Do you think social media has had more positive or negative effects on the way people communicate (or on people and society)?

LING 94, Prompt for Essay 3: Multiple Sources Position Paper on Social Media

In our unit on social media, we have read the following articles:

1. “You Gotta Have (150) Friends” by Robin Dunbar
2. “My Facebook, Myself” by Jessica Helfant
3. “I Tweet, Therefore I Am” by Andrew Lam

In these articles, Dunbar, Helfand, and Lam each give their views on the issue of social media and its effects. For this assignment, develop an argument that addresses the following question:

Do you think social media has had more positive or negative effects on the way people communicate (or on people and society)?

Support your position with evidence from the texts. You will need to use synthesis techniques (not a summary of each author’s entire article) by organizing your argument around topics and common themes, and identifying connections among the texts. This means that not everything the author writes in his or her article will be relevant to your essay. You will also need to counter-argue the viewpoints that are different from your position. That is, you will need to acknowledge what other people believe and then explain why your position is best.

The best way to accomplish this is to organize your paper by IDEAS rather than sources. To do this, it is important to be able to answer the following questions:
* In what ways do the texts support or agree with one another? Do the texts share similar ideas about this topic?
*Are there places where the texts contradict or disagree with one another?

Audience
You are writing in an academic tone for people who come from educated backgrounds. Imagine you are writing for a well-respected opinion section of a magazine or newspaper.

Paper Length and Format
Your essay will be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, with one inch margins.
Your essay will be 4-5 pages, not including the “References” section.
Your essay will include a References section in APA format that lists the three articles above.
You will give your paper a title and you will STAPLE YOUR PAPER.
You must submit both a paper and electronic copy of the essay.

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