Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Example Research Essay... the Fabled Five Paragraphs!

*This post is dedicated to my ultimate brethren. To all the plastic worshiping diehards, I recommend checking my sources. Scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles interpreting "the ethnography of ultimate" is good for a smile.

**The following is a research essay I composed as an example for my 9th Grade English, Grammar, and Composition summer course. The underline and superscript denotes a quiz question that is not shown, so no comments on the grammar. We all know the impotence of proofreading.

Dan Piotrowski
Mr. Piotrowski
EGC Summer
13 June 2013
Ultimate: Born on Asphalt
Have you seen athletes on high school and college campuses across the nation? Typically these athletes are tackling an opponent with a football, hitting a homerun, or racing around a track or in a pool. However, have you seen athletes calling plays, wearing professional uniforms, and chasing a plastic disc in the sky? Ultimate Frisbees1 origins are rooted in loose rules and jokes that evolved into the competitive sport we know today. 

Ultimate Frisbee first took shape as a joke amongst friends in 1967. A student at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ, Joel Silver, credited with inventing the game, were2 quoted saying “it was a high school joke” when he suggested to the student council frisbee be included in the curriculum. Joels’s3 motion was passed as everybody laughed (Lemire 89). ____4 According to a 1975 Time article, Joel and his friends began playing the sport on a school asphalt parking lot, wanting a “simple, inexpensive, low-key” sport (52). Started as a joke, Ultimate Frisbee was quickly taking shape. 

The earliest version of Ultimate Frisbee was a looser version of what it is today. Originally played on an asphalt parking lot, the field dimensions were made by natural boundaries and end zones marked with random objects (Griggs 761). Also, the names of throws were given different names as well as emphasis. The forehand or “flick” was called a “finger throw.” A “thumber”, where the player places their5 thumb on the inside lip of the disc, was6 called “thumb throw” and widely used as an alternative forehand (Time 52). Further, the highest level of the game attracted athletes looking for a less intense, win-focused environment, a mentality that is increasingly changing as the sport grows in size and popularity today. 

The counter-culture of the 1960s played a large role in the initial development of Ultimate Frisbee. Searching for a less competitive athletic outlet,  it 7 did not want to appear as “jocks” and connected with a sport seen as a “spoof” of organized sports (Time 52). Colleges were populated with groups identifying with similar counter-cultures, Joel8  and his friends spread the game when they graduated from Columbia High School (Lemire 89). From there, the game took root in the Northeast, branching west9.

The practical joke, counter-culture origin of Ultimate Frisbee is a far cry from the hyper-competitive college and club teams populating major cities today. Over the years, through 12 editions and revisions of rulebooks, the game is now entering its first year of a professional league. These pros will wear matching uniforms and play on regulated fields to large crowds but the relaxed10 origins of the game live on in parking lots and empty fields wherever a disc is close at hand.

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