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Essay One Assignment–20 pts.

In “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk,” Sherry Turkle identifies as a problem the various ways digital technology has replaced conversation, which she sees as vital in forming and fostering empathy within us, and claims that in forgoing conversation, we are harming ourselves, our relationships with friends and family, our ability to productively learn and enter the workforce, and, ultimately, our ability to make communal ties. In Week One and Week Two modules, you will read four other newspaper articles that that also present a problem stemming from our use of digital technologies: “Your Online Privacy Depends on your Friends’ Data Habits as much as your Own”; “Girls are Taking Drastic Measures to Achieve the Perfect Instagram Snap”; “What Might Explain the Unhappiness Epidemic”; and “The Awkward Truth about Trolls.” All of these articles briefly discuss problems with digital technology, specifically negative impacts that stem from our use of these technologies. No matter how much we love our digital tech devices, there’s no doubt that there are problems, too.

I’d like you to write a 4-page essay, following the Classical Argument format, described below. For your first essay, I’d like you to identify the problem being raised in one of the five articles and form your own argumentative response to the argument. In other words, what do YOU think about this problem? As smart phone users, as social media users, as extensive digital technology users, you will have opinions that will serve as an initial entry into the conversation these articles begin with us and that will help bolster your argument.

*I’m requiring you to use 1 of the 5 sources I provided and a 2nd source of your choice from CCP library databases.(Ebsco Host, Opposing Viewpoints, JSTOR… are all good databases.) You’ll see a Library module after the Week 2 module, so if you’re unfamiliar with the library databases, this module will be great help.


Description of Problem: (about 1 paragraph)

How would you describe the problem you’re going to focus on? Think of yourself as a reporter and provide the who, what, when, where in an objective way. If you’re going to focus on our need to be on our phones all the time, show me what that looks like. Perhaps describe, for instance, what you see when friends are together and are all on their phones. How does that make you feel? This first section is a good place to try to get your reader to feel what you feel, which is an appeal to emotions. Note: you won’t include a thesis statement in this paragraph; all you want to do is describe a problem without stating where you stand on the issue.

Statement of Background: (1-2 paragraphs)

You opened your paper by describing a problem or issue. Here you will set up the conversation as a way of establishing the background of your argument. Identify one author we’ve read (from the five I provided) who make important claims about digital technology and its impact on us. Your goal here is 1) to establish a sense of what this author thinks about the problem they’re writing about—you will not comment on their ideas—you will just present their ideas, in relation to one another, so that your audience has a sense of the conversation about digital technology and subsequent problems, and 2) to move closer to the problem you’re going to discuss.

In addition to the conversation, a statement of background, as the name implies, conveys to your audience pertinent information, such as statistics and definition of terms.

Thesis Statement: (1-2 sentences)

Your task here is to weigh in with your opinion on these ideas and make clear your position on this problem—what do you think?

Proof: (3-4 paragraphs)

Make your case. You must discuss the reasons why you have taken your position and cite evidence to support each of those reasons. You will rely on research to help you make your points, but you may also bring in your own examples.

Concession and Refutation: (1 paragraph)

Here, you anticipate and refute opposing views. By showing what is wrong with the reasoning of your opponents, you demonstrate that you have studied the issue thoroughly and have reached the only conclusion that is acceptable in this case.

Solution/Conclusion: (1-2 paragraphs)

You have shown us there is a problem. What should we do about it? What steps can we take?

The concluding paragraph(s) should summarize your most important points. In addition, you can make a final appeal to values and feelings that are likely to leave your audience favorably disposed toward your

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