In “Consider the Lobster,” David Foster Wallace was supposed to be writing about his experience at the Maine Lobster Festival; instead, the essay turned into an argument for the consideration of the apparent suffering or, at least, the apparent preference of the lobster to not be boiled alive, which is the standard method of lobster preparation. There are three things that I think are extremely relevant to our recent discussions regarding how to write Argumentative Essays and how to conduct research. First, Wallace seems to have started his shift from the main focus of the essay for which he was assigned when he asked himself a simple, moral question: “Is it alright for us to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?” (503). Second, the essay implies that he then conducted un-biased research without having a clear answer to the question in order to inform his position; apparently, in order to form his position, he researched biological and neurological information regarding lobsters, theories from philosophers and ethicists, opinions of others, and other relevant information. Third, even after conducting the research, it is clear that Wallace considered all of the evidence with his own reasoning to arrive at his own position/conclusion regarding the moral question.
You have two options for this essay; both will include the need to do unbiased research to inform your decision:
Option 1: You can conduct further research related to the moral question related to boiling lobsters alive. After conducting the research, you will then either extend (not repeat) or challenge Wallace’s position in an Argumentative/Persuasive essay.
Option 2: You can ask a moral question for which you do not yet have an answer. Then, you will conduct research to help inform your position, and then you will write an Argumentative/Persuasive essay to support your (original) position.
For both options, it is important to conduct relevant, unbiased research and write an Argumentative/Persuasive essay that addresses a specific moral question.
Procedures and Format:
Criteria for Essay Evaluation
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