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Mysteries of the Past: reading informational text; Wanted: More Research for Roanoke 7


Read the blog post from the imaginary blog Let’s Find Out More!, and then answer the practice question.

WANTED: More Research For Roanoke

  1. One of humanity’s greatest driving forces is its desire to answer the following question: Why? That simple question has prompted us to map the human genome (“Why do we get sick?”), develop principles of astronomy (“Why does the sun disappear and reappear?”), and create recipes (“Why does chocolate taste so much better with peanut butter than it does with catfish?”). These mysteries are all around us, and we are compelled to try to solve them.
  2. The mystery of the Roanoke colony disappearance is no different. Countless theories have taken shape throughout the centuries. And despite having various experts take on this challenge, the question of why the Roanoke colony seemingly vanished into thin air remains unanswered. Now is the time to really focus on solving this mystery. Let’s band together and encourage universities, historical associations, and the government to conduct respectful research efforts immediately—before any more clues vanish or become exploited.
  3. Now, I know some of you out there may argue that it’s time to simply let the past remain the past—that some mysteries are not meant to be solved. You believe that too much time has gone by, and any supposed “evidence” we find would just be speculation. Admittedly, much of what has been previously discovered and thought to be related to the lost colony at Roanoke has been dismissed by the scientific community as inaccurate. For example, an iron ring that was thought to be a lost possession of the Roanoke colonists turned out to more likely belong to English settlers who arrived much later. But does that mean that we need to stop trying? I say no. It is our duty to pursue every reasonable avenue to find out what happened to some of the earliest travelers to arrive on North American shores. The results of this research could have a fundamental impact on our understanding of how early settlers interacted with the indigenous Native American tribes that were already established in the area. Plus, researchers might find some really cool stuff!
  4. It is essential, however, to avoid causing undue harm in the present while searching for answers from the past. We need to be careful how we do our research. Archaeological exploration must be respectful of the lands in their current state and of those for whom the land is precious. Thankfully, this idea already appears to be on the minds of many people in North Carolina. One of the sites rumored to be a possible destination for the Roanoke colonists has been purchased by the N.C. Coastal Land Trust. The Trust intends to form a permanent state nature preserve on this land. Other lands rumored to be connected to the Roanoke colony have been turned into a state nature preserve in Albemarle Sound. By doing this, the Coastal Land Trust can help ensure that researchers conduct their studies while also minimizing their impact on the land. This stewardship will also safeguard against commercial projects that might attempt to privately exploit the Roanoke mystery for profit. The last thing we want is for our research to spur tourist traps selling overpriced Roanoke tragedy trinkets, or worse yet, a murder-mystery theme park.
  5. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make this a movement. Let’s make funding research on the Roanoke mystery a priority. Flood social media. Write letters to your representative. If you have the means, help fund projects. Through thoughtful land stewardship and responsible partnerships, we may soon find out what really happened to the lost colony of Roanoke.

Practice question

Read this sentence from paragraph 3.
“The results of this research could have a fundamental impact on our understanding of how early settlers interacted with the indigenous Native American tribes that were already established in the area.”
How does this statement further develop the author’s position?
Choose 1 answer: