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Pdennis
April 25th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Hi guys... I've been putting off doing this huge 10 page research paper for my english class for the entire semester.. It's due tomorrow at 3 :-O . Would you guys mind taking a look at my first paragraph? I'm interested to know what you think, and I'm sure your ideas would be helpful. Thanks :)


Imagine if, for the past 300 years, the only printing press publishers felt comfortable using was designed and owned by a single company, with its workings a secret. The machine could be licensed out to- but never owned by- others. Attempting to take the machine apart to investigate its workings would result in a hefty lawsuit. Would this have had a significant effect on world history? Many people are comfortable using a computer and depend on them for large number of things, but the vast majority feels intimidated by the size and complexity of modern software and makes little effort to understand where, in fact, this complexity comes from. Windows, which is for various reasons the most popular Operating System (or OS) in the world, comes from an environment that justifies such feelings of intimidation. Developed under strict corporate secrecy by teams of highly paid software engineers, the underlying code from which Windows is created is available only within the company. The decisions as to what will and will not be included in Windows are made by software engineers and project managers, who can afford to be off the mark because many people feel that they have little choice but to use Windows (or Macintosh, which comes complete with its own set of limitations). This is ‘proprietary’ software. While this method of software creation works very well in terms of earning potential, is it the best way for our civilization to enter the information age? Computers and the software they run will be of such fundamental importance in the twenty first century that it is as dangerous as the hypothetical printing press scenario for our society to allow the most necessary and widespread software to be created by so few people under such secrecy—and with the public having so little choice.

Swab
April 25th, 2007, 10:04 PM
I like the printing press analogy. It works because people just don't get the free software thing. When you try to explain they just give back a blank look because the idea of using something other than Windows has never even occurred to them. So yes, I like it. The analogy gives a reference point for the reader and hopefully will provoke some thought on the issue.

Mazza558
April 25th, 2007, 10:05 PM
Very nice. Since you're pro-FOSS, share the whole paper :)

Pdennis
April 25th, 2007, 10:07 PM
Thanks :) I'll share the whole thing, once I finish writing it. So hopefully sometime before class tomorrow...

EerFoolWVU
April 25th, 2007, 10:09 PM
10 pages isn't huge!


i have to submit my 50-75 page senior thesis by noon tomorrow in order to graduate next week.....and that included an entire friggin' semester of research alone


so ready to be done with undergrad

Tomosaur
April 25th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Looking good, nice analogy so far. You might want to throw a few more 'what-ifs' though. "What if your press broke down? Could you afford to hire a qualified - let alone 'certified' engineer? You certainly couldn't ask your friend to take a look." etc etc etc.

karellen
April 25th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Hi guys... I've been putting off doing this huge 10 page research paper for my english class for the entire semester.. It's due tomorrow at 3 :-O . Would you guys mind taking a look at my first paragraph? I'm interested to know what you think, and I'm sure your ideas would be helpful. Thanks :)

I like the concept and the way you present it :)

Kunstar
April 26th, 2007, 12:54 AM
sounds fantastic.....any chance of you uploading it once you've handed it in? I would love to read it.

Pdennis
April 26th, 2007, 01:59 AM
sounds fantastic.....any chance of you uploading it once you've handed it in? I would love to read it.

thanks :)

Sure thing- I'm trying to get it finished before Feisty finishes downloading... approx. 3 hours...

But most likely i'll revise it a bunch of times and post it tomorrow afternoon


Looking good, nice analogy so far. You might want to throw a few more 'what-ifs' though. "What if your press broke down? Could you afford to hire a qualified - let alone 'certified' engineer? You certainly couldn't ask your friend to take a look." etc etc etc.
Good idea- I'll definently work that in

H.E. Pennypacker
April 26th, 2007, 04:37 AM
I did not really read the paragraph, but here are a few pointers:

1. Don't ask questions in an essay. It is supposed to be a formal writing assignment, and posing questions to the reader is inappropriate.

2. Keep the essay in third-person. Do not make references to the reader, and do not ask the reader anything. Do not ask the reader to imagine, or do anything else.

3. You are to write an objective paper, not a one-sided piece of propaganda. It appears you are higly pro-FOSS, and this is not an aspect of writing. While persuasive writing requires you to stick with one side, you are never biased in your writing. You report all sides, present your arguments, and so on.

Good luck.

Pdennis
April 26th, 2007, 04:58 AM
I did not really read the paragraph, but here are a few pointers:

1. Don't ask questions in an essay. It is supposed to be a formal writing assignment, and posing questions to the reader is inappropriate.

