Sunday, January 16, 2011

MLA or Modern language association is a widely accepted format of writing essays and research papers. This style of writing is most commonly used in arts and humanities essays and research papers. There are several advantages of using MLA style:

•    MLA style prescribes a system to the authors for referencing the sources via parenthetical citation in the essays.
•    With a robust referencing system MLA style helps the authors in building up their credibility as their writing can be tracked back to the source material.
•    As the works of the writers can be tracked back to the original, using this style in their writings authors can effectively ward off any false accusations of plagiarism.

Generic MLA style guidelines are as follows:

•    The essay should be written on 8"x11" white paper.
•    Recommend font is Times New Roman with a font size of 12 pt. The text should be double spaced.
•    Leave one space after every punctuation mark (periods, question marks, colon, and comma).
•    Leave a margin space of 1" on every side of paper.
•    Indent the first line of the paragraph 1" from the left margin to mark the beginning of a paragraph
•    Restrict the use of italics and underlining to emphasize certain points in your essay.
•    Create a header on the upper right margin of the title page to number the page.

•    Create a title page for your essay only if it is specifically requested by the teacher.
•    Mention your name, instructors name, the course and date in the same order on the upper left hand corner of the first page.
•    Write the title in Title case, not in All CAPS. Put the title in the center of the page. Do not put the title in quotation marks, period or underline it.
•    Use italics or quotation marks when referring to someone else´s work on your title page.
•    Create a header on the upper right margin of the title page. The header should include your last name, and page number in Arabic numerals. If your research guide doesn´t want you to put a number on the title page then start number the rest of the document from Page 2. Do not put period after the page number.
•    Put a double space between the title of the page and first line of the text.
•     In MLA writing style when somebody else´s work is cited with the text of the essay the cited material is mentioned in a "signal phrase" which includes author´s name. Mention the page number of the cited work from which the information is drawn in a bracket after the signal phrase.
•    The works cited list consists of the list of sources, which have been referred to write the essay, enlisted on a separate page after the end of the essay.

Knowledge of MLA style of writing can be very helpful for research scholars and writers. To understand the MLA style in depth there are various helpful resources available on the internet and in reference libraries.

Thesis Statement Ideas

1.       Gambling in professional sports is a major problem and should be addressed more often.
a.       Gambling in sports creates an ethical problem among athletes.
b.      Overseas betting makes it easier for professional athletes to gamble and creates a tug and pull effect for players.
c.       Athletes with gambling problems have less of a chance of getting help because they face extreme repurcusions in their own games for gambling.

2.        Performance enhancing drugs carry a heavy load of problems when matched with the world’s best athletes.
a.       Health issues
b.      Ethical Issues
c.       Gives professional sports no basis for what is humanly possible.

3.        Since the mid 1950’s the family dynamic has undergone a drastic change and these changes are effecting society greatly.
a.       Statistically, children coming from a broken home earn lower grades.
b.      Teenagers in single parent families are three times more likely to need psychological help.
c.       Children studied six years from an experienced divorce still report feeling “lonely, unhappy, anxious, and insecure.”

4.       Horseracing for years has been the subject of scrutiny for the inhumane treatment of horses and the unhealthy lifestyles associated with being a jockey.
a.       Statistics show horse fatality rates in horse racing are significantly higher than any other activity involving horses.
b.      Jockeys are required to stay under certain weight restrictions and often times use unhealthy practices to achieve these weights.
c.       Drugs are a major problem inside the jockey society.

5.       Plant hybridization although innovative many times produces species that throw off nature’s balance.
a.       Hybrid plants overtake native species.
b.      Super plants while popular are often times transferred along to places they are not intended to travel.
c.       Animals cannot evolve fast enough to catch up with the hybrid plants.

