Task: Explain how the process of completing your research project has affected your understanding of an issue or event in society.
Length: At least 1200 words
Sources: No minimum number of sources. Cite any sources you use in APA format.
Due date and grading: This assignment is due by the end of Week 8. It is worth 10% of your course grade and will be graded with a rubric. To view the rubric, access the assignment from the Assignments area of the classroom.
Outcomes you should achieve by completing this assignment
Organize information clearly in an explanatory essay (Course outcomes 1 and 2)
Use an introduction paragraph with a thesis statement and a concluding paragraph to frame an essay (Course outcomes 1 and 2)
Demonstrate accurate grammar and mechanics in writing (Course outcome 3)
You began your research project by reading an article from the news about a current issue or event in society. Your goal in this essay is to explain to your professor how the research and writing you have done for your research project changed your understanding of that issue or event. You will explain what changes occurred in your understanding and how those changes occurred.
Here are some questions you can consider in developing ideas for your essay:
What changes occurred in your understanding?
Do you know more about the issue/event now than you did before? (Probably!)
Do you look at the issue/event from a different perspective following your research?
Have you reconsidered opinions or assumptions that you held at the beginning of the semester?
How did those changes occur?
Which sources from your research had the greatest effect on your understanding?
Did the process of writing about your topic affect the way you thought about it?
What role did interaction with your classmates and/or professor play in your understanding of your topic?
Organizing and supporting your essay
Your essay must include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The introduction should gain your reader’s attention, orient the reader to your topic, and state your thesis.
The body of the essay should include focused body paragraphs in support of your thesis statement. There are various ways you might choose to organize information in the body of your essay. Here are some suggestions you can consider:
You might focus each body paragraph on a step of the research process and how that step affected your understanding of the issue/event.
You might focus each body paragraph on your understanding at a particular time relative to the research process (before, during, after).
You might focus each body paragraph on a particular aspect of the issue/event and explain how your understanding of that aspect developed during your research.
The essay’s conclusion should answer the question “So what?” by placing the essay’s explanations into a larger context. To accomplish this, you can consider addressing one or more of these questions:
Will your current understanding of your event/issue affect your future actions or decisions? If so, how?
What lessons—about interpreting current events, about your field of study, about the research process—can be drawn from the experience of completing the research project?
Is research of the sort done in WRTG 112 a worthwhile activity? Why or why not?
Point of view
First person (I/me/my) is appropriate in this assignment, but second person (you/your) should be avoided.
Formatting your assignment
Incorporate these elements of APA style:
Use one-inch margins.
Use an easy-to-read font between 10-point and 12-point.
Include a title page with the title of your paper, your name, and the name of your school.
How My Research Paper on Mass Shooting Has Shaped My Understanding of An Issue or Event in Society
Over the past few decades, the United States has experienced the highest number of mass shootings in the globe, a phenomenon that raises public concern over gun safety. To many, mass shootings are the products of the deficiencies in the legislative system, which allows perpetrators to have easy access to guns used in conducting the crime. As such, critics of civilian gun ownership believe that mass shootings can primarily be combatted through enhancement of the legal and policy framework on gun control. While I held a similar belief before, the recent research has changed my perspective about mass shootings, enhancing my understanding of the vice as arising from legal, psychological, and social problems, which can be combatted through a multifaceted approach that includes the input of the mental health system, parents, guardians, policymakers, and the civil society.
The current research has changed my perspective of mass shootings as arising primarily from deficiencies in the legislative system to equally being a product of multiple factors, including psychological problems among individuals. At the beginning of the research, I held the view that the lapse in the legal and policy framework was the primary cause of the skyrocketing rates of mass shootings in the United States. Notably, I believed that the existing policies and regulatory frameworks failed to adequately regulate civilian gun ownership, enabling individuals to have easy access to guns, which are used in mass shootings. As such, I thought that the power and responsibility to combat mass shootings in the country was within the scope of policymakers, whose decisions would help control ownership and misuse of guns among civilians.
Nonetheless, this perspective changed following the research, which enhanced my understanding that psychological problems are also critical facilitators of mass shootings; thus, imposing a responsibility on the mental health system to help combat the vice. Notably, the research revealed that a significant fraction of actions orchestrating death is primarily planned by people with relatively disturbed mental health status (Faria, 2013). This finding implies that the mental health system can intervene to combat mass shootings by working hand-in-hand with policymakers and law enforcement agencies to prevent the occurrence of such crimes. For instance, the mental health system can assist the police in assessing the mental health status of individuals to determine the latter’s ability to make rational judgments following the ownership of a firearm. Besides, psychiatrists can help assess the mental stability of individuals and their likelihood of engaging in a mass shooting, to prevent guns from landing in the wrong hands. Based on this information, it has become clear that psychological problems play a critical role in mass shootings, thus calling for the involvement of the mental health system to help combat the issue.
