Welcome

Discussion prompt 11: What Have You Learned?

In your course reading, study of argument, research and interactions with your classmates, have you learned anything that may stay with you? Has course contributed to your intellectual growth and/or writing expertise? If so, how?

 

Discussion prompt 10: Hemp

Since industrial hemp can be put to so many uses (fuel, building material, paper production, etc.), why do you suppose the U.S. has effectively banned the cultivation of hemp since the 1940s?

 

Discussion prompt 9: Adbusters

The Canadian advocacy group Adbusters calls advertising “mental pollution.” They sponsor Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, as a protest against rampant consumerism egged on by ads. What do you think? Is advertising generally helpful for consumers, or does it represent negative brainwashing as Adbusters suggests?

 

Discussion prompt 8: Advertising

Have you ever been a ‘victim’ of advertising, buying something you did not really need, or finding yourself disappointed by your purchase and thereby deceived by the ad claims?

 

Discussion prompt 7: 9/11

You may have been very young when the events of Sept. 11, 2001 transpired. What do they mean to you? Any ‘alternative’ notions of what may have happened,along the lines of the questions raised in our sample research paper?

 

Discussion prompt 6: Logical Fallacies

Can you think of an example of a logical fallacy used in “real life,” whether in advertising, politics, a debate with a friend, or some other application? For example, with July 4th coming, we are sure to see ‘patriotic appeals’ for buying a new mattress…

 

Discussion prompt 5: Diets Beyond the Mainstream

What “alternative” diets have you experimented with, or switched to? Vegetarianism? Paleo? Gluten-free? There are quite a few, and some of you have already mentioned some. Or if you have stuck to the mainstream diet, what gives you confidence that mainstream is the best way to go?

 

Discussion prompt 4: Fast Food

What is your relationship with fast food? If you are a ‘heavy user’ (going 10 or more times per month, by McDonalds’ own definition!), what draws you there?

 

Discussion prompt 3: Corporations

What is you view about corporations? Are they a force for good in bringing us reliable consumer goods, or is there a bigger downside with despoiling the planet, lobbying for political influence, parking tax money in offshore havens, and trying to commercially dictate the way we live?

 

Discussion prompt 2: Media influence

What influence do you think media (ads, images, etc.) has on your own self-image and body image?

 

Discussion prompt 1: Introductions

Why are you taking this course? Any special reason to take it online? Have you studied online before?