Issues In Our World Today

“The World is Coming to an End”

Many of the controversial problems in our world today are heard in this video. After completing the assignment, “Choosing a topic,” for your research argumentation paper, you will be ready to define the problem at the heart of the controversy.

imagesCAZ0V6MD        How do you define a controversy? 

Defining the issue is where you establish who or what is involved and where you explain its significance, culturally (religious beliefs, ethnic differences, etc), socially, environmentally, economically, and/or politically. It is up to you to determine the issue’s greatest significance. For example, will you focus on the economic impact of the U.S. aiding other nations during crisis, such as the Tsunami in Japan, or on the political impact?

Consider the following:

  • Introduce key people, organizations, groups, etc.
  • Explain any key terms, traditional thoughts or distinguishing characteristics of the issue.
  • Clarify any false perceptions, or misunderstandings
  • Give a brief history on the controversy surrounding the issue
  • Determine the issues most important significance to society – in other words – why should readers bother to understand this issue more fully?

Your Task:  

Write 300 – 400 words in which you define and explain the controversy of the topic you have chosen. Give readers the understanding that you want them to have about the controversial issue and its place in society.

Use Gale Virtual Reference Library and CQ Researcher for good background information and overview of the issue. Be sure and cite any information you use in your blog. Keep track of your sources. The information in this blog posting will become a valuable part of the research paper.

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Redefining Mental Illness – A Different State of Normal?


In the fight against the debilitating and harmful stigma associated with mental illness, many people would like the term, mental illness, reevaluated. Some say that mental illness is just a different kind of normal. In a world where diversity reigns, who can say what behavior is normal?

Complicating the idea of who can qualify as mentally ill is the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which now makes behavior, once considered “normal” (including a toddler’s tantrums), now diagnosable as mental illness. According to the changes in this manual, about 50% of the population will be considered mentally ill at one point in their lives.

Your task:

Explore your thoughts here on the stigma of mental illness:

  • Why is there a stigma?  What do you perceive as the effects of this stigma in our society?  What can be done to change the stigma?
  • Do you consider mental illness a different kind of “normal”?  Should we consider mental illness a disease or a different kind of normal?
  • What needs to change to make society – in schools, the work place, our neighborhoods, and homes, a safer place to deal honestly and compassionately with the reality of mental illness?

Respond to any or just a part of the questions asked and include some type of visual – a music video would be great – that reflects the emotional content you would like to convey on this issue.

What is Your Voice on Social Justice?

Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.   Helen Keller

Your Task:

Considering your last blog, how does your life, your experiences, your interests, inspire you to speak for social justice? What issue are you most concerned about?  Blog your response to this question and consider what social justice means to you and how this personal definition might translate into your area of concern. Freely respond as your heart and thoughts prompt you here.

As part of your blog, and because there are many kinds of texts in our world that communicate ideas, I would like you to include a picture, video, cartoon – some type of visual that will add meaning to the words you write.

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Writing is an Exploration


“And the idea of just wandering off to a café with a notebook and  writing and seeing where that takes me  for a while is just bliss.”




In another interview, referring to her 2012 book titled Casual Vacancy, Rowling said, “Poverty interested me having been very poor and clearly that informed this book.”

Your Task:

Write a narrative – no less than 200 words – telling a story about your own life. Focus on some significant aspect; take a telescope to a part of your life and share it here. Stories originate from our own lives, our own experiences. We’ll use this blog to see where your story might take you.

Keep in mind that sometimes it is the most seemingly insignificant moments that are most influential. One student wrote about inner conflict in visiting her grandmother in a nursing home. After exploring this experience through journaling and discussion, she decided to write a paper focusing on the neglect and exploitation of the elderly. This was an interest she discovered through taking a look at her own life story.

So take your notebook (paper or electronic), find a cafe somewhere and see where your ideas take you. Work your personal narrative into a blog and we’ll share them in class.

I am excited to explore with you!