The Power of Words: Honors English 9 Blog Project

Josephine Walker, Editor in Chief

Inspired by The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, the students of Honors English 9 were asked to write a research paper blog on an issue they felt strongly about. The students in the class tackled a wide range of topics, covering everything from social media to daylight savings to sport and athletics. Three examples of these blogs are “Why Choosing the Right Milk Matters So Much” by Anna Kulesa, “Shoespiracy: The Running Shoe will be the Downfall of the Modern Runner” by Leo London, and “The Unknown Challenges That Disabled People Face” by Cassie Jennings. 

“Why Choosing the Right Milk Matter So Much” by Anna Kulesa

When she was brainstorming which topic to write about, Anna Kulesa thought back to a TED Talk on milk she’d watched in the past. This small, animated video prompted her to explore the different types of milk you see in the grocery store, and what kind of impact these milks have on your health and on the climate. In her blog, she sets out to answer the questions of how something as small as “a carton of milk could cause such a big problem in our environment” and which type of milk is the best choice?

Kulesa’s favorite part of the project was the research she had to do because she ended up learning many new facts. Throughout her research, she learned that the creation process of her go-to milk choice, almond milk, causes deforestation. This caused her to rethink some of her decisions in the future. Hopefully after reading her blog, the next time you’re purchasing milk you’ll think more about the impacts your choice has. She’s certainly prompted me to lean towards oat milk over almond in the future. 

“Shoespiracy: The Running Shoe will be the Downfall of the Modern Runner” by Leo London

Prompted by a history of broken bones and shin splints, Leo London chose to write about the benefits of barefoot running and the downsides of running shoes. He had done some research on the topic before the project was announced as he is a runner himself and used the assignment as an “excuse to find out more.” Through the process of writing his blog, he was able to expand his prior knowledge in order to be able to properly address the subject. 

London compared writing this research blog to many of the other papers he’s written for school. After utilizing class time for research, he compiled all his information into his paper. Among many facts, London learned that the injury rate for runners is “up to 75 percent annually” and that some of these injuries can be traced to the shoes that they wear. His paper urges the reader to reconsider their footwear choices, if they choose to run while wearing shoes at all. 

“The Unknown Challenges That Disabled People Face” by Cassie Jennings

The inspiration behind Cassie Jennings’ blog was her desire to clear up the misconceptions about disabled people and to help others understand why the challenges disabled people face are so important to understand. Jennings thought it was important to do a topic that impacts her personally and, since she is disabled, this topic seemed perfect. She especially wanted to educate the people around her because the issues she describes are so important to her. 

The research process was “relatively simple” for Jennings. She categorized her research into two categories, the different types of issues and proposed solutions for these issues. Another thing that helped make the process so simple was the fact that a lot of the “research stemmed from personal experience.” Jennings works to educate her peers about the struggles of disabled people, and urges her audience to make changes in the world, even if they’re small. 

Overall, the Honors English 9 students guide their audience to make changes in their lives, whether that means getting them to edit their grocery shopping list, inspiring them to try out barefoot running, educating them about the people around them, or any of the many topics that were written about.

You can check them out for yourself right here, and you should, they are worth the read:

https://sites.google.com/madisonnjps.org/blogresearchpapermdo/home