ESSAY THREE: The Documented Essay

ENG 100.5

ESSAY THREE: The Documented Essay

In her article “Connectivity and Its Discontents,” Sherry Turkle explores some of the positive and negative ways that modern technology in general—and the internet in particular—has affected our lives, and she encourages her readers to begin a conversation about whether this technology is really “offering us the lives we want to lead” (622).  Now that you have examined through your reading the impact that the internet is having on our culture, you are ready to engage in just such a conversation.

You will do so by responding to the following question:  In what ways is the internet changing who we are?  In developing your answer to this question, please use evidence (i.e., direct quotes) from Sherry Turkle’s “Connectivity and Its Discontents,” Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and a third source that you will find and evaluate on your own.

This essay should represent your most sophisticated and polished work of the semester, and reflect the progress you have made as an academic writer.  Therefore, you will want to draw on the analytical and persuasive writing skills that you honed in previous assignments.  Also, as always, make sure to foreground your central claim(s) in your opening paragraph: a strong paper is anchored by a strong thesis.  Final drafts should be five pages long, not including the Works Cited list

In writing this paper, you’ll want to follow steps similar to the ones outlined below:

  1. Read all of the articles you’ll be using in the essay, noting key ideas and concepts that you think might be useful to your discussion.  (Annotating the texts as you go or keeping your own notes as you read is always a good idea.) 
  2. With these ideas and concepts in mind, begin formulating your response to the question listed above.  This is your preliminary thesis.
  3. Using your preliminary thesis as a guide, begin developing an outline for your paper.  What supporting claims or arguments or observations will you be making to back up your thesis?  Remember to use sound logic and good reasoning as you formulate your response, and always be willing to engage with those who are likely to disagree with you.
  4. With your outline in hand, begin to draft your topic sentences, making sure that each one relates back to/builds on your thesis statement.
  5. Once you’ve completed your topic sentences, it’s time to select your evidence.  Which quotations will most effectively support your position?  Which quotations represent counterarguments you could address?  What connections do you see between the quotations you’ve selected?
  6. You’re now ready to start drafting your essay. 
  7. Revise your essay after getting feedback from the instructor.
  8. Edit your final draft.

Important Dates

Annotated Bibliography Due: 11/8

Rough Draft Due: 11/20

Final Draft Due: 12/6

Grade Breakdown

Rough Draft = 15% of paper grade.

Final Draft = 85% of paper grade.

Assignment is worth 25% of your final grade for the course.

Leave a Reply