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Research Paper Topics

30 Oct

1. The Scandal, Aftermath, and Influence of the 1919 World Series

First of all, I would like to write this research paper on a historical event or person in sports.  I love sports and believe that I could write a very good paper on something pertaining to sports because that is what I am most passionate about.  The 1919 World Series was the only professional sporting championship that was known to be fixed.  This was a groundbreaking event due to the fact that baseball was by far the most popular sport in America during this time period.  The World Series was biggest sporting event in America during this time period, and that fact that it was fixed shook America and put the whole sport’s credibility in question.

2. Jesse Owens dominance at the 1936 Olympics

The 1936 Olympics took place only a couple years before the start of World War II.  It also occurred during the reign and dominance of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party.  Hitler planned to use the 1936 Olympics to portray the greatness and superiority of the Aryan race.  Much to the dismay of Hitler, the Olympics were dominated by an African American athlete named Jesse Owens.  The dominance of Owens was so groundbreaking because he beat all the German athletes, making Hitler and his Nazi party look “not so dominant”.  It also gave black people all over the world hope in a time of discrimination and inequality.

3.  The Evolution and Impact of Gatorade

I would love to write a research paper on Gatorade and the history of the company.  I actually am a huge fan of the University of Florida, the school where the drink was first made.  I also am very interested to see how a drink made at a University to help its athletes became one of if not the most popular drink in the world.  Gatorade seems to me to be a drink that came out of nowhere, so I want to know all the history of the company and its impact on sports, culture, and people world-wide.


Reflection Narrative

24 Oct

I found the research for this assignment to be quite difficult at times.  I did anticipate having some troubles finding an abundance of information for this essay, so I was open-minded and determined during the process of researching my delegate.  The first data base I used was the Accessible Archives.  I typed in Addison Lively many times using the different techniques I learned from the Boolean Research resource on Sakai.   I changed the order of his name, excluded his middle name, used the “or” and “and” techniques, and used other names of famous African Americans to facilitate my research findings.  After trying Accessible Archives, I searched around on all the African American Newspapers, Oxford English Dictionary data base, and the abolitionist archives, and was still unsuccessful in my research.  I attended Jim’s office hours and he introduced me to “Google Books” and, which is where I was finally successful in acquiring some information about Addison W.  Lively.  He was mentioned in numerous censuses, a Civil War registration form, a death record, and in a historical book about African Americans in Philadelphia.  The book was very helpful because it mentioned his affiliations with Jeremiah Asher and Elizabeth Greenfield.  With knowledge of these connections, I was able to find information about Elizabeth Greenfield and Jeremiah Asher which helped me discover more about Lively.

The biggest obstacle I faced while researching was that I was not able to find Lively mentioned in the dialogue of the convention, in any newspapers, or historical essays.  This was problematic because it made it hard to discover the significance of Lively’s life.  Also, without newspaper articles and historical essays I was only able to use one quote, which made it hard to back all my claims about Lively and bolster the credibility of my research.  Even with only one mention in a literary work, I was able to find a significant amount of useful information about the life of Addison W. Lively.  I concluded that Lively was not an incredibly famous African American during this time, but he was known in the African American community, especially in Philadelphia, and his delegacy at the National Colored Convention is testimony of his relevance.

Addison W. Lively: The Influential Musician

24 Oct

Greg Cella

James Casey

English 110

24 October 2012

Addison W. Lively

Addison W. Lively was a historical figure in the African American community.  In 1855, a number of influential African Americans, including Lively, were called from every state across the east coast to attend the National Colored Convention.  Many of these African American leaders were abolitionists, property owners, escaped slaves, or even wealthy African Americans that were born free into educated families in the North.  During this convention, the elected delegates discussed numerous political and social issues that specifically pertained to the equality and freedom of African Americans nationwide.  This particular convention was called during the time leading up to the start of the Civil when slavery and racial discrimination were at their peak.  Delegates discussed and negotiated many different actions African Americans could partake in to gain equality in America.  Addison W. Lively’s name was not mentioned in the logging of activities and discussions during the convention, so it is assumed that he was more of a spectator to all the conversations that went on at the convention.

Addison W. Lively was born in Virginia in 1829 to Addison and Susan Lively.  It is unknown whether he was born into slavery or if he was born free.  Historical records state that he presided at 723 Lebanon Street for most of his adult life, which is now Lebanon Avenue, in northwest Philadelphia.  It is known that Lively was married to Mary S. Lively and together they had four daughters, Celestine, Jane, Rebecca, and Sarah.  Unfortunately, Celestine, Jane, and Rebecca all died before their second birthday, while Sarah died unmarried at the age of 28. Addison Lively was a musician in Philadelphia, and it ultimately was his excellence at his craft that earned him his reputation in Philadelphia and delegation at the National Colored Convention in 1855.

