Research Paper - Effects of Computers

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Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:48 pm

Well my first idea for this paper was shot outta of the sky in the R&P section... so I'm considering doing the paper of the effects of computers on us as a society. I figure the range of topics it can touch on are limitless, and stillllllll something that was easy to find 3-4 years ago seems to be much more difficult for me to find now. I'm looking for some credible sources on the effects of computers on people/society. This could be anything from lack of excersisse (Or grammar in my case), increased crime, reduced crime... i mean anything. Anything that is from a .org or .gov would be what i'd need to find, or even a book (I found one using google book search) regarding the topic. Anyone see something like this recently that is worth mentioning? Any help would be fantastic..... Thanks!
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:12 pm

May not be of any use, but some of the articles on here made for some interesting reading - Particularly the 3rd and 4 links (helium.com):

http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&source=h ... a4b4ffde8d
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:00 pm

Mmm maybe http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml if you're looking for an Internet angle
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:07 pm

Yea... unfortunately that's similar to the list I came up... there is so much information on it, just don't know where to find "official" or academically credible sources on the matter.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:10 pm

I took a class in the "Social Analysis of Computerization" when I was studying for my CS degree. Here are the reading lists for the last two offerings of it with the professor I took it with:
Fall 2008
Fall 2009

I figure that these may at least be a start on figuring out a potential topic. As a side note, I wrote two papers for the course of which the broad topics were: an examination of the relationship between the use of computers and environmental sustainability, and the conception and analysis of the effects of a "wiki-scale" (or 100-million man hour) technology based project.

The class is also taught by other professors throughout the year, so if you're interested you can search for its course number under IN4MATIX 161.
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:38 am

Good link Penguin! I ended up settling on narrowing down the paper to Social effects of computers on society. The World of Warcraft research in your list was actually a VERY great start. Plus social behaviors due to computers are a well documented study. Thanks again guys, really helped.
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:37 am

Welch wrote:The World of Warcraft research in your list was actually a VERY great start.
It may then interest you that one of our professors (Dr. Bonnie Nardi) is conducting research into WoW's social aspects (among other things). I believe she actually received a significant grant for her research and by some reports has some contact with Blizzard.

A few links from her site:
Learning Conversations in World of Warcraft (2007, journal article)
Strangers and Friends: Collaborative Play in World of Warcraft (2006, journal article)
Opening the Black Box of Digital Technologies: Mods in World of Warcraft (2007, conference proceeding)
A qualitative study of Ragnarok Online private servers: In-game sociological issues. (2010, publication forthcoming in Proceedings Foundations of Digital Games 2010
Technology, Agency and Community: The Case of Modding in World of Warcraft (2009)
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:24 pm

I should have known to get myself into a deep ass topic lol... I can't narrow this damn thing down enough to not be considered "Too Broad" by my teacher. I've got so much writing to do in this class and the anthropology that I could seriously puke, 6 or 7 different papers :|, yay.

I'm attempting to come up with a thesis for this research paper and it just doesn't sound right... I'll post it. Tell me whats could be changed to make it a much stronger thesis. Also I'm trying to pick 3 major points to write about for the project. I've got to lay it out in a formal outline. Anytime something is formal or a specific format for writing like this I just get lost.

Thesis: Computers have affected our lives in many ways. Arguably one of the most important ways it has changed us is socially. Recently much criticism has been made of computers and their affects our social habits. In this research paper I will discuss how computers are used in various social ways, and the positive effects of these uses on society.
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:54 pm

You don't seem to be able to narrow it down enough to create a thesis, let alone to appease your teacher.

You need to look at specific areas in society that have been effected. Say... business travel or pleasure travel (I'd split them. "Travel" is still probably too broad), exercise, reading (see how it's changed the way periodicals are consumed), moving going, etc, etc. Look for some common action many people do and go there. Looking at society as a whole... that's a life time of research, not some undergrad paper.
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:03 pm

There's a screencap up (July 16, so it's bumped back to page 4 already) on FAILblog of an Amazon product page. It says that "Customers who bought this item also bought..." Portable hard-drive, World of Warcraft WotLK, and lubricant." The item purchased is NSFW. The connection between it and World of Warcraft is either sad or amusing.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:03 pm

Well ****.... I'm at a loss. I never have an issue writing until someone asks me to formulate it out on paper, then all bets are off.

It sucks balls too because I'd like to argue the side of "Computers can be good for society" but everything I've been coming across says the opposite, the "Credible" sources anyhow.... uhhh i'm just sick of the whole experience already.... Change of topic lmfao?
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:08 pm

Choose something more specific. The spreadsheet is still the killer app. You should be able to find source material documenting how much improved productivity has been achieved by making spreadsheets accessible to everyone in the workplace, for example.

Or... Choose something clearly positive. How have computers allowed disabled folks wider access to the world? Where would Dr. Hawking be without computers, for example?
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:20 pm

I think you should go extremely specific for an academic paper.

I would suggest one of these two topics, choose one you are more familiar with:

A paper on how Internet forums change the nature of communication and social relationships between humans.

or

How Internet chat rooms / chat clients change the nature of communication and social relationships.

As you can see, there is much to talk about either of these topics, as there is a whole different set of social norms, rules, and behaviors. There is an exclusion principle, where people under the age of 13 are not allowed to participate without parental oversight. There are some people who are much better adapted to on-line social interaction that real life social interaction, because the rules are different. You should also talk about anonyminity, and how that is a huge draw for many people. Corporations like Facebook and Blizzard don't want you to be anonymous, because that allows people to act without responsibility (and also because of profit motive, but that doesn't have to be mentioned in your paper).

I think this is a much better way to go about a research paper, so good luck!
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:34 pm

Why not do a thesis on the rise of paid for viral marketing on Internet forums ala Nvidia focus group activities and their impact?
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:38 pm

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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:04 pm

Fighterpilot wrote:Why not do a thesis on the rise of paid for viral marketing on Internet forums ala Nvidia focus group activities and their impact?


Or better yet, fanboyism!

It sucks balls too because I'd like to argue the side of "Computers can be good for society" but everything I've been coming across says the opposite, the "Credible" sources anyhow.... uhhh i'm just sick of the whole experience already.... Change of topic lmfao?


Writing a paper shouldn't be too difficult to do. Write about something that you are interested in. Maybe you can answer or address a question you've always had with some sort of analysis. It seems that you have a lot of leeway in regards to what you can write about. You can really go far and do something awesome. I personally find writing papers to be thoroughly enjoyable because it allows me to really address and learn about things I'm specifically interested in. Oh and as odd as it sounds but having a really awesome list of cited references is something that I find... sexy. Or just cool.

FWIW, I'm sure you can find literature within academia that talks about the benefits of computers, in some form or another. Look within the social sciences, that is right up their alley. Additionally, you could argue against what the literature is saying if you disagree. Especially with the social sciences, there is probably more wiggle room for arguing, at least for the paper you want to do. With the physical sciences it is a bit trickier since the data and numbers are right there, but dealing with social patterns is a bit easier.
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:16 am

ShadowTiger wrote:There is an exclusion principle, where people under the age of 13 are not allowed to participate without parental oversight.
Is this really a principle or just a law that forces it to be 13?
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Re: Research Paper - Effects of Computers

Postposted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:47 am


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