement) in MLA or APA format


Please note:I will not be commenting on rough drafts of this essay. You will have one day of in-class peer review and subsequent revision, and you have the resources of the Writing Center for further help with revision. You will be responsible for ensuring that you create a writing plan and process for the paper, and that you give yourself adequate time to draft and complete the assignment.


Extra Credit Opportunity: I will award 15 extra credit points to students who take their essay to the Writing Center. You must submit a picture of the signed form from the WC tutor with details as to what was worked on during your visit along with your essay in Canvas. Be sure to write in the comments: “Extra Credit Attached”.
Posters and Videos Due: Monday, October 23rd

Completed Rough Draft for In-class Peer RevisionDue: Wednesday, October 25th

Final Paper Due: Friday, October 27th

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Posted by on October 21, 2017 in Academic Writing



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