Addison W. Lively was a delegate representing the state of Pennsylvania at the convention.  While many of the delegates were nominated for their work as politicians or abolitionists, Lively made his impact on the African American community with his talents in music.  He was a member and leader of the choir at the prominent Shiloh Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   The Shiloh Baptist Church was one of the most famous churches among the African American community during this time.  Many famous African American leaders including John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Luther King have attended service there in the past.  During his time at the church, Lively worked with the renowned musician Elizabeth Greenfield, also famously known as “The Black Swan”.  Greenfield was a famous African American musician who traveled all around the world performing.  After years on the road performing, Greenfield reunited with “her original accompanist” and took special interest in Lively’s choir, helping him organize it and singing recitals at the church.   Also, Lively was accompanied by Jeremiah Asher, the pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church during this time in history, at the National Colored Convention in 1855.  Even though Asher was more well-known than Lively among African Americans, the eminence of the Shiloh Baptist Church, the reputation of Lively for his excellence in music, and his leadership ultimately facilitated his nomination of delegacy to the convention.

By 1860, Lively slowed his political work and took up teaching music along with organizing the choir at Shiloh Baptist Church. Addison W. Lively died of natural causes on December 31, 1877.  Although he did not write any famous literary works or have any memorable speeches, his reputation and great influence on the African American community is demonstrated by his nomination to the National Colored Convention of 1855.  Addison Lively was not particularly one of the most famous and decorated African American leaders of his time, but his hard work and excellence in his field of work shows that anyone can make a difference, no matter what field of study or profession you take up.  Addison W. Lively was an extremely significant in the African American community and is remembered for being a quality individual and inspiring many people with his great work.


Analyzing Images

30 Sep

This week in class we analyzed and talked in detail about a range of images.  We looked at pictures of President Obama, natural habitats, historical events, and more.  We learned how to analyze images by looking for certain aspects of the picture.  First, we looked at what stood out in the forefront of the image and what was considered to be the primary theme of the image.  By discovering this, we could more easily determine what the creator of the image was trying to portray with his work.  The angle at which the image was taken affected the orientation of the image as well.  If the focus of the image, such as a person, is large and above the middle of the image, this suggests a powerful, strong figure that we look up to.  If the man is eye level, this suggests a person who is approachable and equal to the viewers.  In the images of President Obama, he is front and center in the image and the emphasis is on him and his body language.  In one image, he is lounged back in a chair at his desk.  His body language and the pictures of his family on the desk attempt to portray Obama as an approachable, kind, and humble leader.  On the other hand, we analyzed another image of Obama where he has a stern facial expression and isn’t looking directly at the camera, portraying him as a serious, powerful, and stern leader.

Another type of image we discussed in class this week was the advertisement.  Similarly to the images before, we looked to see what was the focus of the image to discover what the purpose of the advertisement was.  Some advertisements use large words with bright colors to emphasize the name of the product being advertised while others may use a recognizable person in the foreground to grab the viewer’s attention. There are two main strategies that all advertisements use: the mirror effect and window effect.  The mirror effect refers to way advertisements mirror the self image of the audience where they feel they are part of the crowd the advertisement relates to.  The window effect provides visions of the future of what what will happen if you buy the product being advertised.  Effect use of these strategies can really lure customers in to buying a product.





I chose the image above because it is simple but straight to the point and effective.  Nike uses the slogan “Just Do It” in a lot of their commercials to emphasize hard work and no excuses.  In this image, the emphasis on a poor Indian boy in the slums represents the idea that if the boy in India “can do it”, than anyone can.  I chose the video because it uses the strategy of using two celebrities to promote the company, and it also is the funniest commercial on television.

Ethos, Pathos, Logos: Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric

22 Sep

When we analyze different pieces of rhetorical literature, it is vital for us as readers to discover  the author’s purpose for writing the piece and what type of message is he trying to portray.  In most rhetorical pieces, the author is trying to either persuade or  present something he believes in or considers important to his readers.  In order to connect with readers, the classical philosopher Aristotle said speakers and writers use three appeals called ethos, pathos, and logos.

Ethos is the first appeal that deals with the audience’s view and appeal to the the reader and his character.  Before a reader is ready to consider or agree with the author’s ideas, many readers may ask questions like, “Who is the author?”, “What type of experience or education has he received in order to be knowledgeable enough to be making these claims?”, or “What level of credibility does the author have and is he trustworthy?”  If an author or speaker has good credibility and is passionate about his work by taking pride in having good grammar and organization of his thoughts, it makes him more attractive and influential to readers.

Pathos is the aspect of rhetoric that appeals to the emotions and values of the audience.  When dealing with pathos, it is very important for the speaker or author to be aware of who his audience is.  Being educated about the audience is important because a speaker or author has to create a work that his certain audience will be able to relate to, using aspects such as a certain level of vocabulary, an appropriate tone, a certain level of formality, awareness of the values or religious denominations of the audience, and images and scenery that appeals to the audience.  Being  aware and familiar with his audience shows that the speaker or author is genuinely passionate about delivering and promoting his message.

