Monday, April 12, 2010

Evaluating your sources.

To build a strong paper you must choose the sources you cite carefully. Judge if the source is credible and the relevance of the topic. This section of the DK Handbook explains how to make those judgments.

When judging the credibility of a source you should ask these question;Who is the publisher? Does the writer have the right credentials? What is the evidence? Is the evidence accurate? Are the author's claims supported by evidence? Does the source cover all the relevant facts and opinions? What is the genre of the source? Are the sources perspective and biases clear? Does the source seek out different perspectives? Does the writing sound reasonable and thoughtful?

You can measure the relevance of the source by asking these questions; Is the information from the source focused on your topic? Is the publication date appropriate for your research? Does the source have different information than the sources you have already collected? Does the source make an interesting point? Does the source suggest another direction your research can go in?

If you use a source that isn't credible your stance can become weak, and the reader won't take you seriously. If the sources you use aren't relevant to your research your stance will appear sloppy and have a lack of focus. Evaluating your sources is very important when trying to build a strong argument.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A search for research

Alright I am trying to find a topic for a research paper, going over the news picking through the current events. The head lines read;"Scientist appeal for improvement in flu prevention mechanisms." and, "Newly Single Jim Carrie Criticizes Ellin Woods." Before too long I had made a list of topics that I might like to do so a research paper on. Lets see; Illegal immigration in the U.S., obesity in America, the psychology of art, string theory, climate change. Then i came across a article far from the front page, it was titled, "First Unveiling of New Strain To Redefine The Medical Cannabis Industry, New Released Scientific Data Supports Medicinal Value, U.S Government Ignores Scientific Data." Now this is a subject i can really get my teeth into.

When my friends and I get together over a bottle of wine or a cup coffee, depending on the time of day, our discussions range from science and history to religion and politics. More often that not out discussion will turn to some of the more obvious injustices imposed on us by those who have a hold on the reigns of law and military. We open each other to troubling truths, such as how our nation's prison system is almost entirely privately owned. The people who are making the big money off of keeping the prisons full of people, and keep politicians in the same pocket as the keep their wallet. These companies have a invested in trying in putting people in prison who don't belong their. Throwing people in prison for non-violent crimes such as a parking ticket, and smoking pot.

That leads us into our next topic of discussion, since my friends and I are all big advocates for the reform of marijuana laws, this is not a uncommon topic for us to discuss in depth. As we go around throwing in our two cents we will often introduce each other books and articles and news of what progress is being made. I have been doing some light research for years on the topics of marijuana legalization, and what I have learned has a connection to a personal and important part of my life.

My father is a retired Army veteran, he has been through stuff I can't even imagine. He is 100% and permanently disabled. He is taking so much medication for pain, stress and PTSD. These medications are seriously killing him. The medication he was taking for his nerve damage has really taken a tole on his brain functions, and taking hundreds of milligrams of medication every day is overloading his liver. I have discussed with him and my mother how he can benefit from replacing much of his medication with marijuana. Marijuana has proven to be a very safe and effective medicine for many of the symptoms he suffers from. My mother is aware of how much his medication if effecting him, and she agrees that he really could benefit from using marijuana. My father is not apposed to the idea of switching to a medication what is much safer, and more effective. My father is a very conservative man, and walks a narrow path of morals beliefs, he has told me that he would like to try some marijuana to ease his pain, to help hims sleep, and to give him some relief from the stress and anxiety from his PTSD. But he will not break the law, and Utah dose not currently recognize marijuana as a legitimate medicine. So until my father lives in a place that will allow him to have a safer more effective medicine he will have to continue to over pollute his body for mediocre relief. I wish I could convince the Utah legislation to pass a law allowing marijuana to be used as a medicine.

Some people believe that marijuana is just a recreational drug that hippies use to get high and have a good time. Some people believe that there marijuana has not medicinal properties, and marijuana should not be legalized for any purpose. I believe that marijuana is a wonder drug safer than most pharmaceutical products, and can treat a wider range of symptoms that any of them. Marijuana should be legalized for medicinal use. And as for recreational, how can we justify having alcohol legal and marijuana illegal? There are a countless number of deaths and violent crimes attributed to the use of alcohol, and virtually zero are contributed to marijuana use.

This university, as well as every university who are interested in social progression, should make the topic of medicinal marijuana a point of great discussion and research. To change the social injustices that are based ideology we must make information on the issues available to students to study and ponder. Because, yeah, we really do hold the keys to the future.

I spent a few hours on the libraries web-site, searching through catalogs and databases. I found tons of articles, books and films on the subject of medicinal cannabis all from credible sources and filled with great information. I picked out ten articles from a range of sources, covering different aspects of the medicinal cannabis. I created a annotated bibliography for these ten articles to get me started. Doing some more general research on the open web, I found some great sources that got me thinking about the other benefits we can take advantage that are being blocked by marijuana prohibition; economical, industrial as well as medical. Maybe I need to do a bit more thinking about exactly what I would like to focus on, or how i can tie some of these things together to create the most effective argument. My broad interest is really in decriminalizing marijuana all together, and having it regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A rhetorical analises of a rhetrorical analysis.

This student has done a decent job with her rhetorical analysis. The student did a good job with supporting their ideas with examples from the text. Their logic was fairly solid. The student also did a good job with the summary, and with the rhetorical situation. The attended audience was clear, and so was the thesis. After re-reading the analysis I found some weak points. The chronological organization the student used could have been done in a executed effective manner. This student jumps around between her main point, and even strays off on tangents perhaps a bit to far from the main point. This makes their analysis difficult to follow. Another small problem I identified is the student's inconsistency of the academic tone. At times student strays from the initiated academic tone and gives way to a more personal tone, for example when the student describes as author of the speech he is analyzing as the student insisted,“He is a man in sync with a moral code.” Another example of the student inserting their personal opinion is when the student implies that “religious roots that are most likely deeply embedded within members of his audience.” by stating these personal assumptions this student weakens their credibility. The student does repeat the important points of their thesis, but perhaps to much. Making it appear as if the student hasn't sufficiently analyzed the speech and has a difficult time coming up with way's to illustrate of their idea's. This students analyses was decent, I got the main points, and understood their analysis with a fair amount of depth. But I was unable to sufficiently grasp the essence of rhetoric of the chosen speech.