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September 26, 2006

Research Proposals

Image Source: http://www.class.uidaho.edu/psyc450/images/training15.jpg

Research Writing Students,

Your Research Proposals will be due on September 28th. Please see the previous PowerPoint lectures and class e-mails (both on the P:drive) for the detailed instructions . . .

. . . In addition to the information I sent to you by e-mail, Ballenger gives advice for how to write your research proposal as exercise 1.7 on pages 57 to 58. It should be at least one paragraph and address the key subjects of your narrowed topic, your research question, and your thesis.

In your research proposals, you should explain how you intend to answer your research question and what position you will take according to the exploratory research you’ve already done. Any particularly pertinent sources that you will use, for example an interview, should be mentioned briefly with the specifics (this will help your "case").

The assignment should also be posted on www.Turnitin.com by the deadline. It is already posted as “assignment # 3”

If you don’t remember your old lessons from ENGL 101 and need to “review” what a thesis statement is, please read the following:

1. “Writing Tips: Thesis Statements.” (on P:drive).
2. Ballenger 208-209
3. Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook. pages 49-50 (If you don’t own it, Stapleton library has a copy at reference desk).

Good luck and I look forward to reading your proposals!


Lee Hobbs

Posted by lhobbs at September 26, 2006 10:39 PM

Readers' Comments:

Research Proposal

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) is one of the most anticipated and respected events within the percussion community. This yearly convention features a plethora of percussion clinics, master classes, lectures, and performances, as well as numerous competitions and literally hundreds of merchandise vendors. Despite these bountiful positive attributes, many of which are associated with larger and wider-reaching conventions, PASIC goes relatively unnoticed by those outside of the percussion world, and even within the rest of music community, due to its small size and esoteric nature. One might even go as far as to believe that relatively smaller conventions such as this one would struggle year to year. After all, it is no secret that many conventions around the world come and go as interest rises and falls. On the contrary, the small to mid-sized PASIC is a vibrant, thriving, and very financial stable event every year for over 30 years. This poses the following question: why does this small convention have big convention success? What, if anything, makes this event seem so successful and so important within the percussion world? Through my research these questions will be answered as I basically take a deeper look at why the Percussive Arts Society International Convention ‘works’. I believe that PASIC’s success is due to its extensive and highly efficient management system, its unending commitment to percussion education, and most important, its constant, ongoing attempts to include a variety of activities in all areas of percussion at every convention. It is my intention for the content of my research to support these views, using data and information from the official journal of Percussive Arts Society, as well as personal interview(s) with PASIC performers discussing their personal views on PASIC’s success.

Vince W.


Posted by: Vince W. at September 26, 2006 11:02 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Here is my research proposal:

At the peak of success in English and literature lies none other than the famous bard, William Shakespeare. His works are highly comprised of novel ideas and are filled to the brim with intellectual meaning. So, what has Shakespearean linguistics contributed to the English language? With the help of Mrs. Sylvia Mahaffey, an English teacher from Purchase Line Junior-Senior High School, and various academic sources, I will provide a detailed explanation of how Shakespeare expanded the English language far beyond its limits. Shakespeare’s innovative effect on English literature is enough to set him apart from the norm, but his eminent impact on the English language puts Shakespeare in a category high above any other.

Amber B.
Sect. 023

Posted by: Amber B. at September 27, 2006 12:25 PM

Professor Hobbs,

For my research paper I will be focusing on answering the question, “How does music therapy help children with autism?” Music is a pleasant outlet for almost everyone and music therapists have created a way not to necessarily heal patients but to help improve functioning in everyday society. Throughout my paper, I will show the ways music therapy works to help patients with autism by focusing on issues such as autistic communication problems, lack of sensory and movement combination skills, and audio-visual issues. I will address the complications of autism and the general idea of music therapy, and then connect the two ideas. In addition, I might add more ways music therapy can help autism if I find an interesting study in my research. The interview I conducted, with a representative of the American Music Therapy Association, will help answer my questions about how the music therapy program works and why it works with autism. Before I started this research process, I had little knowledge of music therapy and autism, but I did understand that music is said to be a great tool in helping in the healing process for many patients.

Andrea N.
Section 023

Posted by: Andrea N. at September 27, 2006 12:28 PM

As we reach the middle of the 21st century, more and more people are resorting to help in the use of prescription medication. The controversy in this is that children and the use of antipsychotic drugs has rapidly grown in the last decade. An article in Newsday states that in 1993, more than 200,000 prescriptions for antipsychotic medicines were written for young people. In 2003, that number jumped to 1.2 million prescriptions. And what Olfson and his colleagues found was that the majority of these prescriptions were not written for children with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Almost 38 percent of the young people had disruptive behavior disorders, and 32 percent had mood disorders. (Talan, Jamie).
The question that I will be focusing on is, “Do antipsychotic medications cause more problems with the side effects rather than helping the patient in reference to children and young adults?”. The truth is, parents are getting frustrated and fed up with disruptive behavior, it seems all too easy to take two hours out of your day to get some pills to calm the kid down. Why is there such a huge increase in the use of medicine for children and why are the doctors we are supposed to trust so willing to prescribe these dangerous medications? In the start of this project, I admit to having a preconception to the effects of psychological medicines and children. I believe that our children are being misdiagnosed and over drugged. It is also my opinion that antipsychotic medication may very well affect the long term capabilities of a child.

