Agenda WED OCT 04

  • A05: Visual Rewrite
    • Quick Review of the Assignment Requirements
  • A06: Proposal+5
    • Preview of the Assignment
    • Advice on Topic Selection and Prep
  • Sneak Preview of your Thesis Proposal
    • In your Reply to today’s Agenda, write the clearest and most complete version of your Counterintuitive Research Proposal.

50 thoughts on “Agenda WED OCT 04”

  1. Comp 2 notes 10/4/17

    Visual Rhetoric rewrite due Sunday at 11:59
    It is a big mistake to find sources that “agree with you”
    Even if you think that you have an original idea, the sources that agree with you are people that have already had the idea.
    The sources that agree with you are your “cheering section”
    The purpose of a research paper is not to find out if others have come to the same conclusion, but to find information that could change your mind, and learn something new.
    Find people that challenge your idea, not a “chorus” of people that agree with your statements
    Share something that you have learned, and not something you went looking for
    There are no thoughts in your head until you have to put the them into words and explain them to another person
    Rewrites are always encouraged and necessary, but sometimes they’re actually assigned and required.
    Visual rewrite will go into your portfolio
    Read comments left for other students if you are waiting for feedback
    Visual analysis is a VISUAL ANALYSIS
    Post visual rewrite as a rewrite in a new post
    Narrow your topic to your idea
    Important to find something that will interest you
    Make your hypothesis Specific. Arguable. Researchable. Verifiable
    When conducting a survey, keep in mind that you are not trying to get the answer you want out of somebody, but getting people’s feelings. It does not matter Whether they affirm or disprove your hypotheses.
    Avoid: too broad of an argument
    Avoid: Too vague of an argument
    Create: A narrow framework for argument
    Avoid: Arguments about people’s feelings or beliefs
    Avoid: Arguments that won’t be settled in your lifetime
    Choose: Researchable evidence
    Avoid: Hypotheses with vague terms
    Avoid: Hypotheses with unverifiable conclusions
    Choose: Hypotheses that can be quantified

    Write the clearest ad most complete version of your counterintuitive research proposal

    For my research thesis, I would like to talk about the NFL players and the National anthem. I know this is a controversial topic in the united states today, but I feel that some things should be looked into more on both sides of the argument. I have seen things on social media that give both opinions, and I feel as a research paper joining both sides could be effective.


    1. I trust you to handle this, Admiral, despite the obvious danger that any attempt to write on a topic SO VERY contemporary and immediate risks becoming a rant, or a diatribe. Show me that you will have a research-based approach to this topic with the choices you make for your first five sources.

      YES: Give readers a deep historical perspective, a human rights perspective, a comparative cultures perspective, an economic perspective, a workplace rules perspective. Bring clarity to the perhaps unanswerable question: What are these actions intended to MEAN?

      NO: Don’t be distracted from an academic investigation by trivialities like the president’s possible bias at being scorned by NFL owners. Recognize that the vice president’s grandstanding at a recent game has absolutely nothing to do with the issue itself.

      Counterintuitive Angles? I’d love to hear yours. We recognize immediately when other cultures indoctrinate and propagandize their own citizens. Why is it hard to see ourselves doing the same thing?

      One more note from an education blog:

      American kids used to salute the sky while saying the pledge, but this stopped when Hitler and Mussolini’s followers did the same thing.


  2. It is such a waste of time to find sources that aree with you.
    things to do with the FBI criminal intent unit and how it has affected their everyday lives


    1. Notes 1/3
      Your topic is deeply intriguing. I can see why it fascinates you. I hope you’ll be able to find a truly surprising angle such as: professional profilers feel overly confident they can judge a person’s character and therefore are more susceptible to scams than the rest of us. Or, they should be better able to find a compatible match to their own personalities, but have more difficulty than most finding life partners. Stay alert to the possibilities as you read deeper in your topic.


  3. – Do not look for sources that agree with you
    – They thought of the topic that you are talking about and they would give no point to your essay
    – Those sources share the same opinion so the topic has already been researched
    – The point is to discover something new in my topic
    – Try and find things that surprise me and challenge me
    – Start with a thesis and try to prove it
    – Share something that I learned and not went looking for
    – Visual Rewrite due Sunday before midnight
    – Avoid too broad an agrument
    – Avoid too vague an argument
    – Create a narrow framework for arguemnt
    – Choose researchable evidence
    – Avoid Hypotheses with unverifiable conclusions
    – Choose hypotheses that can be quantified

    My Research Proposal-
    I will be researching on why eSports should be considered a real sport and why the people competing should be considered real athletes. People who compete in video game competitions should be considered athletes because they practice just like regular athletes do. A sport is classified as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. This is exactly what these athletes that play in eSports competitions do. They are doing a physical activity either as a team or individual and play for entertainment.


    1. Notes 3/3

      You’re arriving at this debate after the easy positions have been taken and debated to death, thebeard. I worry that you’ll be unable to avoid the trap of surveying already endlessly posted opinions and adding little to the conversation. SO. You can certainly explore the topic if it intrigues you, but achieving any sort of grade you might want will require finding an angle not already exhausted.

