1. Select your general topic You’ve all done this but just to take your through... Pit bulls
List Key Words Synonyms and Related Terms Terrier American Pit Bull Combat Dogs Attack dogs Training dogs Family dogs Dog fighting Larger categories Attacks of dogs Lawsuits pit bulls Legislation dangerous animals Breeding dogs for protection Smaller Categories Pit bull Working dogs Short hair dogs Pit bulls as pets
Get an Overview Using the encyclopedia method, I looked at the different categories and found that pit bulls are listed by the United Kennel Association as combat dogs. They are protective of children and possibly dangerous to other animals, etc.
Focus your topic: Purpose Statement Pit bulls: From my reading, I learned that pit bulls are dangerous and unpredictable, even if trained properly. I would like to research legislation to ban pit bulls from private ownership.
Answer the questions FACTUAL QUESTION Why are pit bulls registered by the United Kennel Association as combative dogs? Does the fact that pit bulls have a high pain threshold make them more dangerous?
Hypothetical Question If proper legislation were in effect, would pit bull attacks be a thing of the past? If owners were held responsible for injuries or deaths cause by their dogs and sentenced to jail time, would they be more responsible?
Prediction Question Would the appeal of owning a pit bull lessen if the dogs were to be registered and examined by veterinarians yearly for signs of agression? Would required informational tests for potential owners make them more aware and responsible owners?
Solution Question Would the idea of harsh laws deter people from keeping pit bulls around small children or other animals? Would owner awareness education with full knowledge of penalties including jail and the death of the dog keep people from having residential pit bulls?
Judgment Question If penalties were harsh and owners would serve jail time for any injuries caused by their animal, would the problem be minimized? Should the residential ownership of pit bulls be illegal?
Create subtopics: preliminary Outline Statistics about pit bulls (Refer to factual qustions) (here I would include size, structure, reputation) Theories of causes of aggressive nature (physical characteristics, pain threshold)document some attacks and what caused them Law and legislation now: (look at legislation covering dog attacks, court cases) Solution: What can be done to lessen this problem.
OUTLINE & SLUGS STATISTICS THEORY LAWS SOLUTION
Comparison Question Since our society bans products that are potentially dangerous to other people such as cigarettes, isn’t it logical that the ownership of pit bulls in residential areas be banned also? Since other breeds are mild, would mandatory interbreeding change the combative nature of the pit bull?
Taking Notes Points to Remember What Are Sources? What Are Citations? Quoting Paraphrasing Summarizing Avoiding Plagiarism
What do you need to cite Common Knowledge is information that can be found in many sources and that no one can claim owning. It is information that “belongs” to everyone. Often, it is the stuff of encyclopedias. Examples: 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust. The Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall. The Civil War ended in 1865. You may not have known this before you started your research, but it is still common knowledge. Often, you will encounter knowledge that is common in your field of study, even if the general population may not know it.
QUOTING When you quote, you borrow an author’s exact words. Use a quotation when… the wording is so memorable or expresses a point so well that you cannot improve or shorten it without weakening it; when the author is a respected authority whose opinion supports your own ideas; when an author challenges or disagrees profoundly with others in the field.
Paraphrasing Paraphrasing is putting material (including major and minor points) into your own words and sentence structure. You can paraphrase a theory, an idea, the results of a study, or a passage in an original source, as long as you use your own words to describe it. A paraphrase is often the same length as the original, but it is in your own words.
Example of Paraphrase Original Text (from James C. Stalker, “Official English or English Only”) “ We cannot legislate the language of the home, the street, the bar, the club, unless we are willing to set up a cadre of language police who will ticket and arrest us if we speak something other than English” (21). Paraphrase Stalker points out that in a democracy like the United States, it is not feasible to have laws against the use of a language and it certainly would not be possible to make police enforce such laws in homes and public places (21).
Summarizing Summaries are often less detailed than paraphrases. In a summary, you provide your reader with the gist of the most important sources you find in your own words. Summaries give readers basic information and are always in your own words. When you include a summary in your paper, introduce the author’s name and/or the work.