Blog Post #3 – Prewriting Essay #2

I decided upon writing a rebuttal argument for the second essay. I chose a rebuttal argument because there exists many options for articles with firm stances on the topic of standardized tests. After completing my first essay, I have already found and researched such arguments that push for standardized testing. With this choice, I would be able to use evidence to point out the flaws of a distinguished argument so my audience can bring it into question.

One article I have found that details three straightforward reasons as to why standardized tests are necessary is from Thomas B. Fordham Institute. By choosing an article such as this one, it would be easy to set up each counter argument within my essay. Most articles focus on the same criticism of how standardized tests don’t allow for creativity or how they do not judge each individual student fairly. Instead of just brushing over these overused topics, I feel that it would best to approach this essay by digging deeper into topics addressed in my definition essay. Topics I an argue against include accountability, inaccuracies, and the ineffectiveness of comparing each test scores.

Link to a possible source:

Churchill, Aaron. “Bless the Tests: Three Reasons for Standardized Testing.” The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 18 Mar. 2015,


man wearing black and white stripe shirt looking at white printer papers on the wall
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End of Semester Recap of Veganism

My Topic: For this semester, I chose to research the controversial vegan movement in an effort to find out how it benefits society, the individual, and the animals.

My Essays: For my first research paper, I focused on whether or not a vegan lifestyle is truly a healthy way to live, and how it may be more beneficial than any other diet. I learned that veganism can be the healthiest way to live if the proper foods are being consumed, but can also be unhealthy if the diet is heavy in carbohydrates and fats. In my second essay, I researched how animal production has changed as a result of the industrial revolution, making veganism a more favorable lifestyle than ever before. Not only are the animals being harmed due to production, but the earth’s environment and atmosphere is as well. My final paper will inform readers how they can go about making changes in their everyday routines to lessen their impact on animals, the earth and their own bodies. It may be quite challenging to go vegan all at once, but taking baby steps allows people to ease into the transition at a pace they feel comfortable with.


My Research Methods: Researching my topic was an enjoyable and unique experience because veganism is discussed throughout different sources of media. I was not limited to only scholarly sources, and instead had the freedom to access social media content, advertisements, popular news sources and campaigns. Having a variety of different types of sources to integrate within my work created a diverse platform to support my arguments and provided multiple perspectives. My findings ranged from a Stanford University publication to a dairy company’s Twitter advertisement, but each and every one I found was beneficial to my writing in some way.


Final Observations: Researching this topic over the course of the semester was a fascinating journey, because I have wanted to learn more about veganism for the past few years. By studying it from an academic standpoint, I focused a lot more on the facts and evidence than I would have doing personal research, which likely would have consisted more of opinions. Reading both opinionated and factual sources gave me a better ability to form my on opinion and learn more about what veganism has to offer as well as some of the drawbacks that come with it. For example, I learned that eliminating animal products from the diet can reverse prostate cancer in men. This was astounding information for me to land upon, and was something I cared about personally since this cancer has affected previous generations of my family. My perspective on veganism has become much more positive after this semester’s research, and I have even begun taking small steps to eliminate animal products from my diet and lifestyle. I no longer have dairy milk in my daily iced coffees, and have refrained from buying any new belts, shoes or wallets made of leather. While these adjustments may seem small, if society as a whole could make these minor changes, the positive results would be huge.

Visual Assignment: Marijuana a Deadly Drug?

Marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug which is as bad as they get. American RSDHope says, “SCHEDULE 1 (CLASS I) DRUGS are illegal because they have high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns; for example, narcotics such as Heroin, LSD, and cocaine.” As many people already know, marijuana does have medical uses and is being legalized for medicinal purposes in many states. As far as severe safety concerns, I think this chart displaying the death toll of various substances says a lot about the “severity” of marijuana use. Looking at the data alone you can’t see the bar for deaths caused by marijuana overdose. Even if you could see the bar, it would be lost under the shadow of the overwhelmingly large number of deaths caused annually by tobacco, a drug that you can easily purchase if you are of legal age in any state. The number of people who die because of tobacco does not only include those who directly use the substance. This number also includes those who take in the substance second hand. In comparison to the other substances, marijuana is the least deadly.


Annotated Bibliography Entries

“57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan.”,

This article from “The Nursing Degree” is an informative source that discusses the proven health benefits of adopting a vegan diet or lifestyle. The advantages of being a vegan are categorized by importance to different areas of the body, such as overall nutrition and disease prevention. One fact that astonished me was that studies show that prostate cancer can be reversed or even cured in men who make the switch to a vegan diet. The statistics that “The Nursing Degree” provided on their page helped in supporting my argument and claim that veganism is in fact a healthy diet. By providing specific health advantages from a credible source, my thesis became much stronger than my opinion alone.


“The Differences Between Being a Healthy Vegan and an Unhealthy Vegan.” One Green Planet, 17 July 2014,

“The Differences Between Being a Healthy Vegan and an Unhealthy Vegan” can be considered both an opinionated and informative source because the definition of healthy can be subjective. When referring to a healthy diet as one that improves overall wellness, this article gives great insight on the difference between eating healthily as a vegan and unhealthily. A vegan diet may contain no animal products, but be filled with carbohydrates and foods with very little nutritional value. Instead, a healthy vegan diet should be diverse, containing fruits, vegetables, grains and more. The article helped my explanation of how a vegan diet can still be an unhealthy one, and allowed me to clarify the proper way to eat as a vegan within my first essay.


