Hypothesis Proposal 1:
For my research essay, one topic I will be exploring is whether or not SAT’s matter beyond the classroom setting. To be more specific, whether or not education based on standardized tests does/ does not prepare anyone for life after school except professional test-takers. SATs are simply a way to test a child’s knowledge and education on a test in which they can not truly study for. Sure, there are SAT prep courses that one must pay $300+ for in order to get a proper study tool, but does that really benefit the students when they have no idea what information the test is going to present?
A lot of the ideas and expectations that surround the SAT are that it measures one’s intelligence, and this score tells them which path they can take to further their future careers. But what people fail to take into consideration is how each student perceives as well as takes the test. Each student is different, whether this has to do with home life, culture, prior education, mental or learning disorders, anxiety, etc. The SAT does not cooperate with a child’s needs, yet children are expected to meet the SATs needs, wants, score expectations, and more.
Background: This source shows the readers how SAT and other standardized tests do not show a student’s true potential. These standardized tests as well as society puts students in a box, which restricts them to show schools how they perform on tests rather than creatively and in real life scenarios. Some listed points made in the article include: (1) Standardized tests fail to prioritize the needs of every student (2) Stress and anxiety (3) low self-esteem, and more.
How I intend to use it: I intent to use this essay to my advantage because every point listed in the article is something that I can use to defend my hypothesis that standardized tests do not show anything for any student that is not planning to go into a career that is strictly about taking or creating tests.
Background: This article discusses how most colleges are now dropping the mandatory ACT or SAT scores when applying to college. This is because they realized that these scores are mainly showing that most high school students are not ready to preform at a college level. They came to the conclusion that “moment-in-time evaluations are fraught with problems and don’t provide and accurate view of real knowledge or potential.” The article also touches on some test anxiety statistics and how that is an unfair disadvantage to the students.
How I Intend to use it: I am going to use this article to show that more recently, people high in college admissions and academics are starting to realize that a lot of these test scores are proving that it does not measure ones intelligence, because there is no way to prepare for the test. And it also shows that the SAT and ACT have a heavy negative impact on students test anxiety, causing them to do even worse on the provided test. I intend to mention some of the anxiety statistics they provided as well.
Background: This essay discusses how the SATs make it difficult for minorities or people of the lower class in general, to succeed. The article stated that nearly 2 million students spend 2.5 billion dollars on SAT preparation alone, each year. The price of the test as well as the test preparation puts minorities at a disadvantage. They also experience a stereotype threat, fearing they will confirm stereotypes that they will not do good on the tests. This gives them test anxiety, makes a lot of them not take the test at all, or blame their low score on something else. For example: A student may go out the night before the SAT instead of studying, and blame their low score on them being irresponsible so they aren’t embarrassed or confirming stereotypes that minorities are not as smart as other privileged races.
How I intend to use it: I will use this article to prove that the SAT’s are not meeting students needs in order for them to even have a chance to succeeding at the test or having the possibility to get into a university or college.
Background: This essay is more of a survey, a lot of it stating that students are being mentally degraded by the SAT and how it is making students skip school, make themselves sick, and keep them up at night just because of the pressure the SAT puts on students. This article truly shows the toll the SAT can take on a student and how much it takes hold of their academic confidence and outlook on their academic future.
How I intend to use it: I will be using the survey numbers for statistics and the teachers quotes for evidence on how mentally degrading a standardized test can be to a student.
Background: This is another essay that covers a lot on racial and economic disadvantages when it comes to the SAT. But it also covers how the SAT is also bias towards certain genders as well.
How I intend to use it: I think incorporating how gender can differentiate test scores and how some parts of the test might be an advantage to one gender but a disadvantage or another should be taken into consideration when discussing the SAT and students. I also will use this article when discussing minorities like the source above, but with this article I can also focus on both race and economics as one topic or two separate topics.
Possible topic for smaller papers:
Definition/Classification argument: Minorities do/do not have a disadvantage to the SATs.
Cause/effect argument: Minorities do not have the money to buy the study tools they need or the test itself, making it hard for them to succeed in the SATs.
Rebuttal argument: I will show evidence that it is in fact true that minorities do have a severe disadvantage when it comes to trying to succeed in standardized testing.
