Research Paper Topics

When trying to decide on a research argument, topics that I have an interest in should obviously be explored. Arguments that involve sports, cultural diversity, and public health are probably more down my alley so my topics deal with these three areas of research.

Question 1: Should universities have such a large portion of funds invested in athletic programs?

This topic is brought up very frequently because of the issues of student debt and quality of education that surround it. Students are upset because numerous schools put money into sports that are drawn from their tuition. There is also the converse argument that the athletic programs are generating a profit, so ultimately it benefits the university.

Motivation: Too often I hear people complain about how easy the student athletes have it. They receive a full scholarship and then just take the easiest classes. I think about it differently. A lot of recruited student athletes desperately need the scholarship. Athletics can be their only way out of poverty. Also, maintaining a balance of commitment to both education and athletics is very difficult. I want to explore this because I also value both athletics and education.

Information and Arguments: I hope to find information and statistics that display the statistics for money placed into athletics programs at major colleges. Ideally, data on the revenue that these schools receive would be very effective in backing my argument on the productivity of emphasis on athletics for schools as a business. Another argument I could include is the idea that placing too much money into athletic programs hinders the educational quality of the university. This cannot be true since there are so many schools that are sport great educational programs as well as athletic programs (Examples include Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, and many more). My major points will probably be the three stated.

 

Question 2: To what extent does race influence opportunity?

This topic is one we hear typically in the debate for equality between men and women, however, there still may be a prevalent disparity between the hiring or acceptance of people of certain races or religions. This is a very touchy topic, but it is still very important because the overall goal for society should be that every individual regardless of race, gender, or religious receives identical opportunities.

Motivation: This topic is important to me because I am a person of color and I am saddened whenever I hear stories of discrimination. As a college student, I want to receive similar opportunities for success as my peers of other races or faiths. The hard work I put in should be rewarded and the same goes for all students.

Information and Arguments: As of now, I don’t know how great the difference is between the races in hiring and such opportunities, but hopefully I can find some data that presents this information and the differences will not be negligible. I could also mix gender into the argument as well, so a total analysis of racial and gender differences could vividly paint the picture of the situation. I would make the argument that people of color perhaps don’t receive identical treatment as other do when it comes to the work force. Additionally, I would argue the reasoning behind this and how certain races are stereo-typically veered towards jobs that ‘suit’ them.

 

Question 3: Should all campuses be smoke free zones?

Smoking whether it be cigarettes or any other drug is harmful for the user, but it can also be detrimental towards those around them. Secondhand smoking is a contributor to health issues. Society is so much more accepting smoking, but it can still have repercussions for people in the proximity. In close packed areas, inhaling smoke from cigarettes can also trigger asthma attacks and other breathing issues. Additionally, smoking can lead to addiction and addiction to anything is usually negative.

Motivation: I am completely against smoking because of how detrimental it is to the human body, but more than that, growing up with asthma made me very conscious of when people were smoking around me. On campus, I see countless people smoking and numerous cigarette butts lying around in the sidewalks. This is bad for the environment as well as public health.

Information and Arguments: The most necessary statistics to pursue this topic would be effects of secondhand smoking on people. This is crucial because the ‘public health’ issue is concerned with the people around the smoker. Additionally, it would be helpful to know about other campuses that have implemented a smoke free policy and how that has changed both the environment and the public health of the school. My key arguments revolve around the consequences of smoking both for the user and the public. As stated before, secondhand smoking is a thing and should be a major concern for everyone, but most importantly those with breathing conditions such as asthma.

College Advocacy Research Topics

The topic that most interests me is forced immunizations on college students. When I went to high school in California, a new law was being implemented concerning immunizationimmunizations. Before the summer of 2016, students could refuse immunizations on the grounds of personal or religious reasons. The new law ended this policy, and now only medical waivers are suitable exemptions. Specifically at UD, the MMR and meningococcal vaccine are required. I think the issue of the immunization controversy is interesting because although I believe immunizations are necessary for public health and should be enforceable, those who disagree for religious or other personal reasons do have a valid argument. I’d like to explore this issue and focus on the necessity of immunizations and why their benefits justify their necessitation, with a focus on the benefits of the immunizations required at immunizationsUD. Questions I’d like to explore are: to what extent can a college in a democratic nation with the freedom of religion enforce immunizations on those who disagree because of their religion? do the benefits of immunizations for the public health and security of the nation outweigh the concerns of the few who are against them? what are the advantages of immunizations? what legal rights do those against immunizations have?

