Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Recent research into the possible link between contact sports such as football, boxing, rugby and the like and dementia is coming up with some interesting results. Considering how popular especially football is with young people and children, it is important to verify this link. Do your research and write an essay on the topic.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
Reading material to make notes on
·         Contact sport, head injury and dementia risk https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20052/research_strategy/1188/contact_sports_head_injury_and_dementia_risk Make sure to click on each section to get a full picture.
·         Sport urged to confront head injuries that can lead to dementia
Videos to watch and take notes from

·         Traumatic Brain Injuries: Effects of damage to different lobes of the brain


·         The Future of Contact Sports: Sports-related Head Injuries and Their Effect on Memory

·         Brain concussion - Shake it and you break it | Steven Laureys | TEDxLi├Ęge

Monday, December 18, 2017


By: Kyle Harper
Level of Difficulty: **
·         The Truth About The Fall of Rome: Modern Parallels
·         Malaria and the fall of Rome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXnq9chRIMw
·         The fall of Rome and modern parallels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0zacaIard0&t=383s
1.       What conclusion can be drawn from the information concerning the Roman Empire in the 2nd century?
2.       The transformation of the status of the Roman Empire from the 2nd century to the 5th can be described as complex/ serious /radical / natural.
3.       What surprising view concerning the fall of The Roman Empire has replaced long held beliefs? The view that…
4.       We understand from the information concerning how climate change takes place that climate change is a manmade disaster / a natural phenomenon / a multidimensional phenomenon.
5.       The rise of The Roman Empire coincided with/ occurred during / was set in motion during/ took place during a very advantageous period in history.
6.       Three factors combined to spell disaster for the Roman Empire: the end of the period of…., the rise of …. and the onset of….
7.       Read the paragraph beginning “Disruptions…” and the following paragraph. Which sentence in these two paragraphs best summarizes the section?
8.       We understand from the text that The Romans were extremely unlucky because not only did the period of mild weather end but ………………………………….hit them as well and the damage done was irreparable.
9.       The plague of Justinian can be blamed to a large extent on………………because if it hadn’t been for the trading routes the plague never would have left China.
10.   Which sentence(s) in the remainder of the text could you place after the title of this passage to provide a summary?
11.   The message of the last paragraph of the text is:
·         The Romans disregarded globalization
·         It could happen to us as well
·         The modern world is not like ancient Rome
·         The Romans are the makers of modern society
Refer to all you have read and watched to write an essay where you discuss the main reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire
It is refreshing to be able to read about such a phenomenal event in history and get a new perspective on it. I hope the students think so too. The students may need help in planning the writing task.
1.       It was the ‘most happy’ in the history of our species
2.       Radical
3.       The paradoxes of social development and the inherent unpredictability of nature worked in concert to bring about Rome’s demise.
4.       A multidimensional phenomenon
5.       Coincided with
6.       Favorable climate, more dangerous enemies, the bubonic plague
7.       The highly urbanized, highly interconnected Roman Empire was a boon to its microbial inhabitants.
8.       Three intercontinental disease events
9.       Early globalization
10.   Humans shape nature – above all, the ecological conditions under which evolution plays out. But nature remains blind to our intentions, and other organisms and ecosystems do not obey our rules. (You would leave out the last sentence because you would be repeating the title)

11.   It could happen to us as well.


“There is nothing so horrific as child murder, yet it is ubiquitous in human nature. What drives a parent to kill a baby?”
By: Sandra Newman
Level of Difficulty: ***
·         Click on the audio recording to the left of your screen and follow as you listen. Highlight the main points and the important details
1.       What widely held belief did Peter Singer contradict?
2.       Singer’s basic reasoning seems to be borne out / not borne out by historical fact because…
3.       The surprising reason for the above is the undisputed fact that…
4.       What view does the study with Norway rats contradict? Be precise.
5.       Read the examples of infanticide in the animal kingdom. What overall conclusion can be drawn from these examples?
6.       The human attitude to infanticide is best compared to that of…
7.       It is understood from the text that human infanticide is mainly practiced for rational reasons/ emotional reasons/ practical reasons/ sensible reasons/ social reasons.
8.       Read the story of the Chinese woman. Does her story support or contradict the above statement?
9.       What knee-jerk reaction to the story is proved to be wrong by the same story?
10.   We understand from the customs in ancient Athens, early Scandinavia and the Christian world in the 17th century that the cut off point for infanticide was…………because it was then that the child was………………………
11.   What method of disposing of an infant seems to be most favored? Why?
12.   What characterized the methods of killing mothers resorted to? There was…
13.   Read the account of the attitude of the law to infanticide. What conclusion can we draw from the information provided?
·         There was strong public disapproval of neonaticide
·         There was tacit acceptance of neonaticide in society
·         The legal measures to stop neonaticide were for show
14.   Read the account of the foundling hospitals. These institutions were successful/ unsuccessful in fulfilling their mission because….
15.   The only development that finally curbed infanticide was….
16.   Current public attitude to the real story of infanticide throughout history is one of acceptance/ approval/ disbelief/ fury/ scorn. The reason is that many in the modern world firmly believe that…
17.   Read the account of child sacrifice in South America and Carthage. The major difference between the practice in this part of the world and elsewhere is that….
18.   The above practice seems justifiable if we consider that…
19.   We understand from the account of current circumstances that infanticide is rife/ there is more infanticide than meets the eye/ infanticide is still being widely practiced / infanticide is thankfully very rare.
20.   The case of Senegal proves that ….
Use all you have learnt to write an essay discussing the reasons for infanticide.
This shocking yet gripping text should be engrossing enough for students to stick with the task at hand. It is also a very illuminating text on a taboo subject and as such should lead to some lively discussion and a good writing task. Listening to the text being read out should be useful.
1.       That the life of a child is sacred
2.       The perceived innocence of children was more likely to make them seem like ideal sacrifices to a blood thirsty god
3.       The predilection for murdering children shortly after they are born is hardwired in the human brain.
4.       That animals kept in confinement can kill even devour their offspring
5.       In evolutionary terms some infants are disposable
6.       The Norway rat
7.       Practical reasons
8.       It supports it
9.       That it was a callous crime ; or She was a sociopath
10.   Baptism;  brought to the attention of the community
11.   Exposure; it allowed parents the consolation that they had not murdered their babies and let them fantasize that their child might be saved and adopted
12.   As little violence as possible
13.   The second
14.   Unsuccessful; most of the foundlings died
15.   The popularization of condoms
16.   Some ultimate taboo is being broken
17.   The victims were unblemished and of unusual beauty
18.   One child is sacrificed so that the family may thrive
19.   There is more infanticide than meets the eye
20.   Infanticide could make a larger comeback

