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WRT 101 - West Campus - Ortiz: Topic Examples

Topics and Questions (local, if possible and narrowly focused)

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Are Wind or Solar energy clean energies, and are really that cheap, effective, or practical?  

Water issues: Will the water in Flint, Michigan ever be clean enough for human consumption? And Why isn’t there running water or electricity on some Native American Lands in Arizona?

Pros & cons of hunting a particular animal in a specific, local area

Causes of local environmental erosion

Is there a way to minimize radioactive waste disposal?  

What are the impacts of global warming on specific types of businesses?  

Plastic bag usage: Is there an impact on consumers and their health? or our environment?

How many noise decibels are harmful to humans? Where are people most at risk from unhealthful decibel levels?

Are there health risks related to the use of 5G networks?

Does ocean pollution threaten sea life and human life?

 

EDUCATION

Are student learning outcomes influenced by offering Music Education in American public schools (specific grades)?

Does writing in cursive style influence learning?

What is the School to Prison Pipeline and which groups are more likely to end up in prison?  

How does a college degree impact future local employment? (choose AA, BA, MA, or Ph.D.)   

Are Americans “literate”? If so, how? If not, are we less literate at some things but not others? Define terms.    

What are Learning Styles in schooling and how can you determine yours?

Online vs. Face-to-Face schooling: what are the advantages and disadvantages? (E-Learning vs. traditional learning)

Does grade inflation take place in the United States? 

What are the rates of reading & literacy in our state or our nation today?

Are standardized tests in K-12 effective for measuring student learning outcome?

Should Standardized Testing be eliminated in favor of another form of assessment?  

Can you become a well-educated person if you never attend school?

Studying in small groups vs. Studying alone -- which works best?

Should pre-college students be given less homework?

What are some children’s rights to an education in various parts of the world?

What would happen if every girl and woman on the planet could learn to read?

What are some good methods to prevent school bullying?

What are the pros and cons of school uniforms?

Do children learn better in boys-only and girls-only schools?  

Should high school graduates in the U.S. take a “gap year” between high school and college?  

Is taking out student loans worth the benefits of earning a college degree?

 

SPORTS

Should shoe companies be able to give away free shoes and equipment to high school athletes?

Should college athletes be paid monetarily?

What are the health risks of participating in high school athletics? Pick one sport.

Why is there an NFL "take a knee" Controversy?

Title IX. (Title Nine) Has it helped women’s sports? Has it harmed men’s sports? Narrow down the question to just “college sports” or “professional sports.” Define “helped” and “harmed.”  

 

HUMANS AND HEALTH

How many Genders are there, and does Sexual Identity differ from Gender?

Why do Personal Pronouns matter to the LGBTQ and Allies communities?

Are their health risks associated with using certain technologies such as 5G Networks?

Do Vegetarianism (or Veganism) diets offer the best kind of nutrition for children ages 0 to 18?

Why is there a controversy about giving vaccines to children?

Can excessive use of social media or video gaming contribute to addictive behaviors (drugs, tobacco, alcohol) or mental health issues?  

Diabetes - do some groups of people more likely to get this disease than other groups? Why? 

What are the ingredients found in some hot-dogs? Are they safe to eat?

Is Gun Control a Health Issue today?

What are the different types of stem cells and their uses?

How do sleep disorders impact a person's overall health condition?

Does screening for breast cancer help reduce the rate of deaths from breast cancer?

Is there a correlation between breastfeeding & a baby’s health?

Reasons why the healthiest diet does not exist.

What are the ways to fight obesity safely?

How does smoking, or vaping, affect physical or mental health?

Most developed nations have universal health coverage. Why doesn’t the U.S., the wealthiest nation, have it?  

Are we taking it too far by blaming fast-food restaurants for obesity? When is it individual responsibility and when is it appropriate to place blame?

What are the origins of the Opioid Crisis in the US?

Are drug prices in the US more costly, on a retail basis, than necessary?

Should the government regulate the cost of medications?

 

SOCIAL ISSUES / PSYCHOLOGY

Is feminism still relevant? How do young women and men view feminism today? 

How do stereotypes that appear in society (narrow down to one form of media) impact how people view or act towards a particular group of people (gender; ethnicity; religion; race; political affiliation, etc.)?

Explain how a particular music, art, or literary genre emerged and developed

Should today's parents be stricter disciplinarians?  

Do different genders communicate differently using body language? Does it matter (in dating, the workplace, social circles)?  

Do certain children’s toys foster gender stereotypes?

Why are Personal Pronouns important to the LGBTQ and Allies Communities?

 

 

POLITICS

What are the voting trends of 18 to 30-year-old adults in our state or in the United States?

Election laws of the United States: Should we get rid of the Electoral College?  

Was there an increase in women running for public office in 2018? If so, why?

Was there Voter Suppression in recent US elections?

 

THE NEWS MEDIA

Do the media, both print, and broadcast, report fairly? Does it ever cross the line between reporting the news and creating the news?  

Do the ways people under the age of 30 read, watch, or listen to the news affect their political views?

Why do some people think that news broadcast on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, PBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC is “fake?”

 

THE US-MEXICO BORDER ISSUES

Border Patrol

Is Border Vigilantism legal?

