GMO Persuasive Essay Topic and Audience Worksheet

If you did not take UNV 104 or if you would like to review the writing concepts introduced in UNV 104, it is suggested that you view the media piece entitled, “The Writing Process,” which is available to support the development of your writing skills. Access “The Writing Process” in the Course Materials.  For this Topic, focus on the “Planning and Getting Started?” section of the media piece.

Part 1: Select a Topic

Choose a topic for your persuasive essay from the list below. If you would like to write about a topic that is not on the list, please list it below within your answer to the first question to request approval.

  • Stem cell research
  • Prisoner reform/ Prison System Reform
  • Internet Censorship
  • Compensation for College Athletes
  • Net Neutrality
  • Marijuana
  • Universal Healthcare
  • Genetically modified food
  • Cloning
  • Abortion
  • Charter schools
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Educational Reform
  • Minimum Wage Laws
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Automation
  • Universal Basic Income
  • Mandatory military service/Selective Service
  • What is the topic you have chosen for your persuasive essay?

I have chosen the topic of Genetically modified food. (GMO)

  • Begin thinking about the different issues associated with the topic you have selected, narrow your focus, and take a pro or con position for the subject of your essay. Present a simple statement of your position here. Example statement: Personal use of social media is not appropriate in the workplace.

The suspicions the integrity and environmental impacts of genetically modified foods (GMO) are deeply misguided.

  • Give rationale for that stance. (50-100 words. Avoid using emotional reasoning and focus on facts and evidence to help support your rationale)?

Whereas almost all the scientific studies in this area have produced reassuring data, GMO foods have continued meet skepticism.  According to Fernbach et al. (2019) and Dunn et al. (2017), genetic modification increases corn yields by a significant percentage by addressing the two major problems in grain production, namely pests and weeds. Whereas pests account of at least one third of reduction in yields, weeds account for another 10% of the loss (Hakim et al., 2020). Yet, genetic modification makes the crops resistant to both pests and weeds, enabling the delivery of a 25% increase in grains (Pham & Mandel, 2019). The effect of this is that with genetic modification of food crops, the world could use one fifth less farmland to produce the food it needs.

Section II: Identify your Audience

Review the media piece before beginning this section:

Answer the following questions regarding the audience for your essay in complete sentences.

  • Who is the ideal audience for this persuasive essay, and why? Please avoid naming your instructor, classmates, family, friends, and coworkers.

The effects of genetically modified (GMO) crops such as corn have met great scientific and public attention, especially because such crops are a significant portion of what the American people eat (Lefebvre et al 2019). I would like to write this essay to consumers who are constantly skeptic and suspicious of GMO foods. They are told that that the process of growing such crops have adverse health effects; and that the transfer of genes across different species contributes to unnatural experiment on human beings. This essay is also dedicated to those who believe that the techniques involved in cultivating GMO have adverse environmental effects because of the heavy use of insecticides and pesticides. Lastly, I dedicate this essay to those who worry that genetic modification affects crop biodiversity and has unintended effects on species living in those fields.

  • What is the appropriate way to address this audience (professional, familial, friendly)? Why?

I opine that using a friendly but professional tone could be the most appropriate for this. Approaching it professionally and backing my points with scientific facts and evidence could enable me to render more compelling argument for GMO foods. Additionally, a friendly approach would enable me to address the personal aspects of the topic that must be addressed. This could be most successful with the use of case study stories on the benefits of GMO foods.

The purpose of this essay is to persuade my audience that GMO foods are scientifically proven to be environmentally safe and healthy. This message should be expressed in a friendly but professional manner that demonstrates that even though I differ with the audience’s opinion, I respect them. Furthermore, it is through a friendly and professional tone that I will manage to convince my readers to act by developing a positive attitude towards GMO foods.

  • What about your topic is important to your audience? What about your topic is not important to your audience?

The scientific evidence supporting genetic modification is the most important `aspect of this essay to the audience. Genetic modification is a scientific practice that is backed by scientific research. Therefore, the audience can only understand the benefits of genetic modification is they gain access to and understand the scientific reasoning behind it. Meanwhile, there is nothing about this topic that is not important.

Persuasive Essay: Brainstorming Worksheet

Review all six brainstorming strategies within Chapter 2 of the ebook (pages 17-19).

  • Free Writing
  • Breaking Down a Topic
  • Listing
  • Mapping/Webbing
  • Three Perspectives
  • Journalistic Questions

The “How Should I Brainstorm?” section within in the media piece “The Persuasive Writing Process” also reviews some of the strategies above. Access “The Persuasive Writing Process” in the Course Materials.

Assignment Directions:

  1. Choose three ways to brainstorm from the list above.
  2. Brainstorm about the topic of your Persuasive Essay using each of your chosen three methods. Each brainstorming session should last at least 10 minutes in length.
  3. Document the information from your brainstorming sessions in the space provided below. The information for each brainstorm should be substantive in nature, providing further insight into your current knowledge on your topic.
  4. If you choose to brainstorm by mapping/webbing, document your brainstorm, please use the Smart Art feature within Word to create the map.

Documentation of Brainstorm:

In the three sections below, write the name of the brainstorming strategy you selected and provide the information you came up with during your brainstorming sessions. Make sure your information is substantive and is on your essay topic. Please do not write about the brainstorming strategies in general.

Brainstorm One: Free thinking

The effects of genetically modified (GMO) crops such as corn have met great scientific and public attention because such crops are a significant portion of what the American people eat

Brainstorm Two: listing

Genetic modification increases corn yields by a significant percentage bey addressing the two major problems and pests and weeds

Brainstorm Three: Breaking down a topic

With genetic modification of food crops, the world could produce one fifth less farmland to produce the food it needs.


  • Dunn, S. E., Vicini, J. L., Glenn, K. C., Fleischer, D. M., & Greenhawt, M. J. (2017). The allergenicity of genetically modified foods from genetically engineered crops: a narrative and systematic review. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 119(3), 214-222.
  • Fernbach, P. M., Light, N., Scott, S. E., Inbar, Y., & Rozin, P. (2019). Extreme opponents of genetically modified foods know the least but think they know the most. Nature Human Behaviour, 3(3), 251-256.
  • Hakim, M. P., Zanetta, L. D. A., de Oliveira, J. M., & da Cunha, D. T. (2020). The mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods in Brazil: Consumer’s knowledge, trust, and risk perception. Food Research International, 132, 109053.
  • Lefebvre, S., Cook, L. A., & Griffiths, M. A. (2019). Consumer perceptions of genetically modified foods: a mixed-method approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing.
  • Pham, N., & Mandel, N. (2019). What influences consumer evaluation of genetically modified foods?. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 38(2), 263-279.