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Potential Research Paper Topics

27 Oct

1. Bully Laws: Should the federal and state governments create and put in place laws to prevent bullying?

I would love to do a research paper about this because I am a true believe in anti-bullying.  Growing up being bullied, I know what it is like to feel unwanted and to have the bullies have no consequences for their actions. As a child, I took it upon myself to go see my principal and report the bullying.  In the end, it only made the situation worse for me because the bullies made it harder and worse for me.  If the government created anti-bullying laws, so many children and teenagers would find great relief in their lives and would know that they do not have to worry about seeing that person and being afraid of them making fun of them.  If there were laws in place when I was in elementary school, maybe I wouldn’t have hated it as much as I did.  Putting anti-buly laws into place would also help to teach children that being cruel to others is never the right solution and most children and teens wouldn’ be so harsh n others in return. 

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Stop the Bull – Bring Joy into the World

Posted: October 23, 2012 
By: Katrina Lowe, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Allison Waters AlbertAt just 14 years old, Georgia teen Allison Waters Albert has become an ambassador for anti-bullying within her community. Earning respect and admiration from peers for her willingness to share her own story, Allison has inspired several teens across her school district to take a stand against bullying. Through extensive work with 4-H, one of the largest youth development programs in the world, and numerous speaking engagements at area schools, Allison’s efforts have spearheaded the campaign for bullying prevention in her Georgia hometown.

Once a victim of bullying herself, Allison says she became involved with anti-bullying efforts through her 4-H membership. 4-H has been very committed to educating youth on all facets of bullying, helping to empower those who have suffered as victims and inspiring those who feel apathetic about bullying to become actively engaged. After attending several club meetings centered on bullying, Allison says she felt inspired to share her own story.

“Through research I discovered how bullying affects everyone. I knew that my story could reach more people if [it] became my 4-H project,” she said. “I wanted to change and help others at the same time.”

After receiving the go-ahead from her 4-H coordinator, Allison set off to complete her 4-H project on bullying prevention, later competing in 4-H’s Junior Project Achievement competition. Allison placed first among eighth graders within her district for her demonstration. Following her success in the competition, Allison became a frequent feature in area schools, speaking to countless youth about bullying and mentoring others to overcome the hurt of being bullied.

Ultimately, Allison desires to simply “help others and bring joy into the world.” Allison hasn’t slowed down her efforts and is currently busy at work on a bullying prevention video for a national competition and coordinating a “Stop the Bull!” project club to help both victims and participants of bullying.

2. Modern Technology: How has modern technology, such as IPhones, IPads, etc., helped to change our society today? Was it a negative change? 

People today depend so deeply on modern technology. Most people go crazy if they are without a cell phone for more then an hour.  In today’s world, cell phones are used for internet services, video recording, video chatting, and as cameras.  People rely on their phones for everything and that has also changed how people sleep and focus.  If people sleep and their cellphones are constantly going off next to them, they never get a goods night sleep.  Also, if someone is trying to work or study and their phone or IPad keeps going off, they never retain the amount of information that they needed to know in the first pace. Today’s electronics have caused many people around the world to depend on them so much, that they would not be able to function without them.

Cell Phone Effects on Society

By Chelsea Fitzgerald, eHow Contributor , last updated April 18, 2012
 
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Cell Phone Effects on Society

Cell phones are very useful in today’s society. It is reassuring to know that when you are in your automobile and the car breaks down or you are in an accident or you left the grocery list at home, you’ll be able to reach someone to help. Everyone is so busy; it seems as though mobile phones are the only way to cope with the chaos. Cell phones definitely affect our society, sometimes negatively and sometimes positively.

 
  1. Availability

    • Knowing that you can reach your loved ones and friends by just the touch of a button is important. If you need someone in an emergency, it is great to know that you can reach her no matter where she is, whether she is hiking in a forest miles from home or sitting in a church service with her cell phone ready to vibrate if an emergency occurs.

    Distraction

    • Cell phones can be a huge distraction. Teen-agers and middle-school children seem to feel that if they are awake, they should be texting someone on their cell phones. New rules have to be applied in families. You must constantly remind your children that cellphone usage is not allowed at the dinner table and during family time.