Current state of the research paper:
With this being my first hypothesis, I am confident in the hypothesis as well as the sources. I feel as though with just the first 5 sources I have a lot of information I can use to back up my side of the hypothesis. With my upcoming sources in the next white paper due date, I am going to try and incorporate other points of views so the essay is not all just one sided, I want it to be more argumentative. I am interested in this topic, but I feel it might be boring to write as well as read, which is why I have a second hypothesis, which you will find below.
Hypothesis Proposal 2:
For my research essay, I will be discussing how childhood trauma paved the way for a lot of widely known serial killers to begin their murder sprees. Researchers have noted that a lot of the most known serial killers came from childhood trauma, or an unstable home. FBI profiler Robert Ressler had interviewed 36 convicted murderers, in the interviews he conducted he found out about the murderers’ histories, motives, as well as their psychological and behavioral characteristics. He found that 40% of the murderers he interviewed were physically beaten or abused, while the other 70% had witnessed abuse growing up.
Psychopathic serial killers differ a lot from serial killers that came from specific traumas, psychopathic murderers have something different in their brain than other ‘normal’ human beings. Their brains have become an interest to neurologists, psychologists and criminologists. And although these types of murders stem mainly from a possible chemical imbalance, what sets them off is childhood trauma. Showing that some of the most notorious people to walk the Earth, became the way they are because they were not given enough care in the most vital years of their life.
Background: This article discusses how serial killers and childhood abuse correlate heavily with one another. In most cases, they go hand in hand. This article discusses different types of trauma, statistics with trauma and murders, and even some information about books written and how the authors got the information needed to write the books through interviews with murderers or heavy research.
How I intend to use it: I intend to use this article to back up my hypothesis and how that a lot of serial killers become serial killers because of their childhood trauma. Although this is not always the only reason or a reason at all, a lot of the time it is a factor that does heavily influence their actions.
Background: This article goes more in depth about what a psychopath really is, characteristics of a psychopath and also some examples of well known murderers who are classified as psychopaths. It includes paragraphs about childhood abuse, genetics, brain scans, and a little bit about nature vs. nurture.
How I intend to use it: I am going to use this article to help describe and go more in depth about the difference about psychopathic murderers and their childhood trauma vs regular murderers and their childhood trauma. This helps me prove my hypothesis, which states that almost all murderers have stemmed from childhood trauma, even if their actions also had to do with mental illness and genetics.
Background: This article shows that not all abused children become serial killers, and not all serial killers are victims of childhood abuse. However, the connection between the two cannot be dismissed as just coincidence. It also decodes the criminal mind and gives little statistics.
How I intend to use it: I intend to use this article to describe how nature vs nurture can influence how a child grows up, even if they become a murderer or not. I obviously will use it more to help me explain how nature and nurture can influence a child to commit this horrible crime, but I will also show that not ALL children of abuse grow up to be murderers.
Background: This article points out 3 known murderers and each of their childhood traumas. It describes specifically how each one of them grew up and the abuse they endured at a young age.
How I intend to use it: I will use this source to show some real examples of serial killers and their sad pasts to again, prove my hypothesis. I also think it is also interesting to hear some real stories of murderers and their childhood rather than all statistics and articles talking about how they correlate and not showing real experiences.
Background: This article touches on child abuse but also the other things that go hand in hand with child abuse that are other influences for murderers to do what they do. This can include something psychologically wrong with them like stated above, social and environmental factors, and also some health studies.
How I intend to use it: I will use this article to help break up all of the child abuse talk and also include some other factors that can enhance the PTSD from the child abuse, so I am steering off track just enough to talk about something else, but it still all ties back to abuse in the home.
Possible topic for smaller papers:
Definition/Classification argument: Discuss how psychopathic murderers and murderers that stem from childhood trauma are similar to one another, despite heavy differences
Cause/Effect argument: The cause would be genetics or child abuse; the effect would be how both of those things lead up to those people becoming serial killers. More specifically, how genetics and abuse go hand in hand to create a murderer.
Rebuttal: Statistics and research from the article proving that although psychopathic murders are different than murderers who just stem from childhood trauma, they all led up to the same point, and there is one similar underlying factor that got them there, and that is trauma.
Current state of research paper:
I really like where I am with this hypothesis and this research paper compared to my first one. I am a lot more interested in this topic and I think it would be more interesting to read. I just need to get approval that this is a good hypothesis to use in a research paper! I think that this is a little bit less repetitive than my first hypothesis because there are different murderers I can look into specifically, I can also research more statistics because this also involves some information pertaining to the medical field. Overall, I think I like this hypothesis better than the first!