The Power of Social Media

Online social networking sites allow users to connect and share information (news articles, blogs, videos, photographs, music, etc.) with other users. A Pew Research Center study in 2018 shows that seven-in-10 Americans use social networking sites to connect with each another, read the news, share information, and entertain themselves. Facebook is the most popular social media site, followed by Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. As the popularity of these websites increases, controversy arises on the power of these sites.

Social media has contributed several important movements in recent years. For example, the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 drew over 500,000 marchers in Washington D.C. and up to 5 million worldwide because of social media.

Yet, social media has also generated some disturbing results, such as problems with hacking and cyberattacks, the spread of fake news stories, privacy concerns, and cyberbullying. For example, Megan Meier, the teenager from St. Louis, committed suicide in 2006 due to cyberbullying, as depicted in Andrew Keen’s article, “Douse the Online Flamers.”

For your final writing assignment, you will write a research paper focusing on your position in the following question: Is social media more beneficial or more harmful to our society? The paper should include your argument as well as a rebuttal paragraph and a response-to-the-rebuttal paragraph.

You must only use the Los Angeles Mission College Library Database for your research. Use at least 4 sources (either online and/or print) for your paper.

The paper must be at least 2,500 words. It must be typed and double-spaced and must include a title page and a Work Cited page. Avoid using the first person and the second person. Consult the back page for the Essay Checklist.

Essay Checklist


___ An opening statement to attract the reader to the argument.

___ A brief information on the subject of the assignment.

___ A strong, well-focused Thesis Statement that reveals everything about the essay.

Body Paragraphs (including the Rebuttal Paragraph and the Response to the Rebuttal Paragraph)

___ Transitions between each paragraph (“First,…”; “Second,…”; “On the other hand,…” etc.).

___ A strong, well-focused topic sentence related to the thesis.

___ Support, presented as a direct or indirect quotation taken from researched source or assigned text(s). It must be introduced by a lead-in (such as, who stated the quote) and/or followed by the correct in-text citation. Note: For most lead-ins, use the present tense.

___ Explanations, showing the relationship between support and topic sentence/thesis.

___ Backing (implicit assumptions about the support, e.g. the authority of the quote’s author).


___ Restatement (not a repeat) of the thesis.

___ Final thoughts for the reader.

Other notes

___ Follows the directions of the assignment.

___ Title Page included.

___ Correct usage of MLA in Works Cited Page.

___ Correct usage of MLA in-text citations.

___ Avoidance of plagiarism.

___ Usage of a variety of sentence structures (complex/compound, parallelism, etc.) Usage of specific, detailed and concise sentences and active voice.

___ Avoidance of wordiness. Avoidance of vague, confusing, awkward sentence structures.

___ Avoidance of redundancies and repetitive phrases.

___ Avoidance of sentences or phrases that are irrelevant to the thesis, the topic sentence and/or the text.

___ Usage of formal, academic language.

___ Avoidance of first-person (“I”) and second-person (“you”), unless told otherwise.

___ Avoidance of contractions (“don’t”, “haven’t”, etc.).

___ Avoidance of spelling errors.

___ Avoidance of grammatical errors (run-ons, fragments, dangling/misplaced modifiers, inconsistency of verbs, inconsistency of pronouns, etc.).

___ Avoidance of punctuation errors.

___ If a direct quotation is longer than four lines, it is set off from the text and the quotation marks are omitted (MLA regulation).

__ Titles of books, magazines, newspapers, long poems, plays, works of visual art, websites, and other long works are italicized.

___ Titles of short stories, articles, songs, and short poems are enclosed in quotation marks.

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