1. #1
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    Default Research paper-help needed please

    I am writing a persuasive paper for my research and expository writing class and would appreciate a little feedback if you have a few minutes. The following is a rough draft of my introduction. The introduction is meant to do 3 things: 1)capture your attention 2)establish the general focus of the paper and 3) mention the significance of the topic. If you have time to offer some constructive criticism, it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    Cheffie

    America on Fire:
    Every 20 Seconds……..


    “Every 20 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States.” (NFPA) Every 79 seconds a fire occurs in a residential structure. Every 29 minutes a civilian is injured in a fire. Every 134 minutes a civilian dies in a fire. Every 1/10th of a second a firefighter is injured. Although progress has been made over the last ten years through improved fire codes, improvements in building construction and improvements in fire protection, the United States still has one of the highest occurrences of losses, both in human and property from fire of any industrialized nation. That progress has predominately been in nonresidential structures. Where we fall short in comparison to other nations is incorporating safety into residences and in focusing more attention on safety behavior in the home. 75% of Americans do not even have an escape plan to exit their home in the event of fire. (NFPA). Every second someone is injured or killed. Every year billions of dollars in property is lost to fire. Those are only the direct losses. You cannot always measure the indirect loses. How do you measure a family’s grief when someone dies? At least one person has died in a fire in the time it took me to type this paper. Fires take more lives annually than all other natural disasters combined. These numbers are unacceptable in a modern industrialized nation with the knowledge and resources that are available to us. The purpose of this paper is to persuade the reader that we need to educate the public and overcome their indifference to fire and fire prevention. (FEMA).

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    Sherry... it looks good to me!
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    If your main goal is to capture and maintain the readers attention, then I would say "mission accomplished".But I wonder about listing so many statistics.I enjoyed reading all of them but I consider myself a stat. type of guy. I'm just wondering if the average reader might lose focus with too much important information.

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    Lightbulb

    Want more stats.? Here we go. How many American homes don't have enough and/or properly working smoke AND carbon monoxide detectors? How many American homes don't have a fire extinguisher in their kitchen or close by? How many American homes that have a second floor(or higher) porch or deck, store and use a gas grill out there! How much time is wasted and how much property and/or lives are lost because the residents of a neighborhood didn't shovel out a snow buried fire hydrant? Give me a minute........................I'll think of some more. Great subject to write about.Good luck with your paper.
    Last edited by RESERVE172; 02-19-2005 at 02:19 AM.

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    Statistics can be boring. Your reference to the time it took you to type the paper is a good way to get people to understand the stat. Unfortunately, no one knows how long it took you to type the paper. Try to equate the stats to the time it takes to: watch your favorite sitcom, a football game, a commercial break, drive from San Francisco to ???

    Check your stats. If a fire fighter is injured every 1/10 of a second, that means there are 315,360,000 fire fighter injuries in a year. If I’m not mistaken, that is more than the population of the U.S. Also, you write the every second someone is injured or killed (in a fire). That means 31,536,000 people are killed or injured in a fire per year. Sounds high (that’s the entire population of California, +/-).

    Use the $12,307,000,000 figure. That’s $1.4 Million every hour - The time it takes to watch Desperate Housewives or 60 Minutes (how ironic). Check the state budget of several states until you find one at $12.3 Billion. Or what fraction of the California state budget does the $12.3 Billion represent. Find some tangible item that is worth $12.3 Billion (Arnold’s wardrobe - or maybe Maria’s ). It would take 2,460 people earning $100,000 per year for 50 years to reach $12.3 Billion and yet we lose this amount in fires every year. Or, 123,000 people earning $100,000 in one year would be lost in fires in the same year. How many wage earners are there in San Francisco? It might be close to 123,000 - see my point?

    The deaths caused by the recent tsunami has eclipsed the death toll from fires. I think you mean to say natural disasters in the U.S. and fire deaths in the U.S.

    Include time of day stats (i.e., When do loss of life fires occur?).

    Not only are “these numbers unacceptable...” but the U.S. has one of, if not THE, worst fire loss statistics in the industrialized world. “Industrialized” is used because we do not know the fire loss stats in third world countries. If NFPA does not have more specifics regarding this, try the USFA.

    You write that 75% of Americans do not have an escape plan. Do you not really mean 75% of American households? If so, equate it something meaningful. How many households are there in San Francisco? Let’s say there are 100,000 households in San Francisco. That means 75,000 of them do not have an escape plan. 75,000 is a much “larger” number than 75% (i.e., it is more impressive). Also, it brings the stat home.

    Finally, if it is your intent to excite the residents of California, get the CFIRS statistics from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

    I hope this helps.

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    Cheffie....looks good to me....

    Just realized that according to you in the time it took me to read it:
    >There were 6 fires
    >1.36 REsidential Fires
    >no civilians were hurt of killed
    >120 firefighters were injured.....

    It took me two minutes to read.....Did I do the math right?
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    Thank You so much

    FireH20, I had someone do the math for me on the firefighter injures as I am not great with statistical math. The average number of firefighters injured in a year is approximately 82,250 (that is a 10 year average from 1992-2001). I will have to redo the math thanks. You made some great points. Your input is greatly appreciated everyone and I am taking notes on all the comments made here. Your input is invaluable.

    Thanks guys. You're great!!!!!!

    Cheffie

    Last edited by superchef; 02-19-2005 at 07:11 PM.

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    Sounds good...

    I did a similar paper a couple of semesters ago for a Written English class, and then again last semester for a speech communications class. All those statictics that you did the math on...check out the FEMA/USFA publications and you won't have to do anymore math. They have some very good info. Unfortunately I've read so many of the things, and have a really good memory, that people at the station think I've cracked when I start rattling off statistics...but anyway, they're good reads. If you would like a list of some of the sources I used for my paper just e-mail or PM me.

    Just one question...what format are you doing your paper in?? Since it's a writing class I'm guessing MLA?? Most will require that you use in-text citations to site those statistics in the body of your paper.

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    Courtney
    APA!!!

    Between NFPA and USFA and FEMA, they provided me with most of the stats but did not break down the numbers of firefighters injured except to give the numbers per year. The final paper will of course be properly cited, but for my rough drafts, I just make a notation so I know I need to go back and insert a full citation.

    thanks for the support.
    Last edited by superchef; 02-20-2005 at 04:04 PM.

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    Looks good!


    Since it's a writing class I'm guessing MLA??
    Bahhhhhhh!!! I hate MLA.

    I had to do a 15 page report for my comp class last spring.I did it on the Cocoanut Grove fire. There was alot of material,but alot of it was repeat facts. I was solid up until page 12, the next two was fluff. I was starting to sound like a raveing old time prospector.

    But I also included floor plans,MSDS and a page of the Haz-Mat for first responders guide for Methyl Chloride in the back.
    Last edited by stm4710; 02-19-2005 at 07:20 PM.
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    Cheffie looks great and thanks for linking me over !
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    Hey, Cheffie.
    Great stuff. Great firefighter stuff, but if you want to catch the attention of the general public, you might consider using a lead along the line of "Someone you may know just reported a fire" or "A fire just occurred to someone you may know". And then dive into the stats.
    There are a lot of things that happen every 20 seconds. That alone might not be enough to grab attention.
    I enjoyed reading it, though.
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    Last edited by superchef; 08-19-2007 at 03:15 PM.

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