Persuasive Research Paper


Critical Introduction

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My argumentative essay will revolve around social media and its usage. There are many things heard and talked about regarding social media use which leads to many questions that people may have about these platforms. For the most part, these questions will fuel the research, further deepen the argument, and support the overall ideas of the essay. Social media is seen as a virtual world where anyone can meet, talk to, or create friendships/relationships with other people. Many may ask, what possible downside could social media have? Is social media acceptable for younger generations? What restrictions are being made to make social media safer? Social media is a broad, trending topic today, almost everyone has a social account somewhere and it has become part of everyone’s daily lives. In society there are mainly two sides to the social media discussion, the side that supports social media usage, and the side that opposes social media usage. The argument being made here stands in the middle of the two sides, arguing that social media can be good but can also create bad habits.

While social media is a great tool to have and something to cure the boredom of many students, the downsides are something that needs to be talked about. It seems that people today are spending too much time scrolling through social media and not enough time having face-to-face interactions. Communication is a highly respected skill recently since not many people can have these interactions because of becoming socially disconnected. Summer Allen states in her article, “…that adolescents who spent the most time on social media and the least time in face-to-face social interactions reported the most loneliness” (Allen). People are seeing the problems but are doing very little to prevent this from happening. Also, in support of this issue, Barrett includes a quote from an 11th-grade teacher that states “Social media has crippled my students when it comes to interacting with one another in person. Their very ability to communicate is deteriorating” (Barrett). Students recently have been dealing with this issue and the fact that communication is dropping is now good for the future. Texting and having social interactions over the phone is doing nothing but increasing the issue. The bottom line is that people are noticing these bad habits arising in young adults, and those habits are not something that a person wants to have. Schools are seeing fewer social interactions and are having more problems with the students. These problems have come to the point where schools have started integrating mental health education classes to create awareness for the wellbeing of the students.

Much like social media being a problem in schools, it has also become a problem in the workforce. Cleary states in his article that “A US study of the dual effects of social media in the workplace supports the view that it may simultaneously contribute to productive behaviors (task-oriented and relationship-building) as well as unproductive behaviors (deviance) at work” (Cleary). Another study stated in the same article said that people will use social media to take a break from work, contact family and friends, to develop their professional network, and to help solve work problems. Although taking a break is good sometimes, is it that good if the break time spent is on social media. Another downside to using social media in the workforce is risking the chance of posting or reading “fake news”. Fake news is false advertising or just false information being reported to gain followers or customers. This can hurt a business and make it seem like the whole thing is a gimmick. Not only does social media cause things like this but it affects many young teens in several different ways.

In the article written by Dufault, he discusses the fact that not many people today still sit down to read a book or a newspaper. People are so used to social media and have adopted the concept of “macro-reading”. Macro-reading refers to reading headlines or very summarized tweets or Facebook posts about a certain topic. Although reading those may serve as enough information, some people may get confused, take the headline the wrong way, and several other things. The fact that people are so used to skimming over information and just reading titles, makes it so easy for people to spread false information or start an argument over something that was seen on social media. Clickbait is also a problem relating to headlines and titles of certain readings. Clickbait can get a person to click on a link or something that ends up giving the computer a virus, or accidentally paying money, or even allowing a hacker to get all personal information. Privacy issues are a huge concern today, considering almost anyone can be hacked and exploited. Social media sites have been working to stop these issues and better the safety of the users.

Social media is good thing that consequently has bad outcomes. People need to be more aware of these possibilities when acting and engaging in social media. Without the prevention of these problems, the issues will only increase. While most people think that social media is just a fun past time activity, many others will disagree and argue that social media’s downsides prevail over the good things. When put together, this information can be used to create a strong argument about social media usage. I think there is a good variety of different internet sources and articles to use them with and against each other to strengthen my writing. I have sources that argue one side of an issue and others that argue the other side, which will ultimately help in creating rebuttal arguments and making my writing well supported.


Annotated Bibliography

Allen, Summer. “Social Media’s Growing Impact on Our Lives.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 20 Sept. 2019, Accessed 10 October 2020.

