General Education Requirements (GERs) at UMUC
Courses that fulfill the General Education Requirements (GERs) at UMUC all have a common theme—technological transformations. In following this theme throughout this semester in WRTG 101, we have read the analysis of one author, Neil Postman, on the impact of technology, particularly of television, on various aspects of society. In this essay, you will continue this theme.
You have four choices for your essay topic. Please choose one of the four choices.
1. Analyze the impact of the Internet on journalism. In constructing your essay, you may want to draw upon what Neil Postman says about the impact of television on journalism in Amusing Ourselves to Death, especially in chapters 6 and 7.
You might analyze one or more of the following. These are just examples. Many approaches are possible for this topic.
a. The impact of the Internet on a particular aspect of the newspaper industry
b. The impact of the Internet on multimedia news delivery
c. The impact of the Internet on how the public understands news events.
2. Analyze the impact of the Internet on political campaigns and elections. You may want to draw upon what Neil Postman says about the impact of television on political campaigning in Amusing Ourselves to Death, especially in chapter 9, as you find sources and make an argument about the impact of the Internet on campaigning in the twenty-first century.
You might analyze any one or more of the following. These are just examples. Many approaches are possible for this topic.
a. The impact of the Internet on fundraising in campaigns
b. The impact of the Internet on speeches or debates in campaigns
c. The impact of the Internet on a politician when he or she makes a blunder in a speech or does something embarrassing in public.
d. The impact of the Internet on the personal life of a politician
3. Analyze or assess the impact of a particular trend in technology on education. In constructing your essay, you may want to draw upon what Neil Postman says about the impact of television on education in Amusing Ourselves to Death., especially in chapter 10.
For example, you might analyze any one of the following. These are just examples. Many approaches are possible for this topic.
a. The impact of online courses on education. You might focus on a particular field of study for this choice.
b. The impact of digital media on online courses.
c. The impact of the computer on writing courses or courses in other disciplines
d. The impact of certain forms of technology on reading skills or reading habits
e. Whether video games should be introduced into schools and used to help educate students
4. Analyze the impact of technology on a field of study of your choice.
This option represents a more general approach to the essay. You may or may not find that the Postman book is helpful for this choice.
Some examples might be the following. These are just examples. Many approaches are possible for this topic.
a. The impact of mobile devices on cybersecurity
b. The impact of the Internet on the field of advertising
c. The impact of cloud computing on a particular business field
d. The impact of the Internet in an area of communication studies
e. The impact of the Internet on global marketing strategies
f. The impact of a particular type of technology on health care
Outline for the essay
The essay should have the following elements:
• an engaging introductory paragraph. You might even want to cite sources in the opening paragraph to make your opening engaging to the reader.
• an effective and clear thesis statement
• a statement of definitions and background on the topic on which you are writing.
o You will want to define any terms necessary for the reader.
o You may want to provide a historical background on your topic, perhaps using references from Postman to help the reader understand the impact of technology on the area on which you are writing.
• unified, supported, and coherent body paragraphs that defend the thesis
• sources cited throughout the body paragraphs that support the arguments in the paper
• an effective conclusion
• a “references” page that lists the sources cited. The references should be listed in APA format.
The sources and citation format for this essay
You are required to use at least six sources for this essay. One of the sources may be Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.
At least four sources must be acquired through the databases subscribed to by UMUC’s Information and Library Services. In addition, at least three sources are to come from scholarly journals.
Keep in mind that if the sources are scholarly, the argument you make in the paper will be more persuasive. For this reason, feel free to use all scholarly sources if you can.
In addition, please feel free to cite more than six sources. You may find that seven or eight sources (or more) are necessary to establish your argument and defend your thesis. Please do not feel limited to using only six sources. Use more if you would like to or need to.
Please cite your sources and list them at the end of your paper using APA format.
The strategy for this essay:
This essay can be a persuasive essay, in which you try to persuade the reader of a particular position. Or it can be an expository essay that synthesizes material, an essay in which you give information to the reader and synthesize the different viewpoints on an issue. The following examples help illustrate these two approaches.
For a persuasive essay, you could take the position that video games should be integrated into school science curricula to teach middle school students. You would cite articles that demonstrate research studies and other pieces of evidence to support the claim that video games can enhance instruction in science classes and will help middle school students learn science more effectively.
If you write a persuasive essay, please follow one of the following three options for organization:
• Classical (deductive) approach
• Inductive approach
• Refutation approach
More information on these three styles is given in the following video tutorial:
WRTG 101 instructors, the url for the tutorial will be provided.
For an expository essay, you could synthesize information on this topic, one that summarizes and analyzes the evidence for and against using video games in school curricula.
You instructor will give you a due date for the first draft of the essay. You will receive comments on the first draft and be asked to write a second draft based on the feedback you receive in the comments.
A suggested rubric for this essay is as follows. However, you may adjust this rubric or use an alternative rubric. Other rubrics will be discussed in WRTG 000.
topic introduced effectively .4
strong thesis provided .3
Statement of the problem or situation .6
unity maintained .6
support provided .6
coherence maintained .6
scholarly as appropriate .4
woven into the paper effectively .4
cited correctly in the paper .3
listed correctly in the “references” page .3
Grammar and mechanics
word-level grammar .4
sentence-level grammar .4