Do you believe that social media is an overall positive or negative forc



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Do you believe that social media is an overall positive or negative forc
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Length, etc.: at least 750 words (and at least 5 paragraphs), 12 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced

Assignment Description:

Paragraph 1: Similar to how your final research paper will be guided by an original “research question” of your choice, this position paper begins with your (short) answer to a specific question: Do you believe that social media is an overall positive or negative force in society? So, your first paragraph here will be a 1-3 sentence answer to this question. This brief paragraph should work as your thesis statement for this position paper. Don’t worry about having a fancy attention grabber yet, just get straight to the point and simply answer the question for now–and that answer will be your thesis.

Paragraphs 2-4: your next three paragraphs will synthesize sources in order to show your awareness of the ongoing conversation about this issue/topic. (Remember: to synthesize sources means to show/explain how two or more sources are conversing with each other–in other words, how they are responding to each other; how they are contributing to the same conversation about the topic.)

***Devote your 2nd paragraph to Roger Scruton’s essay, “Hiding Behind the Screen” (2010): (see attached file for a shortened version of it with my explanatory notes)

Begin this paragraph with something like this: In “Hiding Behind the Screen,” Roger Scruton discusses ______________________. Specifically, he argues that _____________________. Then spend the rest of the paragraph summarizing, paraphrasing, and/or quoting from his essay to show you understand the overall points he’s trying to make. Think about these things: what does Scruton think we’re “hiding” from, exactly? And, according to him, why is it bad to hide from these things?

***Devote your 3rd paragraph to the documentary, #Being13 (2015):

Begin this paragraph with a short and smooth transition statement that connects the essay “Hiding Behind the Screen” to the documentary #Being13. Then spend the rest of the paragraph summarizing, paraphrasing, and/or quoting from the documentary to show you are familiar with it.

***Devote your 4th paragraph to the Black Mirror episode, “Nosedive” (2016): (on Netflix, Black Mirror, Season 3, Episode 1; if you missed class and don’t have Netflix, then, like I said in class, you need to talk to me). In case you want to quote directly from it, here’s a link to the screenplay:

Begin this paragraph with a short and smooth transition statement that connects both “Hiding Behind the Screen” and #Being13 to “Nosedive.” That is, something all three texts have in common. Then spend the rest of that paragraph summarizing, quoting, or paraphrasing what you think the filmmakers might be arguing with this episode/short movie, or what they might be warning us about, in terms of the dark side of social media use/addiction.

[Remember: use transition phrases like “Similarly, ______ argues that…” (if the arguments are more or less making the same case) or “By contrast, _____ argues that…” (if the arguments are making more or less opposite cases).]

Paragraph 5-beyond: After you’ve shown an awareness of the conversation and synthesized your sources in paragraphs 2-4, you will then begin to enter that conversation. So, in this paragraph, you will identify which side of the debate you tend to agree with the most, and why and to what extent you agree with that side more than the other. Pick at least two of the three sources to quote from to help you make your case. Quote from these sources (or summarize some part of them) and engage with the author’s arguments. You may pick quotes/examples from the text you agree with or quotes/examples from the text you disagree with here, as long as you interact with them in such a way that makes your position clear.

Works Cited Page:

“#BeingThirteen: Inside the Secret World of Teens.” YouTube, uploaded by ConstantlySporadic, 5 October 2015,

“Nosedive.” Black Mirror, season 3, episode 1, 21 October 2016.

Scruton, Roger. “Hiding Behind the Screen.” The New Atlantis, Summer 2010, 48-60.

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