      The claim you’re making is a straightforward Categorical claim: eSport belongs to the category of Sport. It fulfills the definition criteria, therefore it is the thing.

      That claim has been debated and recorded in this academic journal:
      The abstract alone indicates the job has been done for you.

      Competitive video gaming is rapidly gaining mainstream attention. Major U.S. television networks have commenced broadcasting such competitions. The term esports has been assigned to the practice, but it remains to be seen whether lawmakers and regulators agree that the contests are indeed sports. This paper provides a comprehensive examination, analysis, and application of the tests that have previously been used to determine whether an activity is a sport. We illustrate potential streams of litigation, some of which are specific to activities classified as sport. The emergence of esports in the United States has highlighted the absence of a legal definition of sport. Be it the newest form of sport or not, esports afford a glimpse to the future of creative competition, business innovation, and the related legal, policy, and litigation implications emerging alongside this new (sporting or otherwise competitive) activity.

      Pointing at it might be all you have to do. Where does that leave you? You’ll have 2500 words left to spend. But the Cause/Effect angle might get you somewhere if you can drill down on the resistance. What vested interest creates the resistance to letting eSport join the club? Who gets bent and why when thumb athletes demand full-body status? It’s a long shot, but maybe you can mine it. There’s a historical aspect worth considering too. What other sports now accepted as such had to claw their way into the category? How did they overcome the resistance? Have there been negative consequences to calling them sports?

      Is that helpful?


      1. I actually was thinking about changing my topic on if fighting should be allowed in hockey and what the sport would be like if there wasn’t fighting. How the sport would change drastically if a huge part of it wasn’t there. If I could get some help on this I would appreciate it.


        1. You’re certainly welcome to change your topic (especially if you do so even BEFORE you pitch it formally this weekend), thebeard. As I have suggested more than once, the best way to start thinking about your thesis is to Talk About It (or better, Write About It) with a critical listener or reader. Only when you begin to put your ideas into words do you begin to actually have ideas. So. You haven’t actually made a claim in your questions above. Start there. I will be your critical listener. You may call me 856 979-6653. You may skype me @davidbdale. You may email or text me. You may visit me at my house, 405 Park Avenue, Collingswood NJ. But we need to have a conversation. It could begin and end here on the blog too, of course.

          There is one claim hidden in your questions. “The sport would change drastically without the fighting.” That might be arguable. Let’s start there, or anywhere you prefer. Make some claims you think are strong and I’ll respond. In what way would the sport change if fighting were eliminated, or simply ceased to be?


  4. Visual rewrite is due Sunday the 8th. It is required.
    For the research proposal use sources that are good enough to contributes to your argument. 5 sources that surpises you or challenges you about your argument. Don’t look for sources that support your argument. Look for something that interests you. Avoid naming your topic instead of your hypothesis. Your argument can’t be too broad or too vague. Avoid arguments about people’s feelings or beliefs when researching.
    My research proposal pitch:
    Two research topics that interest me are how bad depression or alzheimer’s disease is and how we can help.


    1. Notes 2/3

      Obviously that’s not a research proposal yet, Alaska. Both depression and Alzheimer’s disease are too broad for any meaningful research. The best you could accomplish in 3000 words would be an encyclopedia entry for either (What it is, Who gets it, What are its symptoms, Can it be cured, What are the treatments?). That would never qualify as a research paper.

      So, a counterintuitive angle on depression? They’re hard to invent out of thin air, so you’ll have to count on your reading the the topic (and soon!) to surprise you with an unexpected finding. The most obvious common surprise is that people who “seemed to have everything they could possibly want” in life suffer from depression. We mistake the medical diagnosis for the common “bad mood” variety we call “being depressed.” But that’s not research either. You’ll find 100 blog posts in .000027 seconds that offer up the untested opinion that “no amount of success could have cured his medical condition.” See what you can find in class today doing a slightly unorthodox document search.


  5. Do not grabs sources that ONLY support your writing, grab something that you can discuss and have some sort of controversy about.

    In our writing we need to avoid certain things such as beliefs, ‘sooner or later’

    Thesis: It’s interesting how we see the gaming industry growing, and its a profitable. But we see a resistance for its growth, especially its esports scene which is one of the most profitable one


    1. Notes 1/3

      eSports is a popular topic, Plethora, so you’ll find plenty of hot air out there on the blogs. For that reason, and to prevent you from simply gathering a bunch of uninformed “takes” and calling it research, I’m going to hold you to a strict academic source standard. No more than two of your ten final Works Cited can be popular media sources. You’ll need to be creative to build an academic argument for a “breaking news” story like this one. Searches for “eSports” in academic journal databases will come back pretty thin. So be prepared for some creative searching to come.

      Contrary to my own claim, this one came up right away:


  6. A06: Topic of your choosing, preferably a topic that interests you, and has not been used and argued many times in the past. This will be in a research paper format, but also a counter-intuitive argumentative essay. Use a topic that has a specific direct thesis that is not broad. General topics lose interest and don’t hold strong arguments. Make sure that it is arguable, and not a complete solid fact.Make sure that your topic can be researched and that your thesis can be backed up based on facts/examples/experiments/surveys, mainly not based on the emotions of people. Make sure that your wording is not confusing for the reader/audience.