Allen talks about how social media is taking away from face-to-face time, also known as social displacement in many people, including students. The main point of this source is to address the issue of teens becoming disconnected and lonely due to the excessive use of social media websites. This website provides good information and will aid in my argument, I think the source could be a bit biased due to there being very little factual evidence and more of an opinionated review. I still think that these biased sources will help in my writings and provide a second viewpoint for these social media issues.

Andreoletti, Davide. “Privacy Issues in Social Media.” Dogana Project, 21 Sept. 2017, Accessed 4 October 2020.

In this source Andreoletti discusses the possible privacy risks in social media. The sources purpose is to inform the reader of the issues and create an awareness of them. The author used specific examples and ideas to further support the information provided. Like many of my other sources, this one includes the good and bad parts about the issues and provides details that will later support my argument about social media. I think this source is good, it includes stats and many hyperlinks to other sources of information that could be beneficial. Although this source is a few years old I think the information is still valuable and will work great to compare to my other sources.

Barrett, Kira. “Social Media’s Impact on Students’ Mental Health Comes Into Focus.” NEA, 27 Sept. 2018, Accessed 27 September 2020.

This source uses statistics as well to show how social media can impact teens. Barrett talks about how students have bad social skills due to using social media so much. She says many students have a hard time interacting with each other in person. Along with that, studies have shown that teens can develop depression and anxiety over time. In conclusion, many schools are integrating a mental health education course as a part of their school curriculum. I like this source mainly because it relates to me and people my age, as well as the younger generations. I think this has been a rising problem and not much is being done to prevent it. I think this source will aid in writing about the problems of social media. I think this information can serve as a mind opening reading for virtually anyone.

“Benefits of Internet and Social Media.” Online Behaviour and Social Media | ReachOut Schools, Accessed 9 October 2020.

This source provides many of the benefits to social media. Stating that people can become creators/influencers and use social media to work and think together. Although this article talks about the benefits it also explains the need for social interactions and staying safe in the environment. I think this source will be a great one when used against the negative sources to create a great argument for my writing. I do not think this source is biased but I do think it is a little opinionated. I probably will not use this source just because it doesn’t have a vast amount of information and is borderline biased.

Bhamare, Prof. Chetan R. “Effects of Social Media on Communication Skills.” The Knowledge Review, 8 Feb. 2018, Accessed 28 September 2020.

In this source Bhamare talks about how social media has been depleting people’s social skills over the years. He states that when using social media, we tend to shorten our words and use abbreviations which in turn ruins the grammar and syntax. He offers an example, saying that at parties or such, people used to introduce themselves and greet people for conversation. But now when people are put in the position to do so, they get on their phones instead to avoid the personal interaction. Although this source is a “.com” and could potentially be biased, I think it stands as a good argument. Like many of my other sources this one leans towards the negative effects of social media on people and it will help a lot in forming my argument comparing it to the sources that are more on the benefit side.

Cleary, John. “The Impact of Social Media at the Workplace.” InhouseLegal, 23 July 2019, Accessed 10 October 2020.

This source talks more about how social media use in the workplace can lead to issues. There are many facts used and backed up by supporting information. Cleary talks about how all businesses face the same problems when monitoring social media use and that the productivity of staff members is declining. I think that this source in relation to the others serves as a helpful tool in my argument. I think that this supports my writing and further proves the unbeneficial habits that are created by spending too much time on social media. I think this source is not biased seeing as how much factual evidence is used and the way the information is presented.

Dalomba, Frances. “Growing.” Lifespan, 2018, Accessed 10 October 2020.

This source talks about all the aspects of social media, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Dalomba talks about the statistics of social media usage and related it to teens and their individual usage. Also talked about was how bullying over social media can lead to suicide which is still the one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of 14. I think this source is credible and can help in the argument about the negative effects of social media and bring an awareness to others about the suicide rates due to social media usage in teens.

Dufault, Jackson. “DUFAULT: Social Media Heavily Affects Reading Habits.” Marquette Wire, 7 Nov. 2017, Accessed 10 October 2020.

Dufault talks about how social media had caused a drop in physicalreading. He stated that many people have ventured away from this due to “macro-reading materials”, things such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and others. But along with these very tiny summarized posts comes the issue of clickbait or false advertising that can pull anyone into a mess. I think this source is very valid and I have noticed that I have fallen into the same habit of reading things online instead. I believe that many young adults like me have adapted to the technological lifestyle but in turn this is causing problems for now and for the future. This source will help in my argument and support that younger generations have taken in more bad habits than good all because of social media. This source seems credible, but I understand that not everyone will have these tendencies.