Thursday, December 14, 2017


There are leaders and there are leaders. Some really stand out and achieve great things along with the people they are working with. What makes them different from other leaders? What makes them special? Do your research and find out. When you are ready, write an essay in which you discuss inspirational leadership.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: 
Familiarize yourself with the issue:

·         Qualities of Leadership - Inspirational Leadership Quotes

An example
·         Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream Speech - August 28, 1963

Reading material to make notes on:
·         How to be an inspiring leader https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-to-be-an-inspiring-leader
·         How leaders inspire; cracking the code http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/how-leaders-inspire-cracking-the-code.aspx
Videos to watch and take notes from:

·         7 Characteristics of inspiring leaders https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252916

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Some claim that torture is the only way to access the truth others disagree and state that it is inhuman and unacceptable. Do your research and determine where you stand and then write an argumentative essay.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com.tr/  
Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Guantanomo bay protest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTSXA1sUayA
·         Police torture videos cause uproar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU4lg4oZV7Y 
Reading material to make notes on
·         Is torture ever justified? http://www.economist.com/node/9832909
·         Is torture ever justified? http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-torture-ever-justified
·         The ticking bomb problem http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/torture/ethics/tickingbomb_1.shtml
·         Is torture ever justified? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/torture/justify/
Videos to watch and make notes on
·         US interrogation techniques not torture ex CIA lawyer – BBC NEWS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BRg9PUYyjc
·         There is nothing honorable about torture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpNY1ZH_nWY
·         Torture can never be justified https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkz_FLxaKnI
·         CIA interrogation report renews old debate: Is torture ever justified?

·         When is torture justified? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3548Ac9wGN8


The first thing the uninitiated think when they hear the words ‘He is in solitary confinement’ is ‘What has he done?’ but they change their minds when they become more familiar with this barbaric and inhuman form of punishment that is far worse than the death penalty. Do your research and find out why; then write your essay.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com.tr/  
Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Welcome to your cell ; a virtual experience of solitary confinement
Podcasts to make notes on: Click on each person and hear their story
Audio commentary
Reading material to make notes on
·         What is solitary confinement? http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/27/what-is-solitary-confinement
·         Concern over political use of solitary confinement in European prisons

·         I have never been in solitary. But my friend has – I play her nightly on stage http://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2016/may/01/olitary-confinement-prison-6-x-9-mariposa-and-the-saint-theater-julia-steele-allen

