Is Google Making Us Stupid?
LEARNING GOALS: By completing this assignment, you will:
develop a thesis for an argumentative essay
use claims and evidence to support an argument
practice entering into a critical conversation
practice framing ideas and quotations in academic writing
establish a sense of credibility in academic writing
use common formats and conventions (e.g., structure, tone, mechanics, citation) for an academic argument
TASK: Your job in this assignment is to enter into the critical conversation about the effects of the internet on learning, knowledge, memory, concentration, and thinking. To do so, write an argumentative essay, between about 1,000 and 1,500 words, that answers the question posed by Nicholas Carr: Is Google making us stupid? Your essay should make your own position clear, and drawing on your own experiences, your analysis of Carr’s argument, our class discussions, and your research into outside sources in order to make an argument that answers Carr’s question.
One of your goals in this assignment should be to establish a sense of ethos, or character and credibility. Do so by indicating that you share your audience’s values, by showing your own experiences with the internet, and by demonstrating that you have done your homework about the subject matter by looking into what others have said about Carr’s claims.
Also, remember this unit’s readings and mini-lectures on locating, analyzing, and framing sources. Challenge yourself to use the techniques you read about in order to make the best argument you can.
As always, you may use any of the material from your Writer’s Journal or our class discussions as a starting point for this writing assignment.
COVER LETTER: When you submit this assignment, include a brief cover letter (no more than 300 words) that answers the following questions:
What is your purpose? What is it you are trying to do or say in this assignment?
What are you proud of about this piece of writing?
What challenges did you face while completing this assignment?
What sorts of feedback do you want from your instructor on this assignment?
Include your cover letter as a comment on your upload — not as a separate document. Your cover letter will not count for or against your grade, but will help your instructor respond best to your writing.
LENGTH, DESIGN, & FORMATTING: Your assignment should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words (this word count does not include your Works Cited pages). More important than length is quality. Make sure to fully argue your position, using development strategies that help you support, clarify, and extend your argument.
Use MLA guidelines for document design. This includes using 1-inch margins, double-spaced type, a page number in the upper right corner, and a Works Cited page.
Give your work a unique title — not “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
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