      Cell phone usage is almost epidemic in our society. People seem unable to walk down the street or sit outside enjoying the sunshine without speaking or texting on their cell phones.

      Many people argue that talking on a cell phone while driving is not any more disruptive than carrying on a casual conversation with an occupant of the vehicle. According to the American Automobile Association, the driver may not be distracted by a lighthearted, casual conversation, but he may be paying less attention to his driving if the conversation is intense, such as during a business conversation or an argument with someone.

    •  

    Disrespect

    • Cell phones can be a detriment, for instance, when you are enjoying a dinner out with friends you have not seen in a while. Your dinner partners construe the ringing of your cell phone and the fact that you answer it or text someone as rude.

      A cell phone that is constantly ringing or vibrating in your pocket is a huge distraction. You simply cannot call up every friend or family member and instruct him or her that for the next few hours, you will be busy and should not be called. The time needed to do this would be ridiculous. You never know when a phone call will be an urgent matter, or if it is just someone calling to tell you the latest gossip. This causes cell phone users to leave their phones on and available at all times.

      Sometimes you intend to keep the phone conversation brief, and before you know it, you have chatted for five or 10 minutes. Even this short amount of time will give the person you are with a bad feeling while he sits there twiddling his thumbs waiting for you to finish your call. Or it might make him think he should get up and leave the table or area because it might be a personal phone call. Either way, he feels neglected and abandoned.

3. Gay Marriage: Is it constitutional to laws against gay marriage?

I am a firm believer in the right gay marriage. I think that humans are humans and all should be treated equally no matter what race, gender, size, public affiliation, religion, or sexual affiliation they are. I think that it is demeaning to have laws against the right to gay marriage.  There should be no say in who decides who you are able and who are not able to marry.  Many people disagree with my point of view, however, I do not think that most of those people understand that even though our bible says that gay marriage is a sin, everyone is also supposed to be equal and be treated equal.  If gays are not legally allowed to be married in certain states, then they are not being treated equally.

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The Life of Ebenezer Black-Reflection Narrative

24 Oct

Kaeli Hager

Mr. James Casey

English 110

24 October 2012

 

This research paper was something very new to many of the student in class.  I have never realized how difficult it is to try to know so much about a person that society knows none to little about.  All the people that we have been researching over the past week and a half have done so much for out society and should never be forgotten.

When I first began researching for this paper, I was having a hard time discovering any involvement he had with any organization and then I started to panic.  After asking for help and digging up as much information as possible, I realized that to find out what you wanted to find out about your person, you have to act like a detective.  I had to retrace Ebenezer Black’s steps and figure out who and what he was connected to so that I would be able to find out who he was and what he did.

I was able to find out more about his family and personal life that I was able to find about his involvement in the African American community.  However, the little information that I did find out about his involvement in organizations said that he was extremely involved in and helpful to those organizations and because of his wealth, he may have been a huge contributor to the organizations in order for them to stay running.

As I was writing, I had thought that my potential audience would be someone who was doing much research on the types of organizations that Ebenezer Black was involved in and how they effected the society back then.  I used formal language because this would be used for historical information and an adult would most likely be using it.

Although there were many difficulties when it came to finding out all the information that I needed for this paper, I found it extremely gratifying after being able to discover so much about someone that society knows so little to nothing about. This research paper was definitely difficult, but definitely worth it in the end.

 

 

The Life of Ebenezer Black

24 Oct

Kaeli Hager

Mr. James Casey

English 110

24 October 2012

 

The Life of Ebenezer Black

Ebenezer Black was a major benefactor in the life of the slaves during the mid to late 1800s.  He was a man of true morals and worked extremely hard to be able to succeed. He had a wife, Jane, and was able to have five healthy children with her, including two older boys and three younger daughters. He had major involvement with various African American organizations, but spent most of his life time being involved in the Colored People of Philadelphia.  Ebenezer Black was also involved in the National Colored Conventions and in this organization where he was a delegate from Pennsylvania, although we do not know much more about what he did in the organization.  

