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One of the most interesting realizations we can happen upon is the way that the amount of knowledge which we have about a topic can impact our opinions, beliefs, and stance in meaningful and important ways. When we have a general idea, often times we can only begin to have opinions or hunches. This certainly doesn’t stop us from believing adamantly in this opinion or hunch (sometimes) even if it is unfounded. However, when we have a lot of information (and have gone out and traced the history, and read the studies, and sought multiple perspectives on a given topic), sometimes we become more confident in what began as our original hunch, and sometimes we become less confident in that hunch or feel obligated to change our minds completely. Either way, the more we know, the wider our understanding of a concept and the more nuance we are comfortable evaluating when it comes to understanding this topic. Hopefully, the more we know the less black and white it all becomes. So, the exercise for this writing prompt: Discuss here the first impression you had regarding the topic for your paper. Think about this first impression as pre-paper pitch, maybe even before our class began, when you were first just beginning to generate the germ of the idea and you had some interest in the topic. You likely thought: x is probably the answer. Or, perhaps you thought something like, y is likely what I will discover after doing my research. Even if you were far from sure, you must have had some ideas. What were they? Write a brief paragraph about these. Then, compare your first impression to your deeper more complex thoughts about this topic now that you have synthesized, analyzed, and applied outsides sources to a thesis about the topic. After significant contemplation and also (possibly) a few years (but at least a few weeks) since you first started thinking about this topic, how have your ideas shifted? What is the biggest surprise? Compose a paragraph where you explore this.