    The idea in my head is really vague: “EDM DJ’s are Glorified Producers w/ limited skills being overpaid” or “Music Producers deserve more credit and recognition”


    1. Notes 2/3

      Maybe I bullied you into it, Trendsetter, but a five-minute conversation was enough to turn your “really vague” idea into a very specific thesis. Whether it could be successfully argued is a different question, but I think you’ll agree the briefest of cross-examinations compelled you to think more clearly about your topic than another week of daydreaming would have.

      A quick search at Google Scholar led me in .000027 seconds to many intriguing academic publications that will focus your interest in this subject. I will demonstrate in class how simple it can be to weed out the noise.


  7. 5 sources for your research paper are due by next sunday.
    -Find several sources that don’t just agree with you
    visual rewrite due by sunday
    The pitch
    Specific Argueable Researchable Verifiable
    Is the hypothesis specific?
    Avoid naming a topic instead of a hypothesis.
    Avoid survey proposals.
    Create controversial premise.
    Is the hypothesis argueable?
    Avoid too broad an arguement.
    Avoid too vague an arguement.
    Create a narrow framework for arguement.
    Is the hypothesis researchable?
    Avoid arguements about people’s feelings or beliefs.
    Avoid arguements that won’t be settled in your lifetime.
    Choose researchable evidence
    Is the hypothesis verifiable?
    Avoid hypothesis with vague terms.
    Avoid hypothesis with unverifiable conclusions
    choose hypothesis that can be quantified.
    Avoid saying your source “talks about” or “provides background” of a broad topic.

    My Research Proposal Pitch
    One of the most controversial supplements taken by athletes is creatine. I would like to research this topic and identify what scientists are discovering about long term use of this supplement and how it affects the body. For some athletes they are convinced that it can affect you later on in life and cause health problems, i think its an effective tool that when used properly has zero side effects. I would like to dive deeper into this topic and figure out whether its something to avoid or rumors are being spread.


    1. Notes 3/3

      Regarding your interest in creatine, it may prove fruitful, but you appear to be asking a question that might be just too easy to answer. My one-second search led me to this source:
      which contained this abstract:
      There are no known contraindications to short-term creatine supplementation in healthy people. However, it has been suggested that people with a history of renal dysfunction or diabetes should refrain from creatine supplementation[6].
      There are anecdotal reports of muscle cramping, strains, dehydration, and gastrointestinal distress associated with creatine supplementation, but no scientific literature currently exists that supports these adverse reactions. There has also been some concern about potential renal dysfunction associated with creatine supplementation, but no adverse renal effects were reported in nine subjects following up to five years of supplementation with daily doses of up to 30 g [1 oz.] [8]. Nevertheless, the side effects of excessive daily doses and long-term supplementation are unknown and require further study.
      At present, no sports governing body has banned the use of creatine. Of 71 professional franchises responding to a 1998 survey, 21 (30 percent) disapprove of creatine use by their players, with the remainder either approving of creatine use or leaving the decision to the individual players [10]. It is interesting to note that in 1999, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, Prince Alexandra de Merode, ruled that creatine is considered a food.
      Creatine is a constituent of a normal diet, so creatine is a legal nutritional supplement.

      Maybe some would argue the validity of the source. It’s certainly a legitimate approach to refuting the claims. But maybe you haven’t read enough on the topic to formulate the question that will be worth 3000 words.


  8. My hypothesis: I know I want to do something on children with mental illness and how life will be for them growing up.
    It seems counterintuitive that a family is able to take care of a child with a mental illness but what happens when the family needs to be taken care of and the child is not able to provide?


    1. Notes 1/3
      I don’t understand your “what if?” scenario well enough to answer your question, PDQ, and that concerns me. Not having a thesis early in the research project is understandable, but it will be very difficult to write well on a topic without being able to phrase the questions well. Are you musing about the unfairness of life, that the child who required SO MUCH care in her youth can’t PAY BACK that debt when her parents are old and infirm and could really use her help? That’s how it sounds.

      Maybe there’s research on this phenomenon. Have you checked?

      There is certainly a compelling human interest story to be told about parents whose lives are utterly consumed by providing 24-hour care to children who through no fault of their own fail to follow the ordinary development pattern we expect of children, that they gradually become less dependent, gain in confidence and ability, yearn for and eventually achieve independence, giving their besieged parents finally a break from the cycle of care! Maybe you know parents—I certainly do—who have abandoned all hope of playing any role in life besides constant caregiver to their very dependent, incapable children.

      It must take a tremendous toll on the psyche. (This is not what I wanted from my life!) But of course, the guilt of feeling anything but gratitude for the gift of a child would also be overwhelming. What parent could bring himself to admit that he resented his child’s disability?

      Answer: It’s been studied


  9. -Two assignments due over the next two Sundays.
    -Big mistake to find sources that “agree with you” because it isn’t your idea. They can only contribute a cheering section.
    -The purpose of a research paper is to discover something new.
    -Find people in your topic to help u to disagree
    -Start with a thesis hoping to prove it, but find something entirely different and change it.
    -A05 Visual Rewrite due Sunday. Fix Mechanics add more detail
    -A06 Pitch for research proposal due next Sunday.
    – convince that thesis meets right criteria

    My Hypothesis:

    I want to do something about Elephant Abuse. I’m not sure what is counterintuitive about it. I want to talk about the circus abusing elephants and maybe even poachers killing elephants. I know what I want to write about, I am just not entirely sure how to put it into a thesis.


