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Gun control (Essay Sample)


Content Analysis Exercise Read It's Time for Gun Control Proponents to Reclaim the Constitutional High Ground by Saul Cornell. This document is attached to this assignment or can be found online at http://hnn(dot)us/articles/24828.html. Complete a thorough content analysis on the "Time for Gun Control" reading to determine its major priority and message. In your response, explain how you determined the 'priority' and 'message.' Be sure to refer to the lecture notes posted under Lesson 6 to assist in formulating your assignment response. The goal of this assignment is to articulate what this report, "Time for Gun Control," is trying to convey. This can be discerned by analyzing how often certain terms are used. Cornell. S., “It's Time for Gun Control Proponents to Reclaim the Constitutional High Ground.” George Mason University’s History New Network. Internet. Available at: http://hnn(dot)us/articles/24828.html. Lesson Content Analysis How to Conduct a Content Analysis (Content Analysis. Available from http://writing(dot)colostate(dot)edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=61). Content analysis is a research tool used to determine the presence of certain words or concepts within texts or sets of texts. Researchers quantify and analyze the presence, meanings and relationships of such words and concepts, then make inferences about the messages within the texts, the writer(s), the audience, and even the culture and time of which these are a part. Texts can be defined broadly as books, book chapters, essays, interviews, discussions, newspaper headlines and articles, historical documents, speeches, conversations, advertising, theater, informal conversation, or really any occurrence of communicative language. Texts in a single study may also represent a variety of different types of occurrences, such as Palmquist's 1990 study of two composition classes, in which he analyzed student and teacher interviews, writing journals, classroom discussions and lectures, and out-of class interaction sheets. To conduct a content analysis on any such text, the text is coded, or broken down, into manageable categories on a variety of levels--word, word sense, phrase, sentence, or theme--and then examined using one of content analysis' basic methods: conceptual analysis or relational analysis. Here we discuss two general categories of content analysis: conceptual analysis and relational analysis. Conceptual analysis can be thought of as establishing the existence and frequency of concepts – most often represented by words of phrases – in a text. For instance, say you have a hunch that your favorite poet often writes about hunger. With conceptual analysis you can determine how many times words such as “hunger,” “hungry,” “famished,” or “starving” appear in a volume of poems. In contrast, relational analysis goes one step further by examining the relationships among concepts in a text. Returning to the “hunger” example, with relational analysis, you could identify what other words or phrases “hunger” or “famished” appear next to and then determine what different meanings emerge as a result of these groupings. Conceptual Analysis Traditionally, content analysis has most often been thought of in terms of conceptual analysis. In conceptual analysis, a concept is chosen for examination, and the analysis involves quantifying and tallying its presence. Also known as thematic analysis, the focus here is on looking at the occurrence of selected terms within a text or texts, although the terms may be implicit as well as explicit. While explicit terms obviously are easy to identify, coding for implicit terms and deciding their level of implication is complicated by the need to base judgments on a somewhat subjective system. To attempt to limit the subjectivity, then (as well as to limit problems of reliability and validity), coding such implicit terms usually involves the use of either a specialized dictionary or contextual translation rules. And sometimes, both tools are used. Steps for Conducting Conceptual Analysis The following discussion of steps that can be followed to code a text or set of texts during conceptual analysis use campaign speeches made by Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign as an example. To read each step in detail, go to: http://writing(dot)colostate(dot)edu/guides/research/content/pop3b.cfm. Decide the level of analysis. Decide how many concepts to code for. Decide whether to code for existence or frequency of a concept. Decide on how you will distinguish among concepts. Develop rules for coding your texts. Decide what to do with "irrelevant" information. Code the texts. Analyze your results.



Gun control is the main concept in the article, and Cornell mentions gun control in the title, and the term appears eight times in the text. Though the debate on gun control is controversial, the author acknowledges much of this has got to do with inaccuracies on the constitutional interpretation about gun rights. Control is synonymous with regulation and various polling data show that Americans support gun laws. Nonetheless, political disagreements on ideological lines have resulted to the issue being ignored in during elections. Gun control advocates say that stricter regulations would reduce number of gun related deaths, while gun rights supporters state that law abiding citizens carrying guns prevent crime.
To highlight on the historical link between gun rights and gun control, Cornell gives a broad overview of the historical context in using guns in America. The idea is transition and is the first time that gun control appears within the text. There appears to be historical distortions ...
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