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ENGL 1010 Community College Deep Ecology versus Shallow Ecology Discussion

ENGL 1010 Community College Deep Ecology versus Shallow Ecology Discussion

Question Description

Paper 1: Writing about the Paradigms

Capra suggests that there needs to be a shift in paradigms. He emphasizes that it is his belief that a shift towards the paradigm he terms “deep ecology” is a sustainable and sensible movement away from the current paradigm which he determines to be ecologically destructive and unsustainable.

In your first paper you will be expected to define both of these paradigms – deep ecology and shallow ecology respectively. It is expected that after reading you are capable of differentiating, in detail, the differences between the two. In this sense your essay will employ several rhetorical strategies: definition, description, comparison & contrast.

Not only is it expected that you can differentiate and clearly articulate the differences between the paradigms, you are expected to communicate Capra’s rationale for why a shift from one to the other is vital and necessary. A portion of the paper, most certainly the last part – the conclusion and the paragraph or so leading up to the closing – will likely express why a shift from one to the other must happen or is happening (according to Capra).

This paper is rhetorically structured around defining and describing rather than arguing. You will not be taking a position towards either paradigm, you will not be critiquing Capra’s logic or offering your opinion in this matter. Your goal is to define in an objective manner the differentiations between the two paradigms.


  • Follow MLA format
  • adhere to the conventions of standard written English
  • adopt a style and structure suitable for academic writing at the college level
  • upload a Word or OS Pages compatible file by due date



  • Forecast the points to be developed in the body paragraphs
  • Capra’s ideas: old paradigm and new paradigm (shallow ecology and deep ecology)
  • Book title, author

Ex. In his book The Web of Life, Fritjof Capra suggests that we are living in a cultural paradigm he terms shallow ecology. Capra also suggests that the shallow ecology paradigm should be shifted from due to the destructive nature of its dominant tendencies. He goes on to say that we should shift from this old paradigm to a new one that he calls deep ecology. These paradigms differ in their “concepts, values, perceptions and practices,” and these differences may mean the survival of not only the human species but of the planet as well (Capra 6).


Bridge Paragraph w/general definition of paradigm and Capra’s definition of “social paradigm” (6)

Option 1

Paragraph 1: Example 1 — (concepts)

  • New – Deep
  • Old – Shallow

Paragraph 2: Example 2 — (values)

  • New
  • Old

Paragraph 3: Example 3 — (perceptions)

  • New
  • Old

Option 2

Paragraph 1 – Paradigm 1 (Old/Shallow)

  • Quality 1
  • Quality 2
  • Quality 3

Paragraph 2 – Paradigm 2 (New/Deep)

  • Quality 1
  • Quality 2
  • Quality 3


  • Restate key points from introduction; thesis
  • Possible summary of main points or key ideas
  • Necessity of a shift in your opinion as a movement towards “solution”
  • Response to Capra’s ideas

From the text:

Shallow Ecology

Deep Ecology

Self-assertive Thinking

  • Rational
  • Analysis
  • Reductionist
  • Linear

Self-assertive Values

  • Expansion
  • Competition
  • Quantity
  • Dominion

Integrative Thinking

  • Intuitive
  • Synthesis
  • Holistic
  • Nonlinear

Integrative Values

  • Conservation
  • Cooperation
  • Quality
  • Partnership

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