    1. Notes 2/3

      Several of my students in the past few semesters have elected to write about elephant abuse, always focusing on the mishandling of circus elephants, usually calling their papers “Not The Greatest Show on Earth,” or something similar. I keep hoping for something that doesn’t rerun the common evidence, impossible to document, that elephants are chained to the ground their entire lives and tortured into behaving like, well, like trained elephants.

      One thing. This will be hard to stomach for anyone with a heart, but the argument by analogy could be very strong. Here’s a “starter kit” for explorations of how cruelly animals can be trained to do tricks:

      Another thing. This is REALLY counterintuitive. It’s not about circus elephants. But what a bold, seemingly insane tactic to take the profit out of poaching!

      Is this helpful?


      1. yes it was. I am trying to focus more on the abusing of elephants in the circus. Would a good thesis be how it is counterintuitive that people pay for circuses but still know about the abuse of elephants? Or that they must not know bad the abuse actually is.


        1. I think the circus customers could easily and correctly maintain they had no idea how elephants were trained and that they don’t want to and shouldn’t be expected to worry about it when they take their kids to an historically-sanctioned and popular form of family entertainment.

          The trainers certainly know what they’re up to, and if you can document that they misuse and abuse their animals for the sake of entertainment, then the disparity between the front they reveal to the public as caretakers and companions to their star performers and the hidden horrors of the actual training is about as counterintuitive as you’re going to get.

          What if you could demonstrate that life is better for an elephant in the wild than in the “care” of circus personnel? That’s certainly contrary to the image the circus wants to project.

          The inherent problem with this thesis is that history has made the argument moot. Circuses finally bowed to significant resistance to trained animal acts, stopped including them in their shows, and as a consequence went out of business. It will be harder to work up any ethical gravitas for a practice that no longer occurs. On the other hand, you could argue that they bowed to pressure because they feared being exposed and shut down, perhaps even being criminally prosecuted. You could argue that they shouldn’t be allowed to escape justice for past crimes if you can make the case that their treatment of the animals in their care was criminal.



            1. I’ll certainly reply, Yoshi, in detail, but I think we’re past this point of the conversation now and have moved on to other issues. [All of this is very enjoyable for me. I hope you’re not in any way concerned that you’re bothering me or “taking my time.” If students didn’t want to interact with me about their writing, I’d consider myself a pathetic failure and stop teaching altogether.] Agreed?


  10. A visual rewrite is due at midnight this Sunday.

    It’s a waste of time to try and find articles that agree with you. The reason is because it’s not written by you, those articles can only add one thing to your paper; “a cheering section”. You’re just restating what someone has already said. The purpose of a research paper is to discover something new, change your mind, find new things within the topic/argument. This will help you put the sources into information rather than a support system for yourself/your argument.

    Create a pitch for your research proposal. Create a thesis for the topic/argument you will be writing on. Make sure it’s fresh and not over done (by past students or just over popular in general).

    The Pitch Assignment is due October 15th, next sunday. This will be the proposal of your research topic. Your topic/argument will be approved by davidbdale. Needs to be 2 paragraphs and links to the five sources you are going to use in this assignment. For the articles: 2 paragraphs, one on the content of the article, the next on what it proves and how it helps your claim.

    Make sure your argument isn’t too broad or too vague to argue about. Avoid surveys and lists. Create a narrow framework for the argument. We can gather people’s thought and believes to back up the argument and persuade the reader.
    Make sure the hypothesis is verifiable. It has to be clear and stated on whether or not the hypothesis was proven.

    You want to avoid stating “the article says”, “it talks about”.

    My Hypothesis/Research Proposal Pitch:
    Does Sigmund Freud deserve to be called the father of Psychology? With the history of his theories, that aren’t used today, and the content of them, Sigmund Freud deserves another look over before he can justifiably be call the father of psychology. Insane or genius, is Sigmund Fred the father of psychology?


    1. Notes 3/3
      First, I think Wilhelm Wundt is considered the Father of Psychology.

      Wilhelm Wundt. Wilhelm Wundt opened the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879. This was the first laboratory dedicated to psychology, and its opening is usually thought of as the beginning of modern psychology. Indeed, Wundt is often regarded as the father of psychology.

      Freud is the Father of Psychoanalysis, or the Father of Psychiatry.

      Second, the answer is Yes. In one word. Whether his theories are crap or genius or both, the field did not exist before Freud and, while it might have developed without him (in which case someone else would be called the Mother of Psychiatry), it didn’t have to wait for someone else to get things started because he did.

      That still leaves plenty of room to examine whether the basis for Freud’s theories was sound science or his personal neuroses (for example), or any number of other counterintuitive theories, but your first job should be to name and claim that thesis and not pursue any further the settled question of who got the ball rolling. It was Freud.