Ebenezer was born in about 1806 in Philadelphia, most likely as a free slave.  He married his wife, Jane on October 25, 1834. Ebenezer had six children with Jane, one of which died when he was only an infant in August 1835, named Joseph Henry.  His eldest son, Henry was born in 1836, his second child, Charles, was born in 1843. His oldest daughter, Jane was born in 1848, followed by Maria, born in 1850, and Susan, born in 1852. He was very lucky to have all of his children enrolled in and complete school, which was extremely rare especially for his daughters because not many girls were able to go to school during those times.  He owned various real estates and owned quite a bit of personal property.  He was a wealthy man, although it is not stated how he made his money.  His son, Henry, served as Banneker Institute’s librarian, lectured on many science topics, and served on the Banneker Institute’s governing board for many years.  

Ebenezer lived on 14 Barclay Street in Philadelphia and was able to be actively involved in everything that was going on.  He enlisted into the Armies of the Union for African Americans, which was also known as the Federal Army during the Civil War.  He wanted to be involved in as much as he could that would help the African American society be equal.  He was the voted secretary in the organization Colored People of Philadelphia for the first time in 1838 and continued to stay involved in it and was eventually appointed Vice President of the organization in 1864.  

Ebenezer was an also an agent in the North Star which was an African American newspaper.    The North Star was an antislavery paper which was published by Fredrick Douglass until the mid 1800s.  Ebenezer Black was also mentioned multiple time in the newspaper known as The Liberator which was also an antislavery paper.  He continually fought for the rights of African Americans and became extremely successful doing so.

Although there is not much information regarding the personal life of Ebenezer Black, it may be concluded that because of his involvement in the antislavery organizations and the antislavery newspapers, that he was a major contributor to some of the proceedings leading up to the Civil War. It may also be concluded that because of his extreme wealth, he may have been a sponsor for many of these organizations and helped to provide funding. Records show that he signed a Civil War recruiting poster, which shows that he was a very important factor in antislavery army. Also, the poster was written by Fredrick Douglass who was the former publisher of the North Star.  If people saw that Ebenezer signed the document, then they thought he was important and powerful enough to follow in his footsteps. 

Although we do not know every detail about Ebenezer’s life and there are many holes in his history, it is known that this man’s life was extremely important to many people in the 1800s and he was willing to fight for his family and for the rights of others around him.  He was not afraid to fight the battle that so many needed to end and he was a major benefactor to the events leading up to and during the Civil War. He was a strong man that has made an astounding impact on the world today.

  

Resources

http://www.cyberussr.com/hcunn/q-douglass.html

http://search.ancestrylibrary.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=ROOT_CATEGORY&rank=1&new=1&so=1&MSAV=0&msT=1&gss=ms_f-2_s&gsfn=Ebenezer&gsln=Black&mswpn__ftp=Philadelphia&uidh=ub2

http://www26.us.archive.org/stream/philadelphiadire1805phil/philadelphiadire1805phil_djvu.txt

http://www26.us.archive.org/stream/mcelroysphiladel1851amce/mcelroysphiladel1851amce_djvu.txt

http://www.accessible.com.proxy.nss.udel.edu/accessible/print?AADocList=10&AADocStyle=&AAStyleFile=&AABeanName=toc1&AANextPage=/printFullDocFromXML.jsp&AACheck=1.11.10.1.1

 

John Rock, The Abolitionist

22 Oct

John Rock was born a free African American in 1825.  He was an abolitionist and civil rights leader.  He was a renowned public speaker and he came up with the phrase “black is beautiful”. He went to medical school and decided to transfer to dentistry.  He was accepted into the Massachusetts Medical Society and was only the second African American to do so. He set up his own practice of dentistry and medicine and many of his patience turned up to fugitive slaves.

As a great public speaker, he campaigned for public rights.  His speeches were printed in the Liberator and read everywhere.

He became ill and went to France for treatment and when he returned, he stopped his practice and started studying law. He opened up his own law office in Boston and campaigned more for the rights of African Americans.  He was the first attorney to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He then became the first African American to be on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Like many of the great men and women that we have learned about the past week, John Rock helped to provide a way out for those who were not yet free. He helped others in need and tried to do everything is his power to make everyones lives equal.  He, just like the other men and women involved in the National Colored Convention, tried making a difference to better our society and they have each made an impact on the world that will be there forever.