Another topic I’d like to consider is the issue of guns on college campuses. There is a growing number of colleges that allow guns. Eight states allow guns at colleges, and 24 gunsothers allow the individual colleges in their state to decide. A study done by Johns Hopkins University in 2016 determined that campus carry laws are “unlikely to deter rampage shooters and may in fact lead to more injuries and deaths.” Some argue that guns make the public safer, but as demonstrated by the Johns Hopkins study, it can also be argued that guns lead to increased violence. Others believe that prohibiting guns on campus would be an infringement on the second amendment right to bear arms. Although I don’t believe that guns should be permitted at college, those who argue for the protection of the second amendment do have a sound point. Questions I would consider are: to what extent can a college, established within a nation that has the right to bear arms, restrict that right? what are the dangers of allowing guns to be carried on campuses?

The third topic I would consider is the subject of internet privacy. With the recent repeal of certain internet privacy rules, broadband companies can now use the sensitive data (i.e. browsing history, geolocation, and medical and financial information) of their customers without permission. Particularly with college students who use technology extensively, internet privacy is extremely important. I think internet privacy for college o-internet-privacy-facebookstudents would be a valuable issue to explore because internet privacy is esteemed by the public but is sometimes relinquished for the benefit of businesses. Questions I would pursue are: to what extent can college students expect their online actions to be private when there is no written national amendment concerning internet privacy? what are the benefits of relinquishing online privacy? what is currently private online for college students?

Accepting Yourself (Core4)

According to Psych Central, approximately 80% of women are dissatisfied with the way they look, and Men’s Fitness Magazine similarly reports that 44% of men aren’t happy with their bodies. There is obviously a trend in society of individuals believing their bodies aren’t good enough. Children now worry about being too fat or too skinny rather than just being healthy. We see pictures in magazines of the “perfect woman” or the “perfect man” and try to live up to this ideal, and thus are never satisfied with ourselves. And it’s not just about weight. People who have skin conditions are afraid to go out without makeup or dove-campaign-for-real-beauty-case-analysis-4-728clothing to hide it. Those who have thinning hair, for age or other reasons, are afraid to go out without wearing a wig or getting treatment to correct it. There are innumerable ways we believe ourselves to be “different” and try to hide this difference out of embarrassment or shame. This lack of self esteem can lead to the allowance of disrespect, hurtful speech, and can even lead to thoughts of suicide. People who don’t like themselves often believe they aren’t worthy of anything better and continually hurt themselves by accepting harmful circumstances, both physically and psychologically. This is why I think my group should support the cause of accepting who you are. There is a movement now to counteract the unrealistic body ideals that the media has presented. We see this through new magazine covers with all body types, commercials for clothing stores with people of all shapes and maxresdefaultsizes pictured, and “no makeup” events that have garnered the support of celebrities through #nomakeup social media pictures. I believe, especially in college where finding and believing in yourself is so important, we should promote the belief that you only need to be the best version of you.

The cause of accepting who you are is already important to the campus of the University of Delaware. UD sororities have participated in this movement by allowing women to take hammers to scales to show that their weight isn’t as important as society has led them to believe. The university’s Student Health Center has also had students write their favorite thing about themselves on handheld mirrors. This way, students see their beauty when they look in the mirror, rather than all of their perceived flaws. I think, as a group, we could easily find other concrete actions to support this essential cause. There 2-smash-your-scale-1024x476are so many ways to help people understand their true worth, and we need to get this message out among our campus.

Self image is so important to the psychological and social welfare of both women and men. People are more successful in relationships, academics, and work when they believe in themselves and are satisfied with who they are. This is why I think it’s so important for my group to support this cause on campus. We need to start a movement of people loving who they are so they can spread this love and positivity to others, even after they leave UD.

