LEARNING GOALS: By completing this assignment, you will:
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:
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?”
To allow your instructor the ability to post marginal commentary, you must submit this assignment as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. You can save files in these formats with most word processors, including Web-based programs like Google Docs, Word Online, and Open Office. If you are using a web-based file storage system like Google Drive or Dropbox, be sure to learn exactly how to transfer files from your storage system to Canvas.
A NOTE ABOUT SOURCES: You will almost certainly make use of outside sources in this assignment. Whenever you use sources, cite them using MLA in-text and end-of-text guidelines for citation. This includes placing the quoted material in quotation marks, clearly indicating the author of the work, and providing a page number for the quotation, if applicable.Include a Works Cited page with an entry for each source that you referred to in the main text. Use MLA guidelines to create your Works Cited page. For examples and discussion of how to work with sources in writing, see the Easy Writer chapters on “Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism” and “MLA Style.”
INSTRUCTOR RESPONSE & GRADING: You can expect your instructor to provide substantive response and feedback to your assignment within 6 days of the deadline. Please review all instructor feedback, including marginal commentary, which you can access by clicking “View Feedback” once your assignment has been graded. You should use your instructor’s feedback to as a guide to revision and improvement for your future writing assignments.
Your assignment will be graded using a rubric derived from the rubric used to grade your final portfolio. Please note that the rubric for this assignment places importance on focus, development, and the use of explicit reasoning and evidence.
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