LIU English Dept John B Killoran Contact
ENG 16 Syllabus Schedule Assignments Site Map
In-Class Essay 5: Nicholas Carr's The Shallows

Summary

Select one of the following three prompts and write an in-class essay:
  1. Explain how Carr uses scientific evidence to advance his arguments in The Shallows.
  2. Explain the roles of our pre-Internet heritage in Carr's The Shallows.
  3. Argue against Carr's arguments in The Shallows.

1. Explain how Carr uses scientific evidence to advance his arguments in The Shallows

Some--though by no means all--of Carr's arguments rely on scientific evidence. Write an essay that explains the role of this evidence in advancing Carr's arguments in at least three chapters of The Shallows. If there might be some uncertainty or disagreement about whether a piece of Carr's evidence constitutes "science," you might define "science" by citing a credible online source and apply that definition to the piece of evidence.

2. Explain the roles of our pre-digital heritage in Carr's The Shallows

Though Carr's book focuses on how we are affected by digital technologies, most chapters include some discussion of people, objects, technologies, events, and/or ideas that originated before digital technologies themselves originated, in some cases several centuries or even millenia before. Write an essay that explains the roles that this pre-digital heritage plays in helping Carr advance his arguments about our digital era. In your essay, draw on Carr's discussions of our pre-digital heritage in at least three chapters of The Shallows.

3. Argue against Carr's arguments in The Shallows

Some of our readings throughout the course have offered explicit and/or implicit counter-arguments against some of Carr's arguments in The Shallows. Drawing on at least three of these readings, write an essay arguing against Carr's arguments. For purposes of this assignment, we will consider individual chapters to be distinct readings, even if they come from the same book. Whereas you may of course cite Carr's book and, for that matter, sources outside of our course readings, we will count those only as supplementary to the minimum three "anti-Carr" course readings required for this assignment.

Citing and documenting your sources

This is an open-book essay: you should use Nicholas Carr's The Shallows and, where relevant, our other course readings and online sources such as a dictionary. But you should also cite and document all sources:
  • Cite Carr's book and any other sources using the MLA system, with the page number in parenthesis at the point where the source is quoted or paraphrased.
  • Document your source(s) by create a Work(s) Cited page at the bottom of the essay and, depending on whether your copy of Carr's book is a print book or an eBook, list it in one of the two following ways:
    • Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: Norton, 2010. Print.
    • Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: Norton, 2010. eBook.
  • For your Works Cited page, you may copy references to our other course readings from the course schedule.
  • If, in response to the first prompt above, you feel the need to use a definition of "science," document it on your Works Cited page like the following example using Merriam-Webster.com:
    • "science." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

Specifications

Compose your essay with the intellectual and rhetorical depth equivalent to our 800-to-1200-word Essays #1 and #2. Instead of crafting an elaborate introductory paragraph, you may opt to transform one of the above In-Class Essay #5 tasks into a question, and then proceed immediately to answer it.

As this is an in-class essay, you may write it only in class during the two class sessions scheduled for this essay. By the end of each class session, you should post your draft to our course Blackboard site. Between the two class sessions, you are encouraged to re-read parts of Carr's book and/or our other reading and to make notes, which you may consult in class. However, whereas notes are okay, consulting fully composed passages that you wrote outside of class is not okay. Drafts that suddenly grow very abruptly from session #1 to session #2 may not be accepted.

Also not okay is copying passages you wrote from our other course assignments. If you find yourself writing about some of the same ideas that you wrote about in another assignment, express those ideas in a fresh way.

Name your file "[Surname], Essay 5.docx" and post it on our course Blackboard site.

ENG 16 Syllabus Schedule Assignments Site Map
LIU English Dept John B Killoran Contact