Furthermore, my research has changed my one-sided view of the causes of mass shootings to a multifaced approach that acknowledges social factors as potential drivers of the crime. As is evident from the study, a significant fraction of the mass shooting incidents are linked to intolerance within society (Duque, LeBlanc & Rivera, 2019). I priorly held the perspective that mass shootings were indiscriminative acts that involved multiple victims of gun violence; thus, they could not be classified as violence against a specific group of people. Nonetheless, the research has shed light on the existence of intolerance within society towards individual races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds, which trigger mass shootings. Notably, an analysis of prior mass shootings in the country reveals a pattern of discriminative actions against specific social groups. For example, both the Charleston Church shooting of 2015 and the El Paso shooting of 2019 were attributed to white supremacy. This trend has reshaped my understanding that mass shootings do not occur in isolation; they are triggered by social factors such as intolerance against race, ethnicity, and religion.
The existence of social factors as potential triggers of mass shooting has consequently led to my understanding that apart from policymakers and law enforcers, the civil society has a role to play in combatting gun violence. As noted in the study, the inability to tolerate people with diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds is a potential facilitator of mass shootings, as is evident from prior events in the United States. As such, civil societies, who have been at the forefront in bringing communities together through dialogue, also have a significant stance on matters of mass shootings. Notably, civil society can help combat this vice by advocating for social tolerance to help reduce cases of mass shootings that target specific groups of people.
Apart from psychological issues and social intolerance, the research has also enhanced my understanding of the critical power that the smallest unit of the society, family, has in triggering and combatting mass shootings in the country. Notably, findings from the study suggest that some cases of mass shootings are attributable to younger persons that experience childhood trauma or are exposed to violence at a relatively young age (Peterson & Densely, 2019). For example, if a teenager is raised in a family where violence is the order of the day, they may be susceptible to commit mass shootings following uncontrolled possession of firearms. Also, if an individual is exposed to childhood trauma such as bullying, they may develop an urge to take revenge and involve themselves in such forms of gun violence. This perspective of analyzing the risk factors of mass shootings had changed my initial view that lapse in the legal system is the primary cause of gun violence in the United States. Instead, it has come to my understanding that the most trivial events that occur at the family level, such as a child’s upbringing, have a significant effect on deviant behavior such as gun violence and mass shooting.
The fact that the family unit has a stance in matters of mass shootings has also changed my view on the stakeholders that have the primary responsibility to combat the vice in the country. Other than policymakers, the research has created awareness that parents and guardians have a role to play in preventing gun violence in the United States. For instance, if parents are sensitized about the effect of their parenting on a child’s future behavior, they can adapt better ways of raising their children in an environment that is free from violence, to prevent early exposure to habits that may contribute to the menace. Guardians can also ensure that victims of childhood trauma receive the necessary treatment to minimize their chances of being involved in violent acts such as mass shootings during their later stages of development. Besides, guardians and parents have the closest connection with their children; thus, they can assume the role of counsellors and advice the latter against being part of gangs that orchestrate mass shootings. The fact that the family has an input in the identified issue has shaped my view on the vital role it may play in countering the vice.
In conclusion, my research has significantly changed the way I look at issues surrounding mass shootings in the United States. Notably, other than focusing on the lapse in the legal and policy framework that facilitates the vice, it has helped me understand that there exist other social and individual factors that trigger such acts. For instance, the study has revealed that psychological and social problems are some of the critical factors that contribute to the menace. Besides, from these factors, it has become apparent that the power to combat mass shootings in the country does not primarily lie within the legislative body of the government. Instead, each stakeholder in American society, ranging from parents, guardians, civil societies, and the mental health system, has significant input in handling the issue.
Additionally, based on my assessment of the insights I have gained from this research, I believe that it was a worthwhile activity. Notably, the study has helped me to understand better the issue of mass shootings from a multifaceted perspective. For instance, it is now clear that despite being an indiscriminate act of violence, mass shootings may be triggered by underlying discriminative social factors, such as racial and ethnic intolerance. This information provides a way forward for the effective combating of the vice, which integrates both preventative and response measures to the violence. Notably, apart from law enforcers and policymakers responding swiftly to cases of mass shootings, there is a chance to minimize the probability of such tragedies occurring both at the family and societal level.
Duque, R. B., LeBlanc, E. J., & Rivera, R. (2019). Predicting active shooter events: Are regional homogeneity, intolerance, dull lives, and more guns enough deterrence? Crime & Delinquency, 65(9), 1218-1261. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0011128718793615
Faria Jr, M. A. (2013). Shooting rampages, mental health, and the sensationalization of violence. Surgical Neurology International, 4(16), 85-92. https://dx.doi.org/10.4103%2F2152-7806.106578
Peterson, J., & Densley, J. (2019). Op-Ed: We have studied every mass shooting since 1966. Here’s what we’ve learned about the Shooters. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-04/el-paso-dayton-gilroy-mass-shooters-data