Smartphones Privacy Essay

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Over the last few weeks we have looked at a number of perspectives on the topic of privacy

ranging from essays (Solnit, Menand), a report (Madden & Rainie), a television show (“Nosedive” dir. Wright), a

TED Talk (Greenwald), and a short story (Eggers). Now it’s your turn to enter the conversation by providing a

synthesis of some of these ideas before providing your own subjective position on the topic.

The essential questions you are responding to are 1) what do these writers have to say about privacy in the digital

age and 2) what is your position on the topic?

In order to write an effective analysis, I advise that you follow these steps:

● Introduce the topic, maybe including an anecdote from your own life, an example from a culturally

relevant reference, or a quote that relates to what you are discussing. Give your reader a sense of what you

will be discussing in your essay and why.

● Next, tell us what others are saying, providing a summary and analysis of the ideas put forth by at least

three voices found in our class texts. Be sure to show how these ideas are related and how they differ. You

will want to provide relevant quotes to show what they are saying, making sure to frame each quote.

● Once you have shown what others have said it is your turn to respond. Show whether you agree, disagree

or agree and disagree simultaneously. This is your chance to include reference to your self-selected text

that may support you positions, or at least help to why what you are discussing is important. As you’re

doing this, be sure to distinguish what you are saying from what others have said. It would help to identify

whose views you agree with the most and explain your reasoning with examples from your knowledge and


● After presenting your position, enhance your credibility by planting a naysayer, anticipating objections,

qualifying and/or making concessions to this position. Represent these objections fairly and be sure to

answer them.

● End with a conclusion that summarizes your position and says why it matters.

Class Texts

Eggers, Dave. “We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better.” The New York Times

Magazine. Sept. 22 2013.

Greenwald, Glenn. “Why Privacy Matters” Speech. Web.

Madden, Mary and Lee Rainie. “Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance.” 20 May 2015. Web

Menand, Louis. “Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy?” The New Yorker, 22 June 2018.

“Nosedive.” Black Mirror, season 3 episode 1, written by Michael Schur and Rashida Jones, directed by Joe

Wright, Netflix, 2016.

Solnit, Rebecca.. “Driven To Distraction.” Harpers Magazine. May 2018.

Self-selected “privacy” text (See RR#7 prompt)


● Your essay must be a minimum of 4-6 pages long, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, and formatted

according to MLA guidelines, including a works cited page.

● Your essay must include references (direct quote and paraphrase) to at least three of the class texts listed above in

addition to a self-selected text from a credible source.

● Your essay must have a strong thesis that is well supported through well-developed, unified and coherent body

paragraphs that contain effective topic sentences.

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