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Food History

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You should have received an email from the instructor about the top three other Asian culture and cuisine the class is interested in knowing more. In the email, you are assigned to do some in-depth research and have a meal experience of one of these three culture and cuisine. There are four parts to complete this semester project. You will have one week to complete each part. You will find the schedule of the semester project in the syllabus and the semester project outline. 

Before you research and write your post, please read the related prompt first. The prompt below will help you to understand what to write and how to write Part 1. 


What to Write? 




Food is fundamental to life. As a result, whether we realize it or not, food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. In every era, the unfolding of history has been intimately tied to the need for food, the production of food, and the culture of food. In Part 1, you will research and write the integral role of food in the unfolding history of the Asian culture you are assigned to. In addition, you will learn about all three cultures and cuisine by reading and responding to your peers’ posts. 


Specifically, please consider the following when you draft the post: 

  • Briefly introduce the Asian country you are assigned to by discussing topics such as its geographic location, distinctive cultural elements, and its food and cuisine.  
  • Summarize the overall history of your assigned Asian culture.  
  • Examine food evolution and its integral role from prehistory to our own era. 
  • Synthesize the relationship between history and today’s food culture in your assigned Asian culture 

Please have the following requirements in mind when crafting your post: 

  • Your post writing should be a cohesive research paper, not a Q&A session.  
  • Use at least THREE references from library resources and credible online sources to support your opinion.
  • Use APA styles for citations and references.
  • The final draft should be at least 500 words. However, depth matters more than length.
  • Part 1=ONE post + THREE responses


How to Write? 


First, research and write about history and its impact on food of the Asian culture you are assigned to (12 points) 

Here is an outline of the steps to writing a good online post on a brief overall history and food history of an Asian culture. The process is similar to write any good research paper, which takes time and practice. 

1. Make sure you know what the discussion prompt is asking

Part 1 requires you to write a brief overall history of the Asian country you are assigned to and examine the integral role of food evolution in each historical era. You may start with introducing the Asian country with topics such as its geographic location, distinctive culture, and cuisine. Then you can discuss the relationship between history and food evolution in this Asia culture. You are not required to have a comprehensive examination of every historical era and event. Instead this post should focus on brief introducing the country’s history. In each era, you might want to examine the changes in food, such as food production and food culture. In the end, you can discuss how history shapes the food culture and cuisine to the way it is today. Your post should be a cohesive argument, not a laundry list of time and historical events. 





2. Brainstorm possible arguments and responses

Before you even start researching or drafting, take a few minutes to consider what you already know about the topic.  Make a list of ideas or draw a cluster diagram, using circles and arrows to connect ideas–whatever method works for you.  At this point in the process, it is helpful to write down all of your ideas without stopping to judge or analyze each one in depth.  You want to think big and bring in everything you know or suspect about the topic.  After you have finished, read over what you have created.  Look for patterns or trends or questions that keep coming up.  Based on what you have brainstormed, what do you still need to learn about the topic?  Do you have a tentative argument or response to the paper prompt?  Use this information to guide you as you start your research and develop a thesis statement. 

3. Start researching

You need to conduct outside research to have a better understanding of the overall and food history of the Asian culture you are assigned to. The SF State library system offers plenty of resources. There are also lots of articles online about this topic. Make sure you use multiple resources and evaluate the reliability of the sources. Use at least THREE references from library resources and credible online sources to support your opinion. 

4. Take stock and draft a thesis statement

Now you need to step back, look at the material you have, and develop your argument.  Based on the reading and research you have done, how might you meet the requirements in the prompt?  What arguments do your sources allow you to make?  Draft a thesis statement in one or two sentences to clearly and succinctly make an argument. 

If you find writing a thesis daunting, remember that whatever you draft now is not set in stone.  Your thesis will change.  As you do more research, reread your sources, and write your paper, you will learn more about the topic and your argument.  For now, produce a “working thesis,” meaning, a thesis that represents your thinking up to this point.  Remember it will almost certainly change as you move through the writing process.  Once you have a thesis statement, you may find that you need to do more research targeted to your specific argument.  

5.  Identify your key sources (both primary and secondary) and annotate them

Now look back over your sources and identify which ones are most critical to you–the ones you will be grappling with most directly in order to make your argument.  Then, annotate them.  Annotating sources means writing a paragraph that summarizes the main idea of the source as well as shows how you will use the source in your post.  

While it might seem like this step creates more work for you by having to do more writing, it in fact serves two critical purposes: it helps you refine your working thesis by distilling exactly what your sources are saying, and it helps smooth your writing process.  Having dissected your sources and articulated your ideas about them, you can more easily draw upon them when constructing your post.

6.  Draft an outline of your paper

An outline is helpful in giving you a sense of the overall structure of your writing and how best to organize your ideas. You need to decide how to arrange your argument in a way that will make the most sense to your peer readers.  Perhaps you decide that your argument is most clear when presented chronologically, or perhaps you find that it works best with a thematic approach.  

An effective outline includes the following components: the research question from the prompt (check Step 1), your working thesis, the main idea of each body paragraph, and the evidence (from both primary and secondary sources) you will use to support each body paragraph.  Be as detailed as you can when putting together your outline.

7.  Write your first draft

This step can feel overwhelming, but remember that you have already done a lot of work and–armed with your working thesis, source annotations, and outline–have all the tools needed.  Your goal in the draft is to articulate your argument as clearly as you can, and to marshal your evidence in support of your argument.  Do not get too caught up in grammar or stylistic issues at this point, as you are more concerned now with the big-picture task of expressing your ideas in writing.

When you are writing up the evidence in your draft, you need to appropriately cite all of your sources. You must follow the required APA citation style in your reference. Remember that you need to cite not just direct quotations, but any ideas that are not your own.  Inappropriate citation is considered plagiarism.  For more information about how and when to cite, visit Proper Citation of Materials (APA style) in the Course Information Center in iLearn. 

8.  Revise your draft

After you have completed an entire first draft, move on to the revision stage. Think about revising on two levels: the global and the local.  The global level refers to the argument and evidence in your paper, while the local level refers to the individual sentences.  

Your first priority should be revising at the global level, because you need to make sure you are making a compelling and well-supported argument. When revising at the local level, check that you are using strong topic sentences and transitions, that you have adequately integrated and analyzed quotations, and that your paper is free from grammar and spelling errors that might distract the reader or even impede your ability to communicate your point.  

9.  Put it all together: the final draft

After you have finished revising and have created a strong draft, set your post aside for a few hours or overnight.  Read your writing out loud, catching any errors you might have missed before. The final draft should be at least 500 words. However, depth matters more than length.

10.  Post your writing

Copy and paste the post in the discussion forum. At the Subject line, please input the name of the Asian culture you are assigned to. Now, congratulate yourself. You have written a good post!

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