Does this source have an agenda (e.g., are they trying to sell something, influence public policy, or promote a particular cause)?


Writing Quiz #1: Ocean Plastics Background: In 2016, California voters passed a law designed to limit single-use plastic bags, such as plastic grocery bags. This law is intended as a step to reduce the number of plastic bags that enter the ocean. The articles and videos below discuss the problem of many types of plastic trash in the ocean, including single-use plastic bags, and how this trash affects marine organisms, even in the most remote areas. Writing quiz INSTRUCTIONS (READ THIS!): For this writing quiz, pretend you’ve been asked to help design a public awareness campaign regarding the problem of plastics in the ocean. Imagine that your essay is a proposal that the organization working on this campaign will be using to talk about the campaign with potential donors. You should therefore think of your essay as an executive summary of this issue, and the steps that this campaign will be suggesting to help address the problem. Your essay/paragraph should address the following points:

• Summarize the problem. Your summary must include a discussion of at least two major sources of plastics in the ocean.

• Present what you think are the 2-3 most compelling arguments for changing our behavior to address this problem.

• Suggest at least one simple step that you & other college students could do to help.

Remember – you need to make this into a PARAGRAPH! Concise and straightforward! Re-read the prompt above until you are sure you know what you are doing! This is a paragraph in which you are trying to persuade potential donors! Additional resources are NOT required, but you are welcome to use them if you think they are necessary. If you do use additional resources, you MUST cite these on your note card. Your citation may be in any standard citation format (MLA, APA, CBE, etc.).

• You WILL need to cite the resources that I have provided you in your essay. Resources (all are posted on Titanium):

• The Economist. “Ridding the ocean of plastic.” YouTube. Uploaded 8 June 2017,

• Kaplan S. “By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, study says.” The Washington Post. 20 Jan. 2016. Accessed 23 October 2017.

• National Geographic. “How we can keep plastics out of our ocean.” YouTube. Uploaded 16 Sept. 2016,

• Schlossberg T. “The immense, eternal footprint humanity leaves on Earth: Plastics.” The New York Times. 19 July 2017. Accessed 25 July 2017

• United Nations. “Plastic ocean.” YouTube. Uploaded 24 May 2017,

Grading and Other Important Points

• The rubric I will use to grade your writing quiz is posted on Titanium. • DO NOT use quotes! • Make sure to put all statements in your own words. • You may prepare a single 4×6″ card, using both sides, with any notes you need to write

your paragraph. o Under no circumstances should this be a complete version of your paragraph

written in tiny print! o The ability to answer thoroughly, but concisely, is a skill to develop!

• If you use any resources beyond those above, you should ensure they are from reputable sources, and these additional resources MUST be cited on your note card.

o Remember to review your notes from the beginning of the semester regarding what constitutes evidence.

o Make sure to critically evaluate any additional resources you use. o Does this source have an agenda (e.g., are they trying to sell something, influence public policy, or promote a particular cause)? Is the resource reputable? Do multiple resources corroborate the information?