Pizza Making (Simple Process Analysis)

The Perfect Pizza
Are you sick of those same old lame five dollar pizzas? Do you enjoy a pizza with dough that tastes like cardboard? Do you really prefer a pizza that has been sitting on a warmer for an hour? These are just some of the reasons why they say, "You get what you pay for." The process of making a pizza is a process that has been perfected over hundreds of years by the finest chefs.  These chefs all agree the process needs great diligence and care.  They also say that the freshness of all the ingredients that go into the perfect pie is the most important factor.
The first step in making a pizza is to make the foundation; the dough.  In order to make dough you must start by sprinkling yeast into a bowl containing 1 ¼ cups of warm water.  Next, add 2 cups of sifted flour and stir until blended, when blended add another 1 ½ to two cups of flour until the mix becomes to stiff to stir with a spoon. Begin to knead the dough on a floured surface for about 15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  The dough is nearly finished at this point, place the dough ball in a bowl with a small amount of oil making sure to cover the surface of the ball.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store it in a warm place for about 45 minutes.  At this point the dough should be about double the size.  You can now divide the dough into pieces large enough to cover the size of your pan. 
            No pizza can be considered delicious without the perfect complimentary sauce.  I recommend a very standard sauce that can be customized to better meet your taste.  The sauce is very simple made up of three ingredients.  A ratio of six to one of cans of tomatoes to sticks of butter and one medium sized onion diced is all you need for a very satisfying pizza sauce.  Simmer the tomatoes, onion, and butter for an hour.  When done simmering mash the sauce with a hand blender or whisk.  This is where the sauce can be customized with garlic, oregano, parsley, Romano cheese, and Parmesan cheese which are all very good ingredients to add.
            Everyone loves a rich, satisfying, gooey cheese atop a delicious perfectly crafted pizza.  Experts agree that five cheeses have the perfect melting characteristics for a pizza.  The traditional cheese used in most pizza parlors is Mozzarella cheese.  Mozzarella has long been used because of its mild taste and low melting temperature and works perfectly for a mild tasting pizza.   A more daring pizza artist may opt for a cheese with a more individual flavor such as Asiago, Provolone, Romano, or Parmesan.  These cheeses range from slightly stronger to very strong.  What cheese you prefer is up to you and numerous cheeses can be mixed and matched.  Sprinkle an appropriate amount of cheese on the pie and you are ready for cooking. 
            Many pizza parlors say they have the perfect oven for pizza making whether it be convection, brick oven, stone oven, or wood oven.  These ovens at times can reach up to one thousand degrees and often times pizzas are made at temperatures near that.  You’re home oven should do fine in this case.  Pre-heat the oven anywhere from 400 to 500 degrees based on the thickness of your crust, the thicker the crust the lower the temperature.  Place the pizza in the oven and wait.  An approximate cook time for a plain cheese pizza will be about ten minutes.  Remove the pizza when it appears like the crust is a golden brown and the cheese begins to bubble.  You have now created a pizza fit for the finest Italian food connoisseurs.

Organic Food (Informative Essay) (Sources Included)

