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raptor69r 12-28-2012 06:46 PM

Thesis help ( see post)
 
Fellows,

For those who are trained and proficient in writing papers:

Short background: I`m taking two classes atm, one of them is emergency response to terrorism, I need to write a thesis and I really need help with it, below is what I got, could someone help me to make sense of it and make it a strong thesis?

I’m not asking you to write my research paper, just to straight me up in the right direction, as the mid terms are killing me….

What is between the " " is what I got so far, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Bioterrorism

“The constant threat of a biological attack went away with the end of the cold war; diseases like Smallpox were eradicated thanks to the efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the advances in medical research. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a new threat emerge, one that many Americans thought to be nonexistent and some consider to be a very remote possibility; bioterrorism.

Through the history of warfare mankind has use biological agents as weapons, terrorist took that same initiative with the Anthrax attacks within weeks of 9/11 creating panic and forcing the federal government to take a new stand and reviving the old fears. The intended purpose for this paper is to evaluate the preventive measures the government has in place to prevent and contain a possible biological attack and the level of feasibility for a terrorist group or a rogue state to carry out an attack in American soil.”

Thanks in advance

Gabe

cobyrne 12-28-2012 07:13 PM

Gabe,

Here's a structure I use for writing an introduction:

Right off the bat, identify what the paper is broadly about: i.e. Various methods to address bioterrorism on American soil.

Context - next talking about broad areas within the literature - identify those most relevant to the topic. Discuss these in slightly more detail and identify key authors as examples - not too much detail, just enough to let the reader know that you've read what these authors have written.

Issue - what specifically are you looking at? - evaluating measures

Significance - why are you looking at this?

Outline the organization of the paper: first section(s) - discuss key areas of the literature and authors and evaluate what they've done on the topic. Second section - compare measures. Third section (discussion) - What was learned from doing the comparison. Fourth section (conclusion) - How should what you've learned affect how people do things (either in practice or in policy)

I hope this helps,
Colin

stimpy 12-28-2012 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raptor69r (Post 2574946)
Bioterrorism

“The constant threat of a biological attack went away with the end of the cold war; diseases like Smallpox were eradicated thanks to the efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the advances in medical research. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a new threat emerge(d), one that many Americans thought to be nonexistent and some consider to be a very remote possibility; bioterrorism.

Throughout the history of warfare mankind has use biological agents as weapons, terrorists took that same initiative with the Anthrax attacks within weeks of 9/11 creating panic and forcing the federal government to take a new stand and reviving revive the old fears. The intended purpose for this paper is to evaluate the preventive measures the government has in place to prevent and contain a possible biological attack and the level of feasibility for ease at which a terrorist group or a rogue state to could carry out an attack in on American soil.”

Thanks in advance

Gabe

The sections in red seem to contradict each other. The "end of the cold war" and the September 11th attacks are not that far apart, and I'm pretty sure smallpox was taking care of long before either of those events (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) - not sure if you're attempting to create some sort of timeline to bring the reader up to speed, but it seems awkward to me.

Second paragraph: "preventive measures the government has in place to prevent and contain" - this is redundant; I know that preventive measure "prevent."

Make sure to check your grammar and spelling; a good trick is to read the word aloud and determine if they make sense to you that way. I crossed out some words that weren't needed, or could be replaced with something else in order tighten it up - try to ensure that every paragraph ends-up like an Eigenbarrel: tight, efficient, and accurate.

That being said, I know very little about bioterrorism or the associated counter-measures; what little I do know - or suspect I know - is gleamed from Tom Clancy books (a few of the later Jack Ryan books)

raptor69r 12-28-2012 07:45 PM

Guys, thanks for the input,

Colin,

That out line makes more sense after reading it couple times, will take the suggestion below and apply the outline.

Stimpy, love the analogy for the barrel, (I do have one of them and love it)

Thanks

Gabe

Axel 12-28-2012 10:06 PM

So you'll be reading through past attacks, what biological agents are out there, who's developed them, how a non-state terror organization might get a hold of them, means of delivery, and preventative & reactive measures in place?

What level class are you taking (100/200, 300/400, graduate?) How long is the paper supposed to be? Are you limited on the topic, or are you free to adjust, narrow, expand? I found that one important part of writing a good paper was to narrow the topic just so that there was plenty of information available, but limited enough that you can absorb most of what you read and turn it into a coherent, intelligent paper.

I used the note card method for most of my papers, and it works. It's a lot of tedious effort up front but it pays off at writing time. Get a pack of 3x5 index cards:

1. Every source you crack open gets a bibliography card. Write the bibliography entry just like it will go into your paper, according to the style (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian) you are using. Every bibliography card gets a letter.
2. As you read the source, every time you get a fact that may be relevant for your paper, write it on the card. One fact per card, break it down as far as you can. Each note card gets the letter corresponding to its bibliography card, a subject title, a page number from the source (if relevant), and a note as to whether it's a direct quotation, a paraphrase, or summary.
3. Once you have enough information, group the card together by subject. These become sections and paragraphs. Group them according to your outline. You will end up throwing some away as your direction evolves.
4. Once you have the stack of cards in order, pick them up one paragraph or section at a time, and write. You know how to do that by now: subject, supporting data, conclusion. Add your own analysis, fill in references per style, write introduction and conclusion sections to tie it all together and you're done. The bibliography is copied verbatim from the cards.

It's like building an autococker: gather all the right parts (and there are so many options!), then put them in order, assemble, time, and play. :D

raptor69r 12-29-2012 06:28 PM

Axel,

Thanks for the input, never though about the card method, the class is part of my BS in homeland Security, and it is a 211 (200) series, the paper has to be 2000/2500 words APA style.

This particular thesis is due tomorrow and it is a go/no go, there is no grade on it, the final paper is due 30 Jan 13, so I still have time, for some reason, two classes, mid terms and weekly forum postings got my brain freeze ....

So all you guys help , was key to send this one up.

At the end I just may need an outside source to go over the paper and make the grammar and punctuation corrections.

Thanks one again, and Happy new year.

Gabe

Patar 12-29-2012 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cobyrne (Post 2574965)
Gabe,

Here's a structure I use for writing an introduction:

Right off the bat, identify what the paper is broadly about: i.e. Various methods to address bioterrorism on American soil.

Context - next talking about broad areas within the literature - identify those most relevant to the topic. Discuss these in slightly more detail and identify key authors as examples - not too much detail, just enough to let the reader know that you've read what these authors have written.

Issue - what specifically are you looking at? - evaluating measures

Significance - why are you looking at this?

Outline the organization of the paper: first section(s) - discuss key areas of the literature and authors and evaluate what they've done on the topic. Second section - compare measures. Third section (discussion) - What was learned from doing the comparison. Fourth section (conclusion) - How should what you've learned affect how people do things (either in practice or in policy)

I hope this helps,
Colin

This is also typically my favorite format for a lot of my essays. Not only does it make it easier on you to write the paper in a way that doesn't confuse yourself, it's also easy for the reader(s) to follow the information you're throwing at them.

Especially on this sort of subject, Colin's layout will do you a lot of good. As long as you have the evidence and the explanations/justifications to back it up, you need not worry about meeting any sort of length quota, and it'd be easier for your professor/teacher to pick apart your essay. An unstressed teacher is the best teacher! :)


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