Dawn L.
Sect. 023

Posted by: Dawn Longenecker at September 27, 2006 12:39 PM

The history of athletics dates back to the days of Ancient Greece where men proved their strength by competing in games such as the pentathlon, chariot races, and pankrationing, a form of wrestling and boxing combined. However, the importance of the psychological mind-set of athletes was not discovered until the turn of the 20th century. Being an athlete, I can remember being told “Only the strong survive,” and my personal favorite, “Whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” But, I cannot recall a coach ever telling me exactly what those words meant. So, I did what the typical athlete would do and took the meaning of “strong” literally and began building my muscle strength, thinking I was on my way to a successful career. It wasn’t until the twelfth grade that I came to realize that what my coaches hadn’t told me was what really needed to be strong was the mind. After a brief encounter with a sports psychologist, I became engaged in what goes on in the making of a superior athlete and why can one individual perform so much higher than another? Looking back through the history of athletics I found myself wondering, how have the advances in sport psychology helped today’s athletes? People have come to understand that the field of sport psychology has led to numerous advances in the performances of athletes, but many are still wondering how sport psychology can enhance an athletic performance and does the mind have that much of an impact of an athlete’s skill level? Through in-depth research on the history of sports psychology and an interview with a sports psychologist from Penn State University who is the nation’s only full time sport psychologist for student-athletes, I plan to answer these questions and any more that may arise during my research. Also, by comparing teams and individual athletes that have used sport psychology against those that haven’t, I will show that there is an increase in skill level and performance for the ones that have applied sport psychology to their routines. I understand that not everyone believes sport psychology has helped today’s athletes, but I intend to find proof that it has had an enormous effect on the improvement in athletics since ancient times.

Angie F.
ENGL 202-023

Posted by: Angie F. at September 27, 2006 01:46 PM

My research question is “How did the Great Depression affect Indiana, Pennsylvania?” The Great Depression had a huge impact on many lives in Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as people in the United States. I plan on outlaying how the Great Depression caused people to deal with horrible living crises, such as hunger, death, and being poor. I plan on demonstrating how the lives of people were changed before, during and after the Great Depression. Along with the suffering that the people went through during this period. I feel that it is an assumption that people had a lot of changes going on throughout this period, however I would like to highlight what those changes were, and how deeply people were effected.

Engl 202-027

Posted by: Heather H. at September 27, 2006 01:52 PM

For many years, African American women have received little recognition for their attributes and successes that they’ve contributed to women of today’s society. It was not because they were uneducated or lacked the drive to accomplish their dreams; it was because they had two strikes against them from the beginning. One being that they were minority and two, they were female. Throughout my paper I will reveal the triumphs and success of African American Women since 1940 until present time today.

Laurisa Jackson
Section 027

Posted by: Laurisa Jackson at September 27, 2006 03:07 PM

My research question is how has women’s fashion trends been changed and influenced over the past century? To answer this question, I am going to explore what it is that has changed women’s clothing and how it has changed. I will discuss the events in history that have influenced change, such as WWII, women going into the workforce, and also music and pop culture as an influential factor. Also, I will acknowledge the people who have made an impact on certain styles, whether they are designers or models, and I will also look into what cities influence clothing most, such as Paris and Tokyo. Secondly, I will research how the clothing trends have changed. I will look deeper into the evolution from dresses and conservative wear, to less formal, more comfortable styles, to conclude that clothing trends throughout history have changed multiple times and will be ever changing.

Lauren S.
English 202-Section 27
Research Proposal

Posted by: Lauren S. at September 27, 2006 04:06 PM

Amber Kalokoski
English 202
section 023
Tue/Thur 8:00-9:30am

Everyday people participate in activities that often have a negative effect on themselves, and those people in their lives. For example people will smoke cigarettes and not even consider exposing those around them to second hand smoke, driving irrationally, and possibly harming others on the road, along with many more. However, heroin addicts are aware of the self-destructive end of their addiction.

From the fifty or so “junkies” that I have met (this means people that I have actually interacted with more than once), they don’t think (or
know) about the mental and emotional effects it can have on their family.

Are there negative mental effects? Yes. Heroin addiction will cause the addicts family to have mental and emotional distress.

Throughout my paper I will use interviews, with experts, addicts, and addicts families, along with previously researched information about this topic to help support this. I want to take a topic that is often used in movies (such as Trainspotting, Heroin Highway, and Heroin Town ); a topic that so many people are naive about, and inform them of the
harm it can do to everyone involved.

