Need Controversial Topic for an Eng102 Class

In summary, this student is looking for a topic for a 5-6 page paper that he can present arguments for and against. He is considering topics related to Dark Matter and Dark Energy, climate change, and manned vs robotic space exploration.
  • #1
mrp
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Didn't really think this question fit the Homework section, so I hope this is alright. I need to have 3 sources "for" and 3 sources "against". The difficulty lies in choosing a subject that when I present the evidence for each side, ppl in class and the prof's eyes don't start to glaze over. Its only 4pgs(double spaced, later to become a 5-6pg paper in which I choose one of the sides) so I won't have the space to take every piece of evidence and break it down into layman terminology. Also it doesn't have to be strictly related to Astronomy, any other branch of physics would be fine with me as well. One more stipulation I guess, I'm a 3rd yr Physics undergrad, so I understand maybe on average 25% of what I read in physical journal articles depending on the subject (my forte being astronomy). Point being, the due date is Mar11th and I'd rather not burden one of my professors by them having to explain 6 journal articles to me line by line. Lol, hope this wasn't too confusing. All ideas welcome! thanks in advance.
 
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  • #2
Well, there's always Dark Matter and Dark Energy...for Dark Matter there's several theories for it e.g. MOND, WIMPS, MACHO, etc. I'm not too familiar with theories for Dark Energy, but I'm sure if you do a search, you'll come up with something.

Other subjects I can think of off the top my head: Neutrino mass (I think now, the evidence is mostly FOR it having mass), Gamma Ray Bursts, Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei, and the related Supermassive Black Holes.
 
  • #3
Have we detected life on Mars?
 
  • #4
If you want real controversy, write a paper on climate change. Is the Earth warming, and if so, is it caused by human activities? Threads on such topics are locked here.
 
  • #5
As twofish said the life on Mars thing will probably be fun, informative and easy for your peers to understand. Everybody is familiar with this issue.

Others that I'd consider would probably be one universe vs multiverse theories, maybe arguments for or against the deterministic nature of the universe, or even relativity vs quantum mechanics (see Hawking's A Brief History of Time). Beware though -- these topics may be opague to your peers.
 
  • #6
I am also a physics major in undergrad, and had a very similar assignment for an ENG Comp course last semester. I ended up writing it as a paper arguing in favor of manned space exploration. I didn't necessarily have to have three sources for each side, but I had to present at least three arguments for each side. In favor of, I used several examples of why it is important for research, the possibility of asteroid mining (check out Mining the Sky by John Lewis), and the need to potentially reach another habitable world, (and I elaborated heavily on each of these, these made up about five pages). On the other side I used the benefits of robotic missions instead of manned, the fact that current technology for manned missions is outdated, and the thought that "exploring space is a waste of resources when there are so many problems on Earth." I through it together pretty quickly, but it got me an A. Good luck.
 

1. What makes a topic controversial?

A topic is considered controversial when it elicits varying opinions and beliefs among individuals and sparks debates and discussions. It is often a subject that has no clear right or wrong answer, and people tend to have strong emotions and differing perspectives on the issue.

2. How do you choose a controversial topic for an Eng102 class?

When choosing a controversial topic for an Eng102 class, it is essential to select a subject that is relevant and interesting to the students. It should also be a topic that has enough credible and reliable information to support different arguments and perspectives. It is also crucial to consider the sensitivity of the topic and ensure it is appropriate for the class's level and age group.

3. What are some examples of controversial topics for an Eng102 class?

Some examples of controversial topics for an Eng102 class could include gun control, abortion, same-sex marriage, climate change, immigration, and social media's impact on society. These topics are highly debated and have different viewpoints, making them suitable for classroom discussions and debates.

4. How do you facilitate a discussion on a controversial topic in an Eng102 class?

Facilitating a discussion on a controversial topic in an Eng102 class requires creating a safe and respectful environment for students to express their opinions and perspectives. It is essential to set ground rules, encourage active listening and respectful communication, and provide credible sources for students to support their arguments. The instructor should also remain neutral and guide the discussion without imposing their views on the students.

5. What is the importance of discussing controversial topics in an Eng102 class?

Discussing controversial topics in an Eng102 class allows students to develop critical thinking and analytical skills as they explore different perspectives and arguments. It also helps students learn how to communicate and respect differing opinions, an essential skill in today's diverse society. Additionally, discussing controversial topics can make the class more engaging and relevant, promoting active learning and student engagement.

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