Hilliard, Jena. “Social Media Addiction.” Addiction Center, 17 Sept. 2020, Accessed 8 October 2020.

This source talks about the many mental health issues that are caused by social media. Hilliard states that addiction is the major problem in everyone’s social media usage. And yes you can be addicted to social media. She provides ways to find treatment and stop the issue. I think this source directly pertains to me and I think it will be a good source to use in support of my argument. I don’t think it is biased and I believe that social media addiction is a real problem.

Enough Is Enough: Social Media, Mobile Phones and Sexting, Accessed 4 October 2020.

          This source does not have a said author due to the reason of it mostly being facts collected from other sources. This source states some great facts about the pornographic issue in social media in teens and even adults. The facts range from when teenagers get phones to the usage of social media and how it is being used for reasons that should not be valued in my opinion. I think this source, although being bulleted facts, is still going to be a useful source in my writings. I think the facts can be used in such a way to support or not support my argument.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Teens and Social Media Use: What’s the Impact?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Dec. 2019, Accessed 28 September 2020.

This source provides the benefits and the harms that come from social media. The Mayo Clinic staff talks about those two topics in relation to teenagers. The benefits portion of the reading is much shorter than the harm section, meaning that there is more harm from social media than there is good. The staff talks about how social media can be a way for teenagers to express themselves and be a fun thing to partake in. But also stated in the reading is that excessive amounts of time spent on these platforms can cause distraction, problems sleeping, exposure to bullying, and many others. I think this source could be a tad biased but also a great resource for my argument. I think that having a source that leans more toward one side will benefit my writing when used with sources that lean to the other side.

Rainie, Lee. How Americans Feel about Social Media and Privacy. 17 Aug. 2020, Accessed 27 September 2020.

This source is a very informative one. Rainie talks about many statistics that relate to the privacy concern for most Americans. The source also talks about why people use social media and why people worry about privacy issues. The Center’s polls have shown that people like to use social media as a way of communication among friends and family or reconnecting with others. Along with using these platforms, people have become more concerned about their private information and how secure their data really is. This site provides many statistics that will be helpful when writing about this topic later. I think this source is very credible and seems to be a good source to use in terms of specifics and the stats that are included.I think in comparison to some of the other sources, having one with factual evidence is a smart move.

Slavick, Scott J. “Online False Advertising.” American Bar Association, 2 Apr. 2019, Accessed 27 September 2020.

This source pertains more to businesses and people related to that field, but I believe the information is still important. Slavick talks about how employers and companies run into false advertising on social media all the time, stating that FTC has enforced new guidelines to stop the spread of fake news. The article explains how employees can post advertisements of the products or services being sold but this can often lead to miscommunication and ultimately falsely advertising the company’s goods. I think this source will be very helpful in explaining that not everything you see online is true, and not every website that you come across can be credible. I think this also relates to the topic of political advertising, and the “fake news” that can come from online newspapers and other sources.

Stegner, Ben. “7 Negative Effects of Social Media on People and Users.” MakeUseOf, 4 Feb. 2020, Accessed 8 October 2020.

This source focuses on the negative effects of social media. Stegner talks about how social media is bad for you. He states that you can become depressed or have anxiety, become a victim of cyber bullying, or even become a bully, and you can have a fear of missing out. I think this source will be good in rebutting my other arguments and creating a strong writing project. I think that many of these sources pertain to teens because we are the ones running the social media platforms. I think this source could also be a little biased and therefore I will most likely not be using it.


Wade, Lori. “How Social Media Is Reshaping Today’s Education System.” Center for Social Impact Communication, 2019, Accessed 10 October 2020.

This source explains how social media is changing our education system. In this article, Wade talks about how it is becoming more acceptable to use social media in classrooms and how there is no point in keeping it away from the education process. Many people also argue that social media is the reason that kids cannot focus or pay attention in class. This source seems kind of biased, but I think the information on how other people see these issues will help in furthering my writing. I will use this source in correspondence to my unbiased sources to serve as a rebuttal argument and deepen my own argument.


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