GGR 223 UOFT Speculative Crops Questionnaire

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For this assignment, you will choose one of the following three articles:

• Matthan, T. (2021). Speculative crops: Gambling on the onion in rural India.
Geoforum [article in press].
 

• McCubbin, S.G. (2020). The Cecil moment: Celebrity environmentalism, Nature 2.0,
and the cultural politics of lion trophy hunting. Geoforum, 108, 194-203.
 

• Merten, J., Nielsen, J.O., Rosyani, Soetarto, E., & Faust, H. (2021). From rising water
to floods: Disentangling the production of flooding as a hazard in Sumatra,
Indonesia. Geoforum, 118, 56-65. 

ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS:
Use one article selected from the list above to respond to the following questions using the template
document specific to your article provided.  Answer these directly in the template document
in full sentences, using your own words and paraphrasing. Do not use direct quotations unless the
question specifies to “cut and paste”.  The written assignment you submit should include answers to
these questions in full sentences, numbered as appropriate (e.g., 1.a, 1.b, 2, 3.a…).   

1) Argument of the article
Provide a short answer, 2-3 sentences:
• What is the main point (or argument) of the article?
HINT:  The ‘main point’ is not the ‘topic’ of the article, but what the author is trying to illustrate
or resolve through the discussion and evidence provided.

2) Context and significance of the article
Provide a one to two paragraph response to the general question “what is the context and
significance of the article?” using the following questions to help guide your thinking.
• What idea(s) or ‘dominant explanation(s)’ is the author arguing against?  
• What existing idea(s) is the author expanding upon?
• What ‘gap’ is the author trying to fill in existing research?
• What is the scope of the analysis in terms of primary regional focus and time period?
• According to the author, what is the significance of the article more broadly, beyond academic
debate and research? (e.g., does it help inform better policy or practice? Can it be of use to
social or environmental movements? Etc.)
HINT: This is often, though not exclusively, discussed in the Intro and Conclusion.
 

3) Analysis of structure  
The template document identifies the main sub-sections of the article. For each sub-section identified
in the template, provide a one-paragraph response to the following questions:
• What is the author explaining or illustrating within the sub-section?  
• What is the role (or function) of the sub-section within the overarching/overall argument? Think
here about its structural relationship to the other sub-sections of the article.
 

4) Use of evidence
The template document identifies two examples of source citations in the article including a page
number. For each source citation respond to the following questions/prompts [1-2 sentences each]
a) Cut and paste the full bibliographic citation for the source as it appears in the bibliography.
b) What is the genre of the source used (e.g., book, journal article, webpage, government report…)
and who is the author/creator (name and affiliation)? If it is not obvious, you may need to
search online for hints.    
Reread the paragraph of the article where the citation appears.
c) What claim is the author using the cited source to support?   
d) How does the author use the source as evidence to support that claim?  (specifically, is it used
for ‘facts’ or as an ‘example’ of a trend in their data? Or does the author directly ‘interpret’ the
source?) HINT: To respond to this question (d), you will need to refer to page 4 of this
assignment handout.

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