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Contexts for Writing a Research Paper

Sometimes, the best way to learn how to write a research paper is to see an example to use as a model.  Below is a short, student-written research paper for English 1A, Reading & Composition.  Click on the highlighted text to see instructor commentary.

"Cell Phones Are Cool," by Tamara Furusho

Cell phones are cool. Everyone has one. They have become a status symbol. Wranglers jeans has a sticker labeled “Cell Phone Pocket!” on their new back-to-school jeans for kids this year. I actually found myself wondering if my 5-year-old son was old enough to have his own cell phone. They almost got me, but I came to reality.

With over 97 million users in America alone, cell phones are everywhere, for better or worse. While cell phone coverage and signals couldn’t be much worse, cell phones themselves are getting better and better. Although the primary purpose of a cell phone is still to make phone calls, they have become a multimedia tool. Today’s phones can browse the Internet, send and receive email, take pictures, and capture video footage. The newest features include a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), the ability to run Java Software Applications such as Telenav 2.2, which provides audible driving directions, and voice record. Cell phones are the center of future technology, integrating multiple electronic gadgets into one, bringing freedom to individuals and society as a whole. They will continue to improve the quality of living, or at least the quantity of things that can be squeezed into one day. (*)

. . . . One of the most promising things cell phone technology will offer individuals in the future is an important role in “Smart Houses." The "smart" homes of the near future will be straight out of the Jetsons cartoons; these homes will use a “centralized computer network to deliver electronically coordinated assistance” to consumers (Hoover). Individuals will be able to remotely control security monitors, door locks, blinds and even appliances by pushing a button on their cell phones. Garage door openers will be obsolete as a password punched into the cell phone will get the job done. Lights will be controlled by cell phones, as well as home entertainment systems and home computer networks. Imagine leaving work and clicking a button on your cell phone to signal your "smart" appliance to switch from refrigerator to oven and cook the casserole you prepared that morning to be ready when you walk in the door. (*)

If cell phones can unlock doors in Smart Homes, why not unlock car doors as well? And if that is the case, they should also be able to set the car alarm and allow surveillance of the vehicle. The ability to warm up an automobile with the press of a button will soon be a reality. GPS enabled cell phones that now have the ability to display the user’s approximate location will make it possible to access traffic information on demand and receive audible driving directions. Another function of GPS enabled phones will be to reset the preset radio stations by region. It is just a matter of time before the car manufactures catch wind of the fact that the fairly expensive OnStar service is competing with the ever more affordable cell phone, at which time they are likely to join forces and become a media conglomeration that are becoming so prevalent. Chances are that it will be Nextel, the new sponsor of Nascar, who has already begun to build the bridge between automobile and cell phone with TrackPass (enables user to listen to radio frequency between Nascar driver and pit crew during races over cell phone) ("A Look").

Cell phones have their place in office technology as well. On the way to work, it will be possible to log on to your computer. Email and voice mails can be checked remotely. As the rest of office technology evolves, cell phones will be able to send documents to fax machines and copiers. Tomorrow’s cell phones will be compatible with countless software applications used in office networks, making it possible to telecommute without a PC or even a laptop. Teleconferencing by cell phone will be the next development in business as soon as an adjustable tripod/ cell phone stand is marketed ("A Look").

Cell phones come standard with games and soon all cell phones will be equipped with cameras and/or camcorders. Cell phones are becoming cooler by the minute with downloadable ring tones. The technology for downloading entire songs as MP3 files is already here. It is also possible to download movies via the Internet on phones. However, although possible, it is not legal. As soon as the legalities are dealt with and the music and movie industry establish their place in the digital and wireless marketplace, that is when cell phone magic will be seen.

Unfortunately, there is new evidence that suggests the possibility that cell phones cause brain tumors. A recent study revealed that “users who spend more than an hour a day talking on a mobile phone have a close to one-third higher risk of developing a rare form of brain tumor”, usually on the same side they hold the cell phone to their ear. (Dr. Mercola) To be safe, it is best to join in and become one of the Bud People: “A new species, infrequently sighted but growing in number, the Bud People keep their phones hidden and have small earphones and tiny microphone” (Guernsey) as this eliminates the need to hold the cell phone to the head. Also, it makes for safer driving while talking on a cell phone, a proven safety hazard.

. . . . Cell phones have become an accessory and a necessity. The lines between multimedia, entertainment and communication are blurred and broken. Society has gone wireless and connectivity is key. Teenagers with cell phones have proven that they have mastered networking and full use of their wireless accessory. Although this may not be an entirely positive contribution to society at present, this next generation holds much potential for integrating cell phone use into many facets of living. There is a new generation of cell phones for each new generation of users.

Works Cited

“A Look Into The Future Of Cell Phones.” Cell Phone Carriers.com. <www.cellphonecarriers.com>

Guernsey, Lisa. “No, I’m Not Talking To You.” (New York Times; New York, N.Y.; Jun 8, 2000)

Hoover, Aaron. “UF ‘Smart Home’ Demonstrates Concept of Automated Elderly Help and Care.” UF News 19 Nov. 2003.


Mercola, Dr.. “Cell Phones and Brain Tumors.” Dr. Mercola Feb. 2003. <http://www.mercola.com/2003/apr/2/cell_phones.htm>




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