Midterm Essay

English 101/MAT 096 Cluster
Andrew McCormick, Instructor
Spring 1 2009
Midterm Essay
Choose one of these topics, and, as we have been doing, brainstorm, plan your two or
three main ideas, and write. This essay should be at least 600 words—about two to two
and a quarter pages typed, double spaced, 12 font, with one inch margins.
Remember the parts of a strong argumentative essay: a short intro that presents the issue
and segues into an explicit thesis, several separate body paragraphs, each discussing one
main reason for the thesis, and a brief conclusion summarizing the main ideas and
leaving the reader with a closing thought or two. Of course, refer frequently—via direct
quotations and paraphrases—to FFN.
Also, don’t forget to proofread for grammar errors like verb tense, run-ons and comma
splices, as these bring your grade down. The last ten to fifteen minutes should be devoted
to carefully proofreading. Good luck!
Topic A: The Fast Food Industry and Unions
We have read about how fast food giants, particularly McDonald’s, have vehemently
opposed and actively sought to prevent the formation of unions (see Schlosser, Behind
the Counter). And, as Eric Schlosser explains in Fast Food Nation, this has allowed for
the mistreatment of employees. Discuss why the fast food industry should allow its
employees to form unions. Why is this necessary and fair? How will it benefit the
employees, and perhaps the general public, who eat at fast food restaurants? How are the
current working conditions unfair, and to whom in particular? Provide at least two or
three specific reasons, each discussed in a separate body paragraph.
Topic B: The Fast Food Industry and Children
Another issue we have read about and discussed is how the fast food industry targets
children in its advertising (see Schlosser, Your Trusted Friends). For this topic, argue
that either:
Fast food franchises should not target children in their advertising because of the
struggle to protect children’s health.
The government should regulate the advertising of unhealthy food directed at
Provide at least two or three specific reasons, each discussed in a separate body