The Truth About Organic Food
Organic foods are defined as foods without pesticides, antibiotics, or genetically altered organisms (Organic Foods).  Organic farming began in the late 1940’s in the United States, and in recent years it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.   Sales for organic foods in the past decade have increased annually by 20%.  Its 20% growth is ten times as much as non-organic food’s growth (Wikipedia).  Organic food makes up only a fraction of the food market even though there are over ten million consumers. The sales of organic foods are expected to climb to over 6 billion dollars within the upcoming years.  Soil is also a crucial component of the organic process.  Soil is said to be organic when it has been deemed “clean” for three years.
              One of the problems with the organic food industry is that it is vastly misunderstood.  The majority of the public believes that organic foods are not only safer but better for the environment.  Organic farming does have its advantages. It conserves water and soil resources, recycles animal waste, releases fewer chemicals, improves soil fertility, promotes diversity of crops, and protects farm workers, livestock, and wildlife from potentially harmful pesticides.  These advantages often overshadow the negatives.
Organic food farmers use the misconceptions that organic foods are safer, better for the environment, and healthier overall to their economic advantages (IFOAM).  The prices for organic foods are largely inflated because of the idea that they are healthier but in reality organic foods serve no greater nutritional value than their less hyped non-organic counterpart. The cost of organic foods can be 20 percent to 50 percent more than conventional foods.  The mark up in price comes from the limited supply, special care taken to abide my legalities, and certification required for organic farms.  Critics consider those who buy organic food as money wasters who are unaware of the truths behind what they are buying.
Organic foods can be contaminated with salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli (Food Safety). These organisms can cause illness and even death.  Animal waste is used as a fertilizer instead of synthetic chemicals on organic foods.   The problem with animal waste as fertilizer is that many unlicensed facilities sell contaminated fertilizer.
              Many consumers buy organic foods because they think that they are pesticide free.   This is an idea that has been created by the consumer.  Organic farmers can use natural pesticides such as sulfur, copper, nicotine, and plant extract (Love to Know). Just because an item is organic does not mean it was raised in a plastic bubble environment.  It is still susceptible to rain and wind.  It is a fact that almost all pesticides do not end up in their desired location (Wikipedia)  Run off, flooding, and water column pollution also play a role. 
Taste is one of the key factors in what the consumer buys.  The difference between organic and inorganic foods in taste is very minimal and most people cannot differentiate between the two.  The consumer may have a placebo effect because what they are consuming in their mind is better but to most a difference is not noticeable.
             A disadvantage of organic food is the life of the product.  Without the preservatives found in inorganic foods nearly all of these products must be refrigerated.  Organic farming also yields fewer crops because insects, weeds, and fungi often damage a larger portion of organic crops than conventionally grown crops. Finally, only about half of the states regulate organic foods and little exists to stop organic farmers from labeling any food they wish as “organic”.
Conscious consumers for years have worried about the long term effects pesticides, nitrates, and fertilizers will have on the health of the world’s population.  Physicians are blaming pesticides for new strains of cancer and these threats have heightened the populations desire for healthy alternatives to foods loaded with carcinogens.  The idea in itself is smart but still irrational. 
              The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables such as lower rates of cancer, stroke, and other diseases far outweigh any potential risks. Still, the thought of pesticides on fruits and vegetables may still concern some consumers.  For those consumers there are many precautions you can take to eliminate the risk of consuming chemicals.  Most important is eating a balanced diet of many types of fruits and vegetables.
              To say that inorganic or organic is a better choice is up the consumer to decide.  If your diet consists largely of a certain item you may want to think of going organic but if you eat a balanced diet and live a generally healthy lifestyle you have no reason to worry the worries some concern with inorganic products.  It is the consumer’s responsibility to find the truth in what is presented by the media.  An apple is an apple, whether it is organic or not and the consumer should not have to pay twice as much for peace of mind. 


"Define Organic Foods." Organic Foods. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2010. <>.
"Enviromental Effects of Pesticides." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2010. <>.
"Growing Organic: Criticism and Misconceptions About Organic Farming." IFOAM. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2010. <
"Organic Food." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2010. <>.
"Organic Foods and Children." Food Safety . N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2010. <>.
"Permitted Chemicals List Fact Sheet." Love to Know. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov 2010. <

Immigration Essay (Informative)

