Our generation is one mainly characterized by our unprecedented and unequal access to the internet. Expeditious development in technology and the increased availability and access to internet related devices has made way for the continuous popularity of social media services. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram have increasingly integrated themselves into our social lives. Whatever a person posts on social media can shape others views or perception of them. People therefore give much importance to the content which they choose to portray on social media as they mostly aspire to get affirmation from others. In addition to their real identities people now have online identities which not only affect how others view them but also changes peoples on view of themselves and creates the pressure to be more like our ‘digitalized versions’. Most social media users’ online identity is different from their real physical self. This essay will develop a framework for understanding that our generation is greatly influenced by our online identities, illustrate how social identity and social media has affected lives of people on how they define the identities of others and their own, and finally give a conclusion based on the arguments.
Research Essay | Identity and Social Media
“This is the duty of our generation as we enter the twenty-first century – solidarity with the weak, the persecuted, the lonely, the sick, and those in despair. It is expressed by the desire to give a noble and humanizing meaning to a community in which all members will define themselves not by their own identity but by that of others.”- Elie Wiesel
Overview: Analyzing your argument-
In this Unit, we will explore various approaches to academic writing through research. When analyzing academic writing, we can see that most writing is an approach to the various arguments that surround a specific topic. For example, one might argue that social media allows people to showcase their identity in a manner that no other platform can. Alternatively, another might argue that social media is falsifying and damaging our identity. A cohesive, informed research essay, invites readers to consider your view while weighing both sides of an argument that surrounds a specific topic. An effective research essay persuades your audience to agree with your view via the information you include via the research you have done. Additionally, your background knowledge, personal experience, and perceptions are part of what makes up an excellent argument, especially when they are backed up with research. This type of writing takes time and effort. What you have to say must be rooted in research. Meaning, you must conduct research to further expand your knowledge and provide insight for the opposing side(s) of the argument.
Just like your rhetorical analysis from Unit 2 required textual evidence to show specific examples of your own analysis and connections with the novel, so too will research in the form of summarization, paraphrase, and direct quotation prove as evidence that reaffirms your views and perceptions on your specific topic. You will research arguments that validate your claims. This validation is the main reason we use sources. Sources render confirmation that you aren’t the only one who observes, agrees, and concludes with your opinion of your topic. Your point of view will be the focus of the essay. This point of view or stance will be integrated with your sources’ arguments (evidence that supports your claims).
Just like identity influencers, arguments are everywhere. We are surrounded by them. Think about the arguments that you encounter while you browse through the pages of your preferred social media platform.
Assignment 1: Create a document in your Unit 3 folder and label it “Assignment 1”
Prewriting document Due 11/02/2017 by 11:59 PM
For this assignment you will brainstorm your topic and do a little writing about it. This is where you will justify to me your desire to write on your chosen topic. You will need to think long and hard before deciding. The product of this will be rooted in class activities so attendance is important.
Assignment 2: Create a document in your Unit 3 folder and label it “Assignment 2”
Collection of Sources Doc: Ongoing with essay- you should have at least 5 sources listed in this document.
We will start this in class, so you will need to have access to your sources in class. You will collect and record research material in this document. For example, copy a link to a source and paste it into this document, making a few notes regarding what you found in the link and how it will be useful in your research essay. You need one source that supports your argument, one source that does not support your argument, and a primary source. After that, you can choose any source that helps you with this project. Be creative.
Unit 3 Essay and Project: Due: Thursday Nov. 16th by 11:59PM
- Persuasive Research Essay
Length: 4-6 pages, MLA formatting (Times New Roman, double spaced, 12 pt. font). This essay includes a Works Cited page with a minimum of 3 of your 5 sources listed and used in your essay.
- Reflective Cover Letter- 1-2 pages double spaced
- Group Presentation- You will create a presentation with your writing group that represents the
connections you make that are based on your research findings. Each group will have 15 minutes
to present. This presentation can be in any format. For example, if you prefer to work digitally,
Google slides shared between your group members might be a good medium to work in. You will
work on this presentation while you write, setting aside information from your research that you
deem important for your larger audience. You will have time in class to consult and plan with
your writing group in small sessions throughout this unit.
The essay’s Focus: Identity and Social Media- What are some aspects of identity that shape and label this current generation at any age? What will we be known as? Like the Jazz age and the roaring 20’s, what will the 2010’s-2020’s be known as? For this Unit we will be focusing on the identity of this generation in relation to social media.
How to choose a topic:
- Make a list of identity influencers that we have explored so far this semester.
- Pick a sub topic of identity to focus on. Now look at this topic in relation to social media
- Begin a Google search: See what happens when you search “Identity and Social Media”
Do some research:
Primary- what you observe-examine the behavior of others and of self. What do you notice? What conclusions can you make with your own observations?
Secondary- Find scholarly sources/ articles. What do other people say about the specific conclusions that you have made? Be sure to examine both sides of one argument or conclusion.
Examine the rhetoric in the sources that you use to build an argument. How does one argument solidify or contradict your argument? Look at both sides and allow space for more than one argument in your essay. Have a conversation about the texts you are using to build your overall argument.
Ideas for getting started with sources:
Potential Topics Surrounding Identity and Social Media: Think about the following both in and out of social media (a digital identity vs. a physical self)
- Social Constructs
- Self representation
- Online persona vs. real self
- Validation through online persona
- Self esteem
- Criticism inside and outside of social media
- Performance and audience
- Freedom to experiment
- The urge to please
- Curating self
- The unknown audience
- The fear of missing out
- Defining ourselves through others – the paradox of belonging
- The cost of belonging – sacrificing the self
- Challenging and developing our identity – our identity develops as we grow and change
- Choosing not to belong –being an outsider in mainstream society can be difficult