According to the following instructions, please write a 5-page essay responding to one of the following questions concerning either Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” or Mike Rose’s “Blue Collar Brilliance.” Your essay should be a focused, clear, and argumentative analysis of the primary claim of whichever text you choose to respond to. I will expect to see clear summaries of the main point(s) of your chosen text using meaningful paraphrasing and quotation, followed by specific and original analysis of the text’s main claim(s) (in other words, they say —-> I say). In short, this essay is meant to help you practice articulating the main point of an argumentative essay and responding to that main point with your own opinion on the topic.
Please choose from one of the following prompts when constructing your analysis:
1. Do you agree with Nicholas Carr’s assertion that Google (or, really, the internet at large) is making us less intelligent as a population? Does his definition of “intelligence” seem accurate, or do you find it narrow? In your analysis of his argument, feel free to use your own personal experience to bolster your analysis. If the internet has affected the way that we read, communicate, and think, has the result been overall positive, or negative, or perhaps a combination of both?
2. In “Blue Collar Brilliance,” Mike Rose argues that our culture undervalues the intelligence and important contributions of blue collar workers. Do you agree? Does our society fail to recognize what Rose calls “blue collar brilliance”? Can blue collar skills as valuable (or more valuable) than a conventional education/white collar career path? Why or why not?
Your paper should have a clear introductory paragraph that includes the name of the author/text you are responding to, as well as a clear, original and persuasive thesis statement. (If you are feeling stuck, please refer back to the chapter titled "Three Ways to Respond" in They Say, I Say, and feel free to use the templates provided to formulate your own thesis). As I state above, your paper should also display clear transitions between body paragraphs, effective and succinct summary, correct usage and citations of quotes, and a solid, focused conclusion paragraph that reviews the essential points of your body paragraphs and answers the questions “So what? Why does this topic matter on a broad scale?”.
I don't necessarily agree with Nicholas Carr's assertion that Google (or, really, the internet at large) is making us less intelligent as a population. However, I do think that the way we use the internet (and Google in particular) can have an impact on our intelligence. For example, if we rely too much on Google to do our thinking for us, we may not be as intellectually challenged as we could be. Instead of learning how to find information on our own, we simply wait for Google to give us the answer. This isn't to say that using Google is bad; in fact, it can be quite helpful. However, if we use it as a crutch, we may not be developing our critical thinking skills as much as we could be.
Another potential issue with using Google too much is that we may start to value quantity over quality. With so much information available at our fingertips, it's easy to get overwhelmed and just click on the first thing that comes up. However, this doesn't mean that the first thing that comes up is necessarily the best or most accurate information. If we're not careful, we may start skimming through information instead of carefully reading and evaluating it. This can lead us to make hasty decisions or judgments based on incomplete information.
Overall, I don't think Google is making us dumber as a whole. However, I do think that how we use it can have an impact on our individual intelligence. If we're not careful, we may find ourselves relying too much on Google instead of using our own brains. We may also start to value quantity over quality when it comes to the information we consume. If we're aware of these potential pitfalls, we can use Google in a way that enhances our intelligence rather than detracting from it.
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