Comparison Essay

Comparing different points of view: How should our education system adapt to the digital age?

Instructions: In this essay you will consider multiple opinions on the same topic. All of the articles we have read in this class discuss the impact of technology on our ability to process information. The main objective of this assignment is twofold:

1) You will practice active reading by analyzing the arguments presented by the authors we read – Carr, La Farge, Jabr, Davidson, and Goldhill – on how the Internet is changing our ability to read and research. You need to present at least four points from the articles through summary, paraphrase, and/or quotation (with citations) and explain the significance of each in your own words.

2)  You will present new knowledge about the subject being explored: a comparison essay should always do more than simply list similarities and differences, it should also incorporate your own opinion and experience. Therefore, based on the comparison you’ve conducted, you should make an argument about how our education system should adapt to the digital age.  Your argument should take precedence over the comparison, so don’t let a lengthy comparison section overwhelm your overall argument.

Audience: For this assignment, your audience is an educator or administrator who is well informed and interested in the relationship between technology and learning. You may choose to imagine your audience as sympathetic to your argument or staunchly against your argument. For example, you can imagine your high school English teacher or the president of Stevenson as your audience.


  • Length: 3-4 pages
  • Formatting: Your draft should be in Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced, one-inch margins, MLA pagination and citation style, use spell-check.
  • Your final will be posted to the course blog with the category “midterm” and the tag “midterm.”
  • Organization: Your essay should contain an introduction with a thesis, body paragraphs with strong topic sentences and transitions, and a conclusion.
  • Provide a title.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Solve a problem whose context and definition have been given.
  • Read and interpret texts rhetorically.
  • Use sources, differentiating between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
  • Write expository and argumentative texts in the academic style and to the basic standards of content, organization, and correctness.
  • Communicate orally and nonverbally during class participation, workshops, and/or presentations.
  • Negotiate personal values by recognizing the values within a text.

This is worth 20% of your grade and will be assessed based on this rubric.

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