Analytical research paper Silent Spring by Rachel Carson has sold more than two million copies since its first publication in 1962—its aim was to make a powerful case for the idea that “if humankind poisoned nature, nature would in turn poison humankind” (New York Times, September 21, 2012). Carson, who lived and worked as a scientist in the Washington, D.C. area, presented “a view of nature compromised by synthetic pesticides, especially DDT” (NYT). She argued that once these pesticides entered the biosphere they killed not only bugs but also made their way up the food chain to threaten bird and fish populations and could eventually harm humans. In Silent Spring, Carson brought together data and case studies for the general public and “to draw stark and far-reaching conclusions” (NYT).
Assignment: For this assignment, you will write an analytical research paper that identifies and explains a problem or issue in our world and uses published scientific research in your field to explain the problem and to support your ideas. The problem or issue you identify should be one that would of concern to researchers in your field of study and can be explained (and possibly a solution offered) by using their perspectives and research.
Purpose of the Paper: After reading and considering the methods of research and writing presented in Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, you will write and essay paper that will provide the reader with an understanding of how a scholar/researcher in your field might ask questions and consider explanations—and some cases provide solutions—for a specific “real world” problem or issue. You will select one very focused and specific idea from a number of ideas you generate prior developing a thesis statement. Library research will be required to develop and support your views—you will need to begin your research as you decide on a topic. Your paper will explain your selected issue from the standpoint of your field and describe why it is an important problem to consider and/or solve/explain. The paper
will provide the reader a deeper understanding of the forces at work shaping the problem, using the perspective of your field to develop your explication. The paper will demonstrate your understanding of the framework of research and thinking unique to scholars in your field, but it will be written for a general audience.
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