Analyzing

29 Sep

This past week in class, we have discussed analyzing photographs and advertisements.  We have learned techniques to use to know what the creator of the photograph or advertisement was trying to say.  They may not always be easy to figure out, but there is always a reason to them.  Learning how to do this has become very helpful because as a writer, it is good to see how other photographers, writers, or advertisers are targeting their audience. We have seen that many of them target certain groups of people, whether that be race, gender, or age.  There is almost always a specific group that the writer, or creator, is targeting.  That is helpful to writers in training, like students, because that helps us to target our own type of audience during our writing process.  The process may not always be easy, you have learn to grab the audiences’ attention and keep it as you try to get your point across to them.  Having a good hook is really what keeps the audience interested and forces them to focus on the product, or reason you are trying to sell to them.  Learning how professionals do it helps young writers learn because the need to be able to see how they react as an audience and they need to realize what types of advertisements or persuasions reel them in and make them want to continue reading or watching that advertisement.  Being able to analyze and view how other professionals do it helps us to understand why they chose to persuade someone using certain techniques and how they were able to keep their audience interested.  Being able to understand what was going on in their heads when they planned it helps because it helps us to see how they think about the writing or advertising process which makes it clearer for us to understand.

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Essays!

26 Sep

Writing essays can be the most exhausting thing.  Sometimes it is hard to find ideas, other times you cannot find the right words.  Writing essays is something that we all have to practice and in order to become better at it, it takes much time and concentration.  It is never easy writing essays, even once you have learned how to write a great, thorough essay, it does not always “feel” better when you write them.

In class, we have gone over many ways to help make the writing process easier and more effective.  The 7-10 minute free writes we do are helpful when trying to train your brain to keep your hand moving at all times, even when you are out of words.  This is helpful because when you are writing essays, the more you keep your hand moving, the more that comes to your mind and the faster the process goes.

Another helpful tool I have learned and we have practiced in class is to come up with a topic and draw arrows around the topic that come to mind when you hear the word or words.  This is helpful because it allows you to see all of the possibilities that you can write about in your essay or paper.  It allows the topic to move through your head while adding details to the topic as you think about it.

These drills can be very helpful to writing a paper, if prosecuted correctly.  As Mr. Casey says in class when we do the free writing, always keep your hand moving.  If you do not, your brain will not train the correct way that makes it effective in helping writing skills.  When we do the topic and think about all the things that come to mind, we must keep our minds open to everything that pops up, otherwise, that drill will not be as effective either.  All of these tools are supposed to be helpful, and using them in the correct ways will allow them to be very effective on our writing skills.

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Speech Analysis- Dr. King Rhetoric Speech

17 Sep

Speech Analysis: I Have a Dream – Martn Luther King Jr.

Much of the greatness of this speech is tied to its historical context, a topic which goes beyond the scope of this article.

Instead, I’ll focus on five key lessons in speechwriting that we can extract from Martin Luther King’s most famous speech.

  1. Emphasize phrases by repeating at the beginning of sentences
  2. Repeat key “theme” words throughout your speech
  3. Utilize appropriate quotations or allusions
  4. Use specific examples to “ground” your arguments
  5. Use metaphors to highlight contrasting concepts

Lesson #1: Emphasize Phrases by Repeating at the Beginning of Sentences

Anaphora (repeating words at the beginning of neighbouring clauses) is a commonly used rhetorical device. Repeating the words twice sets the pattern, and further repetitions emphasize the pattern and increase the rhetorical effect.

I have a dream” is repeated in eight successive sentences, and is one of the most often cited examples of anaphora in modern rhetoric. But this is just one of eight occurrences of anaphora in this speech. By order of introduction, here are the key phrases:

  • “One hundred years later…” [paragraph 3]
  • “Now is the time…” [paragraph 6]
  • “We must…” [paragraph 8]
  • “We can never (cannot) be satisfied…” [paragraph 13]
  • “Go back to…” [paragraph 14]
  • “I Have a Dream…” [paragraphs 16 through 24]
  • “With this faith, …” [paragraph 26]
  • “Let freedom ring (from) …” [paragraphs 27 through 41]

Read those repeated phrases in sequence. Even in the absence of the remainder of the speech, these key phrases tell much of King’s story. Emphasis through repetition makes these phrases more memorable, and, by extension, makeKing’s story more memorable.