Fight Against the Travel Ban

Obviously, movements that developed and spanned earlier in history did not have equivalent access to the Internet and television that current ones have. Movements and activist groups in the recent years are fortunate in the ability to spread their message through the use of websites, social media, and the news. Lucky for me, I am looking into the Travel Ban imposed by President Trump that quite literally dates back to last month. The internet is amazing in that it can connect millions of people without having to leave the comfort of home, but it also displays numerous sources of information for the public. Most of the news about the ban have to do with the onsite protests against the ban at airports, but the internet plays a major role in channeling the negative energy towards the ban into articles, stands, and even memes. The ‘millennials’ have a huge voice now and through social media they voice their issues. All of the negative backlash on social media for the travel ban most likely had a major impact on the decision by the court to put a hold on the ban. Additionally,  Videos and pictures caught at some of the protests circulate around the internet and this cause more and more people to join in the movement because they get to see what is occurring without actually being there to witness.

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A specific webpage should be enticing and really stand out to the viewer. The homepage should immediately grab people’s attention and the page should not let go until the viewer is convinced of the message. Use of videos, audio, and pictures is almost necessary because large spans of text turn the average observer away. For my webpage, I want the visitor to be moved right as the click to the page, so large text saying “No Ban No Wall” would immediately press the concern. Videos of people protesting at airports, I feel, would also really stand out and give the page an initial jump.

Organization is also key to a successful webpage. Similar to the Campaign Zero website, my website needs to have clearly labeled section such as problem, solution, research, articles, etc. I think this user-friendly setup could actually sway people towards the argument at hand because of the fluidity of navigation. All in all, I really want my website to contain  vivid pictures and colors, energizing video clips, and a simple and thought out method of maneuvering throughout the site. End users, or viewers, would hopefully see that and be drawn in and maybe end up supporting the cause.

Student Debt Platform

For the issue of student debt, an online platform proves vital and encouraging to helping quell the problem.  The internet stands a great means to reach almost everyone in today’s world, especially college students and college graduates, who the issue has the greatest impact on.  Although this issue affects many people decades after graduation, it poses the greatest impact in the short term, so the young age of those affected the most propels for greater spread through social media.  As younger individuals are more inclined to use social media, the ability to reach a larger audience, by the means of twitter, etc., proves easier.  Likewise, the staggering statistics set forth in various website platforms proves vital in spreading the extent of such an issue.  One website that I feel does a great job of doing so is debtcollective.org.  Upon entering the website, the visitor sees the amount of reported debt on the website in the United States.  Even though many people will not have reported their debt, the number presented is still astounding, standing well into the one hundred millions.  Additionally, the website provides links to several articles that speak to the injustice of student debt that many people face and proves easy to navigate.  Moreover, it provides a platform for people to debate on ways to promote advocacy and direct action on how to combat the issue, and as a result, gathers people into a more cohesive unit and allows for greater spread of the problem.  The website also launched Rolling Jubilee, a project that intends to abolish student debt.  This website furthers awareness on the topic, allowing for users to spread the word through twitter and by providing videos ranging from information on the issue to actual student protests that have occurred as a result of student debt.

Much like the websites above, I intend to make my website easy to navigate from topic to topic.  I also hope to present the information and statistics in the most efficient way possible as the two websites have done, highlighting the stats that validate the great extent of the issue.  Furthermore, the use of various pictures and videos aided in the experience of the websites as it created a greater emotional response to the students who are impacted, so I hope to incorporate such visuals in order to create a similar effect.  Overall, the most important aspect of my website will be to help the reader understand how truly comparable the issue of student debt is, and that there are several ways to combat the issue and lessen the burden it places on countless people throughout the nation.

