English 102: Argumentative Research Paper
Length: 8-10 pages and a Works Cited page
Total Points: 350 points
This assignment is your chance to take a position on a question at issue and argue for your perspective.
This work is, of course, an academic argument, and as such, it relies heavily on research and logic. Your
job in this assignment is to participate in a conversation in which other scholars are already engaged and
to inject your own thoughts. You should not be simply repeating what another person has said, nor should
you be making your argument without taking into account what other people have said about your topic.
You must synthesize other perspectives as you work to develop your own claim and argument; you are
not arguing in a vacuum. Remember, you are participating in a conversation, and so you must understand
the debate that has gone on before and connect your argument to that debate. You have already chosen a
question at issue and developed a tentative claim in your research proposal; you must now develop your
argument using all the writing skills in your repertoire—summary, response, synthesis, analysis, etc.
You will be graded on your ability to participate in academic discourse, your mastery of conventions and
style, and your critical thinking skills as demonstrated in your argumentation. You must meaningfully cite
and synthesize at least seven academic sources in your paper.
THIS PAPER MUST FOLLOW THE TOULMIN ARGUMENT STRUCTURE.
• Introduction: In the opening paragraph or two of your essay, introduce the question at issue and
its significance today. Be sure to provide any necessary context or background information for
your readers. Next, clearly state your thesis (claim).
• Subsequent paragraphs: In the body of your paper, you will present reasoning and evidence to
support your claim and use sources intertextually. Exactly how you organize the body of your
paper will depend on your question at issue and claim, but the backbone of your paper should
follow the Toulmin structure for making arguments. That is, you should start with a qualified
claim (in your introduction) and reasons/evidence, uncover and examine your warrants, provide
backing for those warrants, consider and critique conditions of rebuttal, and conclude your
argument (in your conclusion). We will discuss ways to organize your reasons/evidence. While
the organization of your paper will depend on the question at issue and claim, make sure the
organization you use is logical and coherent (i.e., each paragraph links logically with the
paragraphs coming before and after it).
• Conclusion: In your conclusion, you will conclude your argument and briefly summarize your
most important reasons/evidence. If appropriate, discuss any implications of your claim (i.e., any
possible future effects or results).
Include a Works Cited entry, on a separate page, for all sources you use. The Works Cited page will not
• The Works Cited page should be part of the same document but should be on a different page.
Grading Criteria: Your paper will be graded according to the following criteria. Plagiarism will
result in a failing grade for the paper and perhaps for the course as well.
___ Source information and evidence are presented so that members of the audience
unfamiliar with the source can understand.
___ Sources are synthesized purposefully; that is, they are not only summarized but
also applied, challenged, qualified, and employed to advance an argument.
___ The sources are used intertextually (that is, there is a discussion established among
___ The introduction firmly establishes the question at issue, and the paper takes a
clear, qualified position on that question.
___ The paper develops a logical academic argument using a variety of evidence,
appeals to pathos, ethos, and logos, and effective style.
___ The paper is organized according to the Toulmin outline.
___ The paper presents and supports clear, thoughtful reasons for the claim, warrants
and backing, and conditions for rebuttal in convincing ways.
___ The paper demonstrates thorough research, critical thinking, and argumentation
___ The conclusion effectively draws the paper to a close and, if appropriate, explores
implications of the claim.
COMPLETENESS AND FORMATTING
___ Source material is cited according to MLA guidelines.
___ Works Cited entries are provided; at least seven sources are meaningfully cited.
___ Basic and submission requirements are met.
___ Two peer-reviews have been completed.
EDITING AND PROOFREADING
___ The writing employs words and sentence structures appropriate to the demands of
the rhetorical situation.
