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Essay 3
MCCC Spring 2018
Dr. Chowdhury

Are we free to be who we want to be and more socially responsible?

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Readings:
1. Maria Konnikova. “The Limits of Friendship” in B.Barrios 235-241
2. Kwame Anthony Appiah. “Making Conversations” and “The Primacy of Practice” in B.Barrios 43-61.
3. Charles Duhigg. “From Civil Rights to Megachurches” in B.Barrios 85-108.

In Essay 1 and 2 you brought Appiah and Duhigg into conversation to explore the tensions between obligations towards our “local tribes” and our responsibility towards “strangers” to determine whether we can make the promise of cosmopolitanism a reality.

In our third reading, we learn about the Dunbar number and why Konnikova is skeptical about the benefits of relationships that we cultivate online. While Konnikova is thoughtful in questioning the positive impact of online networks on our social relationships, Duhigg has affirmed the power of social ties and peer pressure in changing habits and creating movements, and Appiah has advocated for creating new habits of conversations across traditional boundaries to unlearn the “us versus them” tribal mindset.

There is no question that social media has significantly changed the nature of our social ties and our habits of social interaction. For your next essay, please develop a conversation using ideas and examples from Konnikova, Duhigg and Appiah to discuss the following question:

To what extent can participating in online global networks empower us to change our habits of behavior and invent new social identities to bring about meaningful social change?

Remember, we are not just doing a simple compare and contrast connecting the authors. Look for opportunities to confirm, contradict, extend, and complicate all three authors’ ideas. Build a complex thesis that is specific, arguable and nuanced. Don’t opt for a simple yes/no response.

Each paragraph should be focused on an independent claim that will help you prove your thesis in the introduction. Remember to do the “So What?” exercise for your paragraphs –Why is this connection relevant? What am I trying to prove here? Include both idea and example quotes.

Each paragraph should have at least two authors in conversation. As Konnikova is our new author, include her in all three paragraphs. And try to bring all three authors into conversation in at least one paragraph!

Rough Draft:

Due on March 27th, 2018
? Three-four typed pages: one-inch margins, double-spaced, 12-point font
? Name, course, assignment, my name and date should appear in the upper-left hand corner
? Page numbers should be in the bottom right corner
? Original title in regular type and centered
? Cite in MLA format (check http://owl,english.purdue.edu/owl/resources/747/01
? Submit paper by due date
? Half a grade off for each late day
? Half a grade off for not participating in all aspects of papers including rough drafts and peer review

Final Draft April 3rd, 2018
? Minimum five full typed pages: one-inch margins, double-spaced, 12-point font
? Name, course, assignment, my name and date should appear in the upper-left hand corner
? Page numbers should be in the bottom right corner
? Original title in regular type and centered
? Cite in MLA format (check http://owl,english.purdue.edu/owl/resources/747/01
? Submit paper by due date
? Full letter grade off for each day late

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