Monday, August 23, 2004

Prof. Graves's Topics for the Research Paper

Prof. Graves’ Topics for the Research Paper 1. Fuel cell technology – a promising new technology or a high-tech waste? 2. Will our natural resources run out? What happened to the fuel resources scare in the 1970s from the environmentalists. 3. Did Sesame Street provably make a smarter generation of students? Why or why not? 4. Computers in the classroom – is there evidence they improve learning? 5. The stand-down controversy of 9/11 – Why did no jet interceptors meet any of the off-course airlines? 6. The Army’s Comanche helicopter. Was it a multi-billion dollar waste? 7. Nuclear fire – what do the think tank experts claim is the most likely source of the next use of a nuclear weapon? 8. Cloning humans – is it actually technologically possible? Why or why not? What are the ramifications for society if cloning becomes a reality? 9. Has Costco abused the right of eminent domain? 10. What really happened in Florida during the last presidential election? A look at both sides of the equation. 11. Should English be made America’s official language? 12. The French have banned all religious symbolism in their public schools. What are the implications of this decision? 13. Why are American pre-schoolers and elementary students not taught a second language as is the norm in European school systems? 14. Rap music – is it a true reflection of African-American society or is it a music form that crosses the lines of social respect and responsibility and actually does societal damage to the black community? Note: This is a research paper debating sociological issues pertaining to this music form. It is not a defense of the music, an attack on the music, or an excuse to discuss your favorite rap artists. It is a research paper. 15. Are adolescents becoming increasingly depressed? Why? Why do primitive cultures not suffer as much depression? Or do they? (Note: The important part of this assignment is doing research on why industrialized societies appear to suffer more from depression than primitive societies where survival is much less certain on a daily basis.) 16. Ritalin – is it overprescribed to sedate active children? (Note: The important aspect of this assignment is to explore exactly why so many parents, teachers, and physicians in America particularly are so willing to sedate children who may be behaving normally. Also important here is to discuss how precisely true experts are at determining a child with real ADD.) 17. Childhood obesity – what is the connection to TV? 18. Does sex actually sell products? Is there proof that it works? (Note: We know sexual image have long been used in advertising. But what are the results of studies on the effectiveness of those images in actually selling those products? Does sex really improve the financial bottom line?) 19. Backwards (also called backmasking) masking in music. Is it real or was it a hoax perpetrated by rock music enemies? If it is real who did it, why, and did it really work? If it is a myth or hoax, why did it become widespread and did anyone use it for rhetorical or political gain? 20. Subliminal advertising – reality or myth? 21. Going after the youth vote – has the youth vote EVER swung an election? 22. Gay marriage – what are the issues on both sides? (Note: Do not accept this assignment with the thought of grinding your axe. This is to be a reasoned and balanced research paper on the histories behind both sides of the movement for gay marriage. A paper written with an obvious agenda to either promote the subject or bash it will receive a failing grade period.) 23. Preventing teen pregnancy – should abstinence be the only solution? Does Just Say No work? Is it a violation of separation of church and state? 24. Has violent crime been increasing or decreasing in reality? Why? 25. What is the National Security Agency (NSA) and why are they so secret? 26. Pearl Harbor – did Roosevelt have prior knowledge and warning? 27. Was Truman right to drop the bomb on Japan? Did the bomb save lives or is that


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