Posted by: Amber K. - Section 23 at September 27, 2006 04:29 PM

The topic I have chosen is to prove that an undiagnosed learning disability can lead to delinquent behavior. I plan on showing that if the learning disability is found, with the right support, the person can be successful. My purpose for researching my topic is to prove that an undiagnosed learning disability leads to being a delinquent. But if the learning disability is found, with the right support, the person can be successful.
My tentative thesis is that an undiagnosed learning disability can lead to delinquent behaviors due to not having the skills to function in society. But if the learning disability is found, with the right support, the person can be successful.

Posted by: Marlene B engl 202-23 at September 27, 2006 05:13 PM

The key subject of my research paper will be DRM (Digital Rights Management). DRM is, in short, the encryption methods used on digital media to disable reproduction by the consumer. Throughout my paper, I intend on answering my primary research question; "At what point and due to what measures do we, as consumers, lose the right to backup and maintain the integrity of our legally purchased digital media? "When personal backups of digital content are only able to be done by those clever enough to bypass these 'security measures', then, at that point, DRM will become intrusive." That should be a good thesis as I will support this throughout my research paper. I have a bit of background in this field. I, myself, have run into occasions where I would attempt to make a backup of a CD I purchased used iTunes and it would give me an error saying that the disc was unreadable. This seemed weird so I put the disc in my CD player and it played without any hint of struggle. So, going into this paper, I have a very negative outlook on the benefits of DRM and hope to find more information regarding how it will be implemented in the years to come. I plan on answering the question by explaining what DRM is in-depth, what measures have already been adopted, and what lies in the future for DRM. I will be interviewing Dr. William Oblitey who is the head of the Computer Science Department at IUP.

Matthew K.

Posted by: Matthew K. at September 27, 2006 05:26 PM

Lately, rising gas prices have been an interest of mine. It is a problem that affects everyone, and being an Economics major, I want to know how it is affecting people’s spending habits. This led me to the question, “How do rising gas prices effect I.U.P. students.”

While my research question will deal with the spending habits of students, I want to find out other things along the way. For instance, I am very curious why gas prices fluctuate so much. I would assume it is simply supply and demand, but why is everyone constantly complaining about OPEC? What is OPEC? I want to know. I want to learn how things operate in the oil industry and theorize on how to actually help people by bringing gas prices down. There must be a way to make prices fair again.

The theme of my paper will evaluate how the economy is affected by rising gas prices, but pinpoint how students are affected. What I am going to try to prove in my research paper is that when a consumer is spending a larger sum of money on gasoline, they are not spending as much money as they possibly could on other goods that could boost the economy.

I have some assumptions coming into this field. One is that OPEC restricts the amount of oil sold, and secondly, there are not enough refineries in the United States to refine the amount of gasoline that we need.

I hope that I learn as much as I am expecting to, and I anticipate that I will come up with a plan to bring gas prices down, or at least understand more clearly why prices are so high.

-Chris Di Giacomo
Section 27

Posted by: Chris D at September 27, 2006 05:38 PM

Professor Hobbs,

For my research paper, I will try my best to answer the question, "How does divorce affect the lives of children?" Divorce is something almost half of the people in the United States have expereinced. For my research, I will show that divorce changes the ways children spend their personal lives when they are forced to live in two different families. I will show this by interviewing a pair of twins and how they try to spend time with each of their parents. Sometimes it seems that parents will put their children in hard situations which forces them to choose between the one parent or the other. This is going to be a great experience for me to find other people that have experienced what I had to go through.

Nick L
Section 027

Posted by: Nick L at September 27, 2006 06:54 PM

Too often, young girls open a magazine only to be bombarded with photographs of the perfectly built, gorgeous model. Spread across the glossy pages, posed in artificial self-confident positions, lies the flawless, air-brushed woman. These publications are indicative of the pressure society places on young women. Oftentimes, these magazines advertise various ways women can look and feel wonderful simply by losing weight. Is there a link between today's American female population and their obsession with beauty and compulsion to be thin and the media's portrayal of having the perfect body? I believe women feel inadequate and incomplete after viewing a television commercial or peruse a fashion magazine. The ideal that is represented is that people, especially young women, are shown images that equate perfection with being thin and beautiful. The perception to be mirror images of the models portrayed is self-destructive. In all likelihood, the majority of girls today do not stand a chance of achieving that look the media is obsessed with promoting. Females are suffering from severe eating disorders trying to become the perfect woman. They are placing themselves at a dangerously high risk simply to be accepted by society. It is irresponsible for the media to perpetuate this myth that stereotypes success and happiness with one's appearance. The media should use its power to portray young females in a more positive, realistic manner and stop insinuating that the key to success beings with being ultra thin.

Katie L.
section 27

Posted by: Katie L. section 27 at September 27, 2006 08:30 PM

Carrie E. Berkey
Section 023

Research Proposal:

My research topic is “How college textbook prices have changed in the past 50 years.” I have chosen this topic because of my frustrations this past semester with the books for my classes. Everyone knows there are cheaper ways to purchase books other than the bookstore thanks to online sources. But they are not always the easiest way to go, sometimes it’s a piece of cake and other times it’s a nightmare.
Purchasing books has only become a hassle and pricey in today’s college years. And like others, since I will be going through the expense and frustrations I would like to know where my money is going and why. I plan on researching prices in the past and compare them to the present. Conducting and interview with the director of the co-op store on campus to find out more on the prices of book and his view on the topic. I know I can’t change the prices, but maybe help students feel a little more comfortable when spending the big bucks.

