HW1: Analyzing the Argument of an Article

  • Due: September 5th
  • Format: Approximately 3 pages, double spaced, 12 pt font
  • Grading Criteria:
    • Completeness
    • Writing
    • Insight into content issues
    • Insight into form (writing) issues

Pick a short article (approximately 500 to 2000 words long) available online that takes a strong position on a controversial issue about computing and society. Anything with any kind of computer chip in it counts as "computing."

Some suggestions for article topics include:

  • Should violent video games be banned, or their sale restricted to minors?
  • Should cell phone use be banned in cars?
  • Should access to social networks be blocked in schools?
  • Any topic about computing and society of your choice

Answer these questions about the article:

  1. Who is the author? What is the place of publication? What do those things tell you about the point of view of the article?
  2. What facts underlie the argument of the article? How are those facts documented? Are any of the things presented as facts disputable?
  3. What values, beliefs, and assumptions are implicit in the article?
  4. To really understand the issues better, what facts would you like to know/know more about?
  5. How does the author use language to help make the point?
  6. What might someone on the other side of the controversy argue? List three key points.

Please write this as one coherent essay that addresses all these points (not a set of answers to individual questions.) Use correct, clear English in writing your answers. Style counts.

Hand in a paper copy of the article with your homework. Include the URL where you found the article on your assignment.

Come to class prepared to discuss your article.