“Livestock a Major Threat to Environment.” FAO Site,

This publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was accessed from a Rowan Database, and is an informative article describing the effects of livestock production on the environment and atmosphere. The amount of harmful gases, such as nitrous oxide, being released into the atmosphere is discussed as being a direct result of animal farming, with cows having the greatest impact. This information supports my claim that veganism is a great dietary choice because cows are not only consumed as meat, but dairy as well. By providing such statistics, I can persuade my readers that veganism has not only a positive impact on personal health, but the wellness of the earth too.

Research Update: Paper 3

For the third paper, as strange as it may seem, I will be writing a rebuttal paper against articles that are pro-bullying. As silly as it seems, they are real. Some people believe that bullying is just a part of growing up and everyone has to deal with it at some point in their life, but I believe that this shouldn’t have to be this way. Others believe that the bullying builds character. Some medical research has shown that bullying is good for the bully’s health.

While it was difficult to find papers that were pro-bullying, they were eventually found and easily rebutted.

Reflective Blog Post

It was a lot harder than I expected to write my first essay. There isn’t a lot of hard factual research for my topic because it a mostly opinion based subject. This paper was easier than I expect the rest to be mainly because I just had to define what I was researching, but in the future I foresee issues with finding research to back up my stand on the topic.  I am most nervous about finding fifteen sources to complete my annotated bibliography because there isn’t a lot of information out there.

I think in the future I have to work harder on my research in order to be more successful with my topic. I have to  sift through the websites and journals to find articles that help me further understand my topic rather than ones that give opinions on how the media should change the way it reports stories.

Synthesis: Marijuana

Marijuana too most people is a mystery. Not many of us know of its actual inhabitants, correlations, and actual facts about what it can and can not do. There has been talk about how bad the substance can be for you when it comes to your personal health. For example there was a recent article in which I read about a young boy who had a ischemic stroke ( In this case the boy was said to have had consumed about 1.5 grams of marijuana daily for the last six months prior to the incident. Doctors claim that the stroke could have possibly been caused by cannabis abuse but they are not entirely sure. However, the boy was also said to have been using metandione which is a body building supplement that he was using 5 months prior to the incident. Doctors state that the repeated use of anabolic steroids and cannabis will cause leisures or in other words create problems stroke related, but is this evidence really valid, was marijuana really the cause of the stroke or was it just the metandione alone?

I can easily support previous argument in an interview I had read just a couple days ago ( The interview involves a very known accommodation of CNN, many of you know him as Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Right off the bat, Dr. Gupta states “Marijuana really isn’t good for you”. He lets his audience know that cannabis is something that we should astray from with his research at that certain time, stating that it may lead to depression, anxiety, and short term memory loss. He basically states that nothing is good to smoke no matter what it is, simply because of carcinogens that can be created from fumes. However, a couple years later Dr. Gupta apologizes for his previous anti marijuana rant. He clearly states, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that”. The reason he states that in his interview years later is because he had gone through so much research himself years after his rant only to find out that the majority of what we knew about cannabis was false. He actually states a observation about some of his patients saying, “In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works…”. This clearly states that marijuana is something that should be allowed for patients medically, so if it is allowed medically, I strongly believe that the previous argument about the ischemic stroke from cannabis abuse was a just a strong mis assumption with hardly any evidence to be provided by that doctor. I mean lets face it, Dr. Gupta is one of the most well known Doctors in the word with some of top researchers to back up some of his studies, surely his words have at least some truth…right? 


First Post: The Influence of the Media

My topic is how the Media influences society. The media is a powerful industry in todays society. The media pretty much controls how people react to big news that happens in the world. If an event is reported on with a negative connotation then society will think negatively of the event or vice versa. When one industry has this much control it becomes extremely dangerous.

Instead of reporting on an event with an opinion behind it, the media should be objective and unbiased. They should be responsible for giving facts instead of opinions. Let the public decide how to react on their own. This simple change in the media will remove most of their power over society.

Post 1: Research Proposal: Americanization

The topic that I am planning to write about is the Americanization of international (or non-white “typical American” apple pie and hot dogs) people. This is an issue because people all around the world, are trying to become more like Americans and lose their culture and heritage. I think that this topic is important because it is a real social issue, but not many people realize that it is happening. You can compare what is happening in other countries and in even our own to how the Native Americans were wiped out. Most of their heritage and beliefs were lost when the white men came along to try to “turn them white”. These people are changing their appearance and lifestyle because they have been taught that looking and acting like a “typical white American” is what is desired. These people believe that if they bleach their hair and change their skin tone, they will be acceptable and desirable. If this issue isn’t brought into light, the entire world would turn into cookie cutter “Americans”. Individuality and the strengthening and remembering of cultures needs to be stressed in order for this extermination of cultures to be stopped.