___ The essay is coherent and unified.
___ The essay is free of proofreading errors.
Student A 1
Professor Ryan Bailey
March 22nd, 2017
The Advantage of Fortified Foods
Micronutrient deficiency is a daunting and pressing issue in the world. Despite the
abundance of calories produced globally, many food items lack in the minerals and vitamins
essential for health because of processing or because some crops aren’t sufficient for providing
nutrients. Without these key micronutrients people develop deficiencies, which can lead to other
health complications, causing the suffering of the victims, their communities, and even their
government. The effects of micronutrient deficiency can be drastic, often as neural tube defects
(NTDs) caused by lack of folic acid, anemia from iron deficiency, and blindness from vitamin A
deficiency. However, there are limitations to fortifying foods and attempting to end the diseases
associated with deficiencies because of accessibility and efficacy, and also because other
methods should be taken into consideration. Fortification of foods does provide some hope,
though, in addressing many deficiency-related issues. The fortification of foods by the
government can ensure the health of the population and prevent disease because without it
people would develop deficiencies, which is detrimental to society.
Folic acid is a micronutrient that is important because, according to a review by Scott D.
Grosse et al. about the economic advantage of folic acid fortification, it “protects against two
neural tube defects (NTDs), spina bifida and anencephaly” when a mother consumes sufficient
amounts during the first month of pregnancy. A neural tube defect is when the spine, spinal cord,
or brain of a fetus are deformed, usually in the first month of pregnancy. Since the neural tube is
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formed so early in pregnancy, deformities occur often before a woman knows that she is
pregnant, and she wouldn’t know to increase her intake of folic acid. Neural tube defects are
permanent and severe, appearing most often as spina bifida, the incomplete closing of the spinal
column, or anencephaly, which is where the brain or skull do not fully develop, and usually
results in death. The United States’ government encourages the fortification of flour and cereals
by manufacturers to increase their nutritive value (Grosse).
Margaret A. Honein et al. reviews the impact of folic acid fortification on NTDs since
its introduction, and describes that the FDA does not require fortification, but for flour to be
called “enriched,” it must meet a standard for replacing vitamins and minerals lost during
processing since the USDA authorized folic acid enrichment in 1996. Enriched flour must have
140 micrograms folic acid per gram to be called enriched. The oversight and efforts to encourage
and enforce fortification standards of folic acid are estimated to cost the government $4 million
annually. The overall savings of fortification, though, are $607 million dollars in 2014 dollars
(Grosse). These savings include medical costs and caregiving over the course of the lifetime of a
person born with spina bifida. However, this dollar amount does not account the enormous
suffering that families could be spared from. Folic acid is a micronutrient that is stable and easy
to add to foods, and the costs of fortifying flour, masa, and other food products is well worth the
benefit of preventing NTDs, for both the families afflicted and for the government in saving
time, money, and emotional burden. However, too much of a good thing can prove harmful.
Although folic acid has great potential in preventing NTDs, there are some risk factors
related to overconsumption, according to Mark Lucock et al. in a review of the possible harmful
effects of folic acid: “Increased folate [folic acid] intake has also been associated with twin birth
and insulin resistance in offspring, and altered epigenetic mechanisms of inheritance,” as well as
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a possible correlation between folic acid and colorectal cancer, autism spectrum disorder, and
epilepsy. Twin births are dangerous to both mother and children, especially in developing
countries. Insulin resistance is when insulin receptors in the body’s cells need more insulin to
activate, and resistance can lead to diabetes. Epigenetic mechanisms refers to the way that DNA
is regulated and controlled in cells. These possible effects of folic acid were noticed to increase
as folic acid fortification was implemented or mandated in several countries, such as the United
States, Australia, and others. Since individual needs for folic acid vary and because it “...should
be evaluated taking account of nutritional condition and genetic background,” (Lucock) the
implementation of folic acid fortification should be monitored to find the safe and effective
levels in populations. Despite the arguments cautioning folic acid fortification, Lucock et al.
cedes that the decreased incidence of NTDs and the decreased mortality after strokes show that
the fortification has achieved its goal.