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


“Social media can boost teen’s self-esteem – or foster depression”
By: Alison Pearce Stevens
Published: Science News for Students, Oct 12, 2017, https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/social-media-whats-not
Level of Difficulty: **
·         How social media effects teenagers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgdS7uKKMAE
·         Why I quit social media for a year https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFSwDtspY5c  
1.       Read the first four paragraphs of the text and answer the questions:
·         Social interaction has undergone a radical change in recent years in that the traditional venue has been replaced by…
·         What major difference between the traditional venues for socialization and the modern venues is a cause of problems? The fact that…
·         The above issue may have serious repercussions for students in that …
2.       Read the section titled a filtered view and answer the questions:
·         We gain important insight into teenagers’ state of mind from the 2015 experiment. It is that…..
·         The distorted image teenagers present to their social circle is due to the fact that…
·         The down side of the above is that…
·         What conclusion can be drawn from the information provided thus far?
·         We understand from the 2015 study of eighth and ninth graders that the quality of the post/ the length of the post / the nature of the post / the seriousness of the post may have an effect on popularity.
·         What habit mentioned in this section may affect the state of mind of teenagers? Whether …
3.       Read the section titled “A place to connect and answer the questions:
·         What widely held prejudice was disproved by Marwick and Boyd?
·         There are physical / practical/ emotional / social reasons why teenagers hang out on social media
·         What major feature of online communication can cause serious repercussions?
4.       Read the section titled “Online Drama” and answer the questions:
·         The reason why the term online drama is used to describe confrontations online is the fact that………
·         What epithet do teenagers avoid using in this context?
·         The term online drama is used to alter perceptions / change messages/ adapt messages / promote understanding
5.       Read the section titled “Keeping It in the Family” and answer the questions:
·         Read the study Coyne and her colleagues carried out. Connecting with parents on social media benefits parents in that…
·         It also benefitted teenagers themselves in that their level of anti-social behavior was…(Provide a one word answer)
·         We understand from the text that social media is beneficial so long as …
Use all you have learnt to write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of teenagers’ use of social media.
This extremely topical text provides a good all-round analysis of the use of social media by teenagers. The upsides and downsides are clearly explained. As a result the text should generate plenty of discussion and lead to a well rounded essay.
1.       The answers to the questions in this section 
·         Social media (such as instagram, snapchat and facebook)
·         Using social media to connect with others is kind of like having a private conversation in a public place.
·         They can feel cut out, judged, less connected and caught in online drama and cyber bullying
2.       The answers to the questions in this section 
·         Peer feedback plays a big role in how teens view themselves and each other
·         Teens present idealized versions of themselves online
·         Those carefully crafted profiles can make it feel like everyone else is living a better life than you are
·         Students’ use of social media may form distorted perceptions of their peers
·         The nature of the post
·         Whether they make upward or downward comparisons
3.       The answers to the questions in this section 
·         Kids no longer know how to communicate in person
·         Practical
·         Online conversations can stick around
4.       The answers to the questions in this section 
·         The confrontation between people is performed in front of an audience
·         Bullying.  
·         Alter perceptions
5.       The answers to the questions in this section 
·         It helped parents better understand their kids and what they were going through
·         Less
·         People don’t focus on how many likes or shares they have

Monday, November 27, 2017


Becoming vegetarian is not just a personal lifestyle choice; it could impact the whole world. Do your research to discover what would happen if everyone became vegetarian. When you have made plenty of notes, write an essay on the effects of this hypothetical transformation.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com.tr/  
Familiarize yourself with the issue
Reading material to make notes on
·         What would happen if the world suddenly went vegetarian? http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160926-what-would-happen-if-the-world-suddenly-went-vegetarian
·         If everyone became vegetarian, would the world actually be better off? https://www.popsci.com/vegetarian-environment-health
·         Five things would happen if everyone suddenly stopped eating meat http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/five-things-would-happen-if-everyone-stopped-eating-meat-a6844811.html
·         What if the whole world suddenly went vegetarian? https://www.sciencealert.com/what-if-the-whole-world-suddenly-went-vegetarian
Videos to watch and take notes from
·         What Would Happen if EVERYONE Became VEGETARIAN

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Is it possible that overfishing, super germs, and global warming are all caused by the same thing? In 1968, a man named Garrett Hardin sat down to write an essay about overpopulation. Within it, he discovered a pattern of human behavior that explains some of history’s biggest problems (ted.com). Do your research to discover what exactly this famous economic principle means and write an essay describing the problem, the causes and the solutions.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com.tr/  
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         The tragedy of the commons https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/tragedy-of-the-commons.asp
Reading material to make notes on
·         If you can make notes on this text, you are ready for your freshman year: The tragedy of the commons http://science.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full
·         Hardin’s tragedy of the commons revisited http://tragedy.sdsu.edu/     
Videos to take notes from
·          Solutions: The tragedy of the commons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs2P0wRod8U Make sure to click “practice questions” and answer the questions.

Friday, November 24, 2017


The issue of net neutrality is being discussed widely in the US these days as a change to the Obama era laws are in the pipeline. The decision is due on February 26 but what do you think? Should the amendment be made or should the Obama era law be preserved? Do your research and write an argumentative essay
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays: https://theessayarchive.blogspot.com.tr/  
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         Net neutrality explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p90McT24Z6w
Reading material to make notes on:
·         Net neutrality: what you need to know https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now
·         Net neutrality explained: what it means and why it matters http://fortune.com/2017/11/23/net-neutrality-explained-what-it-means-and-why-it-matters/
·         Here’s how the end of net neutrality will change the internet https://www.wired.com/story/heres-how-the-end-of-net-neutrality-will-change-the-internet/ Make sure to watch the related video titled “Why you should care about net neutrality?”
·         13 Pros and cons of net neutrality https://vittana.org/13-pros-and-cons-of-net-neutrality Make sure to watch the related videos.  
Videos to watch and take notes from:
·         The arguments for and against net neutrality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3jeqTAjbWw
·         How the End of Net Neutrality Will Affect You
·         THIS Is What No Net Neutrality Looks Like