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Your work is more than just a few pieces of paper proving your competence to a professor; it is one of many voices in the ongoing conversations about your topic.
You find some intriguing newspaper articles from that period claiming African Americans were less susceptible to the disease than others. you need a research question to guide your analysis of those documents.
Where can you turn for help to figure out what sorts of new claims about these documents will add something to an ongoing conversation?
(2006) Although the primary concern of Murphy’s book is to describe the connections made by office workers in the 1970’s and 80’s between their health and their work environments, her vivid descriptions of the natural ecology of an office help the reader understand the way in which systems engineers could tackle the hidden problems of “sick building syndrome.” Similar to an ecologist viewing a landscape, Murphy sees the office as a living environment, full of living organisms that feed and react in relation to one another.
Thinking like an ecologist helped her offer a new perspective on the experiences reported by office workers and the challenges facing engineers.
There are always basic things you have to know before you can try to say something new about any subject.
This is as true for environmental historians as it is for auto mechanics, nuclear physicists, and baseball fans.You want your work to convince those who know about your topic that you’ve done your homework and are one of them. What’s visible to the eye above the ocean is only a small percentage of the total ice.The rest of the structure keeps the iceberg afloat, just as the vast knowledge you’ve gained in your research supports your paper’s argument.You can write a research paper that opens a brand new window on the past.The best historians are not those who know the most facts, but those who think about the past in new ways.Let's say you’re in an environmental history course and have to write a term paper.Outbreaks of disease are something you’ve always been interested in, so you’ve looked at documents from the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.Imagine for a moment that you are writing a paper on a woman's candle-making business in colonial New Hampshire. But if everything that's been written on the colonial economy focuses on what men are doing, if scholars had assumed that candles were always made at home and not sold at market until decades later, if this woman kept the profits of her sales at a time when a wife's property belonged to her husband, then your paper has called into question much that has long been considered fact.To make a new claim about the past, you’ll have to know some of the claims others have made.Dust mites flourish in the carpet jungle, feeding on the skin flecks sloughed off by human workers. Buried in the walls, a cool spot condenses air moisture, forming first a drip, then a stagnant puddle populated by microbes and molds.Every morning a swarm of humans invades, introducing fresh batches of organisms and chemicals suspended in the “personal clouds” which surround their bodies.