Immigration in America
            The United States has forever been known as the land of the free and the nation of opportunity.    The country’s open door policy to those in need continues to reap dividends in areas such as cultural diversity, market expansion, and dominance in the fields of science and engineering.  America was shaped by immigrants and is considered to be the melting pot of the world.   The landmark that means most to immigrants is the Statue of Liberty located in New York City.   America now must come to the realization that immigration as a whole is no longer a positive influence on American culture. 
The plaque on the Statue of Liberty for immigrants to read as they reach Ellis Island reads as: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” ("How Tall is the Statue of Liberty") While these are promising, hopeful words for immigrants to place hope and faith in, they are very often taken for granted. These words have turned into a war against illegal trafficking, a fence about 350 miles long separating Mexico from the United States, and a public outcry against immigrants taking citizen’s jobs. 
The highly publicized issue of this generation’s immigrants has dawned on a much larger negative aspect of the friendly, easy-going immigration laws of the United States.  Many negative aspects have been brought to the forefront of mainstream media.  Issues such as poverty, public assistance, population increase, health care cost, drugs, violence, wage suppression, and immigration reform are all affected by illegal immigration currently in America. 
America was built on the backs of immigrants from all nations, but as more and more immigrants flood into the United States more and more problems arise.  The U.S. system of government is now being exploited for its lope holes.  The financial gap between recent immigrants and native citizen’s is increasing at a pace never seen before.  Daily, more and more immigrants are falling under the poverty line and are now accepting government assistance.    Since states and local governments pay most welfare benefits, native citizens in states with high levels of immigrants pay more in taxes to help support indigent immigrants.  Each year legal citizens face tax hikes to help support these state
Population increase is among the United States’ biggest concerns.  The nation is already being pushed to its brink population wise and the incredibly high numbers of immigrants crossing into the U.S. annually is not helping.  In March 2010 there were twelve million illegal immigrants in America.  One in twenty American workers is an illegal immigrant. (Wikipedia) According to Joseph Chamie, Director of Research at the Center for Migration Studies, the main problem is not the actual number of people immigrating but it is the tendency for immigrants to reproduce far more offspring than native citizens.   Chamie predicts the population of the U.S. will reach 439 million by 2050, with immigrants making up 70 percent of the total population increase.  The numbers do not lie; America is letting too many people into the country ("Wikipedia").
Everyone has health problems from the youngest of age until the oldest of age and illness, injury, and paint are not limited to any sex, race, or background.   In America health insurance is crucial to families and their financial stability.  Without health insurance a fair hospital bill can be absurd and ridiculous and to most uninsured American’s impossible to afford.    U.S. Census figures show that 34 percent of immigrants lack health insurance, making up 71 percent of the increase in America's total uninsured since 1989 ("Center for Immigration Studies"). The cost of providing health care to uninsured immigrants is passed on to native citizens in higher health care and insurance prices.  Basically, native citizens of America are paying for the irresponsibility of this generation’s illegal immigrants. 
            The drug problem in America is out of control and statistically illegal immigrants and relaxed immigration policies are to blame.  The Mexican American border is a super expressway for Cocaine, Methamphetamines, Marijuana, and other illegal drugs.   As documented by recent media reports border towns such as Juarez, Mexico have been overrun with drug smugglers and cartels.  These cartels are using ruthless tactics to gain control over local authorities and law enforcement.  Murder, kidnapping, and corruption run ramped along the U.S. Mexico border.  The network of drug trade resembles a large expansive tree.    The roots the foundation of the network begin in Mexico and through transport by illegal immigrants the drugs work their way to Phoenix, Tucson, Houston, and Dallas and from there are spread to major cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York.  A more restricted flow of immigrants from Mexico and Central America would help cut the drug smuggling greatly.
            In the last five years the statement “They’re taking our jobs” has been that of a public outcry.  The concern of American citizen’s is that illegal immigrants who are willing to take lower wages for strenuous work are suppressing wages around the country.  These immigrants set a precedent for employers where the illegal immigrant worker becomes a top priority because of it is easy to save money when you don’t have to pay workers a high wage.  The downward pressure on wages is getting so extreme that illegal immigrants are being targeted for jobs on farms, golf courses, and maintenance positions within businesses.  It is truly unfair to the ignorant worker and the American citizen.  The American government needs to step up and ensure that legal documented citizen get first priority in employment. 
            Immigration has a huge place in America and in no way should all immigration be outlawed.  Immigrant’s willing work and do their part as Americans are welcome but immigrants looking to leach off of America’s generosity should be forced out or never allowed in, in the first place.  Every nation has citizens willing to work hard and pursue a better life for their families.  America provides people like this a chance to start over.  The immigrants that saw the statue of liberty as their first sign of America knew that seeing Lady Liberty meant having a chance at a new life, financial stability, and happiness.  Immigrants deserve a chance at life, liberty, and happiness but if they are not willing to contribute to American society positively they should be deported. 
            The last two presidential elections have been swayed by the issue of immigration.  Politicians realize the importance of the issues and have made it clear in their pre and post-election agendas that fixing the problems with immigration is clearly an important issue.   A line needs to be drawn in the sand to let American citizens know that they are first priority.    The American government needs come together to formulate an immigration policy that is has no grey areas that citizens and immigrants can see cut and dry.  Immigration is having a huge effect negatively on American society and the American economy.  Wavering back and forth about a plan of action does no good for citizens and immigrants.   

