Gun control remains a controversial topic among many in the United States, making it an appealing topic for college students choosing a subject for their next research paper. Some professors prohibit or restrict the topic, however, as students have a tendency to overdo it or write about the topic poorly. Decide on what specific approach to take with your paper on gun control before seeking your professor's approval, as some approaches may seem more fresh and favorable.
Argumentative Pro versus Con
Most research papers on gun control take the form of an argumentative essay. So many, in fact, that many college professors prefer for their students to avoid writing argumentative papers on gun control altogether. If you do decide to take this approach, remember that argumentative papers take a clear stance on the topic at hand through the use of facts and with a reason-based tone. State your position -- either in favor of gun control or against it -- in your thesis and restate your position in the paper's conclusion. In the body of the paper, acknowledge both sides of the issue, presenting facts supporting both sides while maintaining a calm, unemotional tone so that the position you hold bears more weight.
The Second Amendment
A less controversial or overdone approach to the topic of gun control requires you to write an analytical research paper in which you take no personal stance. For example, write a paper centered around the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Begin by quoting the Amendment, then focus the rest of the paper around the words of important historical or contemporary leaders on the topic. This approach may also involve a brief biography on the beliefs and life of the individuals you refer to. For example, if you quote Thomas Jefferson on the Second Amendment, explain a little about Jefferson's overall political views.
Gun Control within the United States
Another analytical research paper approach on the topic of gun control involves examining the current gun control laws within the United States, particularly variances in gun control from state to state. Some states or districts have tighter gun control laws than others. Choose one or two places with lax gun control and one or two with heavy gun control, then compare crime rates and other related factors. If an area with tight control, like Washington D.C., still has a high crime rate, include any pertinent outside factors that could affect this, but also apply those factors to states with both little gun control and high crime rates.
Gun Control in Other Countries
Write a paper focused on gun control around the world for another analytical research essay approach. Either examine a single nation's stance and history on gun control or look at a broad range of countries, including those both strict and relaxed on gun control. For example, as of 2001, both Japan and Switzerland had low rates of gun-related crime, but the two countries take very different stances on the matter of gun control. Explore additional factors that influence gun-related crime in conjunction with laws on gun control.
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