Thesis: Even though some high-ranking persons and politicians deny climate change, blatantly opposing scientists’ findings, students on college campuses gained a renewed interest in starting movements related to sustainability and reducing the effects of climate change.


Douglas, Karen M., and Robbie M. Sutton. “Climate change: Why the conspiracy theories are dangerous.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 71, no. 2, Mar. 2015, pp. 98-106. PAIS ProQuest, doi:10.1177/0096340215571908. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.



Beller, Carolyn. “Students Push College Fossil Fuel Divestment To Stigmatize Industry.” npr, 11 Apr. 2015, Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.



Anderson, Craig A., “Belief Perseverance.” Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, 2007, pp. 109-110, Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.



Mingle, Jonathan. “Fighting for the Future: Activists and scholars debate the role of social movements in climate change.” Environment@Harvard, vol. 5, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1-7, Accessed 21 Apr. 2017.


Each source in an essay has a different purpose. Some provide definitions so that the reader is “on the same page” as the author when reading the essay. Others provide a unique viewpoint on controversial topics. Still others give specific information about news events and happenings. Regardless of the type of source, each will contribute information that is vital to the thesis of the paper.

To begin, source 1 provides a lot of information about why people believe in climate change conspiracy theories. This source is reliable because I found it using an online database, and it is published by scientists. I can mostly use this to explain why there is a disagreement within the population and among highly influential people such as politicians and scientists. The extracted arguments from the source provide psychological reasons why climate change conspiracy theories are so effective in persuasion. I took these psychological reasons and put names and descriptions to them using other source. For example, source 3 is simply a definition of the psychological key term “belief perseverance,” and this is a trusted source because the author is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University. In conjunction with source 1, I used source 3 to better explain the psychology associated with climate change conspiracy theories. Therefore, the readers of my essay will better understand the reasons behind conspiracy theories, and, overall, it will strengthen my argument because I specifically defined and named the terms. These two sources, in cahoots, will complement my overall topic by providing adequate background on how climate change conspiracies have created skepticism in the general population.

Next, I used sources 2 and 4 together to strengthen my argument. These two sources are more directly related to my thesis because they give examples of movements related to climate change. Both sources are reliable: source 2 is from an impartial news website and source 4 is from Harvard’s website. Source 2 focuses more on a specific student-led divestment movement while source 4 provides many examples of movements. Source 4 created a backbone summary of different methods of activism, which helped me form the multiple points of the argument while source 2 provided a specific example of one method of activism. This strengthens the argument because of how detailed and specific source 2 is. Together, the two sources add to the overall ideas of my essay because they provide a strong argument in favor of my thesis.

Collectively, these sources direct where my paper will go. For example, because I used psychological terms early in my paper, I should stick with that theme. I will provide a psychological lens with which to view the other arguments in my essay in order to stay consistent. In conclusion, these sources shaped my paper by providing succinct examples that can be easily formed into arguments that support my thesis.


Exploring Research Topics

Question 1How do we draw a link between the educated women on college campuses and the problem of the lack of education for girls in third world countries?

Background / My Motivation:  The organization Girl Up raises awareness and money for the lack of education for girls in developing countries. The movement participants are mostly high school students, but college students can make an impact in this movement as well. I’m interested in investigating this topic because I’m a girl and I know how important getting an education is.

Information / Arguments: I hope to find that many college students have an interest in this topic. I also want to find more evidence that there are already similar movements on campuses. I would argue that besides Doctors and Engineers Without Borders, there should be “Educators Without Borders” or other similar programs. I would also argue that college students want to get involved in these types of activities but they can not because they do not exist.

Question 2Why do politicians deny climate change if it is a “sure thing” according to scientists?

Background / My MotivationI trust science because one of the goals of science is to be accurate. Also, I’m a chemical engineering major. I’ve never understood why some politicians don’t acknowledge the effects of climate change and what it’s doing to the planet. Is there some other factor or motivation involved?

Information / ArgumentsI hope to find that there are economic or political goals that motivate the politicians to deny global warming. My arguments will be that climate change is backed by lots of scientific data and that there are many reasons why denying global warming is beneficial for politicians.

Question 3: Is there really a gender wage gap in the United States? If so, what can college students effectively do to reduce the gap?

Background / My Motivation: Everyone knows the slogan, “equal pay for equal work,” which refers to the gender wage gap in the United States. This slogan is old, it has been repeated too many times, and it is hardly effective. Why hasn’t this problem been fixed by now?

Information / Arguments: I hope to find that the gender wage gap has been fixed, but it’s likely that it hasn’t been fixed in all aspects of U.S. labor. Therefore, I will argue that there needs to be a renewed and reinvigorated movement that tackles the problem and finally topples it. This movement, I will argue, will start on college campuses.