Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Research Question

The topic I would like to explore for this paper is the ACT.  Currently my research question is: How big a role should the ACT play in college acceptances?  I think this is a very pertinent topic and relatable to most of my peers.  I find the ACT to have positive and negative aspects, and I want to explore more about the role it plays.  I have personally experienced the ACT and all of the stresses that come with it, so I am interested to explore the role it plays in the college admission process.  To best answer this question, I will need to learn more about the ACT in general and the reason it was created.  I will also need to research the amount of emphasis that colleges place on ACT scores.  Some experts to include in my research would be college admissions staff as they are the ones reviewing test scores and making decisions based on them.  Also important to include would be the test maker/scorers to better understand what purpose the ACT serves.  Teacher and student perspectives would provide good information on both sides of the argument as well.  Overall, I think this is an interesting, relevant topic that almost all high school and college students can relate to and one that I want to offer a unique perspective on.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Dangers of Technology

In today's generation, technology is a large part of life, something most people feel they cannot live without.  While technology has provided us with a myriad of gadgets that make communication and research much faster and more efficient, technology is also negatively impacting our lives.  My Psychology teacher told us the other day that scientists have found technology is literally changing our brain patterns.  A study found that the brains of those who rely on technology closely resemble those of cocaine addicts.  People are becoming addicted to technology, and it is actually changing the makeup of our brains.  Technology is also causing people to lose social and communication skills.  People have trouble talking face to face and would much rather hide behind the screen of a computer or an iPhone.  Academic writing is also suffering as a result of common slang and texting lingo.  Don't get me wrong, I think technology is great and very useful, but we should not become dependent on or addicted to our devices.  Technology can be both helpful and beneficial to society, but it is important to remember there are other ways to communicate without letting technology consume our lives.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Reflection

I began this paper with the purpose of informing the audience about the harmful effects that getting too much sleep could have on  a person's health.  This purpose ultimately remained intact throughout my paper.  I kept this goal in mind and made sure that all of the information and sources I chose to include were relevant and meaningful.  Ultimately, I believe I achieved this goal.  I feel that my finished paper informs the reader about a variety of health concerns associated with getting too much sleep.

Although my purpose remained strong throughout my writing process.  I did find myself changing some aspects from my original design plan.  I was not really sure about organization at first and did not know how I wanted to break my paper up.  As I continued writing, I realized that the best way to break up my paper was to dedicate a paragraph to each health concern.  This helped me get my point across to the audience that getting too much sleep can have harmful effects on almost every part of the body.  This organization helped me remain true to my original purpose as well.  Also, on my original design plan, I deemed my audience as people who do not get the right amount of sleep and people who want to learn more about sleep.  As I was writing my paper though, my audience focus shifted more toward people who were getting too much sleep.  Part of the audience was still people who do not get the right amount of sleep, but I found myself putting emphasis on those who get too much sleep.  Both my audience and organization shifted as I continued writing my paper.

Overall, I believe I wrote an informative paper that was able to explain a lesser known fact.  I feel that I stayed true to my purpose and got my message across.  Although I did not completely follow my original design plan, I feel the changes I implemented made my paper stronger.  I found myself doing a lot more revision that I usually do, but I think my paper benefitted in the end.  Ultimately, I believe I wrote a strong paper and got my purpose across to the audience.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Revision Process

I found this explanatory synthesis paper to be interesting yet challenging to write.  The APA format made it more difficult than usual for me.  APA has very specific and very different requirements than MLA does, so it took me a lot longer to figure out how to cite my sources and how to format everything correctly.  This was a trying experience, especially as this is my first paper done in proper APA format.  Putting APA aside, this was an enjoyable paper to write.  It was a good experience to choose a lesser known fact and really dive into the details, learn more about it myself, and then inform others through my paper.  The peer reviews and group discussions helped me throughout my revision process, and going over synthesis and formatting as a class was also very beneficial.  I feel that this was a much more challenging paper to write than last time, but it is good to be exposed to other styles of papers.  Overall, I think this paper was an enriching learning experience for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Importance of Family

Over the weekend, I attended a family party.  I am always in for a fun and interesting time when my whole family gets together.  I come a large Italian family.  My mom is one of eight kids, and I have about thirty cousins.  Family parties can be a bit chaotic at times with so many people and so many different conversations going on.  As Italians, my family is pretty loud and we tend to try to talk over each other.  There could be four different conversations going on at once, with people jumping from one conversation to the next.  Often times, we talk about the most random topics too.  The conversation starts with one topic and somehow ends with a totally unrelated one.  We laugh at ourselves often and always have a good time by simply being together.  Family is very important to me, and I am lucky to have come from a very tight knit family.  We are all very supportive of one another and try to get together as often as we can.  Family is a very important value of mine, and I am lucky to know that my family will always be there for me.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Notes

For my paper, I will be explaining the health effects of too much sleep.  Most people are aware of the dangers of getting too little sleep, but more unclear are the risks associated with getting too much sleep.  Getting too much sleep has been linked with many health problems including: depression, heart disease, obesity, and even an increased risk of death.  The optimal amount of time to sleep is about 7 hours, and getting a lot more or less sleep can be damaging to one's health.  There are other factors that exacerbate these problems, such as not getting enough exercise and one's eating habits.  Scientists have found a direct link between getting too much sleep and health effects.  Many of the effects are similar to those when people do not get enough sleep, but they are lesser known by the general public and still a bit unclear to scientists.  I would like to share this information as I believe it is something many people do not realize but should have an understanding of.

Source #1
My first source for this paper is an article from the Huffington Post that describes the health effects related to too much sleep.  It lists and describes how the health issues have been correlated with too much sleep.  Some of the effects it lists include: depression, brain impairment, diabetes, heart risks, weight gain, and an increased mortality rate.  I plan to focus on a few of these related issues, going into detail on heart depression, heart disease, and increased mortality rate.  This source will not only help me to explain the connection between the health issue and too much sleep, but will also provide some evidence as it mentions some scientific studies and data.

Source #2
My second source connects too much sleep specifically to an increased mortality rate.  It references several studies that have taken place and analyzes the results of the data.  The link to an increased mortality rate is one of the important points in my paper, so this source will help me provide some statistics to capture the audience's attention.  I think this source will really help me drive home my argument and provide interesting data for my readers.

Source #3
My third source is a YouTube video which explains the risks associated with both not getting enough sleep and getting too much sleep.  This will be helpful to me as I plan to begin my paper by briefly discussing the well known dangers of not getting enough sleep, and then move into the lesser known risks of getting too much sleep.  The video discusses these risks and explains the link that scientists have found between them and too much sleep.