Grade 8 OnDemand Writing
I believe that we should participate in shutdown your screen week. I think that everyone in the
school should not use any electronics for one week. Since the invention of the computer,
cellphone and other electronics, people have been using them more and more and more. These
electronics have big upsides, you’re never alone if you have cell service and Facebook allows
people to talk to multiple friends at once when they’re not in the same room, town, state, or
country. But they also have their downsides. What makes us truly great is our ability to think
deeply and focus, but when we use electronics or the internet we aren’t doing either of these
things. In fact, using these things makes us think more shallow and focus less. I think that we
should participate in shut down your screen week.
One reason is that using electronics and multitasking causes focus problems, on and off
computers. In Attached to Technology and Paying a Price by Matt Richtel, it says, “Scientists
say juggling email, phone calls, and other incoming information can change how people think
and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.” This
ability to focus is enormously important, it’s one of the things that we depend on almost every
day. Like when you’re driving a car to work or flying a plane. If you’re distracted while doing
one of these things it can have dire consequences for yourself and for others. Multitasking can
also affect creativity, deep thought, causing problems for work and family life. By participating
we could give people a chance to develop new habits of not using their phone or computer all the
A second reason that we should participate is that heavy multitaskers have trouble filtering out
irrelevant information on and off the computer. In Attached to Technology and Paying the Price
by Matt Richtel it says the multitaskers “had trouble filtering out the blue ones – the irrelevant
information.” If we participated, we could give these people a chance to develop new habits that
would 100 help them filter out irrelevant information and only pay attention to the things that are
important. For example, if someone’s playing with their daughter, they would check their email
every time they received an email instead of focusing on playing with their daughter.
Now, some people say that we shouldn’t participate because technology makes you smarter, why
stop doing something that’s helping yourself. In an imaging study by Dr. Small, he found that
“Internet users showed greater brain activity than nonusers, suggesting they were growing their
neural circuitry.” While they may be growing their neural circuitry, they were also changing a
characteristic of the brain that was thought to be unchangeable, the ability to only process one
stream of information at a time. This ability allows humans to think deeply, an important
characteristic in todays society. By changing it, they were preventing themselves from having the
ability to think deeply.
Technology is a new thing, and it has many advantages and conveniences. But for many it
becomes more than a convenience, it becomes an obsession. For this reason I believe that we
should participate in shut down your screen week, to give people a chance to make new habits
and make technology a convenience again, not a necessity.
taken from In Common: Effective Writing for All Students
Collection of All Argument/Opinion Samples, K12
by The Vermont Writing Collaborative, with Student Achievement Partners, and CCSSO
Topic Audience (WHO) Purpose (WHY) Form (WHAT) Inferences (HOW)
What am I thinking might be a good policy?
Read the title.
Highlight the claim if there is one.
Highlight the first sentence in each paragraph.
Debate Grows Over Roundup of Wild Horses in Nevada
By Randal C. Archibold
What do I think?
December 31, 2009
The federal Bureau of Land Management this week began its
“gather” of about 2,500 wild horses in . . . Nevada.
With helicopters swooping low and slow, wranglers this week
began rounding up wild horses on a vast Nevada range,
feeding an intense debate over whether removing the animals
helps or hurts the preservation of an enduring symbol of the
West. . . .
There are too many of the animals in that area, upsetting the
balance of natural resources
“The fact is right now we have three to five times the
population of wild horses that the range can sustain,” said Bob
Abbey, director of the federal Bureau of Land Management....
But the land management bureau said the “gather,” as it calls
it, would ultimately save the lives of horses.
Unlike other animals, wild horses cannot legally be hunted or
slaughtered, and they have no natural predator. Most of the older
animals are moved to distant pastures that
provide lots of room and abundant food.
A goal of the roundup . . . was providing access to grazing
land for cattle.
Bureau officials said the roundups include safeguards, like a
check of the horses by veterinarians.
The government already keeps 34,000 wild horses and burros
captive, mainly in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Write a summarizing note.
Will this article help me make