Literacy and Liberty

Investigative Project
Posted by: , November 7, 2018, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My friend wrote a short article for the Washington Post called “I am 18. I belong to the massacre generation.”  In her depressing article, she discusses some of the largest mass shootings in her life time.  She begins the article by stating that her mother knew that the world would be a different place for Julia after 9/11.  It is a brilliant and poignant article about gun violence, one of the hottest topics in the U.S. at the moment.  I, myself, have been interested in this controversial subject for quite a while and would like to do some research on the issue.  In my essay, I would like to discuss school shootings, and their impact on students’ mentality, morale, and their ability to learn.  I think what I want to do is first focus on a single event, then go more broad throughout the essay.  I definitely want to go more in depth on this issue because of its prevalence in the U.S. today.

6 Comments so far
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It’s awesome your friend wrote an article for the NYT! The topic of our generation growing up in an era of constant mass shootings can be discussed in various areas. I appreciate your recognition of a focus for your project; I would also think of a central claim you can discuss (possibly the mental health effects you mentioned) in order to create a stronger investigation. Your project has the potential to be incredible because of the strong relevance and controversy of the topic. I wish you the best of luck!

   Jacob DeCarli 11.07.18 @ 5:50 pm

I think that this is a fantastic, relevant idea for a research paper. Approaching the issue of gun violence through the lens of students can result in a powerful, moving piece of work. Often times, people discuss the issue in terms of partisan politics. Rather, approaching it from an emotional perspective, analyzing the effects that gun violence can have on students’ educational experiences can yield some pretty influential conclusions. I look forward to learning more about this project.

   Dan 11.09.18 @ 10:59 am

Ainslie- I think that this is a great topic because I think that it would be safe to assume that everybody in our a class is greatly bothered by the amount of shootings that we have seen. I think that you could do a great job exploring different reasons for why this has become such a normal occurrence.

   Jess 11.09.18 @ 2:11 pm

Ainslie, I would be very interested to know what your research shows regarding how these mass shootings and their impact on students ability to learn. I am curious how you plan on researching a single mass shooting and how that specific shooting affected students nationwide, or maybe in that community of where the shooting itself took place. I think focusing on the impact these shootings have on students ability to learn is a great idea, but you might also want to consider the other side of this issue; how teachers and educators approach teaching in this environment.

   Reed Kearins 11.11.18 @ 2:45 pm

Ainslie, I think you have a great topic for this investigative project. Although, I think an important point you might want to consider is not just the impact these shootings have on students, but educators as well, and how it might effect their approach to teaching students. Furthermore, I am curious as to how you intend to research whichever mass shooting you want to begin your paper with, and whether you will focus on what effects that shooting had on students in the community, or nationwide. Good Luck.

   Reed Kearins 11.11.18 @ 2:57 pm

Ainslie–A brave choice of topic. Like many of your peers, I’m intrigued by your sense that one under-reported aspect of the school shootings crisis is the effect on students’ capacity to learn. Have you read / seen much academic study of this effect? Or journalistic coverage?
Also: there was a (terrifying) episode of “This American Life” recently that you might find helpful. You can check it out at:

   Professor Seiler 11.11.18 @ 5:37 pm

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