Posted by: Carrie Berkey at September 27, 2006 08:35 PM

27 September 2006

Professor Hobbs,

Part of Pennsylvania’s natural beauty is being able to walk out into the woods at a state park or any other wooded area and being able to see the wildlife that lives there. Of all the game animals that are in Pennsylvania none is as unique as the Pennsylvania whitetail deer. One of the most enjoyable things to do is to go out into wild Pennsylvania and hunt for the elusive white tail deer. It seems that over the past five years or so that it is becoming harder and harder to harvest this great animal. While the adventure of going out and spending time in the woods with a friend, family member, or by yourself is still fun, what is happening to the deer population?

My research question is, how has deer hunting in the past 30 years affected deer populations, and why does it seem that the current deer population is dropping? From this question my thesis is that deer populations are dropping because of new hunting regulations that are forcing hunters to look for larger bucks, which in turn leaves some of the smaller bucks to finish breeding the females after season is over. To prove my thesis, I plan to use sources such as interviews with hunters, wild life conservation officers, and the game warden. Two other sources I plan on using are "Hunting Trophy Whitetails" by Jackie Bushman and Darren Brown and "Hunting Trophy Deer" by Jackie Bushman. Jackie Bushman is a professional hunter and used to host the television show “Buckmasters.” With all of this in mind I hope to learn about what is happening to our deer population, and if there is going to be a substantial amount of deer here in 30 years for the next generation to hunt, or if it looks like there is going to be a new big game animal that is going to take the place of the Pennsylvania whitetail.

Matt G.
Section 23

Posted by: Matt G. at September 27, 2006 08:48 PM

September 26, 2007

Within my research paper, my main focus will be on what is the cause, a majority of the effects and the aftermath of two major natural disasters; tsunamis and hurricanes. There are several hurricanes that occur every year during hurricane season all over the world and I will be talking about the zones created all over the world. Between the temperature of the water, the cool air and the direction that the wind is blowing, these three factors added together in an equation can have deadly outcomes all over the world. To create something so deadly you also have to calculate in the height of the shore lines that could be the protection for a town or city. I will also be talking about the strength and force behind a hurricane. When there is a shift in the ocean floor it creates a disturbance between the floors and water due to a vertical movement creating small waves at sea but by the time they reach land they are great walls of water that crash onto shores destroying cities they are known as tsunamis. There are three main actions that cause this movement with the ocean floor and in my paper I will be discussing and analyzing which of the three is the most dangerous and often occurring. In my paper I will also be talking about the warning systems created for detection of tsunamis and also what systems there are for hurricanes as well. Hopefully in the future there will be more precise detection systems that will pin-point things more closely.

Valerie W.
Section 202 023

Posted by: Valerie W. at September 27, 2006 08:52 PM

Everyday food service providers serve up hungry customers some form of edible chemicals, some worse than others. Customers have ideas of what they are ingesting, but do they really know what is inside the food? What keeps certain foods tasting delicious, full of flavor, and fills us up? An ingredient named monosodium glutamate found its way into our day to day diets rapidly after its invention in 1907. It comes labeled as cover up names to prevent consumers to know what they really are ingesting. The problem that arrives with this is monosodium glutamate is unhealthy. It has been linked to obesity, brain damage, and several allergic reactions such as headaches, indigestion, and body discomfort.
In this research essay I intend on answering the question, what is the truth about monosodium glutamate? Is it safe? If it isn’t how is it ending up in my food?
From my first round of research I have come to the realization that monosodium glutamate is tolerable by most humans to a certain level. Some have a zero tolerance or low tolerance for it and receive allergic reactions.
I intend on answering my research questions by reviewing specific articles written by professionals. By conducting an interview with a professional in the field I hope to come to the truth about monosodium glutamates.

Works Cited

“Truth in Labeling.” Online posting. 26 August 2006. 27 September 2006.

Danny D
Engl 202 sec 027

Posted by: Danny D. at September 27, 2006 09:09 PM

A rapidly growing problem in high schools across America is the use of steroids. There are several reasons for this incline, among them including high school athletes correlating the success of several high profile athletes and their use of steroids. Barry Bonds, the most high profile of which, and others are currently under investigation for steroid use. It is easy to see that, at such an impressionable age, just how easy it is for high school age athletes to make such a correlation between steroid use and success on the playing field.

My research question is in order to reduce use in high school aged athletes, has it become necessary to start steroid testing? To come to my thesis, the most important thing that I considered is the dangers in which steroids have on development and the responsibility lawmakers have to stop this epidemic. The most common excuse for not steroid testing is that it is too expensive. I do not agree with this. Although steroid testing in over double what it costs to test for recreational drugs, it can be just as if not more dangerous. With the help of Dr. Andrew Shim, a specialist in motor development and professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I will be able to explain, in detail, the developmental problems that arise with steroid use. In saying this, my thesis is although it is very costly, the steroid problem has become so bad in our high schools that we must begin to test high school athletes.

Cody M.
Section 027

Posted by: Cody M. at September 27, 2006 09:18 PM

Through the revolutionary advancements in technology and understanding of regenerative medicine is now a very plausible and promising area in the field of stem cell research. Imagine if you had a degenerative heart defect. In the past there would have been little you could do other than to take drugs to ease the pain of a slow, unpredictable death. This will no longer be the case. Although not perfected there are very promising results that allow doctoral experts in this field to take your own healthy heart cell and begin to literally grow you a new healthy heart that can be transplanted once it reaches maturity. My research question was “What is stem cell research’s role in regenerative medicine?” I have decided that I will focus my paper on “Regenerative medicine will save the lives of countless Americans with degenerative hearts”, thus making that my thesis.
In order to conduct my research I will be using numerous up-to-date sources because this is a rather newly developed medicinal field. I am particularly interested in interviewing Dr. Robert Hinrichsen who is a biology professor here at IUP. His main expertise is in the field of cell behavior. I find this to be an incredibly valuable resource to have at my disposal because it not only is a tremendous source of information but also due to the fact that I will be able to converse with an individual who has such a wealth of overall knowledge. I am very curious to see what some of the possibilities as well as capabilities that this relatively new form of medicine has to offer the world.

Adam V.
Section 27

Posted by: Adam V. at September 27, 2006 09:28 PM

Popular celebrity trends and the negative body image in 2005 that influences the American teenager is my research question. I will prove that the negative body images that celebrities often have will have a powering effect on the American teenager in 2005. I will show how popular young actors, actresses, models, singers, and icons have the power to change how teens think, feel, and act. In other words, is young Hollywood sending out unhealthy messages to American teenagers about their bodies? My answer to the thesis would be yes and I will prove in my research that young Hollywood is not setting a good example by their own personal habits and teenagers are picking up on these behaviors.

Whitney W
Section 027

Posted by: Whitney W at September 27, 2006 09:50 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Here is my research proposal:

My formal research question is “What impact has drug use made in my life?” The use of illegal drugs has been in my life for as long as I can remember. Through out my paper, I will explain how I watched the destruction of my uncle and the impact it has on my family. I will be using my grandmother for my interview source, she was willing to speak to me in depth about her son’s destruction and the devastation it caused her and my family. I will also focus on my personal experiences with drugs. I can not lie, I have experimented with drugs and a lot of my friends have too. I will be conducting interviews with them also to see what their perspectives of their drug use are. I have been directly affected in so many ways by drugs and my paper will explore the positive and negative consequences of the use of controlled substances. I will also focus on clinical perceptions of drug use. (I.e. my personal experience with drugs vs. text book examples) Through my multimedia source, which is the VH1 Rock Doc. The Drug Years, I will give a brief history of the perception of drug use in society.

Britain Metz
Section 027

Posted by: Britain.M at September 27, 2006 09:58 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Here is my Research proposal:

The initial topic that I began with was HPV. My research question is what are the current dangers of HPV in women twenty and over? The one danger that is at the top of the list as far as being “dangerous” is cervical cancer. The other questions that I will answer in my paper are: what is HPV? What people does this fatal virus target? Are there any means to prevent the virus from turning into cervical cancer? I plan to further answer all of these questions by using research done by professionals in the medical field. Another mean by which I plan to get my answers is through a personal interview that I am going to conduct. I believe that this interview will be extremely insightful and help me to get more peoples attention as to the seriousness of HPV. Along with the help of professionals I will use books written on the topic. HPV is a very serious virus and in writing this paper I hope to express to women that they need to know about this virus and do something to prevent further problems

Posted by: Sophia. W Section 23 at September 27, 2006 10:03 PM

Day after day men and women throw away garbage, most of the time never truly considering where it will go once tossed into the dumpster. Most people are aware that once trash has been removed from the eyes of the public it is taken to a large outdoor facility know as a landfill; but for those who are not recycling and just throwing “everything” away, it is harmful for the landfill itself. Here are some issues I will discuss: how is a landfill constructed, what do they use so landfills will not leak, do they pollute the; air, groundwater, or streams, and what happens to the gases inside. The Landfill in its entirety is a vast and complex facility; one that is necessary for the convenience and safety of human beings and for this reason safety, specifically, is a universal priority in the landfill superstructure.

Ashley O.
ENGL 202 Sec. 023

Posted by: Ashley O. at September 27, 2006 10:05 PM

Topic and Focusing Question:

For my topic and focusing research question, my exploratory researched revolved around the idea of using steroids in Major League Baseball. After the personal gain of a working knowledge in the topic of steroid use in the MLB through research, I was able to synthesize a research question based on a more in depth idea: “How does steroid use in Major League Baseball mentally affect high school athletes?”

