No Impact Man

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Essay Two: No Impact Man Analysis

Prompt
Colin Beavan’s dedication to environmental conservation is not up for debate. The No Impact Man book and project demonstrate as much. His motivations for both the book and project, however, are more complicated. Besides inspiring his audience to see a problem and make a difference, what were Beavan’s motivations for living his year carbon-neutral, and how did his motivations evolve? For your second paper, your will formulate a thesis that answers this question. Keep in mind that there is more than one answer. Consider a few of the following issues Beavan faced before this year began: his guilt over his own family’s consumption, his relationship to his environment (New York City, the United States, etc.), his professional career as a writer, his role and habits with his family, and his family history (including the death of his brother).

Purpose
Your goal is to create a strong, well-supported argument that explores Beavan’s evolving motivations. Select the most important and interesting motivating factors and explore how they directly led to the means and methods of such a drastic experiment. For example, why did Beavan shut the lights off when he could have spent a year lobbying his member of congress? Why did he give up some conveniences and products and not others? His motivations dictated his means. And why, for example, did he push through, even when he struggled with his own self-imposed rules and/or the difficulties that he faced in his environment? Finally, ask yourself how Beavan felt about continuing his project during the first week vs. during the last week.

In your body paragraphs, find examples from the book and analyze how Beavan’s choices and writing prove your thesis. Do not simply summarize. Demonstrate how he successfully tackles these motivating factors and makes personal inroads at the same time as informing and inspiring his audience. Organize your paper by subtopics instead...
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