College vs. High School (Comparison Essay)

High School Versus College
Mark Twain was once quoted as saying “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”  Mark Twain knew the importance of being educated and placed a high importance on never allowing his mind or body to stagnate.  In today’s modern society the two forms of education most popular are a high school education and a college education.  More people than ever are striving to better themselves by achieving some form of collegiate education.  Going through both forms of education has shown me the many similarities and differences between both forms of structured education.  The main differences I have acknowledged are self discipline, structure, curriculum, and teaching methods. 
            The self-discipline required to be a successful college student academically is at a much higher level than that of the required self-discipline of a high school student.  College professors put in the effort to instruct the students as best they can but they realize it is up to the student to put in the work and have the desire to educate themselves on many levels.  This makes it very possible to either learn a very large amount from a class or a very small amount.  High school is a much different atmosphere.  Teachers are put under guidelines for student achievement, this at times causes the a teacher to nurture the students which in truth just hinders the growth of the students academically.  
            The structures of high schools and college vary greatly.  High schools are far more disciplined, scheduled, and structured.  The students in some cases are treated like mindless sheep kept on a very time oriented schedule.  The schedule is the same each day and the student is expected to have excellent attendance and faces disciplinary action if attendance protocol is not met.  College is a very different story, the approach of colleges towards structure and attendance is much more relaxed.  If you fall behind in a class because you have poor attendance they consider it unfortunate and expect the student to find a way to catch up on work.   Faculty won’t coddle the student into coming to class.  The students may have a different schedule for each day of the week and they are expected to be able to handle their day to day work accordingly.  The difference between a senior in high school and a freshman in college my only be months of age but the way they are treated is comparable to that of a child to an adult.
            A college education is something that many people believe opens up opportunities never known to the uneducated man.  While in high school the goal is to get a broad education of numerous subjects so when you reach college you can narrow down your interests, your talents, and your dreams.  A college curriculum may differentiate greatly from that of a high school course load.  When in college most students have a general understanding of what they may like to focus on as a potential career so their courses reflect that.  In high school all students take the same standard classes of English, math, history, and science.   Of course some sub divisions of those classes are available but the majority of students don’t focus on a career path until college.  This is what makes the difference in curriculum so great.  You may have on one side of you someone with asperations of becoming the Fortune 500 company owner and on the other side someone with dreams of owning their own clothing line.  In high school the goal is usually more about just reaching the college of your preference.
            There are thousands of teaching styles professors and teachers use.  Each person is different and therefore has their own idea of what their class will respond to and learn from.  In college I have found that teachers often times focus on their strengths whether it be lecturing or using personal experience while in high school the majority of my learning was very scripted, impersonal, and bland.  The teaching styles I have experienced in college have helped me enjoy learning much more and on many occasions I have felt like I was able to envision myself in the professors personal experiences.  This ability to relate was something I never found in high school.
            College and high school both have their place in society and are both incredibly influential in shaping the generations of tomorrow.  Regardless of their differences they both are responsible for teaching students and providing a backbone of education.   George Seville put it brilliantly when he stated that “Education is what remains when we have forgotten all that we have been taught.”   Without education the world would have nothing. 

