A08: Revised Definition Essay- Tyson Still

1) Gangs are all around the world, but majority of the gangs are being increased by recruiting teens that are already on the streets trying to find the path way to living a life of crime. Most of the teens that find their way to having a criminal lifestyle are the main ones who grew up living in a house of confusion or discomfort. Some teens that isn’t getting the full effect of unconditional love can be emotionally unstable and put their trusting into gangs to seek the extra love they desire for. Things that teens look for in gangs are the bond that they can receive form a brother or sister as well as the love of a guardian or parent type of comfort. The specific bond that a mother or father or both can give their child is special to them, and without that they can go astray which can lead them to the bad decision making of living a life of crime.

2) The teen rate for violence is increasing and most of the teens in gangs are being locked up due to gang violence. There are about 1 million gang members in the U.S today, and about 400,000 of them are juveniles under the age of 18, there is also about 25 million teens in the United States so that makes around 14 percent of the teens in the United States are gang members. A major question being researched is, how many male juveniles are joining gangs and what is the main reason that’s pushing them towards this way of life? Well after doing research on teenage boys in gangs, I found that 360,000 teenage boys are in gangs right now. The rate of teens in prison that are in gangs have increased since the year 2009 which was 7 out of 10 boys. Now the rate of teen boys in prison is 9 out of every 10 boy in prison have some gang affiliation. Another number to follow up on is that 89 percent of crimes committed by teensare committed by gang members.

3)Teens joining gangs today are influenced because they grew up with in a broken household. A broken household could be multiple things such as one parent because the other one never comes around, or it could be that they have both parents with split custody. It could also be that they have one parent because the family is going through a divorce. Even with all of those situations my research is based on the percentage of gang members, which are teens, that is in gangs because they lack the pleasure of having a father in their life. The statement of not having a father in their life is generally broad. I’m focusing on not having a male role model in their life at all. This is a big cause that leads teens to joining gangs today because of the lack of affection that they are not getting from a father that they need in their life. Studies show that about two-thirds of all first marriages in the United States end in a divorce, so about half of all the children in the United States go through a divorce at some point in their teenage life. With that being said research shows that about 70% of all children that are incarcerated come from a home without a father. After researching I found that for young black males that live in a single parent home whether with just father or mother, the likely hood of them committing a crime is twice as much as a young black male that live with both parents.

I hope that the ratings are to decrease in every area, but it has been proven due to research that teenagers male or female that grow up without a father are more likely to live in a life of crime than teens with both parents in their life. But from what I’m trying to find I think it is good enough evidence to say that teens of both sex are reaching the path of being in a gang because they lack the presence of having a male role model in their life. It brings me to the conclusion that even though that isn’t the only reason kids join gangs, it does play a major factor in their life causing them to be recruited by certain gangs.






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1 Response to A08: Revised Definition Essay- Tyson Still

  1. davidbdale says:

    Tyson, your first paragraph is actually two paragraphs. The first is an attempt to explain the emotional needs a gang might fill for teens who don’t get much satisfaction at home.

    The second paragraph begins: The teen rate for violence. Just breaking there will help you organize your ideas better.

    You tend to circle around your evidence, coming back again and again to numbers of juveniles in gangs, boys in gangs, locked-up boys in gangs. And you say all these numbers are going up. There’s no need to complicate this material. Deliver it to us straight. Your internal question about what research is being done and what you’ve found serves no purpose.

    The steps you take make sense. 1) Intro: gangs recruit teens who already want to be in gangs, you say. They have no trouble finding kids looking for a sense of belonging and community. 2) Then you give us the numbers so we know how many kids we’re talking about. 3) Then you go back to ask why so many kids aren’t finding love at home. That’s a solid plan.

    (By the way, 400,000 teens is what percentage of American teens overall? A really good statistic to know would be: Number of American teens. Number of teen gang members. What percentage of teens are gang members? Then: What percentage of teen crime is committed by gang members? I’ll bet a small percentage of teens are in gangs but that they commit a very large percentage of teen crime.)

    Paragraph 3 is extremely annoying, Tyson. You need to stop asking yourself questions and asking us to listen in. Your readers want you to tell us what you know, not hear you challenge your own assumptions. You don’t need to tell us what you think is interesting or important either. Whatever you decide to tell us we will know is important to you. As I see it, the claims of this paragraph are:
    A. Teens from broken homes join gangs.
    B. Broken homes is a very broad term.
    C. It could mean a home in which the father is absent (never known, never married, currently separated, dead, divorced, split custody) for whatever reason.
    D. For this essay, it will mean a home that lacks a male role model.
    E. Most children live through a divorce.
    F. Half of the country’s teens see their parents divorce while they are teens.
    G. 70% of youths in jail lack a father at home.
    H. YBMs from single parent homes are twice as likely to commit crimes.

    What you’ve managed to prove here, Tyson, is that most of your numbers are irrelevant. If most of America’s teens have gone through divorce, most of them would be in gangs if divorce drove kids into gangs. All that talk gets you nowhere. What you need are statistics that demonstrate the relative percentages. If 20% of kids never knew their fathers and 100% of them joined gangs, you’d have a good number. See what I mean? The best number you have (and it’s a good one!) is that 70% of youths in jail have no father at home because that percentage is way higher than the national percentage of youths without fathers at home. You tell us later that number is 40% (which seems insanely high and will require a very specific citation you haven’t provided). Get it?

    4) You’re talking to us about your research again, Tyson. We don’t like it. Still, your paragraph does emphasize the important difference we’re looking for: that fatherlessness is significantly higher in gangs than in the general population. What you really need is clarification on what your source means by “does not have a father in their life.”

    5) You draw a false conclusion here, Tyson. You say more fatherless kids join gangs than don’t join gangs. Out of 24 million kids without dads, that would make at least 13 million kids in gangs.

    Your definition essay is not a “progress report” on the state of your research paper, Tyson. Telling us here what additional research you plan to do is not valuable. The short argument papers need to stand on their own as individual essays that prove their own thesis. Yours is that “lack of father” produces “gang membership.” Additionally, you half-promised you’d explain why this occurs. If you do so, your essay succeeds. If you don’t, it doesn’t. That’s all we need to know about your overall research plan.

    Works Cited
    As discussed in class, your Works Cited needs to combine this nice linking technique you’re using with traditional MLA citation material. Ally Hodgson’s citations are a good guide. Others do good work also. If you’re using Academic Search Premier for your research (you don’t appear to be), the database will provide you ready-made notations for your WC. If not, you’ll have to build your own.

    If you’d like to meet for a conference about your overall language use and writing style following Monday’s deadline, Tyson, I’d be happy to meet with you. Add yourself to the Grade Conference schedule and block out as much time as you want.

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