Black Lives Matter

Social media plays a critical role in spreading news and raising awareness in today’s society.  Online platforms are a great way to get information out for multiple reasons.  For one, social media is easily accessible for those with laptops and phones, and it can reach a huge variety of people.  This whole movement really started to gain attention from social media when the founders tweeted #BlackLivesMatter and the tweets went viral.  Other hashtags like #HandsUpDontShoot and #SayHerName were also relevant to this campaign and are examples of how social media helped gain awareness for this movement.  Using a website for my movement will be incredibly beneficial because it is a more effective way to get certain photos and videos out that will help demonstrate the problem Black Lives Matter works against and in a more creative way.  For example, I plan on incorporating a video that maps out all the events that Black Lives Matter participated in and protested at.  Being able to have a video as opposed to just words adds some variety to how a reader receives information in contrast to just giving a flyer out on the street. I plan on incorporating videos, statistics, photos, and personal stories to my website.  It is nice that this type of platform allows all of these things to be incorporated in one place so that it can all be easily viewed and linked to one another.  I am hoping my website will be interactive, visually appealing and with the use of images and videos, has an effect on the viewer that they recognize the issue of this movement.  I want to cover the problem, the solution, how others can help, how the movement started, groups such as Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, and why this is an issue in today’s society.  My website will include the sides of Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter to give the perspective of people who are not fully in support of Black Lives Matter.  Hopefully my website will easily display the issue at hand and allow the viewer to get all the relevant information they would need in order to take this issue seriously.  All in all, using a website as a platform allows news to spread faster and therefore movements to gain more followers and momentum as opposed to standing out on a campus trying to gather support, or sending out mail.  In a world that is so dependent on social media, using it as a platform for a cause is one of the most effective ways to garner support.

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A Platform for Change

As technology becomes increasingly relevant in the twenty-first century, the circulation of thought is increasing in speed and efficiency, allowing ideas to spread from person to person, then state to state, and sometimes, even country to country, within a matter of days. The movement I have chosen to delve into, the anti-rape culture/sexual assault on campus movement, uses the power of online platforms in several ways, one of which is to provide an anonymous way for victims to reach out and speak about sexual assault without disclosing their identity. On platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, victims can discuss their feelings with others who understand what they are going through, and talk about how to cope with post traumatic stress and anxiety that prevent them from reaching out or talking about what happened to the police or school authorities. Another way this movement uses online platforms is to reach out to people about different gatherings, marches, and protests that are happening across the country such as the Anti-Rape Marches and Slut Walks in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and several other large metropolitan areas. Facebook groups, especially, are conducive to bringing people together for these events because once one person clicks the “Interested” or “Going” buttons, all of their Facebook friends can see this, and the event instantly gains exposure to all of their hundreds/thousands of friends. In this way, the word gets out quickly, and suddenly, after a mere two days of the event’s online fruition, hundreds of thousands of people are exposed to it, and many of them will decide to attend.it.jpg

Media is also incredibly important to my movement, in that humans, by nature, are visual beings, and photographs and videos tend to appeal to their emotions more than just words. Personally, I feel very empowered when I see pictures on Instagram and Tumblr of women holding up signs that say things like, “I was wearing this when I was raped”, while they are dressed in a simple tee-shirt and jeans, implying that rape has nothing to do with the victim’s clothing, provocative or not. It is NEVER the victim’s fault. Because such visuals are so powerful, I will include many on my webpage, especially on the home tab, in order to catch visitor’s attentions and appeal to their pathos the same way that Instagram posts from the marches appealed to mine.

Advocacy

To me, advocacy means to create a voice for a cause that you believe in, whether it is online, or physically at a march or protest, or just talking to the people around you. It also means that if you are creating this voice, then you have to be able to support the cause with facts and not just say that others should support it because you do. Movements that work/worked to create change that immediately come to mind are Black Lives Matter, women’s suffrage, and the Civil Rights Movement. Some interesting current movements I’d like to explore include environmental justice, conservation, pro-choice, and ecofeminism.

Conservation is one that interests me because part of what I am studying here is Wildlife Conservation and Ecology and I believe it is important to conserve what we still have of the natural world for future generations to enjoy, as well as to keep the earth healthy and in a livable condition. The pro-choice movement is one that I also feel strongly about because I believe it is an important part of women’s rights and health care that could be threatened by the new presidential administration.

