Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Final project proposal

Meaghan Duffy
Final project proposal
Professor Adam Johns

Proposed argument:  Living in a world such as ours, it is important to understand and be well aware of the abundance of religions, languages, cultures and lifestyles practiced by the pockets of people surrounding us. 

Why does it matter? :  Those who are content with only knowing and exploring what is directly in front of them run the huge risk of seeming increasingly ignorant and are less able to adjust to change and are conduct logical decision making. 

I chose to focus on this topic because in order to write a successful extended paper, I believe it becomes easier and flows better if the writer is super passionate about the topic, as I am with this one.              Growing up and taking an abundance of history and world culture classes I have become accustomed to thinking in a way that follows the logic that although it is important to have an opinion on a topic it is also important to understand the opinions of others even if you doesn’t necessarily agree. 

Counterargument: One should thoroughly understand his/her direct surroundings before he or she ventures out into the complete unknown searching for different views.

Why is this counterargument wrong? :
1) Humans, and the society that humans have created for centuries, are so ridiculously intricately dynamic and complicated that it would be entirely foolish to believe that any single thing could ever be completely understood. 
2) Those who travel and search the intricacies of different separated life forms and lifestyles are able to collectively think about things from a variety of standpoints and produce the most valid conclusion or solution from their acquired knowledge. 

Rough outline:
Paragraph 1:  Introduction to topic.  Discuss the importance of  well informed opinions and the difference between understanding a clause and supporting that clause.  End paragraph with a clear thesis statement. 
Paragraph 2:  Briefly discuss the culture, economics and politics of very different cultures and the reasoning and logic behind each to allow the reader to understand that not everyone follows the same ideals as his/her country or other associated area. 
Paragraph 3:  Discuss specific quotes and examples from, Desert Solitaire, where Abbey writes about how disappointed he is in humans because of their inability to step out of society and enjoy the small intricacies of nature and other forms of life away from big business and hierarchy.  Use example where he scolds people for driving through the national park staying in the safety of their cars not even hopping out to take a deep breath of fresh air or look up close to the life occurring all around them.  Possibly discuss more of Abbey’s work and papers written about him. 
Paragraph 4:  Maybe I will bring in Butler’s work, writing about how a severe lack of understanding of culture between the Oankali people and humans created a noticeable level of distrust and tension throughout.
Paragraph 5 and on: In the next few paragraphs I plan on discussing specific examples in history where ignorant political decisions led to failures for different countries.  Have an idea of using the U.S. entrance into and fight in the Vietnam war and the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion into Cuba.  A new paragraph will logically plan out how, if the people in power were more knowledgeable about the standings and plans of their so-called “enemies,” they would have been able to be more successful in their conquest.
Finishing paragraph/s:  Plan to finish my paper by further stressing my original argument and discussing how studying and understanding the ideals of others can create a more open mind and a more peacefully coexisting world. 

Abbey, Edward. Desert Solitaire; a Season in the Wilderness. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968. Print.

Butler, Octavia E. Lilith's Brood. New York: Aspect/Warner, 2000. Print.

An article or possible psychological study correlating intelligence and diversity, or an article simply discussing the importance of knowledge of diversity.

A literary work written on political downfalls based on ignorant decisions. 

1 comment:

  1. You and I already discussed this in some detail, and nothing much has changed. I do have one comment re: a part of the proposal that I'd missed before - one possibility here, if you really want to work with both Abbey and the Vietnam war, is to argue that even though Desert Solitaire is about the desert, it's also about Vietnam, and specifically about sympathy for our "enemies" in Vietnam. That topic might not be close enough to your passion, but it might also be a focused way into it - I just thought I'd toss that idea out.


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