I. Use the question you chose to create your own, more SPECIFIC research question. Explicitly state your question in your opening paragraph and answer it in your thesis statement. For example, here are two different versions (with silly date/country to ensure you create your OWN specific version):
What explains why school shootings have become more common since 1902 in the United States?
What explains why school shootings are more common in the United States than on Mars?
IV. Write at least one paragraph that discusses the dependent variable (DV) and what values it varies between.
Example of one sentence in such a paragraph: School shootings in the US vary between X per year in 19XX and Y per year in 20XX. [Then, provide more detail of the facts about school shootings that need explanation.]
V. Write three paragraphs, one for each of your three independent variables (IVs) that the articles you are using argue influence the dependent variable (DV). Address the following:
Identify EACH of your 3 IVs and the values EACH can have.
Example: Articles by Wesson (2014) and Baretta (2018) argue that increases in school shootings are due to increased gun sales. The variable “gun sales” can have possible values of “none,” “some,” and “lots.” This made-up example is for one IV, you need 3.
Describe the LOGIC in the articles about how EACH IV influences (causes variation in) the DV.
Example: These authors say that increases in the sales of guns lead to increased school shootings because people with knives can kill fewer people. Be careful and make sure your IV explains the DV you selected.
Discuss agreements and disagreements across articles about the influence of your three IVs.
Example: Smith (2012) disagrees with Wesson (2014) and Baretta (2018) that more guns lead to more school shootings. She argues that a study from a Martian town (no guns are sold on Mars) showed that school knife attacks occur at similar rates to those in the US.
VI. Write at least one paragraph about how you could conduct research to help us better understand the dependent variable (DV) you chose.
Example: To better understand why school shootings occur, I would compare 50 US states in terms of number of gun stores and number of school shootings.
VII. Review your research question and edit your paper to make sure the 3 articles you use address the research question you are asking.
VIII. Write a conclusion.
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