A movement that I just learned about recently and find really interesting is ecofeminism. Ecofeminism focuses on all oppressed/dominated groups, including women, people of color, and the natural world. Ecofeminism is one that I find important because it connects different movements that I think are important, such as conservation, preserving nature, and advancing the rights of women and minorities. I think exploring this movement would be interesting because it would bring to light the relationships and connections between different areas of oppression in a male-dominated society. Moving forward with exploring ecofeminism might be difficult because there are many different definitions and interpretations of what “ecofeminism” is really considered because it covers so many areas, but I also think its wide variation of concerns is part of what makes it interesting and important.

Advocacy: Making a Change

To me, advocacy is when people actively work to promote a change in the world that they perceive as positive. The point of advocating is to make the society as a whole see why their side of a problem is the morally right side. Advocacy movements that are successful tend to be ones that approach promoting their ideas peacefully. With MLK day being just last month, it is easy to call to mind Martin Luther King Jr.’s shining example of peacefully advocating for civil rights. The way I see it, the best way to advocate for something is to change what you do every day by going out of your way to talk to people who can make changes, going to places where injustices happen, attending marches and protests, creating and sharing social media campaigns, making ads for TV, newspaper, phones, raising money for support, and doing whatever is in your power to make a change no matter how small. For example, there is a group on campus who plans to make feminine hygiene products more available to women in Africa because that is one of the main reasons they must miss school every month and therefore have less education. That kind of advocating not only gets a message out but actually does something about it. Some other movements that come to mind are immigration, LGBTQ rights, gun violence, climate change, and student loan debt. Student loan debt interests me because it is something that affects me as a college student. With education being so expensive, it is harder to get a degree in a world where a degree is a requirement for most jobs that will lead you to the middle class. Another interesting movement is the one surrounding immigration given the new recent political atmosphere. I think it is important to study movements because they can be divisive and having the right facts is very important. Just like any argument it will be a benefit to fully understand both sides from studying the movements. One challenge will be trying to ignore our own innate biases from the way we were raised and the beliefs that are around us. It will be challenging to not react to the movements with only our emotions but use facts and logic, but it will be a rewarding experience.

Stand For What You Believe

Advocacy is committed belief expressed outwardly to bring about change. It also means listening to and respecting your opposition. Advocacy takes many forms; it doesn’t necessarily manifest itself by way of large-scale events, like marches or strikes. Sometimes, the most impactful movements are subtle, intentional actions imperceptibly woven together.

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Most movements that work to create change are, hopefully, a form of healthy, principled advocacy. Ideally, those involved in the movement work peaceably with their opponents, refraining from violent means. However, many movements that are currently working to create change don’t follow the aforementioned qualities of moral advocacy. Many movements today attempt to bring about change through violent protests, fear-induced speeches, and/or through creating a hateful, and typically inaccurate, view of those with differing opinions. This must change if we hope to have a society where people can freely express their opinions without fear of rebuke.

Some movements that exemplify successful advocacy are the historical and modern Children’childrensrightss Rights Movement, the modern Anti-Bullying Movement, and the historical Women’s Suffrage Movement. These movements brought change to society: the Children’s Rights Movement eradicated child labor in parts of the world and brought about new, specified rights for children to empower and protect them; the Anti-Bullying Movement brought new legislation against bullying and stricter school anti-bullying policies; and the Women’s Suffrage Movement gave women the right to vote.

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The movement that is closest to my heart is the Pro-Life Movement. It intersects with my identity as a Christian-believing life begins at conception and must be protected- and my family’s experiences. The benefits of exploring this movement are: bringing attention to the importance of life and the necessity to protect it; defining when life begins; advocating the need for our rights not to infringe on the rights of others; and exploring anti-abortion legislation. The challenges of exploring this movement are: the pervasive belief that abortion infringes on women’s rights; the controversy over the beginning of life; and, most significantly, Roe v. Wade and other pro-abortion legislation that currently exists.

Advocacy begins with fervent commitment and a hope for change. As Reverend Martin Luther King once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”