Thesis: High school athletes’ minds are negatively affected through steroid use in Major League Baseball because the players, who should be role models, act unethically and send the wrong message to young athletes who admire them.


Primarily since the last decade, steroid use in Major League Baseball has drawn all sorts of publicity. Sadly, this has negatively impacted the baseball community as a whole because it strikes at the ethics of the game; never before have players tried to “cheat” in the manner that they have done now by injecting their bodies with illegal performance enhancing drugs. The negative media coverage was and can still be heard all over televisions, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines thus leaving the subject vulnerable to the critique of young adults. It is in this instance that the trouble begins and the necessity for a study of how the use of steroids by professional athletes affects our country’s youth.

Identification in Society/Research Questions:

The research paper will answer the questions and other pertinent information about when steroid abuse began, primary names in the media and how influential to young athletes they are, how young athletes react to all the negative publicity, and how the teenage mind interprets this information. Interviews with accused and convicted athletes such as Jose Canseco and reports of Rafael Palmeiro will also be discussed. The argument of whether steroids can kill or not will also be addressed.


The paper will be written primarily with at least six different types of sources: a book, a scholarly article, a film, a telephone interview, a respectable website, and a newspaper article.

Timescale/Research Planning:

The paper will be drawn out over a five week period beginning with exploratory research, followed by more focused research, and then the drafting stages. The final draft will then be submitted to the Writing Center on Campus for review and then finally handed into the professor.


Although though no particular MLA sources will be listed here, firsthand knowledge of high school athletes’ behaviors will be researched through an interview with a former high school head baseball coach. At this point in my research the use of a psychology professor is in consideration.

Rich L.
ENG 202.027

Posted by: Rich L. at September 27, 2006 10:07 PM

I have narrowed my topic to Pediatric Nursing. My research question has evolved from this topic to, “What responsibilities have been established for a Pediatric Nurse in the United States over the last ten years?” I intend to answer this question by looking at the practices of Pediatric Nursing and seeing what advancements have been made in the last ten years or so. I will also research what exactly the duty of a Pediatric Nurse consists of. Pediatric Nursing practice advancements have been made to improve the level of care to the patient. These advancements also ensure the comfort, quality and satisfaction of the patient. I will interview Beverly Rossiter, an IUP Nursing and Allied Health faculty member, who will inform me on the current practices in Pediatric Nursing.

sec 023

Posted by: AlyshaG at September 27, 2006 10:53 PM

Terrorism and the conflicts in Iraq are becoming a threat more each day. Because of this, the United States military has to deploy troops constantly to defend against it. The military spends a lot of money to train soldiers like the Navy SEALs to be ready for war. So how are the Navy SEALs prepared for the fight against terrorism in Iraq? They endure some of the most intense training, physically and mentally. SEALs spend years developing the skills to move quickly and smoothly to eliminate the enemy.

Ashley C.
Section 23

Posted by: Ashley C. at September 27, 2006 11:08 PM

Hi Professor Hobbs,

My research proposal:

Malnutrition is a problem which is smacking the world in the face. Whether in the United States were majority of the population is obese or in starving countries, does anyone know the true cause. Who is to blame and why has that never been answered. Africa has always been a country “shunned” upon in so many words due to the culture, people and their way of life. AIDS has been one huge controversy and also another which is being helped in so many words but slowly is nutrition. Mali, located in West Africa, has a very different way of life to what “we” as Americans I do not believe will ever understand. From hunting and gathering to farming. Food is a way of life. Some people live to eat and others eat to live, but why does it have to be that way? Is it tradition, bad seasons, or consistently bad choices? When discussing core causes in any problem there are always some form of deep resolutions, within the topic itself. The answer to core causes for malnutrition in Mali, Africa will be answered by the end of this paper, and hopefully acted upon for an enormous change in life within the next decade.

Jennifer Terek
ENGL202 sec. 023

Posted by: Jennifer T. at September 27, 2006 11:15 PM

The research question for my paper is: How can parents and schools reduce childhood obesity in Pittsburgh? Other questions that interested me were: Are parents and schools really trying to reduce obesity or just shrugging it off? Should this be taken seriously like any other condition or disease? I intend on answering this question by gaining a deep knowledge of the subject. Therefore I will conduct interviews with my friend and his mom because the mother is involved in a school district. My friend is also studying to be a chef. In addition, I will do extensive research from books, Internet, and multimedia on news websites such as KDKA. I believe that obesity should be taken very seriously because it can lead to diseases such as diabetes. I also think that parents and schools have really tried to reduce obesity. Schools in my hometown have put an emphasis on making our lunch menus healthier. This was an experience that has convinced me schools and parents are starting to become concerned. My thesis is: Obesity is a serious condition in which parents and schools in Pittsburgh should be concerned.