The Many Faces of a Dieter (Classification Essay)

The Many Faces of a Dieter
The sad reality of today’s world is more than ever there is an importance being placed on being aesthetically pleasing.  In a typical day you are incredibly likely to hear or see the word diet in some form of media usually accompanied by a picture of an incredibly fit man or woman.  This is has become the American dream.  The perfect body has become synonymous with the perfect life.  Businesses want people to feel inadequate, to feel as though their dreams can’t be achieved without looking flawless.   The illusion that dieting is the answer to all of life’s problems seems to be stuck in the mind of the average person.  The problem with this thought is that the life or death pursuit of a diet that will fix every flaw is just unrealistic and opens up the average person to sneaky businessmen looking to sell their magic “pill” or magic “diet.”   Dieters assume various disguises, but the noteworthy ones are the "bandwagoneer," the "promiser" and the "lethal loser."
Everyone wants to lose weight quickly and effortlessly; therefore, any fad diet promising overnight results becomes the new "call" of the "bandwagoneer." She tries the grapefruit diet or the watermelon diet, but after a week and little weight loss she decides it doesn’t work and eagerly begins her search for the next craze. The next day the television advertises a new wonder pill that allows the user to lose up to ten pounds in one week, and the band-wagoner acts as though she has just found the dieting Holy Grail.   Although the magic pill does not produce the desired weight loss, she never gives up hope for a new "wagon" to hitch onto. She will eventually cross over the safety line into a danger zone of unknown procedures, performed by unqualified physicians looking to latch onto any unknowing physique dreamer.  Obesity has a large psychological effect on an individual and some people are driven to expensive surgeries such as gastric bypass, lap band surgery, and stomach stapling.  All of these surgeries in no way should be performed on the natural human body.  The "bandwagoneer" is a businessman’s dream, pumping what seems like a never ending stream of money into attempts to “purchase” the perfect body.
Everyone has the friend or family member that uses a special occasion such as a wedding, a dance, or a reunion as a motivator to lose weight.   Logically, it seems like a good idea to give yourself a long-term goal like that but in reality most people just wait until a few weeks before the occasion and then search for that instant cure.   She is the dieter with only fifteen pounds to lose but as time goes by she arrogantly proclaims that “dieting is just not as easy or fun as eating what you want.”  Some people become the “promiser” when a large life event happens that they can’t control.  A pregnancy or an injury are both prime examples.  The person will boastfully say “Once I have the baby” or “Once I recover I will clean up my diet and begin exercising.” The “promiser” comes in many forms and can be that “tomorrow promiser” or the “next Monday promiser.”  Either way these people rarely follow through with their plans to change their unhealthy lifestyles.  It is unfortunate because most people recognize this kind of dieter and usually get sick of hearing about the upcoming changes that always fall through.  It is like the old fable of the crying wolf.  You can only listen and support the “promiser” for song long before you disregard the “wolf’s” dieting cry.
The most unfortunate and tragic form of dieter is the “lethal loser.” She is the girl portrayed in what seems like every Lifetime Network Movie.  The young lady is almost always of a healthy weight with no real need to shed any pounds.  She may be the friend who obsurdly questions herself after eating half of an apple.  These girls often time’s fall into a downward spiral of overeating and purging to relieve themselves from the guilt associated with eating food.  To the girl the illusion of eating whatever you want and later ridding yourself from the guilt by purging seems like the perfect plan.  Ultimately the girl’s habits are uncovered.  Rather than admitting her problem she will defend her lifestyle like a mother bear defends her cub.  This dieter analyzes the calorie content of every morsel of food on her dinner plate and decides whether or not to eat it; usually she does not, but quietly excuses herself from the table to return to her room. In her horrid lifestyle she has lost connection with reality and the fact that food is a necessity in life and nourishes the body while replenishing vitamins and minerals. Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa have both been shown to usually start out as an innocent attempt to drop a few pounds to fit into the skimpy dress.  The problem evolves and eventually consumes the victim.  Often times the victim is either forced into intervention but in many cases serious life altering illness or death can effect the “lethal loser.”
Every dieter has the image in their mind of the body they wish to call their own.  Dieters may have very different approaches to going about achieving these lofty goals that in reality should take years to achieve.  One thing each of these dieter should consider is the statement “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  So if these dieters want the body of a Roman God they should realize the time it took to sculpt such a body.   The importance of the dieting game is not the goal, but how one decides to get there.  It is a not a lottery, or a game of chance.  A well designed diet and exercise plan is full proof.  Sticking to it and being persistent pays dividends.   If you consider yourself one of these dieter types, don’t panic, realize you have the power to change and that it’s never too late.