What you need to do:
Essay 2: Multiple Source Essay, Arguing a Position
What will the future look like? Are you optimistic about humankind’s progress, or are you concerned that we (and perhaps the planet) are doomed? In this unit, we’ll read several articles and watch several videos specifically looking at sustainability that let us consider what the future might hold in regards to the environment and our planet.
Building on the different visions of the future presented in this unit, write a multi-sourced paper that argues for an either an optimistic or pessimistic view of the future.
Questions to help you write the essay:
1) Do you believe the future will be mostly better than the present or worse? 2) What aspect(s) of the future interest you most? (e.g., the environment, economy, AI, robotics,
violence/war/safety) 3) After reading/watching the sources from this unit, which ones speak to you the most? Why? 4) Step outside the box. If you’re an optimist, how might someone criticize your view? If you’re a
pessimist, how might someone criticize your view?
How to organize the paper
Your first paragraph should introduce readers to the topic of the future using a strategy or strategies from “The Introduction” lesson. Some students in the past have painted a picture of the future for their readers, much like an opening scene introduces a movie.
Your second paragraph should introduce readers to the aspects of the future you will be writing on using a strategy or strategies from “The Introduction” lesson. You can choose to focus on one topic (for example, the environment), 2 topics (for example, robotics and AI), or even 3 topics (for example, poverty, violence, and the economy). The paragraph should end with a thesis.Please use the strategies for thesis development from “The Thesis” lesson.
Your body paragraphs should be developed around your main ideas presented in the thesis, using paraphrases and quotes as necessary. These claims should lead to paragraphs that argue for either an optimistic or pessimistic future. Please use the strategies for body paragraphs from the “Body Paragraphs” lesson. IMPORTANT: make sure to include a counterargument as a body paragraph. This means that if you are arguing for an overall optimistic future, you need to include a paragraph that brings up a counterargument to your optimism. Then, either concede the counterargument or argue against it.
Your last paragraph should be a conclusion. Please use the strategies for developing a conclusion from “The Conclusion” lesson.
Criteria you’ll be graded on
A focused, well-defined vision for the future and argumentative thesis
• A paragraph or so laying out the vision for the future your paper focuses on • A paragraph or so briefly describing some of the unit’s sources that are relevant to your vision • A specific and clear thesis arguing for your vision
A well-supported position with properly synthesized sources
• Several paragraphs in which you argue to support your thesis’s assertions using synthesized sources
An understanding of and effective response to objections with properly synthesized sources
• A paragraph of objection(s), in which you concede that others might justifiably find fault with your vision. Explain your concession(s) or dismiss the objections.
o Anticipates and effectively responds to readers’ objections o A “nevertheless” section, in which you respond to the objection(s) and reaffirm your
A clear, logical organization
• Paragraphs and sections are properly laid out and have effective flow and logic • Effective topic and “wrap up” sentences • Transition words • Appropriate use of headings, if applicable
An engaging, mature writing style and proper APA formatting
• Title page, Abstract, References page, proper page header format, and in-text citations
Sources: minimum of 4
Images: if applicable
Page length: Minimum of 7 (including title page, abstract, and References)
Read the PDF’s for Week 5 on Moodle. They’ll be used to help you complete the homework for this week.
Watch Steven Pinker’s “Is the world getting better or worse?,” Marc Goodman’s “A Vision of Crimes in the Future,” Vijay Kumar’s “The Future of Flying Robots,” Sebastian Thrun’s “Google’s Driverless Car,” and P.W. Singer’s “Military Robots and the Future of War.”
Read President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, Ed Yong’s “Mutant-flu Paper Published,” “ Bioterrorism could kill more than nuclear war but no one is ready to deal with it,” and “Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian War, Study Says,” “Moore’s Law keeps going, defies expectations,” “Musk, Zuckerberg face off on AI’s future,” “Asimov’s Laws won’t stop robots harming humans, so we’ve developed a better solution,” and Allison Linn’s “The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Myths, Realties, and Inspirations.”
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