Why Do People Shop at Wal-Mart

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EN101/A: Techniques of Reading & Writing I
Essay #3: Cause & Effect

Introduction
People used to say that nothing was more American than baseball and apple pie. While this old adage may still hold some clout, America has taken a turn, and apple pie and baseball t-shirts are now sold in abundant quantities at the local Wal-Mart. In the chapter, “The Squeeze,” taken from Charles Fishman’s book, The Wal-Mart Effect, the author states that, “Wal-Mart’s focus on pricing, and its ability to hold a supplier’s business hostage to its own agenda, distorts markets in ways that consumers don’t see, and ways the suppliers can’t effectively counter.” Using cause and effect analysis, Fishman blames Wal-Mart for problems in the pickle market and beyond.

Essay Prompt
Read the excerpt, “The Squeeze,” on pp. 409-412 of The Brief Bedford Reader. Using what you have learned about the cause and effect method of writing, take notes on Charles Fishman’s chapter and what he believes are the causes and effects of Wal-Mart’s business strategy. In your own essay, explore what causes Americans to shop at Wal-Mart, and what effects this has on markets and consumers. (Use the following definition of market from Merriam-Webster: “the course of commercial activity by which the exchange of commodities is effected : extent of demand.”)

Questions to Consider
1.Why do people shop at Wal-Mart? Is this positive or negative? 2.What effects does Wal-Mart have on local businesses?
3.How are Americans’ shopping habits affected by Wal-Mart?

Tips
Remember that, “to seek causes and effects is one way for the mind to discover order in a reality that otherwise might seem random and pointless” (BBR, p. 387). In other words, give your writing purpose, and “don’t be afraid to voice a well-considered hunch” (BBR, p. 390).

Nitty Gritty. Your essay must:
1.be at least 4 pages in length, double spaced. You may use any serif font...
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