Another essential micronutrient is iron, which is used by the body to transport oxygen in
the blood. Without enough iron people develop anemia, which refers to a decrease in red blood
cells or hemoglobin in the blood, meaning that there is less oxygen transported efficiently
throughout the body. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common kind of anemia and appears as
shortness of breath, paleness, and a person’s condition can continue to deteriorate until they get
internal bleeding, and eventually die. Iron is a mineral that is not easily added to processed foods
because it can oxidize in the food, causing spoilage, and can impart unappealing color and taste.
However, according to Venkatesh Mannar and Erick Boy Gallego in their review of fortification
of iron in soy sauce in China, fish sauce in Vietnam, and rice in the Philippines and Venezuela,
when a food vehicle is carefully selected, iron fortification can be effective in reducing anemia.
By adding iron to soy sauce consumed by Chinese women, the surveyors observed in just six
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months a significant decrease in anemia cases; in some age groups cases dropped by half,
whereas the soy sauce without iron fortification caused no change. The trend of reducing anemia
by fortifying foods and condiments is shared by the other studies in Vietnam, Venezuela, and the
Philippines (Mannar and Gallego). In these carefully selected food vehicles, based on cultural
consumption and stability of the mineral, iron fortification decreased anemia rates. Finding an
effective way to increase iron intake in developing areas is important because anemia is a
debilitating disease to the individual, to their family, and their community because their bodies
cannot perform properly without oxygen being transported efficiently. Anemia and its harmful
impact is solvable by the government fortifying foods with iron, especially if the right kind of
food is selected for the right population.
In some cases, some micronutrients can be harmful in too high of quantities. Just
as too much folic acid was found by Lucock to be harmful, so is vitamin A. Vitamin A is well
known for its importance in vision, but is also known for being highly toxic in the retinoid form,
which comes from animals or is produced synthetically. According to Kristina L. Penniston and
Sherry A. Tanumihardjo in their review of the acute and chronic vitamin A toxicity, retinoid
vitamin A is absorbed at a higher rate at 70-90%, which is much greater than carotenoids, the
plant form at 20-50%, which lends to it being more toxic. Penniston and Tanumihardjo focus on
both the acute effects of vitamin A toxicity, meaning the more immediate problems from a high
dosage, as well as the chronic effects. Acute vitamin A toxicity occurs when adults consume
over 100 times the recommended daily allowance and in children just 20 times (Penniston and
Tanumihardjo). Ann Pietrangelo states that when a person consumes too much vitamin A in a
short period of time, the acute effects can be serious: the liver is poisoned, causing nausea,
vomiting, and abdominal pain , and in the most severe overdoses death. The chronic effects of
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vitamin A toxicity are less noticeable, appearing as a deterioration of bone health, leading to
osteoporosis (Penniston and Tanumihardjo). Even in poor countries vitamin A toxicity is a
problem because sometimes people are given mega doses, which are extremely high doses of
vitamin A, even exceeding the toxicity standard. These mega doses are given in the hopes of
curing a disease, such as vitamin A deficient-blindness or to protect newborns through breast
milk (Penniston and Tanumihardjo). However, Penniston and Tanumihardjo claim that this
strategy to use breast milk as a vehicle for vitamin A to newborns is ineffective. Penniston and
Tanumihardjo conclude that chronic vitamin A toxicity needs more research, and that while
vitamin A deficiency is a greater concern, its toxic effects must also be monitored. In the effort
to prevent deficiencies and prevent disease, the government should continue to fortify foods with
vitamin A, but it must be carefully monitored to avoid deleterious effects of toxicity.
Another way to increase the vitamin and mineral content of foods besides fortification is
biofortification. Biofortification is when a plant is caused to have more of a micronutrient by
breeding or genetic engineering it to produce or absorb more. For example, Hannah R.
