Thursday, October 27, 2011

Michaela Dempsey's Multimodal Essay Rough Draft

Michaela Dempsey

Professor Lutz
English 151
October 31, 2011
Hunger and Poverty
           There are nearly seven billion people living on this Earth. Out of these seven billion, over three billion are living on less than $2.50 a day (Shah). While so many men, women, and children are dying due to lack of food and water, poor health facilities, and inadequate living conditions every day, it makes one wonder what is being done to help these people. What methods are being implemented to improve the lives of the large portion of the population that is living in poverty and how effective are these methods? Something needs to change in order to save the innocent lives living in underdeveloped countries.
The Devastation
Consider your everyday life. When you feel hungry, you can walk into your kitchen and choose from a variety of different foods. When thirsty, you can easily turn the faucet on your sink and drink a glass of water. When you feel sick, there is a doctor nearby who can treat you. People living in extreme poverty lack all of these essentials that people who are not impoverished take for granted. 
Populations living in developed countries have the opportunity to choose from an abundance of material goods and food to provide for their needs. Even if they do not have the money to afford the goods, they have a chance to make a living that could eventually afford them because of the resources available to the people. The populations of undeveloped countries do not have the numerous opportunities offered to them; they must work extremely hard to merely keep themselves alive. The standards of living in underdeveloped countries are shockingly lower than the standards in developed countries.
Hunger is one of the most devastating aspects of poverty. According to, 925 million, or every one out of seven people, are going hungry each and every day. That number is so extremely shocking. By that statistic, three people in an average English class at Ohio University would be suffering from hunger. Of course, it doesn’t work like that though. The people who are suffering from hunger are all from impoverished and underdeveloped nations. The following video demonstrates the reality of hunger all over the world:
The images shown are of children who have been ravished by hunger. They have wasted away to almost nothing. While so many people in countries in Northern North America and Europe are working toward losing weight and eating food that is better for them, people in the countries shown at the beginning of the video are struggling to obtain enough food to even stay alive. And what is most upsetting about this? “The world produces enough food to feed everyone,” ( This is extremely frustrating. The world has the resources to support all of its inhabitants yet so many people go without. According to, there is an abundance of food in some countries and a depletion of food in other countries because in a lot of impoverished countries there is poor soil or growing conditions available to them.
           So why aren’t the people of underdeveloped countries able to produce enough food to feed their population? As the population has grown over the years, the farming techniques have stayed relatively the same. Meaning that while in the past they may have had enough food to feed everyone, because of lack of new techniques that will produce more food and the rising population, underdeveloped countries are left behind the rest of the world and become stricken with hunger. Basic changes would be beneficial to the entire population of Africa, “Africa is so far behind the rest of the world agriculturally that it would make great gains simply by applying existing technology and developing the infrastructure that is common in the rest of the world, such as farm-to-market roads, basic irrigation systems, crop-storage facilities, and commodities exchanges” (Thurow). If the people of Africa received education on new techniques and infrastructures that improve the efficiency of farming, they could make great leaps toward feeding the entire continent.
           There are countless organizations all over the world that focus on breaking the poverty chain. For example, there is a “food for work” program described in “Hunger and World Poverty”, “…the adults are paid with food to build schools, dig wells, make roads, and so on.” This method has two main benefits: it distributes food to impoverished people and creates establishments and resources that help to improve the underdeveloped country. Receiving food as payment feeds the individual and their family in an extremely simple way. It removes the process of obtaining food. People who live far away from markets must pay for transportation to and from the market, thus wasting money that could be spent on food. The actual work that these people are doing is extremely beneficial to the community in which they live in. By building wells they are providing water for everyone. By building roads they are increasing the revenue brought into the community by giving people outside of they community the opportunity to come and purchase items from local markets. Building schools allows children to get an education and eventually have higher paying jobs. Programs like this also offer children the opportunity to receive food in exchange for attending school. This helps to feed starving children while ensuring that they are getting the education that they need.
           Another group of people that are working toward ending poverty are the faculty and the students at EARTH University. As described in the blog, “Semester at Sea Maymester: Costa Rica”, the students at this university are discovering ways in which they can grow food in the worst agricultural settings, like hot and humid places where the ground is hard and rain is rare. Creating sustainable gardens, whether in the ground, hanging, or in pots that can be moved inside and outside, and then teaching the people of underdeveloped countries how to accomplish this themselves is the goal of EARTH University. As well as feeding themselves, teaching people how to grow their own food has a variety of benefits, “Local foods help grow the local economy by providing extra income and saving money for families,” (Semester at Sea Maymester: Costa Rica). Having food ready for you in your backyard saves money in purchasing food and also reduces the reliance on transportation to visit a market, thus, saving even more money.
           There’s also another organization called the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (or ISRDP) who describes themselves as, “…a comprehensive campaign against poverty and underdevelopment in the rural areas of South Africa and involves all three spheres of government as well as the private sector and community-based organizations,” (Harmse). This group works in the poorest sections of the world to rebuild infrastructure and effectively reduce hunger and poverty through education.

Works Cited
"2011 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics." Web. 24 Oct.
Every 5 Seconds - YouTube. Dir. Pumpuriukas. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 22 Nov.
2007. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <>.
Harmse, Alet. "Node selection for the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development
Programme in South Africa." Development Southern Africa 27.3 (2010): 429-445. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
"Hunger and World Poverty." - Hunger and World Poverty. Web. 23 Oct.
2011. <>.
"Semester at Sea Maymester: Costa Rica." Web log post. Institute For Shipboard
Education Blog. 6 June 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <>.
Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues. 20 Sep. 2010. Web. 23 Oct.
Thurow, Roger. "The Fertile Continent." Foreign Affairs 89.6 (2010): 102-110. Academic
Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.


  1. 1.) Does the essay make a clear argument? Yes___ No____ If so, what is the argument as you interpret it? If not, what is your best guess?

    Yes, we need to find ways to help the people in poverty living in underdeveloped countries all around the world.

    2.) Find on sentence that you think best describes the thesis of the blog essay.

    “Something needs to change in order to save the innocent lives living in underdeveloped countries.”

    3.) Based upon questions one and two, what are the supporting points that your partner offers to support their argument?

    One supporting point Michaela uses is that 925 million people go hungry each day. Another fact she uses is that around 3 billion people in the world live on less than $2.50 a day.

    4.) Does the article provide plenty of level-1 abstractions (examples) to support their argument? If so, please list at your favorites.

    My personal favorite was the youtube video showing the starving children that die every five seconds. That sounds bad but it was emotional. A lot of pathos, which made a personal connection to the essay/problem.

    5.) Does the article provide a detailed history of the problem so that the reader clearly understands who was involved, what happened, where it happened, when and why?

    It provides a basic background but would be more persuasive if it included facts about specific countries and statistics about those countries including total population, number of people going hungry, number of people dying from hunger, etc…

    6.) Is the significance of all videos and images clearly explained in the essay? If not, make note of some examples.

    Yes, but there is only one video, may want to consider adding some pictures for a more visually persuasive article.

    7.) Are there any claims in the essay that you are skeptical of? If so, why?

    Most all of the claims in this essay are completely believable. I have heard some of them before in church and school.

    8.) Are there points in the essay that you found to be particularly persuasive? If so, why?

    The only real persuasive points I found in the essay were the video, the fact about 3 billion people living on less than $2.50 a day, and one in eight people go hungry a day. The video I found persuasive because if showed real life people suffering. They clearly looked ill and starved. The other two facts I liked just because they were actual numbers and facts that made me think. I feel the essay could use more solid facts and statistics to make it stronger and more persuasive.

  2. these were just some things i noticed when reading your article...

    "What methods are being implemented to improve the lives of the large portion of the population that is living in poverty and how effective are these methods?"

    I thought that these were both very good questions but you might want to break the sentence up because it sounds a little wordy.

    "Consider your everyday life. When you feel hungry, you can walk into your kitchen and choose from a variety of different foods."

    Instead of saying “a variety of different foods”, I would consider maybe naming specific snacks or foods to make it more detailed and hopefully connect with the reader.

    "The people who are suffering from hunger are all from impoverished and underdeveloped nations"

    I wouldn’t say that all people suffering from hunger are all in impoverished nations because they are people in the United States suffering from hunger on a daily basis and America is not impoverished. Maybe say something along the lines of the vast majority are from impoverished nations, or more prevalent in impoverished nations then here in the U.S.

  3. Yes, I do agree with Tyler’s interpretation of my thesis. He stated that my thesis is that it’s crucial that we find ways to help those living in poverty and in underdeveloped parts of the world. I found his feedback very helpful because this essay was difficult for me to write since my topic doesn’t necessarily have two opposing sides and isn’t much of an argument. I was pretty sure that it wasn’t as good as it could be and he pointed out a lot of places where I can improve. I really appreciate the feedback and it will be extremely helpful when I go back to revise my essay. The first things that I am going to do when I begin revising are going back and editing the sections that he specifically pointed out and finding more images to help improve my message. It will be really helpful while revising that Tyler stated specific sentences or paragraphs that could use some work. As I would define it, my argument is that something needs to be done about worldwide poverty to reduce or completely rid the world of the devastation that it brings. I think that the thesis is relatively apparent already, I just need more examples and to go deeper with the examples that I already have in order to improve my essay.