Multitasking

MINIMUM of FIVE full double-spaced typed pages (not 4-1/2, 3-3/4, etc.). The fifth page must be a full page. Your APA formatted cover page is not included in the page count (so it would be a sixth page). Short papers will be downgraded.

Learning objectives:
• How to synthesize multiple sources to support a thesis
• How to integrate concrete, supporting details
• How to clearly differentiate between an author’s ideas and your own
• How to use transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and ideas
• How to properly integrate quotes
• How to interview a subject and integrate paraphrases and quotes
• How to find reliable sources on the Internet and through library databases

Readings: To write this formal essay, you must first read the following:

How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking” by Peter Bregman “In Defense of Multitasking” by David Silverman

Your assignment
You will answer thefollowing prompt (also called “research question”) below:

Your main research question is this: How does multitasking affect student success? Basically, you will be arguing for or against multitasking. You will need to write about your own experiences and/or the experiences of other students, and use Bregman and/or Silverman as sources. In addition, you must use at least one additional, outside source that is reliable. (I will explain more about finding reliable sources in class.)

Here are some related questions to consider: What is multitasking? Are there different forms of multitasking?
Do all forms of multitasking have a negative (or positive) impact? Are some forms of multitasking more detrimental (or beneficial) than others? Is the nature of the Internet such that it is difficult, if not impossible, to avoid multitasking while working on a computer? Does Internet use have a (positive or negative) impact on our brains and the way we process information? Why do students multitask? Are they trying to save time, or postpone difficult work or decisions? Are students losing their ability to focus? Do students who multitask do better or worse on homework assignments and their overall grades? Is it possible to stop multitasking? Is it necessary?

In your essay, you must include the following:
• Paraphrases and quotes from either Bregman or Silverman (or both).
• Paraphrases and quotes from an interview with at least one other Woodbury student. You should change

the names of the other students you interview to ensure their privacy.
• Paraphrases and quotes from at least one additional, reliable, outside source.

Optional: To create additional content for this essay, you may decide to work “unplugged” from the Internet and your smartphone for one day (or weekend, or week) and monitor your feelings and progress, as Bregman did. OR, you can create an original survey to distribute to your fellow WU students about multitasking, and report on your survey findings. If you decide to to this, please do not use a chart or graph of the survey as filler to stretch out your essay. I am more interested in your analysis of the information.

 

Your essay should be 10 – 12 paragraphs in length and contain an introduction, a thesis statement, a well- developed of body of supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Your imagined “audience” will include students both inside and outside this class, as well as instructors. You must write your essay in such a way that people unfamiliar with Bregman’s and/or Silverman’s writing will understand both their ideas and your own.

You must have between 4 to 8 quotes in your essay; no quote can be longer than three lines. Make sure you paraphrase and quote the following:

o BregmanorSilverman(orboth) o Thestudent(s)youinterview
o Thereliablesource(s)youchoose

Your quotes should be presented in the form of “quotation sandwiches,” as you practiced in class.

Your essay should use APA formatting, but you do not need APA citations.

Purpose: This essay is basically a persuasive essay, in that you will be persuading your audience to believe your point-of-view. Your paragraphs may use patterns of definition (you will need to define certain terms and ideas), examples (from Bregman and/or Silverman, your interviews, and your reliable sources), cause and effect (causes and effects of multitasking), and compare/contrast (you may wish to contrast a multitasking situation with one that is more focused, or compare two similar situations). You will not have to use all these patterns, only the ones that help you support your thesis.

You will be backing up your own ideas with evidence from Bregman or Silverman, your interviews, and your reliable sources.

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