The initial version of an essay is not a "rough" or an unfinished draft. Rather, it must contain a fully-developed thesis with supporting arguments and examples arranged in a logical structure, and be free from spelling or other mechanical errors. The revision must be a substantial rewriting of your earlier work--not a superficial polishing. Revisions that do not display significant and thoughtful changes to the original essay will not receive credit. Changes should be made based upon both my comments and those of your classmates, as well as your own continued thinking about your writing. When you turn in a revision, always include the draft with it. I will not read a revision without its accompanying draft.
All papers must be at least 600 to 800 words long (about 2 and 1/2 to 4 pages). All papers must also be typed, double-spaced, stapled, pledged, and have numbered pages. In addition to the printed copy of your essay, you must also have an up-to-date copy of it saved on your disks, so we can work on it during class.
Because the computers in the classroom are all PCs running WordPerfect 6.1, all your work must ultimately be done in this form. You're welcome to use a Mac or another word processing package at home, but you must accept responsibility for converting your work into WordPerfect for Windows before coming to class.
Note: The computers in the classroom are able to read and convert files written in WordPerfect 5.1, which is what the computers in Clemons and Cocke hall use. But, if you plan to use those machines, be sure you remember to save any work you do in the classroom here as a WordPerfect 5.1 file; otherwise the computers in Clemons and Cocke hall won't be able to read it.
Your assignment is as follows: choose a single aspect of the cyberporn debate, and write an essay that argues your opinion as forcefully as you can. Possible sub-topics for focusing your argument include: censorship and the first ammendment, the legality of pornography, technological considerations, the question of children's access to this material, the implications of regulating expression on the Internet, the dangers of not doing so, the political motives of people on both sides of the issue, and Time's possible exploitation of this problem for profit .
There are also many other ways of focusing your essay. The ideas above are suggestions and examples. What's most important is that you formulate a strong, clear thesis statement and then support it with a carefully organized argument. Feel free to refer back to any of the readings, or any of the other material collected at the JournoPorn site.
For Tues., Sept. 12th.
For Thurs., Sept. 14th.
Your assignment: First, choose two passages--one each from Negroponte and Birkerts--that both address the same specific aspect of technological change. The general point that computers and the information they make available are going to change the way we live our lives is far too broad. The passages you choose should be neither too short nor too long; two to four sentences is ideal. Next, you must briefly explain to the reader the difference between the contrasting views; what issues are at stake and how do Negroponte and Birkerts feel about them? This aspect of the assignment will require both careful reading on your part, and the same kinds of summary skills we practiced in the first assignment. You should then use the of your essay to develop your own ideas in relation to the positions taken by Negroponte and Birkerts.
For Tues., Sept. 26th.
For Tues., Oct. 3rd.
Last Modified: October 2, 1995