Essay #1 Assignment–Technology
• A clear argument that defends a particular view of technology.
• A good thesis (a precise claim with at least three reasons).
• An anchor article from the Graff text with which you agree disagree or partially agree.
• The use of personal experience to support claims (you may use anecdotes, but this paper is an argument, not a narrative).
• Clear transitions between paragraphs which show the logical links between your points.
• Analysis of sources and personal experience that shows how they are relevant to your thesis.
• A strong conclusion that shows the reader why this is an important topic and why the reader should consider it.
• Use of MLA documentation in citing sources.
Assignment–For the first essay, the general subject is technology–personal and public, business and entertainment, practical and creative. Pick one of the articles we’ve read as a class to anchor your essay. You should frame your essay in terms of your personal experience with technology and respond to the article you choose with reference to your experience. This means that you should do more than merely tell your reader “what happened” to you. While you may recount events, your main goal is to analyze your experience in order to understand how technology structures and/or disrupts your process of learning, communicating, understanding yourself and others, working, or being entertained or entertaining others.
Example–Your thesis should relate to technology, but you can go beyond the article you choose to anchor it. For example, even though Sherry Turkle does not specifically address the issue of online personal identity, you could write on the way in which technology and Facebook especially encourages us, like Audrey in Turkel’s article, to develop online avatars that are a ‘performance of you’ (379). This could serve as the germ of your thesis, which you could then develop according to the values that go into constructing an online self, its differences and similarities to your authentic self, and how technological (and visual) communication influences your relationships with others. Make sure you assess the impact, positive, negative or both, that you believe the facet of technology you study presents, and agree, disagree, or partially agree with the author of your anchor article.
Development–Once you have decided on a vantage point and a thesis, use personal experience to connect with an article in Graff or any other source you wish to use. For this essay about technology, you may want to use online sources; they need not be scholarly because the emphasis here is on popular culture. Just be sure that your sources are relevant to your thesis, and you analyze sources and cite and quote them in MLA format
Conclusion–After you have analyzed the facets of your topic that you think are important (generally there are three in a traditional essay, but you may vary the number), tell your reader why it matters both in the analysis itself, and, especially, in the conclusion. What do you see as the implications of a “wired” culture? Do you see any positive political results from instant technology? Or do you think the instantaneous nature of communicating events increases the likelihood of error and emotionalism rather than thought? You might agree with Nicholas Carr that what we gain in scope of information we lose in analysis, or perhaps you might argue that we have become critical and even suspicious of what is presented as” fact” online. Whatever way you choose to see media, remember to address the concerns of “so what” and “who cares” in your essay.