Lesson #2: Repeat Key “Theme” Words Throughout Your Speech

Repetition in forms like anaphora is quite obvious, but there are more subtle ways to use repetition as well. One way is to repeat key “theme” words throughout the body of your speech.

If you count the frequency of words used in King’s “I Have a Dream”, very interesting patterns emerge. The most commonly used noun is freedom, which is used twenty times in the speech. This makes sense, since freedom is one of theprimary themes of the speech.

Other key themes? Consider these commonly repeated words:

  • freedom (20 times)
  • we (30 times), our (17 times), you (8 times)
  • nation (10 times), america (5 times), american (4 times)
  • justice (8 times) and injustice (3 times)
  • dream (11 times)

“I Have a Dream” can be summarized in the view below, which associates the size of the word with its frequency.

I Have a Dream - Speech Text - Martin Luther King Jr

Lesson #3: Utilize Appropriate Quotations or Allusions

Evoking historic and literary references is a powerful speechwriting technique which can be executed explicitly (a direct quotation) or implicitly (allusion).

You can improve the credibility of your arguments by referring to the (appropriate) words of credible speakers/writers in your speech. Consider the allusions used by Martin Luther King Jr.:

  • “Five score years ago…” [paragraph 2] refers to Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address speech which began “Four score and seven years ago…” This allusion is particularly poignant given that King was speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” [and the rest of paragraph 4] is a reference to the United States Declaration of Independence.
  • Numerous Biblical allusions provide the moral basis for King’s arguments:
    • It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” [paragraph 2] alludes to Psalms 30:5 “For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
    • Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” [paragraph 8] evokes Jeremiah 2:13 “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
    • More biblical allusions from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech can be found here.

Lesson #4: Use specific examples to “ground” your arguments

Your speech is greatly improved when you provide specific examples which illustrate your logical (and perhaps theoretical) arguments.

One way that Martin Luther King Jr. accomplishes this is to make numerous geographic references throughout the speech:

  • Mississippi, New York [paragraph 13]
  • Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana [14]
  • Georgia [18]
  • Mississippi [19]
  • Alabama [22]
  • New Hampshire [32], New York [33], Pennsylvania [34], Colorado [35], California [36], Georgia [37], Tennessee [38], Mississippi [39]

Note that Mississippi is mentioned on four separate occasions. This is not accidental; mentioning Mississippi would evoke some of the strongest emotions and images for his audience.

Additionally, King uses relatively generic geographic references to make his message more inclusive:

  • “slums and ghettos of our northern cities” [paragraph 14]
  • “the South” [25]
  • “From every mountainside” [40]
  • “from every village and every hamlet” [41]

Lesson #5: Use Metaphors to Highlight Contrasting Concepts

Metaphors allow you to associate your speech concepts with concrete images and emotions.

To highlight the contrast between two abstract concepts, consider associating them with contrasting concrete metaphors. For example, to contrast segregation with racial justice, King evokes the contrasting metaphors of dark and desolate valley (of segregation) and sunlit path (of racial justice.)

  • “joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity” [paragraph 2]
  • “the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast oceanof material prosperity” [3]
  • “rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit pathof racial justice” [6]
  • “This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.” [7]
  • “sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.” [19]

King was not only a great leader, but a great speaker.  He knew what to say and how to grab the audience’s attention.  People loved him and how he took the initiative.  His speaking and writing skills allowed him to get his point across while keeping the  audience involved and listening.  He, as a writer, was very successful because he knew the ways to keep the audience on the edge of their seats and wanting to hear or read more.  He knew that what he was going to be talking about or writing about would excite his readers and they would be wanting more.   He was an extremely talented writer and speaker and for someone to have half of the amount of skills that he had would be very lucky.