Significance of the Anthropocene

Write an essay that responds to a question at issue regarding the significance of the Anthropocene for your major or academic discipline or chosen discourse community.

Examples might be something along the lines of “To what extent will the Anthropocene necessitate changes in the academic field of ______?” or “What is the most important resource that the field of ______ has to offer to dealing with the unique problems of the Anthropocene?” or “How much responsibility does the field of ______ bear for causing the onset of the Anthropocene?”

You might instead choose a Q@I that falls within your chosen discourse community but which responds to a problem/issue raised by the Anthropocene.

Your essay will have a dual audience. Consider your primary audience to be your classmates, most of whom likely know relatively little about your chosen discourse and whom you may imagine to be neutral or even slightly skeptical of your position. Additionally, since this essay must make an argument that falls within the orbit of your academic discipline, consider members of that wider discourse community to be your audience, too. It should also substantively relate to problem solving in the Anthropocene, broadly defined.

Your essay must include a thesis that responds to your Q@I. Your essay’s enthymeme must appear in bold in your paper but it need not serve as the thesis. You might put it in your conclusion or simply put it at the end of the paper, outside the essay proper. The end of the first, introductory paragraph is almost always an appropriate place to put the thesis (or enthymeme). Use your enthymeme to develop and structure your essay. Use evidence and reasoning to support your argument and meet the enthymeme’s burden of proof.

Your evidence may include the following textual sources:

  1. class readings and materials on the Anthropocene
  2. your discourse community analysis, and your expert interview in particular
  3. the text you read for your discourse community analysis
  4. another text, provided it is from an academic journal, book chapter, or trustworthy popular publication (like the New York Times)

Any outside research for this essay should be for the purpose of establishing context and describing the problem you will respond to. It should not be used for evidence, and especially not just to find ideas for arguments. I recommend you get my approval for those outside sources beforehand, but this is not required. However, if I believe you are relying on them for arguments rather than making your own arguments, I may ask you to remove or alter your use of such sources.

Your essay must address viewpoints that differ from your own. It must contain a counterargument that you respond to fairly and completely. Your essay must also contain at least one quotation, which must appear in a body paragraph, from course readings, an article, or your expert interview. Your essay must include an Introduction and Conclusion. In the essay, introduce your topic and question at issue in the first paragraph. In the conclusion, discuss further implications of your argument and its significance beyond the scope of your essay.

It must include a Works Cited section at the end, but it does not need to be a separate page. You must include ALL your sources, with correct citations, including non-written ones. Use APA or MLA citation guidelines, or whichever is used within your discipline.

Use the formatting guidelines in the syllabus. See the Purdue OWL website for information on grammar, language usage, and citations.


An Essay 2 that is complete will do the following:

  • Respond to an original question at issue of your choice and formulation that has to do with the Anthropocene in relation to or within your discourse community.
  • Include a thesis based on an enthymeme that is used to develop the essay (not judged on “quality”)
  • Include Introduction and Conclusion
  • Include at least two citations of others’ work (from two different sources), integrating those sources into your essay
  • Include at least one quotation from another’s work in a body paragraph
  • Address other voices/perspectives on your topic (at least one) that differ from yours in the form of a counterargument to your own argument, and need not be from another source
  • Cite all sources and includes a Works Cited section (need not be a separate page)
  • Be at least 3 full pages (so it should go onto a fourth page) but no more than 5 full pages in length, not including Works Cited


Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by Essay Pro