  11. GM 10/4/17 8am
    *HW Is Due Sunday
    *Research Assignment For Semester Is Approaching
    *Find 5 Sources & Start Approaching 5 sources
    *Must contribute to the article and explain them and the purpose of the research paper
    *Start with a thesis
    *Find articles that agree AREN’T always the best idea !!
    *Visual Rewrites are due Sunday and requires a new post
    *Cant prove how people feel and believe
    *Avoid ARGUMENTS about peoples feelings
    *Locate Academic or non academic sources for Sunday which are 2 paragraphs which is the essential content of the article and the purpose
    My Hypothesis for my research proposal pitch is “Is Marijuana Harmful” i chose those topic because i don’t know whats counter intuitive about that or is it a broad discussion


    1. Notes 2/3

      I have to warn you, NewEditionLover, I have never read a good student academic essay on the question of marijuana legalization or safety. Such a thing is possible, of course. I’ve just never seen one. Many have tried. And of course thousands of students have written essays about marijuana. Just last semester a student who hadn’t produced anything for months posted an essay complete with sources just before his portfolio was due. Unfortunately, he had bought it from a paper mill and neglected to change the dates the sources were accessed from the Web. I try to discourage the topic because it seems to lead to nothing very positive.

      That said, I won’t deny you the right to choose any topic that keeps you interested for the next ten weeks or so, so if marijuana safety is something you want to do original research about, I’ll do my best to help you. You can’t use secondary sources for a paper like this though, since SO MANY words have already been written ABOUT the evidence collected by others who have written papers before. You’ll have to go back to the original science and draw your own conclusions from what you find there.

      And you’ll need to share those original academic sources with me starting no later than midnight Sunday when your Proposal+5 is due. We’ll examine those sources together once you point me to them, tell me what they contain, and explain what it is they prove that will help you make your argument. That’s true for everyone, not just you. The details are in the assignment itself.

      I hope you can beat the odds and make this topic work for you, NewEditionLover. If so, you’ll end a long streak of students who have figured it would be an easy topic because so much has already been written about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I decided that it would be best for me to change my topic the things you stated above didn’t sound very pleasing and i do not want a failing grade.


  12. Today in class we discussed..
    -you shouldn’t be looking for sources that agree with you, because it’s technically not your idea.
    -something that appears more interesting, more surprising, something that you can say you learned not agreed with.
    -Although we have plenty of time, start thinking of a thesis.
    -visual rewrite due Sunday. Required. In New Post.
    -finding something that needs to be specific, researchable, verifiable, and arguable.
    -username proposal
    -choose researchable evidence!!
    -discussed how the hypothesis is or isn’t verifiable
    My hypothesis:
    -I know I want to do something that has to do with drug abuse/addiction, but I’m not sure what’s counterintuitive about that quite yet.


    1. Notes 2/3

      I’m not sure what’s counterintuitive about drug addiction either, PhillyGirl. There isn’t a claim there to analyze; it’s just a topic. If somebody figured out a way to cure addiction by carefully administering overdoses of a drug under controlled conditions, THAT would be counterintuitive. By now, I hope you’ve been reading broadly on this topic that interests you. What have you come across so far that seems like a thesis worthy of investigating for another ten weeks?

      What if fetuses exposed to drugs in the womb developed an immunity to addiction? That would be worth looking at. What if children from homes where the adults abused drugs were less likely than their peers to use drugs later in life or become addicted? That would be worth looking at.

      Have you done a Google Scholar search for “drug addiction counterintuitive lessons”? I did. In one minute I found this extremely useful source for an essay that would fulfill all the requirements for this course.

      You’ll have to be logged into your Rowan account giving you access to the Campbell Library database to access this article for free. But it offers a really nice option for somebody searching for a research project.

      For example, the US government makes it very difficult to get funding for a needle exchange program to prevent the spread HIV/AIDS among intravenous drug users. This despite the fact that countless studies have proven such programs to be VERY effective at reducing the infection rate for the disease. This despite the fact that countless studies have shown such programs DO NOT encourage an increase in unsafe sexual behavior. The government’s resistance is completely counterintuitive.

      Thesis complete if you want it. If not, I hope you have learned something about how to find a thesis you can adopt. I look forward to your results.


  13. -2 assignment will be due, the past 2 Sundays
    -Do not just look for sources that agree with you
    -You should be reading in your topic to find people who disagree with you
    -Visual Rewrite is due Sunday
    -A pitch needs to convince that your thesis that can turn heads
    -Do not echo every argument that has been made
    -Your thesis needs to have truth in it
    -The topic needs to have an argument value
    -AO6 is due not this Sunday, but the following Sunday
    -Find something that interests you
    -Narrow your subject, topics are very broad
    -Hypothesis needs to be specific, arguable, researchable, and testable
    -Avoid naming a topic, use your hypothesis
    -Avoid survey proposals
    -Create controversial premise
    -Your arguments cannot be broad or vague
    -Avoid peoples feelings or beliefs
    -Make sure your evidence is researchable


    Having a concussion my freshman year of high school soccer, I want to research concussions in sports. I will narrow the sport down to football. I am very passionate about this topic, wanting to do a paper about this topic forever. Concussions in football have been a serious problem. They however have only been discussed recently. Even before the leather heads, concussions have been frequently common. Now players from a long time ago are developing serious brain injuries. One is called CTE. CTE causes players to go insane and may push them to suicide or even death. I want to research this topic and make a strong argument.


