Internet, social networks and smart phones

English 1 Research Paper Assignment
Write a research paper that shows how digital technologies (i.e., the Internet, social networks, smart phones,
apps, etc.) are positively or negatively influencing one part of contemporary society. The paper should critically
and thoughtfully argue how digital technologies are affecting one specific topic. Although your paper might
consider opposing views or trends, it should take a clear overall stand on whether digital technologies are mostly
helpful or harmful for your topic. The topic should be very specific and explored with an argument that is
sophisticated and unified: it is best to start with a very narrow topic and only expand it if necessary. Through
substantial research, the paper should offer an academic argument that goes beyond confirming your personal
experience or restating obvious ideas. I strongly recommend you pick a topic related to either your major or a
personal hobby. We have already written papers about digital reading and online education, so neither of those
topics can be chosen for the research paper.
The paper might investigate how digital technologies are influencing:
Privacy or ideas about privacy
1. The paper must be 7-10 pages in length. No paper under 7 pages will receive a passing grade. 7 pages
is the bare minimum, but make sure you write enough to adequately analyze your topic. This page
requirement does not include the Works Cited page, which is an additional page.
2. Correctly use the MLA format for all in-text citations.
3. Provide a separate Works Cited page that conforms to the MLA guidelines.
4. Use at least seven documented sources that are well chosen. At least two of your sources must be
scholarly journal articles.
Your grade will be determined by five criteria:
1) The sophistication of your argument.
2) The clarity of your organization.
3) The credibility of your research.
4) The adherence to the MLA rules for in-text citations and a Works Cited.
5) The quality of your writing.
The argument should offer genuinely informative and insightful claims about the topic that go beyond common
sense and common knowledge. The paper needs to be organized into unified paragraphs that flow in a logical
and clear manner. The research needs to be undertaken and presented in a way that provides greater
sophistication and credibility to your paper’s argument. MLA rules must be followed for all citations and the
Works Cited. The writing needs to be grammatically correct and clear.
Research Proposal Guidelines:
Write a description of the specific topic you intend to investigate. Try to outline the issues and debates on the
topic that you need to look into. What are the kinds of questions that your research will attempt to answer? The
research proposal should be about 1/3 to 1⁄2 a page and also include a Works Cited with two preliminary sources
you have found.

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