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.

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.