    1. Notes 3/3

      I like the way your thesis is shaping up, Flyerfan. Comparisons to other sports will be very fruitful, particularly to sports that don’t rely on equipment to protect their athletes from head injury.

      I wonder what there might be to learn from boxing. It would certainly be counterintuitive to discover that engaging in an athletic activity that involved routinely taking repeated poundings to the head results in fewer concussions (or fewer problems later in life) than participation in the heavily-padded NFL.

      You’re also smart to consider risk compensation. It seems a very fruitful avenue for argument. Aside from improving the equipment, the remedies being implemented by the NFL have been behavioral. Removing the likelihood of direct high-speed collisions either functionally (by changing the kickoff distance to virtually eliminate kickoff returns), or legally (by severely penalizing dangerous illegal hits), they’ve tried to eliminate the most damaging behaviors. But making the players feel less vulnerable by providing more-protective equipment might undo much of that success by encouraging them to place themselves at greater risk.

      A rich topic. My one warning would be to avoid the best you can any reliance on secondary sources: writers who have already drawn conclusions based on the primary sources. There is SO MUCH ink on this topic in the popular press, it will be hard to avoid the temptation to merely collect it.


  14. *Laptop was not working*
    -Research thesis cannot be broad.
    -Must be specific, arguable, researchable, verifiable.
    -Go into this hoping to be surprised.

    -Avoid naming topic.
    -Avoid survey proposal.
    -Create controversial premise.

    -Avoid too broad of an argument.
    -Avoid vague argument.
    -Create narrow framework for argument.

    -Avoid arguments based on feelings or beliefs.
    -Avoid arguments that will not be settled in your lifetime.
    -Choose evidence that can be researched.

    -Avoid hypotheses with vague terms.
    -Avoid hypotheses with unverifiable conclusions.
    -Choose hypotheses that can be quantified.

    My Hypothesis

    I also would like to research the wrongful convictions of innocent persons because of the flaws of the American legal system. Often times eyewitness reports are inaccurate, however, prosecutors continue to use these inaccurate testimonies to send an innocent life to death row.


    1. Notes 3/3
      It’s pretty obvious I approve of this research thesis, Chandler. I’ve been hoping for several semesters that another student would take up the challenge of this particular counterintuitive aspect of the American justice system. Please read well and thoroughly in the best source materials you can find. The topic will reward your attention.


  15. -It is a mistake to choose articles that “agree” with you.
    -Rather, choose articles that you can argue and defend your opinion.
    -Choose a topic that is specific, arguable, researchable, and verifiable.
    -Your topic must be counterintuitive.
    -Pick a topic that you are passionate about.
    -Avoid naming a topic rather than a hypothesis.
    -Avoid survey proposals. However, surveys and research can be conducted to support your claim.
    -When asking a question for a survey, be careful when phrasing your words, as they can sway a response.
    -Create a controversial premise that can be argued.
    -Avoid too broad an argument or too vague an argument.
    -Create a narrow framework for argument.
    -Avoid arguments about people’s feelings or beliefs. They cannot be proved.
    -Avoid arguments that won’t be settled in your lifetime. No evidence of the future can be researched.
    -Choose researchable evidence.
    -Avoid hypotheses with unverifiable conclusions.
    -Choose hypotheses that be quantified and proven.
    -Provide sources.
    -Don’t say that your sources “talk about.” Claim it as your idea in your own words.
    Research proposal idea:
    It seems counterintuitive that those with mental illness are often blamed for how they feel, when they are dealing with symptoms of a disorder that is often out of their control. People with disorders such as depression are sometimes accused of their feelings being “in their head.” These individuals are treated as though their disorder is their fault. This thought is backwards since the majority of mental illnesses are caused by not only environmental factors, but also biological factors.


    1. Notes 3/3

      I hope this works out for you, Rainbow. I admire its serious aspirations. You make an odd statement here about the biological (not environmental) cause of mental illness that doesn’t appear to have any bearing on your thesis, but maybe I’m missing something. I’ll do my best to help you stay objective in this argument, Rainbow. It will be tempting to lean on emotional claims that observers are simply being unfair or prejudiced in their reactions to impaired persons. Other than that, unless you have questions for me, I can’t think of any way to be helpful until I see your Proposal+5. I will say I’m looking forward to it.


  16. – This Sunday – rewrite for visual rhetoric
    – Next Sunday – you’re research proposal, find your resources and then explain how you are going to use them and in what way
    – it is a waste of tim trying to find quotes that agree with you..
    – the purpose of a research paper is to find something new, change your mind
    – you should be finding things that surprise you and find things that challenge what you’re saying
    – when writing your rewrite for visual rewrite, make sure you are very specific so that readers can see what you are seeing
    – make sure to publish your post as a new post
    – topic need to be researchable
    – go in hoping to change your mind
    – AVOID: naming a topic instead of a hypothesis, survey proposal, too broad of an argument, too vague of an argument, surveys and list,
    – CREATE: controversial premise, a narrow framework for an argument
    – CHOOSE: researchable evidence

    I want to examine the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement. By comparing the effects its had to date and the effects it may have in the future. I’m not sure where I want to go with the paper. But, to say none the less, I am FOR the Black Lives Matter Movement. I know the research paper, I shouldn’t argue my opinion but I was to examine the difference in today’s culture versus in the past. Like I said, not really sure what and how I want to structure my essay. I just find the movement extremely interesting and something I would like to write about.