Are Asylum Seekers being denied entry into the US?

What are some Immigration Laws that need to change? OR Do we need a revision of our Immigration Laws in the US?

Immigration and the Labor Force

 

IMMIGRATION

In 2018, what is the cause behind why refugees from Mexico or Central American to seek asylum in the US?

How did your ancestors arrive at the place where they are currently living?

Are there jobs going unfulfilled in the US today due to lack of workers? Which jobs and why?

Undocumented immigrants: do they contribute or cost the US (or Arizona) economy?

 

LEGAL ISSUES

GUNS: 2nd Amendment; School Shootings; Gun Violence; Guns and the Mentally Ill; Gun Safety; Hunting; Guns for Self-Defense

Crime and Justice

Juvenile crime: contemporary methods of punishment & their effectiveness

How reliable is eyewitness testimony in a court of law?

The NFL "take a knee" Controversy: Are more police officers killed by suspects vs. are more suspects killed by police officers?

Are curfews effective in keeping young adults out of trouble? (trouble with their parents or law enforcement)

Does law enforcement (from local to the FBI and CIA) have a right to use drones to record the private life of citizens?

What is the School to Prison Pipeline and which groups are more likely to end up in prison?  

 

ARIZONA and TUCSON ISSUES

Why does Arizona rank in the Top Ten of states with the highest pedestrian fatalities?

Obesity: why do poor people in America become obese?  What are the rates of obesity in America for each race or ethnic population group?

Are some parts of Arizona or Tucson “Food Deserts?”

What is Food Scarcity and are Food Banks helping to solve this issue?

Why isn’t there running water or electricity on some Native American Lands in Arizona?

What are some little-known facts about your community's history or landmarks?

Why was most of Tucson’s Barrio Viejo torn down?

 

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Why does Pima Community College need Food Pantries for students?

How can PCC increase enrollment during a time of higher employment rates?

What is the Occupation Outlook for the degrees and certificates available at PCC? And should the college offer other programs for future jobs?

 

EMPLOYMENT

What is the Occupational Outlook for a job you want to have in the future?

U.S. companies that move factories to undeveloped nations barely pay employees enough to live on. Is it unethical to pay cheap wages or are companies doing those workers a favor?

Do women still earn only 75 cents for every $1 a man earns? If so, why?

Do Americans work too hard? Are we a nation of Workaholics?

Does working more actually reduce productivity? Is a 40-hour workweek too much? Should there be a mandatory cap on the number of hours a person can work? Should there be changes in employment laws to give Americans more relaxation time?

How do different generations in the workplace work together? Should there be special training for this situation?

 

BUSINESS AND/OR ECONOMY

Business struggles or triumphs in the local market area: Is Tucson's Spectrum Mall the most successful mall in Arizona?

What is the impact that Native American Casinos have on local job creation?

What are the benefits and challenges of owning a small business?

Does franchising make it easier to start a business?

What are the Pros & cons of outsourcing?

Do CEOs or local college presidents receive unfairly high wages?

 

TECHNOLOGY

Are driverless cars safe?

The rise of artificial intelligence - what are some of the implications for the future, especially for jobs?

What are the implications of text messaging (or social media posts) on modern literacy?

Are Macs safer from hacking and viruses than Windows computers?

What is the effectiveness of online grammar checkers and/or plagiarism detectors?

Are GPS systems reliable?

Why are there pop-up ads everywhere? What is the role of search engine optimization (SEO) on website searches?

Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the Internet?  

 

SOCIAL ISSUES / PSYCHOLOGY

Mental Illnesses: what are the best treatments for a person suffering from a mental illness? Why are so many mentally ill people homeless? What can be done to solve the homeless problem? Are there alternatives to prison for the mentally ill?  

How do stereotypes that appear in society (narrow down to one form of media) impact how people view or act towards a particular group of people (gender; ethnicity; religion; race; political affiliation, etc.)?

Explain how a particular music, art, or literary genre emerged and developed

Should today's parents be stricter disciplinarians?  

Do men and women communicate differently using body language? Does it matter (in dating, the workplace, social circles)?  

Do certain children’s toys foster gender stereotypes?

What differences, if any, are there in children who are raised by stay-at-home mom or dad and working moms or dads? Does society today still discriminate against working parents who wish to have flexible work schedules? 

Why do normally patient people become impatient behind the wheel?

How is it different from shyness? And, are we a society of anxiety?

Are today’s youth smarter (or more socialized) because of the Internet?

Is there a certain amount of watching screens (cellphone; computers; gaming; tablets; etc.) that can cause harm to users?

Smartphones: do they connect or alienate people from one another?

Social Media: does using social media have any health risks?

Suicide among people under the age of 25 or over the age of 65: are the risk factors the same or different. What are some effective ways to help prevent suicide? Are Suicide Help Lines (800 numbers) effective in preventing suicide?

 

MILITARY ISSUES

Wars and their Aftermath

How did the Navajo Code Talkers help win World War II?

Should the U.S. have mandatory military conscription (draft)? For whom? Or, should there be a law that every able-bodied 18-year-old perform a year of paid service to our country? 

Did the Civil War end Slavery?

Is suicide higher among members of the military or veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD when compared to the general population?