Brian B.
Section 27

Posted by: Brian B. at September 27, 2006 11:32 PM

I chose to research how illegal immigration affects the US government because it is affecting many aspects of our country. However, I chose to specifically look at how illegal immigration affects our economy and, in turn, affects our government. Recently, the government has formed several new laws in order to restrict illegal immigration for the future and repair the illegal immigration that has occurred in the past. In my report, I plan to take an in depth look into these new laws and focus on the pros and cons of illegal immigration and the other measures the American government has taken and will take in the future. In addition, I plan to briefly introduce a history of the immigration into our country and the factors that attract illegal immigrants into our country.
My thesis or claim may look like this; Illegal immigration affects many aspects of our country in both positive and negative ways. However, the government has formed several new laws in order to restrict illegal immigration for the future and repair the illegal immigration that has already occurred. Throughout history, illegal immigrants have been attracted to our countries opportunities, but the American government has taken and will continue to take future measures to do what is right for the United States.
In my research paper, I am proving that the measures the government is taking are in fact inadequate for the ever-growing problem of illegal immigration. Personally, I think that illegal immigration devalues the American citizens because they skip the process that labels them as an American. I hope that my paper will specifically answer my thesis and give the class (as well as myself) a better understanding of how this topic affects our lives and government on a daily basis.
Jake M
Section 027

Posted by: Jake M at September 27, 2006 11:49 PM

Professor Hobbs,

I intend to answer how nutrition and exercise affect the mental as well as physical health of college students. From previous knowledge, I believe that proper nutrition with a balance of regular exercise can have a positive effect on your mental state. I will attempt to prove this theory through scientific research conducted by top researchers to explain how nutrition and exercise can have positive and negative outcomes on your mental heath. Along with mental health, I will also prove with the same research how proper nutrition and exercise can improve your physical well-being.

Bryan M.

Posted by: Bryan M. at September 28, 2006 04:22 AM

Michelle W.
Section 27
Research Proposal

Self mutilation/ Self cutting is my topic of interest for my research paper. I was able to narrow my topic down to females between the ages of 13 to 25 in America from 1990 to present day.

From this I formed my research question which is at what age is a female likely to start cutting and what would cause her to do so. My theory from what I already know is females start cutting in mid-adolescence.

This may be do to past trauma causing the inability to deal with strong emotions in their lives. I would also like to see if there are other reasons that would cause a female to self mutilate and are there different stages of cutting or different types of cutting.

I intend on answering my questions by interviewing Mr. Brain Allen who works in a clinic and deals with self mutilation/self cutting. I will also be interviewing a cutter to get a look into the mind of a self cutter. I will also be looking at Steven Levenkron book Cutting Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation. With the help of these sources and some others I will hopefully prove my theory.

Posted by: Michelle W - Section 27 at September 28, 2006 06:48 AM

Research Proposal:

In my research paper my primary question I’ll be answering is “What is the punk rock movement, and why did it die?” The Punk movement at the time of the early 70’s gave a message to young people that really helped boost a generation into a time of individualism and disgust against corporate America. So my thesis would be something similar to “The Punk Rock movement moved a generation to send a message to corporate America that we are tired of their lies and we’re going to be different.” The overall theory I’m trying to test here is to find out what the movement’s message really is and why it caused such a surge in American culture in the 70’s. Also I may touch on the subject of how “Punk” is a trend to some people today and how ironically the anti-establishment movement has become “reproduced” by those said corporations. My personal experience with this topic is slim. I have had friends from both spectrums, the hardcore “true punker” and the “poser” and I find the whole situation interesting. I just feel the movement has been altered to this trendy “look and attitude” and its true meaning has been lost and I’m hoping to shed some light on this topic.

Mike A.
Sec. 027

Posted by: Mike A. - 27 at September 28, 2006 08:25 AM

My question concerns Harvey Milk. Why was Harvey Milk assassinated and what effect has his killing had on gay-American culture? My primary purpose is to explore American gay culture via a homosexual politician. I would like to explore how he was elected being openly gay in a very prejudice time. I would also like to learn what has happened to the man who killed him as well as the San Franciscan mayor at the time.
I want to argue that Harvey Milk was assassinated because of outright homophobia. The effect of his death rang through out the United States bringing gay issues to the eyes of all Americans. I want to test whether people actually know who Harvey Milk is, and whether people understand the circumstances surrounding his death. Do people know that an elected official was killed because he was gay?
I may be biased, being gay myself. But that fact will only bring passion to my plea. I want to bring this incident to the eyes and ears of people who have never heard of Harvey Milk. The gay bashing I have experienced pales in comparison. If our class becomes even the slightest bit more aware and learns something about the how bad homophobia is, I will succeed in this project.