    1. Is this a better topic???

      I want to focus my research paper on eliminating racial inequality in the justice system.


      1. Notes 3/3

        Actually, yes, it is a better “topic” because it’s much more like a thesis than your first attempt. Are you taking for granted that there truly is racial inequality in the justice system, or do you think it might be worth 1000 words to demonstrate EXACTLY you mean by that claim? (That’s a rhetorical question. I should just say what I mean: Spend 1000 words to demonstrate EXACTLY what you mean by inequality.)

        If it means that black suspects are far more likely than white suspects to be prosecuted, to be tried, to be convicted, and to spend more time in jail than white suspects accused of the same crimes with the same amount of evidence, then even that is probably too broad. Just one of those three categories of inequality would be enough for 3000 words.

        Go to the original sources first, CollegeGirl. You’ll be tempted to use pre-digested articles from advocates with an ax to grind, but resist. If you draw your own conclusions from the best and most objective evidence, your conclusions will be much more persuasive.


  17. My hypothesis : It seems in counterintuitive that doctors are labeled as bad doctors for misdiagnosing a very trick disorder based on their observations on the patient. They should be judged for their hard work picking up signs of the difficult disorder.


    1. Notes 1/3

      I admire this thesis very much, jonhjelly. I don’t know how you came up with it, but it echoes a couple of concerns of my own. I’ll be eager to see what you discover.

      See if these ideas resonate with you.
      1) The more we popularize the notion of “Top Docs” ranked by their approval ratings and incentivize doctors to aspire to the ranks of the “most successful” practitioners, the less likely will those doctors be to take on difficult cases. They will shy away from complex surgeries, for example, protective of their success rates.
      2) The last people we should trust to help us choose doctors are the whiners and complainers who take to Yelp to find fault with every retailer they visit. Doctors are not restaurants and shouldn’t be at the mercy of their “favorability” ratings.
      3) Nothing aggravates me quite like hearing that “doctors said he would never walk again,” but he’s now a professional crossfit athlete. It can’t be true as often as it’s reported.


  18. -We need to start thinking about our thesis for our research project.
    -This research project is what you want the topic to be, it’s okay to change your mind and when doing your research you are proved wrong.
    -There many problems you should avoid like “talk about” or stating the five sources in your essay.

    It seems counterintuitive that protein powder helps you develop a beer belly rather then achieving your fit goals. There are many protein powders made in the United States that people don’t know the harm it can do to their body. However, there are many protein powders that help your body achieve goals like having muscle, more stamina, etc. There is much research to do and find out what is the best for your body as well as your physical. Though, everyone’s body is different which can be difficult but personally I’d like to find one that fits someone who is cutting and wants to be fit as well built.


    1. I suppose you can find a way to research this topic and come up with some truth, TheIntern, but it won’t be easy. You’ll be looking for scientific evidence that a commercial product has benefits to its customers. Most of the readily available “evidence” will come in the form of claims made by the companies with a vested interest in proving the benefits. Popular magazines that run articles on supplements aren’t pure sources of information either: they tend to favor articles that favor their advertisers, the same owners of the supplement companies. Someone else’s “research” will always be tainted by a motive, usually a profit motive, so you’ll have to find your way back to original research to find your truth. If you’re willing to do that, you could make a real contribution to the argument.

      You casually suggest that protein powder users develop unwanted bellies. What’s the evidence for that? How are we to trust the anecdotal evidence of users who, without third-party verification of their diets and exercise regimes, make claims about the benefits or failures of any products? You see the dilemma.

      Can you suggest a path forward to claims that are verifiable? Your Proposal+5 will have to address this inherent difficulty in your plan.


  19. Over next two sundays, two assignments due. Visual rhetoric rewrite and proposal thesis description with five sources.
    Big mistake to find sources that agree with you. With sources that agree with you they’re only your cheering section. No point, because it only shows an unoriginal idea. Find people who disagree, challenge idea. Describe thesis as it is in your head for today. Best way to do brainstorming is by talking.
    Visual rewrite: required and post in A05. Copy and paste first version in new post and make changes there. When you ask for feedback, ask for specific help. You can ask for degrades if you feel you improved the assignment. Visual analysis is the reader should see what you see. Visual rewrite–username in A05 and username catergory. Due Sunday October 8th at midnight.

