Proposal for Research Project


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Proposal for Research Project

  1. 1. Ben O’Donnell Jacob Hewgley Logan RidingsO’Donnell 1Mrs. LesterHonors 10th Lit.October 24 2011 Child Soldiers1. My multi-genre research paper topicMy research topic is the use of child soldiers in the world’s military forces. I want to learn thereasons behind wanting children to be active military service men or women. I also want toknow the day to day activities these children perform for their countries. 2. What I already know.The only information I know about this topic is from a book I read for an assignment. Theprotagonist of the book was a child soldier in the Sierra Leone armed forces. Ismael Beah is hisname. In the novel Beah describes his position in the military as a executioner. He would oftengo into vivid detail describing the hardships he had to go through until UNICEF rescued him fromservice. Beah also describes the flashbacks and nightmares that he has had throughout theyears, and one can only imagine what it was like to be in his shoes.Besides the information from the book, I have gained some basic knowledge of child soldiers. Ialready knew that some of the actions these children have been put through are inhumane.What I also know is that children are subject to sexual abuse from their commanding officers,and that children are also forced to use habit-forming drugs such as cocaine.
  2. 2. O’Donnell 23. What I want to learnThere are a couple of things I want to learn about. One of them is the long term effects of beinga child soldiers. I want to know if there are side effects to carrying an assault rifle at an earlyage. What the effects of shooting hundreds of bullets at age eight was on one’s growth areisanotherquestion I want to have answered. I would also like to know what the child thinksabout carrying a gun and being a soldier. Also i wonder what the child’s response would be if anAmerican child were to think that the ex-soldier was “cool” that the child was killing otherchildren for no particular reason at all. I want everyone, young and old, to know what thesechildren have been through.4. The origins of my research The reason why I chose to write about this topic is I read a book about an ex-child soldier, and Iwondered if other child soldiers went through the same thing. I was not very thrilled about mytopic at first, but soon i figured this would be an interesting topic to use. The reason why it isinteresting is because it is a big thorn in every government’s side. Some people do not evenknow that Americans can sign up for active duty when they turn 17, the only problem is that theparent needs to sign the child permission. There is also 22 countries who still use children intheir armies, but these countries are located in west Africa. These governments typically do nothave stable governments so this is probably the reason of why there are child soldiers. Finallychildren are also used as spies, this topic was very obscure to me.5. Some questions I have about motivation in reading
  3. 3. 1. In those 63 countries, what is the role of a soldier under the age of 18? 2. Why are children used as spies? 3. Why would governments lock up child spies? 4. Why would someone abuse a child 5. What is a seven year old child’s reaction to seeing war and bloodshed? 6. What are the twenty countries that use child soldiers? 7. Why would someone put a child in the line of fire? 8. How come the UN did not put pressure on the 86 who had child soldiers? 9. What was one’s thought process when they decided to use a child as a human shield? 10. Why do people want to use child soldiers? 11. Why a child would be forced to kill his or her own parents and siblings? 12. How can a person force a child to kill another human?6. My research PlanMy current is to use either Gale Global Issues, or Academic search complete. I do not want touse opposing viewpoints because this topic is not really controversial. I am also going to watchinterviews of former child soldiers to get their perspective. Most of my sources will be fromGale Global Issues because this topic is relevant to that database. I will keep track of what Ihave learned in graphic organizers to keep myself organized and prepared. Scoop.It will also beused to see what other people think about the topic. Symbaloo will be useful in keeping meorganized while using the multiple databases.
  4. 4. 7. BiographyBetancourt, Theresa Stichick. Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Follow-Up Study ofPsychosocial Adjustment and Community Reintegration. 81 vols. N/A: Blackwell, 2010. N.pag.Academic Search Complete.Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <>.Comtex Inc. International Efforts Still Failing Child Soldiers . N/A: n.p., 2008. N. pag.Global Issuesin Context.Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <>.Gale Global Issues in Context.Child Soldiers. Detroit: Global Issues in Context, 2011. N.pag.Global Issues in Context.Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <>.The New York Times.Armies of Children. New York: The New York Times, 2006. N. pag.GlobalIssues in Context.Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <
  5. 5. Documents&docType=IAC&idigest=b527955b5caccdb4b4a2d40e86fe061a&type=retrieve&tabID=T006&prodId=GIC&doc