Choose a commodity that you and other students use or consume on a regular basis that we have not already examined in this course (i.e. cellphones, coffee). Conduct research on the full life cycle of the commodity extraction or production of the raw materials / ingredients, labour process, transportation, distribution / marketing, disposal. There will be more information available about some commodities than others, so you may need to change the commodity to you choose to research based on the amount of information available. Be sure to give yourself time to do this, if necessary. Identify what you believe to be the three most significant aspects of the life cycle of your commodity that the general public should know about but that are hidden from the finished product. Your research report should focus on these three components of the commodity chain.
The analysis of the three components of the commodity chain should: explain the problem (who is effected, in what ways) using reliable, up-to-date evidence, and how consumers of the finished product are linked to the problem. While the paper should be based on evidence, it should also aim to motivate readers to care about the social and environmental issues analysed in the commodity chain analysis. To be convincing, a research report must be based on up-to-date information from reliable sources and must cite the sources for all research so that other people can verify them or consult them for further information. At a minimum your report should include 10 sources, but more sources will make your research more credible and more convincing.
Try to be as specific as possible in your research to the particular commodity that you have chosen, as commodity chains can vary even among products that appear very similar (e.g. the life cycle of electricity produced in Nova Scotia is very different from the life cycle of electricity produced in Quebec or Ontario; the commodity chain behind an iPhone 6 is different from a Samsung Galaxy). he main body of the report should be approximately 1,500 words. The report should also include (in the following order) The Assignment Submission Checklist (see Brightspace) A title (that engages readers) A list of sources cited (at the end of the report) Format: 12 point font, 1 inch margins, double spacing. The paper should include an introduction that briefly introduces the commodity, highlights the most significant elements of the commodity chain, explains how ordinary consumers and citizens in Canada are connected to the commodity – and why we should care about the commodity chains behind it. The majority of the paper should focus on the 3 components of the commodity chain that you decide are most important, presenting up-to-date evidence to support your analysis. The conclusion could re-emphasize why you think readers should care about the commodity and / or could suggest (briefly) what you think consumers could or should do to act on those concerns.
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