Researching a Debated Issue Connected to the Electronic Devices You Own or Access We’ve been reading essays connected to cell phones, computers and the internet. These essays raise issues like: Using technology, do we become more efficient or less efficient in accomplishing our daily tasks? In what ways do we treat our devices like they are more important than the people in our lives? Do electronic devices increase or decrease personal safety? Do they increase or decrease our privacy? In what situations does our use of devices become a problem for other people? How do personal electronics change culture or society? For this writing project assignment, you will research a currently debated issue connected to the electronic devices which you own or have access to. Being an educated member of society also brings with it a responsibility for civic community participation, and one element of this is knowing what the current issues are, knowing where you stand on those issues, and being willing to participate in the conversation about these issues. So, first of all, you need to choose a current issue you want to write about. I define a “debated issue” in this context as: 1. a public conversation that you can find on the news or in newspapers or magazines; 2. an issue that affects a portion of our population in the US; 3. a debate on which there are many different points of view. In general, I am looking for you to choose an issue that is current and that currently affects people in your state or nation, where there are many different opinions and ideas about this issue, and that is narrow enough for you to focus on in a well-researched essay. Note that you must not choose a topic; you need a debate where there are at least two conflicting viewpoints. With your essay, you will enter a conversation which is already taking place. Once you have your issue, you need to write a researched argument about this issue. This means that you will need to 1. define the issue from at least one credible source; 2. describe the conversation about this issue: what are people saying? How does the issue affect different groups in different ways? 3. analyze the language that people are using to talk about the issue so you can understand the bias that is brought to discussions about this issue. 4. Take a stand on this issue. Specifications: 7-8 pages (2100-2400 words), double spaced, 12 point font At least 4 sources: one should be a primary text about the issue, one should be an academic source, and two or more can come from newspapers or .gov websites. You cannot count dictionaries or encyclopedias as any of the four sources (you can certainly use these in your paper if you need to, but they will be in addition to the four sources required above).
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