Logos deals with the actual quality and validity of the message portrayed.  A speaker can be extremely strong and influential with the delivery of his words, but in order to sway his audience to his beliefs the speaker needs an abundance of evidence and hard facts that back his claims.  Some elements that are considered legitimate evidence include facts from liable sources that are cited, statistics, scientific studies, expert opinions that back the claim, graphs and visual representations, and aspects of cause and effect.  Having a solid amount of valid and believable evidence makes the speaker more credible, which in the end makes him more influential.

I chose the picture of Aristotle because he is the father of not only ethos, pathos, and logos, but of modern day rhetoric as well.  I chose the William Wallace speech about freedom from the film Braveheart because it is an incredible speech that appeals to all three forms according to Aristotle. William Wallace is extremely credible because he is the savior of Scotland and the audience is in awe of him.  He appeals to the emotions of his army extremely well, convincing them to go into battle with him instead of fleeing.  He uses claims and paints a picture of how the Scottish would live if they did not fight for their freedom, which ultimately wins over his people and freedom for his country.

Pursuasive Rhetoric

16 Sep

Rhetoric is defined as the study of language that is used to influence the beliefs of others.  It can be used in many different ways and techniques depending on the purpose the speaker is trying to accomplish.  Personally, the type of rhetoric that I find the most interesting is persuasive rhetoric.  This type deals with controversial issues and questions that are not easily dealt with and usually do not have one concrete answer.

One of, if not the best rhetorical speaker the world has ever seen was Dr. Martin Luther King.  King was a civil rights activist that spoke out against the evils and injustices that African Americans faced throughout the 20th century.  King used persuasive rhetoric during his speeches to try to inform Americans about the injustices, racism, and political problems that needed to be addressed at that time.  What made King so special was the eloquence and intelligence of his words that always stressed non-violence and peaceful protest.  King had an amazing ability to convey power in his words while always promoting peace, non-violence, and respect for all men and women.  During the 1960’s, King led many civil rights protests and boycotts, but doing it peacefully was always paramount.

This week, we read a speech King made in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968 which was named “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”.  In this speech, King uses persuasive rhetoric in many ways.  He tries to convince the congregation to boycott certain goods, but the main message of his speech was to convince African Americans to stick together as brothers and sisters during times of difficulty and turmoil.  He uses the example of the Jews sticking together as one and conquering the Egyptians that had enslaved them to represent the power of one unit of people with a common goal and aspiration.

All in all, no matter your race there is no denying that Dr. Martin Luther King was one of the most influential and ground breaking human beings of all time.  He had a way with words and was able to dig deep into the souls of his listeners.  I idolize Dr. Martin Luther King and hope the world will be blessed with another person of his impact and ideals again sometime in the near future.

I chose the picture of the mountain because it conveys a beautiful image, which is what King says about being to the top of the “mountain” and seeing the bright future of his people.  The video is of the actual speech that King made.  This speech is also particularly famous not only for the quality of the message but because it was King’s last speech before he was assassinated.  Both types of media represent the beauty in King’s words, which was a familiar theme in all his speeches.

Smartphones- Addiction or Technological Necessity

8 Sep

Within the last couple of years, smartphones have burst onto the global scene as the newest must-have device.  People around the world have become enamored with these devices that have the capabilities to do almost anything.  A few short years ago cell phones were used to for just calls and text messaging, and now they can be used for anything ranging from social networking to internet surfing and beyond.  Ian Bogost wrote an essay named “The Cigarette of This Century” where he notes that today’s society is so enamored and obsessed with the new smartphone technology that an addiction to using the phones has surfaced, much like the addiction to cigarettes America had when they were first introduced.  Bogost raises a very stimulating point in this essay, and I agree with his comparison.  When I walk anywhere in public I see people everywhere of all ages constantly looking, texing, or calling someone on a smartphone.  I can not say I blame all the people that like to use their smartphones constantly.  I have an Iphone 4 and I think it is an amazing device due to its incredible and unlimited capabilities, my ability to personalize it to my liking with backgrounds and numerous applications, and its reliability.  I believe that growth in popularity of social networking has facilitated the popularity of the smartphones as well.  Americans all over the country have shown their admiration for this new technology and inability to put it down, so can it be categorized as America’s new addiction?  Are smartphones something that people can not live without or are they a technology that people that do not possess are missing out on?  Whether or not Americans could function or not without smartphones remains to be a mystery, but we will most likely never find the answer to this question because within  a year or two I anticipate every American, even the senior citizen who doesn’t know how to send a text message to his grandchild, will have a smartphone.


Sad but typical


















The top image shows a real life situation of how people will check their phone first thing in the morning before communicating in any way with their partner, spouse, etc.  The graph shows all the numerous ways teens and adults use their smartphones.  Based on all the different ways people use their smartphones, chances are most people could not function smoothly on a daily basis without a smartphone.