From Dr. Holland:
Research Unit includes these assignments; see Research Unite for Models for these assignments,
For the rest of the semester you will be researching the topic you pick for the research paper. The research paper is between 2000-2500 words (8 to 10 pages). The wordcounts for Works Cited and Bibliography are not included in the body of the paper. Mr. Mark Lenker is our Lied Librarian for this research paper.
Your paper must include: See PowerPoint on Organization of Research Paper.
Generic Topic: Conspiracy Theories. Conspiracy theories are as old as the hills. Some die away from lack of interest, some get reinvigorated by a new generation of gullible people, some are brand new and contemporaneous with today’s culture.
Some conspiracy theory topics. Notice that the Kennedy Assassination is not on this list. Why: Because it’s been done to death, and the Warren Commission Report is the most thorough debunking of this theory ever written. Reddit, 4Chan, YouTube, and other internet platforms are full of conspiracy theories. Remember theories are hypotheses that need testing to become demonstrated truth.
Selected Conspiracy Theories:
Students may pick their own conspiracy theory to be approved by Dr. Holland. In the research, students will see how science and social science are applied to debunk conspiracy theories with scientific evidence.
Conspiracy theories (that are not true) depend on logical fallacies to convince people the theory is reasonable. Some conspiracies theories are based on unsolved mysteries. These mysteries are hard to research to find out what’s real and what is fiction.
Some of these fallacies are: 1) anecdotal evidence 2) cherry-picking data 3) false cause 4) the slippery slope 5) begging the question 6) personal gullibility.
Refer to the Module in Canvas “Resources for Research Paper” for materials you will need for the research paper.
Selected popular sources on conspiracy theories:
Working with students on their research is by far the best part of my job. We have several options for working together:
For more options for assistance, see http://ask.library.unlv.edu/.
Starting with a background source can help you decide what aspect of your topic is most interesting for you to research further. It can also help you learn the terminology that other researchers use to describe your topic. Finally, many background sources will suggest additional sources for you to consult.