I need assistance with correcting and revising my essay, the first paragraph of which is below. Agent Orange and Its Consequences Agent Orange; code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants was used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. Agent Orange is a 50:50 mixture of 2, 4, 5-T and 2, 4-D and later discovered to have been contaminated with 2, 3, 7, 8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin. The program's goal was to defoliate forested and rural land, depriving guerrillas of cover; another goal was to induce forced draft urbanization, destroying the ability of peasants to support themselves in the countryside, and forcing them to flee to the U.S. dominated cities, thus depriving the guerrillas of their rural support base and food supply. Even though Agent Orange helped the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, there were many consequences. The contact with this chemical has caused: diseases, disorders and birth defects to many people and also had an environmental impact destroying Vietnam ecosystem.  

Expert Answers

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I wish to comment on two points. I hope that these comments are helpful to you.

1. Focusing your argument

Avoid cramming too much information into the opening paragraph. Perhaps save the discussion of the chemical structures of Agent Orange for later in your essay. At this later point in your essay, you may find that you can write at least one full paragraph on how the chemical structures are important to consider. Consider sharpening your thesis statement; perhaps change “consequences” to “negative consequences” in the second-to-last sentence. Perhaps also consider changing “destroying Vietnam ecosystem” to “damaging the Vietnam ecosystem” in the final sentence.

2. Using sources responsibly

If you use sources, as a rule, you must cite them (in other words, you must name your sources and give them due credit). Also, as a rule, you must put quotation marks around material that is taken word-for-word from another source. Your opening line – “code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants….” – is taken word-for-word from Wikipedia.com. Other material in this first paragraph is also taken (without credit) from this source. Please talk with your teacher before turning in anything. Make sure that you know what is expected of you in terms of using sources (e.g. are you expected to cite your sources?). The enotes link given below discusses how to avoid plagiarism.

Best of luck with your essay! You’ve chosen a very interesting topic that should work well for a chemistry course.

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