Manwarng et al. describes the potential of the grain pearl millet as a vector for zinc and iron, and
how it is a hardy plant used by many cultures as a staple source of grain. In impoverished areas,
people do not have access to foods higher in mineral content--even beans, rice, and leafy greens
can be limited. In these areas people rely on grains, which are low in zinc and iron, especially
after processing into flour (Manwarng). To combat this Manwarng suggests the biofortification
of pearl millet because it is widely consumed in West and East Africa as well as India, because it
is such a hardy crop, and because it is more nutritious than wheat or rice. By selective breeding
of pearl millet researchers can increase its zinc and iron content. To selectively breed for zinc
and iron would entail the crossing of parent plants with already high concentrations, and
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continue doing crosses to obtain efficient plants with higher amounts of zinc and iron. Cross
pollination is a common, simple way to breed, but is not as precise as other processes, such as in
vitro fertilization in a petri dish. Transgenic mutation is also a prospective way to manipulate the
plants for biofortification, which would mean that the genome of the millet would be altered for
the desired outcome (Manwarng). To change the genome of the millet could involve several
different methods. Of these methods there is the “gene gun” which shoots a gene stuck on
microscopic plastic beads into seeds, hoping that they land at the right spot. Another method is to
use a virus as a vector by having a virus insert the target gene into the plant’s cells, and there is
also the method of splicing using bacterial plasmids. Manwarng claims that fortification and
supplementation are “not sustainable and suffer major drawbacks,” and that biofortification is the
most sustainable form of nutrient intervention. Since fortification alone may not be the strongest
option, alternatives should be considered.
In a comprehensive review of micronutrient fortification and its impact on the health of
women and children, Jai K. Das et al. analyze the fortification of zinc, iron, folic acid, vitamin A,
iodine, vitamin D, and calcium by assessing over two hundred studies. In reference to the
effectiveness of iodine, folic acid, and iron fortification in women in improving deficiencyrelated problems, Das et al. claims “this evidence suggests that mass fortification strategies can
be extremely productive and beneficial for numerous health outcomes.” Beyond simply adding
micronutrients to food, it is important to consider the food vehicle (Das et al.). The food vehicle
must be stable and have a medium that can preserve a mineral or vitamin, but also be accessible
and feasible to have a high enough intake and absorbance to be effective. While condiments may
be good at containing certain micronutrients, they are not consumed in as large of quantities as
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staples (Das et al.). Researchers and government programs should observe and consider what
foods are best to dose people with micronutrients for efficacy as well as what foods they will eat.
Cultural acceptance is also an important factor to consider. In the United States the
fortification of teff or millet would not be effective to the majority of people, just as fortifying
soy sauce in Ghana would not be prudent. The cultural aspects of food must be scrutinized to
avoid a waste of resources and money. Also the target population in terms of greatest need must
be taken into account (Das et al.) because some regions are in dire need of certain micronutrients
while others already have plenty; inland areas that don’t have volcanoes require iodine
fortification, but coastal and volcanic areas do not need this investment. Fortification is
important, but it is limited by these factors. Das et al, concludes that while more studies are
needed for developing areas, education is also necessary in combating micronutrient deficiency,
“Community education and promotion campaigns should also be implemented parallel to the
primary fortification programs to increase awareness, acceptability and equity.” By educating
people about the micronutrients that they need, they can know that they must eat vegetables and
fruits as well as their staples. Education is also related to the teaching of communities how to
grow different crops or raise animals to supplement their basic diets. Access to micronutrientrich foods also has potential in combating deficiencies. With so many approaches and strategies,
the pursuit of preventing disease caused by micronutrient deficiencies is complicated and
arduous, involving much more than pouring a universal blend into cornflakes.
Fortification is a worthwhile pursuit, though. Prevailing evidence shows that fortification
has enormous potential in preventing and curing disease. Anemia, NTDs, and other diseases have
strong ties to micronutrient deficiencies. By increasing the intake of the micronutrients
associated with deficient-related diseases, populations can be vastly improved. Iron fortification
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is shown to decrease anemia cases (Mannar and Gallego), folic acid can prevent NTDs, which
spares families and communities an emotional and financial burden (Grosse et al.), and other
micronutrients help the health of women and children (Das et al.). Micronutrient fortification in
foods is shown by these reviewers to be effective in combating disease, yet other options and
approaches must be taken into ac ...
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