Matt Reinhart
Section 027

Posted by: Matt R at September 28, 2006 08:33 AM

“Arrrggh Matey” and “Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum” are typical phrases that can be associated with nothing other than… pirates. What it sounds like is a lack of language and lifestyle full of non-stop drunkenness. What about Jack Sparrow, Captain Hook, and Blackbeard? All are famous pirates or pirate characters. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have never heard of there being any female pirates. I’m not trying to sound full of girl power or anything, but it’s usually true that whatever men can do, usually women can too, so why not sailing the high seas as a pirate? My curiosity led me to the question of “why weren’t there any girl pirates, and if there were, what was life like for them.”
I intend to answer my question by searching through books, websites, scholarly articles, databases, and hopefully by obtaining some information from my interview. My interview source is my history teacher from last semester. He specialized in European history and we often talked about sailing over and discovering new countries during the same time as pirates. We’ve even discussed the East Indian Trading Company, which has a lot to do with pirates. Hopefully he can answer any questions I have and even refer me to someone else for another interview.
There really is no position that I can take; I just want to find out as much info as possible about women pirates. There were two famous women that documented their life when they were pirating. They were Anne Bonny and Mary Read. I plan to find out as much info as possible on them and base my paper around them and their life and maybe get some ideas of my own. I also know that there were superstitions about women living on a ship, and I’d like to find some of those.
By the end of my paper, I’m not asking people to have this awesome understanding of pirates, I just want them to feel a break from the hard-core in depth topics that other students are going to have, and maybe they’ll even want to watch Peter Pan after class.

Brittany Molnar
Section 27

Posted by: Brittany M. at September 28, 2006 08:56 AM

Obesity is one of the current leading health issues in the U.S. and other developed countries in the 21st centuries. Obesity is especially common and out of control among the children of the U.S. Why is the health issue, Obesity, becoming such a problem within kids of the United States? The obesity epidemic is becoming a major health issue for children because of their sedentary behavior, socio-economic status, and media influences. I plan to find out details of these reasons by looking at many recent articles about obesity in children, what causes it, and how much physical activity these children really get. I am a physical education major, so I am also going to look at the growing factor of taking P.E. out of schools and if that has any relativity to the obese children. I am also going to interview a Health and Physical Education professor at IUP to see what her take on childhood obesity is. I am also going to the study home life and economic status, and how much that plays a role in childhood obesity. I also wondered if the advertising of things such as “Happy Meals” and video games has an impact on obesity in children. Another source I will use is the movie, “Super-size Me”, which is a documentary about a man who lived off of only McDonald’s for 30 days. This plays a key factor in how unhealthy fast food really is for children and why parents/guardians shouldn’t depend on it. I will explore these sources and more to state my case for obesity.

Miki B.
Section 027

Posted by: Miki B at September 28, 2006 09:12 AM

My focus question is, “How much of an influence has plastic surgery had on the next generation of teenagers and twenty year olds, now that it has become socially acceptable and extremely popular?” I think that some other questions that could help me discover more answers to my research would be to ask how patients felt before and after surgery. What made them get plastic surgery in the first place and how were they received before and after surgery by their family and friends? I think that when I research how individuals felt about reconstructive surgery itself, than I’ll get a better idea about how I feel about my position on plastic surgery. My argument on my research paper is how I believe that plastic surgery has too much of an affect on how teenagers think that they should look. I find it shocking that teenagers today are getting rhinoplasti and breast augmentation before they even reach the age of twenty. When you come down to it, it really is the individuals own business on whether or not they want to change the way they look, but I just think that teenagers should find out who they are first before they change who they were born to be.

Jackie DePietro
Section 27

Posted by: Jackie DePietro at September 28, 2006 09:34 AM

September 28th 2006
Professor Hobbs,

In my essay I will be trying to answer these questions about globalization and the anti-corporate movement that has been going on in recent generations: Why are the youth in Generation Y more concerned about globalization and corporations than generations past? What are some solutions to globalization and how will those effect America's economy? I believe that the Youth are more concerned about corporate issues today because they grew up with all of these icons and symbols and as we grew older we realized that all of that wasn't real. What's real is a man in a business suit taking advantage of cheap labor in developing countries and shipping products across the world so we can stock mega malls with shiny merchandise in time for Christmas. The thing that I am most interested in, and will come from my interview with an economics professor, is their analysis on what our society would become if we pulled out of all developing countries or paid them American salaries. I'd assume that we'd possibly lose power as a nation, but I'm not really sure and am very interested to know. I hope to answer all of these questions and hopefully learn a little bit myself.

Sam H.
Section 023

Posted by: Sam H. at September 28, 2006 09:39 AM

*NOTE* Deadline for this assignment has passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise.

Posted by: Lee Hobbs at September 28, 2006 01:43 PM

Mr. Hobbes,
When I started this project my main topic was Smoking Addiction. My question is "Why do so many people smoke even though there is scientific evidence that smoking is deadly?" The motivation for my research project is the fact that both my grandparents are dying of lung cancer and still my family proceeds to smoke. I think alot of people get very stressed in life and don't know how to over come it. So, many people begin to smoke cigarettes to make them feel better and then they are hooked on them. Some people can quite while others don't even care to try. I intend to prove my thesis by conducting numberous interviews with my physican, smokers, those who have quit, and those that are sick from smoking for so long.

Nicole Worthington Engl 202 023

Posted by: Nicole W. at September 28, 2006 07:35 PM

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