    A06 proposal
    Research proposal plus five sources due October 15th by midnight. The pitch- counterintuitive topic that convinces. Pick something that interests you. Make sure hypothesis isn’t too broad. Needs to be specific, arguable, researchable, and verifiable.
    -avoid : naming a topic instead of a hypothesis
    -avoid: surgery proposal
    -create : controversial premise
    -avoid: too broad an argument
    -avoid: too vague an argument
    -create: narrow framework for argument
    -avoid: arguments about people’s feelings or beliefs
    -avoid: arguments that won’t be settled in your lifetime
    -choose: researchable evidence
    -avoid: hypothesis with vague terms
    -avoid: hypotheses with unverifiable conclusions
    -choose: hypotheses that can be quantified
    -content of article: “article provides…” paragraph
    -what it proves:….
    Sources should be various in reliability in academic ability
    Problem to avoid
    -don’t say your source “talks about” or “deals with” or that it “provides background ”
    -don’t say your sources “will give me necessary information to prove thesis”

    My hypothesis:
    It seems counterintuitive to trust a company with blood on their hands. SeaWorld continues to claim their mission is to help animals and to provide a safe environment for them to live. They repress the fact that they rip these animals away from their natural habitats. SeaWorld is hypocritical, they claim they’re saving these animals when in reality they’re imprisoning them for their own gain. They force animals to breed amoungst each other, sometimes indulging in incest. Baby animals draw in a crowd for SeaWorld. SeaWorld also states orcas live much longer in their enclosures than in the wild. Regardless of the scientifically proven fact, orcas in the wild can live to be over the age of one hundred. But in SeaWorld their lives are shortened to an average of 13 years old. Not one of those orcas died of old age.


    1. Notes 3/3

      You’ll have no trouble finding advocacy rhetoric from opponents of trained animal acts, TodayIsTheDay. We’ve already spoken about some of them. Sharing them with your readers does not amount to research though, as you know, since they’ve already collected whatever evidence they could, applied their own logic and reasoning (and emotional reactions) to it, drawn their conclusions, and shared them with you.

      Now, if it were your thesis that the animal rights advocates who object so strenuously to infringements on the rights of orcas or any animals were, counterintuitively, only too eager to trample all over the due process rights of the owners and operators of Sea World, for example, then you might have the makings of a very interesting paper. You could examine in detail the overreach of their conclusions from small evidence. You could track the efforts they have made to discredit the operators, to intimidate them, to shame them, perhaps without ever correctly placing blame where it truly belongs.

      I’m not advocating a point of view, you understand, just demonstrating an example of how you might bring a fresh perspective to whatever evidence you DO find.

      Your best work so far is in the drawing of analogies, Today. Even if the parallels are not scientifically precise, putting readers in the place of the captive animals, describing how humans demonstrably respond to similar circumstances, will have a powerful emotional appeal.

      How’s your search going so far?


      1. My counter intuitive approach is for a company dedicated to animals, stating they rescue and rehabilitate when really the animals become prisoners trapped in an endless cycle of entertaining and mindless passing of time. They rip animals away from their natural habitats claiming they are saving them from pollution and fishing accidents, but then they keep them in tanks that limit them from swimming the range and depth they were born to do. They swim in chemically treated water that alters their internal system and they feed them dead frozen fish that deprives them of nutritional intake. They then train them to perform tricks that aren’t natural for them. They breed the animals, sometimes participating in incest, just so that they can keep the whale population within the parks regulated. When one unnaturally dies off, they just unnaturally produce another. My counter intuitive claim is: How can a company claim to do everything for the quality of life of animals when they do everything to permit that animal from living free?


  20. -Two assignments over the next two Sunday’s.
    – Research a proposal.
    – Create a pitch.
    – Avoid an arguable hypothesis

    My hypothesis:
    I would like to do something with the amount of injuries in each sport and and the dangers of each sport. Rates of injuries and how many participants have life long injuries. I am not entirely sure how I could put this into my thesis


    1. Drop me an email today, Anonymous, to identify yourself, and remember to log in before posting your Notes. I don’t know who you are.

      Use this address:

      You could do this, Anonymous, and it would go one of two ways.

      1) You spend ten weeks examining every study you can find of every sport you can name and you produce a chart that tracks all sorts of “injury” across all sports. It might take a year or two, but you could do it. And in the end, you’d have a “survey” essay without much focus, that would be stuck drawing conclusions such as: For large, athletic men of superior agility between the ages of 18 and 30, X is the sport (of the two dozen studied) most likely to result in muscle strains and ligament damage to the lower body. For smaller men, and for most female athletes, Y is the sport that results in such injuries, but X in those subjects produces more upper body dislocations. And so on. There’s no way to definitively identify any sport as the “safest” or the “most dangerous” across all the safety categories for all participants. See the problem?

      2) You discover that four wonks at the NCAA spent two years on just such a project and have published the results as, no surprise here: a massive chart that sorts all the sports and their injury types for a variety of participant categories. The work is done. All you can do is identify some trends.

      The topic is too broad to yield satisfactory definitive conclusions in 3000 words. You’ll be better off as soon as you identify one or two sports that you’re truly interested in. Filter that down to one or two injury types. And then, miraculously!, discover that, quite counterintuitively, women tennis players, who never collide with their opponents, are much more likely to suffer career-ending stress fractures, than NFL linemen, who smash themselves into one another on virtually every play.

      See what I mean? Research will reveal the comparisons most likely to yield surprising results. You can’t know what those results will be until you do your research. But it would be a mistake to go looking for one you think might be there. The danger of that approach is that you’ll “select” the “right” data to “prove” your foregone conclusion. Stay open to surprise for awhile (Well, until Sunday at midnight).


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