Argumentative Analysis: Essay #3

Format for essay portion of final:

•    Essay must be 5-6 full pages. Failure to meet the minimum requirement will result in deductions.

•      Adhere to MLA format: 12-size Times New Roman font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins all around, and provide a header at the top of the page.

•      You will need to incorporate 2 quotes from EACH of the three class readings for a total of six quotes from the readings.

•    You will need to incorporate 3 quotes from research articles (see section 5 below)

Readings needed for this essay::

•      “If An Algorithm Wrote This How Would You Even Know?” by Shelley Podolny found here (Links to an external site.)

•    They Say/I Say: “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the

Better” Pgs. 441-461 (under Supplemental Readings> Week 12 > Readings for Monday,


•    “Is Google Making us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr found in the Norton Field Guide e-book.

Using these three readings, you will create an argument that either supports or challenges the idea that robo-writing and Google/technology use is negatively or positively impacting us.

Prompt Outline

When creating your argument, this is an outline you may follow. Please note that this is simply a

suggestion, and that you can deviate from it.

Step 1: Introduction. Following Nicholas Carr’s example of using 2001: A Space Odyssey as a narrative, please write a narrative introduction for your essay. You have options to do this:

1)  Narrate the view of a futuristic world. Imagine that in a futuristic world, robo-writing has taken over writing (and there are no more human writers left) and that people have become so reliant on Google and technology that they no longer have the ability to read for prolonged periods or think critically. Describe this world. After doing this, link this image to the claims the articles present about the dangers of robo-writing and becoming reliant on Google and technology. Or, you may describe the opposite, if you’re arguing that robo- writing and Google and technology is helping us, link that image to the benefits of them in your narrative view of the future.


2)  Narrate how your writing practices differ or are similar from robo-writers, and also narrate how your reading practices are similar or different to Carr’s statement about what Google

and technology is doing to our focus and concentration. Provide specific details that support or refute these views.


3)  Create your own narration that links to the topics. You can use the examples from the week

12 content folder “Race Against the Machine?” to talk about an idea presented there, and link it to the readings.

Step 2: Thesis. Write a thesis statement that contains a claim. It should be one sentence. Put it at the end of your first paragraph. Make sure that your thesis is supported by the rest of your paper. So, if you’re going to be against or for the claims made in the articles, please make sure your thesis statement explicitly states what side your paper will be arguing for, and that the research supports your thesis.

Your thesis should answer the following: Are Google/technology use and robo-writers affecting us positively or negatively?

Body Paragraphs

In order to create your argument, you will need to incorporate Key Features of an Argumentative Essay genre as specified in the Norton Field Guide (Week 12). Here are the Guidelines of what your paper should include:

Step 3:  Provide background information

1)  Introduce Carr and Poldony’s backgrounds. (who are they?)

2)  State the main claims/argument Poldony and Carr make in each of their articles. What are they saying?

Step 4: Rhetorical appeals. This part of your essay should be done in more than one paragraph.

•     For this section, you will need to provide specific examples of each of the rhetorical appeals.

•   Discuss TWO examples of each of the rhetorical appeals within Carr’s and

Poldony’s articles that support their arguments.  See guidance questions below:


Ethos deals primarily with credibility. You want to examine the authors’ or arguments’

authority, expertise or trustworthiness (you can even, ironically, Google each of them to

learn about the authors). These factors will either improve or detract from the credibility and effectiveness of each argument. Can we trust Carr and Poldony—why or why not?

Logos is concerned with the logic of the argument.  In considering the use of logos (facts, statistics, research, numbers, etc), you will analyze the quality and quantity of supporting evidence. You may also want to consider any bias that each article might have toward the subject and the effect of that bias upon the argument being presented (Is Nicholas Carr, for instance, too paranoid about the internet and Google, and therefore his logic is at fault? In presenting the use of robo-writers, does Shelly Poldony present reasonable examples?).

Are the arguments in each article made reasonably? In short, you will want to address any weaknesses and/or strengths in the logic of the arguments made.

