Life of a Commodity
- Visual Representation
- Visually represent the component parts of the commodity chain you have researched as well as its spatial interconnections, governance structures and institutional actors.
- Your visual representation can take the form of a PowerPoint slide show or a poster. If you choose to do a poster, you can use a graphic software program or design a poster the “old-fashioned” way and take photos for submission. If students have other ideas for how to visually represent their selected commodity chain, they are encouraged to reach out and discuss with the instructor.
- The representation needs to include information about the important places, flows, spatial connections, actors, and governance structures involved in the commodity chain.
Assume you will share your representation with a group of economic geographers who are familiar with the concept of commodity value chains but not with the details of your specific commodity. What should they know about your commodity? How will you communicate the details about the commodity chain to them in a concise, clear and creative manner?
Make sure you connect all information on the visual representation to the reference page. In other words, you must cite the sources you use in the visual representation. It is up to you how and where to list the sources (e.g., referencing style), but your audience must be able to clearly understand from where you are getting your information.
- Written Analysis
- Provide an analysis of the commodity value chain based on the potential broader political controversies, social issues and environmental concerns that surround it.
- Based on the information about the commodity value chain you have collected from your research and pieced together from your visual representation write a 3-page paper (approx. 750-800 words) that answers the following question:
What are the potential political controversies (e.g., corruption, conflict, certification challenges), social issues (e.g., ethics) and/or environmental concerns (e.g., pollution) associated with your selected commodity value chain? In your answer, make sure to reference terms and concepts from lectures and the textbook to help you interpret what you’ve learned about your selected commodity value chain and make it more meaningful in the context of the course.
- It is up to you how you would like to organize the written assignment; however, students could choose to use sub-headings to organize information around environmental, social and political issues. Make sure to address all three.
- Provide a brief introduction that identifies the selected commodity and outlines the paper. Also, provide a conclusion that briefly summarizes the paper and provides insight gained while analyzing the commodity chain.
Here’s what you need to do for your Geography assignment on the “Life of a Commodity”:
Step 1: Put on Your Creative Hat
Firstly, your job is to visually represent the journey of the commodity you’ve chosen to research. It’s like creating a roadmap of the commodity’s journey. And guess what? You have the freedom to choose your method! You can make a PowerPoint slideshow, design a digital poster, or even make a physical poster and snap photos of it. Your focus should be on showing the locations, connections, key players, and governance structures involved in this commodity’s life.
Step 2: Communicate Clearly
Imagine explaining the journey of your commodity to a group of economic geographers who are familiar with commodity value chains, but don’t know about your specific commodity. What key information would you want to share with them? Make sure your visual representation can tell them this story in a concise, clear, and creative way.
Step 3: Remember Your References
In any academic work, you’ve got to cite your sources. It’s the same for this assignment. You can decide how you’d like to list the sources, but make sure it’s clear where you got your information from.
Step 4: Analyze
Once your visual representation is done, now’s the time to put on your analyst’s hat! In a 3-page paper (approximately 750-800 words), discuss the potential political controversies, social issues, and environmental concerns linked with your chosen commodity. Remember to refer to the lectures and textbook for relevant concepts and terms that can help you interpret your findings.
Step 5: Structure Your Paper
The paper is your stage, so you can set it up the way you like. You might want to consider using sub-headings for different issues like environmental, social, and political. Just make sure you cover all three.
Step 6: Introduction and Conclusion
A good paper starts with an intro that identifies your commodity and outlines what you’re going to discuss. And don’t forget to wrap it all up at the end with a neat conclusion that summarizes your findings and shares insights you gained from analyzing the commodity chain.
And voila! You’re all set. Just remember to keep your language engaging, stay focused, and be meticulous with your grammar and punctuation. Good luck! You’re going to do great.