Rethinking Big-Box Stores In her essay “Big Box Stores Are Bad for Main Street,” Betsy Taylor focuses not on the economic effects of large chain stores but on the effects these stores have on the “soul” of America. She argues that stores like Home Depot, Target, and Wal-Mart are bad for America because they draw people out of downtown shopping districts and cause them to focus exclusively on consumption. In contrast, she believes that small businesses are good for America because they provide personal attention, foster community interaction, and make each city unique. But Taylor’s argument is ultimately unconvincing because it is based on nostalgia—on idealized images of a quaint Main Street—rather than on the roles that businesses play in consumers’ lives and communities. By ignoring the more complex, economically driven relationships between large chain stores and their communities, Taylor incorrectly assumes that simply getting rid of big-box stores would have a positive effect on America’s communities. Taylor’s use of colorful language reveals that she has a nostalgic view of American society and does not understand economic realities. In her first paragraph, Taylor refers to a big-box store as a “25-acre slab of concrete with a 100,000 square foot box of stuff” that “lands on a town,” evoking images of a monolithic monster crushing the American way of life (1011). But her Sanchez 1
Opening summa- rizes the article’s purpose and thesis.
Thesis expresses Sanchez’s judgment of Taylor’s article. Signal phrase intro- duces quotations from the source; Sanchez uses an MLA in-text citation. Marginal annotations indicate MLA-style formatting and effective writing. Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007). This paper has been updated to follow the style guidelines in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (2009). Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007). assessment oversimplifies a complex issue. Taylor does not...
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