UNIT 1, SUSTAINING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE Essay #1 – Persuasive essay The purpose of this essay is for you to explore your personal relationship with nature, using it as a springboard to examine larger issues of humankind’s changing relationship with nature in the 21st century. You will need to choose one of these questions and argue for a specific position: Do college students (or Americans, millennials, children, Californians, etc.) suffer from ‘nature deficit syndrome’, and is this problematic, or not? Is our relationship with nature changing, and if so, what impact might this have on our attitudes about nature and the future of “nature” itself? You will need to incorporate properly cited quotes and/or ideas from at least two of the following: Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods Bill McKibben’s “The End of Nature” Emma Marris’s Ted Talk, “Nature is Everywhere.” You must also include your own personal experiences or observations. Consider these questions as a means to brainstorm this topic: Did you have positive or negative experiences with nature as a child? What about today? When you think of “being out in nature,” do you think of being somewhere untouched by humankind or grand scenic views that require planning and long drives, or simpler, more accessible venues, like a local park or overgrown empty lot? Do you prefer one type of nature to another? Do you enjoy being out “in nature” as you define it? Do you regret not having had more exposure to nature as a child? Do you feel you haven’t missed anything by staying indoors as a child, and that you’re not missing anything by staying indoors as an adult? Do you feel that “nature” is dangerous and should be avoided? Do you feel that it’s no longer possible to have a pure “nature” experience, as McKibben suggests? In order to earn a C or above, you must abide by the following criteria: Length 900 to 1,200 word minimum, which is 3-4 double-spaced pages. Please note, papers below 900 words will be downgraded! APA an APA formatted cover page AND an APA reference page (not included in the page count above) proper APA in-text citations for all paraphrases and direct quotations no abstract is necessary for this essay Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods DiGangi / WRIT 112 / Summer 2017 2 References / Sources See bulleted list, page 1. The important elements all your essays in this class must contain: an introduction that has a hook and introduces your audience to the topic a thesis that makes a specific, debatable claim; your thesis may be direct or indirect and anywhere in your essay, as long as an intelligent reader understands the point which you are arguing. effectively organized paragraphs with strong topic sentences and transitions smoothly synthesized evidence that supports your thesis and is convincing and clear to the reader a conclusion that does not merely restate your thesis but that leaves the reader with further ‘food for thought’ A few more rules and tips As this is a short essay, please do not use any long block quotes. It’s okay to use the word “I” when using your own specific evidence. For example, if I write about my experiences at the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, I cannot do this without the word “I,” just as Louv does in his book. However, I do not need to say “I believe that the tourists should not have trampled the flowers.” I can simply say, “The tourists should not have trampled the flowers.” Please remove “I believe,” “I think,” “I feel,” and “in my opinion” from all academic essays. Do not use the word “you.” Yes, I’m using it here because this is an informal instruction sheet; I am telling you what to do. However, when you write for an audience of peers, you should use “we” instead, to include yourself with your readers. Doing so shows your readers that you don’t think you’re better than them. Only your professors can do that! Please, no “drop quotes”! Create a “quotation sandwich” for each quote by 1) creating context for your quote, 2) using a signal phrase before the quote, and 3) when possible, easing out of the quote by adding some analysis. Your language should be formal, but clear and direct. Avoid, inflated, pompous language, but also avoid slang and language that is too informal.