2. Keep the essay in third-person. Do not make references to the reader, and do not ask the reader anything. Do not ask the reader to imagine, or do anything else.

3. You are to write an objective paper, not a one-sided piece of propaganda. It appears you are higly pro-FOSS, and this is not an aspect of writing. While persuasive writing requires you to stick with one side, you are never biased in your writing. You report all sides, present your arguments, and so on.

Good luck.

Oh, sorry… I guess I didn’t make the assignment clear.
It’s not an essay; it’s a research paper… the paragraph I posted was just my introduction indicating what my point is- I assure you that in the other nine pages I present the research objectively while showing how it supports my thesis.. I have a counter argument to my own point of view, but I argue against it to push my own point forward. My assignment requires that I be very clear about what my point is.

sloggerkhan
April 26th, 2007, 04:59 AM
Research papers are intended to be abuses of objective sources in support of a cause. I say make sure to cite your sources properly and go with it. Where you will get in to trouble is if you make too many statements without citing backup. I think your intro is OK. We'll see how the rest of it shapes up.

H.E. Pennypacker
April 26th, 2007, 05:12 AM
Pdennis, a research paper is a type of essay.

What I made mention of are rules appropriate for formal writing. This applies to any type of formal writing, including research papers. Surely you can't say "YO, WHAT UP, BRO" in a research paper.


Research papers are intended to be abuses of objective sources in support of a cause. I say make sure to cite your sources properly and go with it. Where you will get in to trouble is if you make too many statements without citing backup. I think your intro is OK. We'll see how the rest of it shapes up.

I never abuse any source. I always go middle ground, and make a reasonable jump from a source to making my own conclusions. The word abuse is a harsh one that does not indicate whether conclusions are accurately made based on what a source says.

Pdennis
April 26th, 2007, 05:20 AM
I never abuse any source. I always go middle ground, and make a reasonable jump from a source to making my own conclusions. The word abuse is a harsh one that does not indicate whether conclusions are accurately made based on what a source says.

Staying the middle ground is a dangerous game to play in my class.. playing it safe and not drawing anything but the obvious conclusions, to quote my teacher, is "a strong indication that you don't really have anything to say".

Perhaps it just depends on who's doing the grading ;)

H.E. Pennypacker
April 26th, 2007, 05:34 AM
Staying the middle ground is a dangerous game to play in my class.. playing it safe and not drawing anything but the obvious conclusions, to quote my teacher, is "a strong indication that you don't really have anything to say".

Perhaps it just depends on who's doing the grading ;)

I guess, if you're not interested in writing as much as some people are, it doesn't matter. In some classes, I do whatever is necessary to get an A, even if it is something I object to. When it comes to writing, I often know professors are BSing me, but I reluctantly do what I am told.

Don't mind me, though. I often feel I know more than a professor does on something writing related. I guess I have a superiority complex when it comes to this. Doesn't bother me at all. Life is good when you feel you're better than everyone else! lol

I will have no problem admitting to my nightmares in mathematics.

TheMono
April 26th, 2007, 05:50 AM
I'm with Pdennis on this - there is nothing wrong with an agenda in a scholarly piece of research - after all, that is why you are researching. As long as you are upfront about your agenda, and as long as you do acknowledge alternative views and counter them, and as long as you don't attempt to claim that your position is the be all and end all of positions.

A biased paper that knows it is a biased paper is always good fun to read. I look forward to your paper.

TheMono
April 28th, 2007, 09:50 PM
Are we still getting a copy of this?

Tomosaur
April 28th, 2007, 11:06 PM
Of course you're supposed to have bias - it is only when you are reporting or otherwise documenting something when you are not supposed to let bias stray into the writing. Research papers, however - generally should not have room for bias. This is not the same as simply not allowing your opinions to show through - it's perfectly acceptable. However - research is research. You're not supposed to be giving your opinion, you're supposed to be analysing things and, well, researching. If you find you're giving opinions - chances are you haven't actually done your research, and you're just unconcsiously 'padding it out'.

Pdennis
April 29th, 2007, 01:45 AM
I'm still putting up a copy- the reason I haven't yet is because I want to add/remove some things that I couldn't write exactly the way I wanted because of the scope of the class and the limited technical knowledge of my teacher.. It's finals week, so I'm extremely busy... It'll be up soon

jeffc313
April 29th, 2007, 01:51 AM
should have just added complete jibberish and pretended that it was sommon terms in the OSS communities.:lolflag: