“Nanotechnology Turns Plants Into Common Plastics”

http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/64710 

 This article from Planet Ark reports on research that has successfully created ethylene and propylene, building blocks of plastics, from plant matter. The article explains the pros and cons to using biomass for plastic production, offering two conflicting views on the technology. However, the author does not include a single quote in the article. Do you think the article is still successful at properly informing its readers of the discussion over this new research or do the missing quotes lower the quality of the article?  

Alex McCoy

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2 Responses to ““Nanotechnology Turns Plants Into Common Plastics””

  1. This article was still effective and informative without quotes. The process of how these plastics are made is very technical, so the author probably had to simplify the process for the public to comprehend. We learned that it’s best to use quotes when the subject says it best. In this case, a watered down explanation of the technology from the author was probably the best option.

    I also thought having no quotes was acceptable was because of how short this article was. The author basically answered who? what? where? when? and explained the importance of the technology in the rising demand section. The author didn’t elaborate on much, but he addressed the topic from various perspectives. He even devoted three paragraphs explaining what the critics say and of the potential harm it could cause the environment. Because he discusses the cons, he shows that he is not bias and therefore the article is more reliable.

    Lastly, the author establishes the importance of this technology by linking it with Johnson Matthey, “the world’s largest supplier of catalytic converters for vehicles.” That is a strong description, catches the reader’s eye, and tells the reader that a significant company cares about this technology.

    -Jonelle Doctor, 200 words

  2. I really thought this article was poorly written, especially due to the lack of quotes. The entire time I was reading I kept asking myself where the evidence was, and a string of questions that should’ve been answered using quotes kept running through my head. I felt the article missed huge points that needed to be addressed, such as, “What is the purpose of creating a partnership with a catalytic convertor company?”, “Why is DOW chemical playing a part, since they are widely known as en environmental enemy? Does that hinder how the research is viewed?”, and “If there’s no chance of being biodegradable, is the benefit of this new system great enough to warrant a change at all?”. Asking these questions of people mentioned in the article would’ve brought depth to what seemed like a shallow look into why this research is being done. As a reader, I would’ve connected to the article and felt a more thorough understanding of the importance of this technology, instead of being left with a swarm of questions buzzing around in my head.

    Word Count: 180

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