Our second essay is a response to the readings from the Chapter “Is Pop Culture Actually Good For You? ” and should include specific references to the text when appropriate. You may also develop the essays with examples from your own lives or other courses you may have taken that covered similar themes. In other words, personal experience is o. k. to use as evidence in your essay, but keep in mind that this essay is primarily a response to a text. You must use at least one of the texts as the “they say” to your “I say. ”
The introduction of the essay must clearly focus on a thesis (an “I say”), and the body of the essay must have clear and specific examples to develop supporting points. Try to conclude the essay by connecting the issues your essay discusses with your readers in some way (remember, your readers include the portfolio committee, your instructor, and the other students in the course). See the English 100 essay rubric on Pipeline for more ideas on how to develop and self-assess your writing. The essay should be 3-5 typed, double-spaced pages in length, using a font such as Times New Roman in 12pt..
The essay must also follow MLA style–see the handbook A Writer’s Resource for information on MLA style. A Works Cited listing is required for any of the sources used in your essay. The specific essay questions are from the “Joining the Conversations” sections at the end of each reading and are reprinted here: 1. Write an essay taking your own stand on the intellectual merits of television, considering the arguments of Dana Stevens and Steven Johnson, and framing your essay as a response to one of them.
2. Some might see Peacocke’s essay as proof of Gerald Graff’s argument in “Hidden Intellectualism” (pp. 80-386) that pop culture can be a subject for serious intellectual analysis. Write an essay on this topic, using Peacocke’s essay either to support or to refute Graff’s argument. 3. Write an essay responding to Jason Zinser’s “The Good, The Bad, and The Daily Show. ” Watch the show for examples that support or refute his argument—what do they demonstrate about the show? Do you agree that one of the primary strengths of The Daily Show is that it is “unburdened by objectivity”? Or might you use this same point to make a case against the value of the show? 4.
Write an essay responding to Malcolm Gladwell, drawing on your own experience as a user of social media and framing your argument as a response to something specific that Gladwell says. (See Chapter 2 for templates for responding this way. ) 5. What if Tiananmen Square’s “Tank Man” had a Twitter account? What if Che Guevara had a Blackberry? What if Napoleon had 20,000 Facebook friends? What if Romeo and Juliet could text? What if Lila Crane had read a review of the Bates Motel on TripAdvisor? What if a laptop could generate an answer to this question? Does technology change the course of history, or is that what people do?
Write an essay developing your own argument about the larger effects of social media. 6. Were you surprised by the research findings in David Crystal’s “2b or Not 2b? ” showing that texting improves literacy skills? Think about your own use of texting, and how it differs from more formal kinds of writing you do (including email). Try rewriting a couple text messages as email to see what you do differently—then revise some email as text messages. Finally write an essay comparing your writing in texts and email (and/or twitter and/or facebook) and reflecting on the differences.