Pathos deals with emotion.  You should identify any attempts to evoke a particular emotion from the audience (consider how the articles evoke a sense of fear, alarm, or how we should feel concerned about the future of writing, critical reading, and writing—is it effective?). Additionally, you will want to consider whether or not appealing to emotion is an effective strategy for the argument being presented. Remember that pathos also consists of bringing about the audience’s imagination (how will a future with robo-writers look like, for example?) And a range of emotions that call for the audience to stop relying on Google too much because of its effects, for instance.

Step 5: Academic Research:

In this section you will provide at least TWO academic sources to support or refute Carr’s and Poldony’s arguments. All research should come from CPP databases. Within different paragraphs, persuasively present arguments, facts, reasons, incidents, examples, details, quotes, evidence, etc. found within an academic source that either supports or refutes Carr or supports or refutes Poldony,


•   Academic resource #1 that supports or refutes Carr + discussion.

•   Academic resource #2 that supports or refutes Poldony+ discussion.

•     You may have more than two resources, if you would prefer, within each of your discussions.

Here are some important questions to consider answering when doing research:

•     What are the major arguments, examples, evidence, etc. found in the academic resources that are in favor or against Carr or in favor or against Poldony?

•   What are the ethical implications of the issues, if any, that the academic resources

present about Carr’s/Poldony’s arguments?

•   What does the evidence say about the benefits or harms that Carr or Poldony discuss?

Tip: Here, it is strongly suggested that you use at least 2-3 different quotes directly from the two or more resources you find to support your argument.

Step 6: Counter-argument:  In this section you will provide ONE academic source.

Research should come from CPP databases.

Counter argument(s):

•     Time to see what you think: Do you think we be concerned about the future of writing, reading, and thinking critically—why or why not? You may use “I” here.

In this section, you will need to point out the flaw, gap, misconception, illogical reasoning, or generalization that make a counterargument against your own stance ineffective—yes, find an

academic resource that says the opposite of your view! By providing a counterargument, your paper can avoid being biased, and instead provide a holistic view of the issue. Here some questions to consider answering:

•     Why is the counterargument ineffective? That is, how can my own stance still prove the counter-argument ineffective?

•   Why should I or other readers be skeptical of the counterargument?  What is illogical

about it, and how can I still show that my own ideas remain reasonable when challenged?

You may address more than one counterargument, if you would like to strengthen your paper.

Tip: Here, I strongly suggest you paraphrase (with proper citations at the end) the general counterargument(s) being made. Quoting directly, too, will help point out direct flaws of any counterarguments.


this portion, you MUST also quote from the article, They Say/I Say: “Smarter Than

You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better” Pgs. 441-461 (under

Step 7:  Conclusion. Please conclude your paper with something that the reader can take away after reading your paper. Please remember that a conclusion is not a summary.

Upon completion of this essay students should be able to:

A        Develop fluency in quickly externalizing ideas on paper and computer screens, and in moving from such notes to rough drafts of possible essays.

B         Explain in clearly written English the rhetoric of others.

C         Develop written arguments in response to others’ arguments.

E         Reconstruct and revise the connections between claims, reasons, and evidence in their own writing, their peers’, and published authors’.

F         Discern how the style of their own writing, their peers’, and published authors’ creates an appeal that pulls the audience closer to the material in question.

K         Read difficult, research-based texts with critical understanding.

L         Design their own academic inquiries and develop strategies for finding, evaluating, and integrating information purposefully in a given context

M        Critique their own ideas, form, and style in light of the contexts for which they are writing and with awareness of the generic choices they are making, and revise their own writing to improve form, style, and generic/institutional strategies to intervene more effectively in a given rhetorical situation.

O        Proofread for correctness and clarity.

Breaking down the outcomes, these are the elements we will be meeting within our essay:

Outcom e The writer demonstrates an ability to
1Pre-writing and DraftingGenerate ideas using appropriate pre-writing strategies; develop those ideas into readable drafts
2Rhetorical Analysis and ArgumentationExplain and respond to the rhetoric and arguments of others
3Critical ReadingRead difficult, research-based texts with critical understanding
4Researching, Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Documenting SourcesDesign academic inquiries and develop strategies for finding, evaluating, and integrating information purposefully in a given context
5Style, Genre Conventions, and Disciplinary KnowledgeCraft a style appropriate to the genre, audience, and purpose of the text
6RevisionRevise his or her own texts considering genre and rhetorical situation

7               Proofreading                                  Improve correctness and clarity of his or her own texts

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