Digital Devices & Identity

Digital Devices & Identity

Google Article Annotation


Read and annotate “How Google Is Making Us Smarter” by Carl Zimmer.

Interestingly, Zimmer begins his article with a counterclaim, even before he introduces his main argument. Many writers will save their counterclaims for a later body paragraph, but Zimmer makes a bold choice in presenting the views of his opposition before he argues against them.

  • Annotate the article. Note passages that make major claims or counterclaims and annotate them with a few thoughts of your own. Consider specifically how well the claim or counterclaim works to persuade the reader.
  • Note any confusing passages and annotate them with the questions you have.
  • When you finish reading, look back over the article and examine your questions. Answer any that you can for yourself, and make sure your other questions are answered during the class share.

Open Notebook

Share your questions and ideas with the full class.

Article Comparison

Work Time

In a Quick Write, compare Zimmer’s ideas to those you generated when reading articles from previous activities. Use the questions below to guide your writing.

  • How do Zimmer’s claims build on others you’ve read so far?
    • Whose ideas does he supplement or extend?
  • How do Zimmer’s claims contradict others you’ve read so far?
    • Which claims do you ultimately find persuasive and why?
  • Quote three of the most persuasive sentences in what you’ve read so far and write a few sentences about each of them explaining why you think they’re so persuasive.

Open Notebook

Share your paragraph with your museum exhibit team members. If you finish early, continue work on your argument essay.

Team Paragraph Review

Work Time

Read the paragraphs that the other members of your museum team just shared with you and write a comment on each one.

Use these questions to guide your thinking and comments.

  • Do you and your partner find the same ideas persuasive?
    • Explain why or why not, and include a supporting quotation from one of the texts you’ve read so far.
  • What moments of your partner’s paragraph are most persuasive to you?
  • Choose an idea in your partner’s writing that you agree or disagree with and explain your opinion. Use another quote from one of the readings to support your argument.

Open Notebook

Essay Feedback

Work Time

In your workshop pair, read your partner’s introduction and first body paragraph while he or she reads yours.

Consider the elements of a strong introduction:

  • A smooth introduction to the topic—not a cheesy hook or a bland, general statement.
  • An appropriate level of formality.
  • A thesis that is specific, challenging, and based on evidence the paper will provide and analyze.

Consider the elements of a strong body paragraph:

  • The topic sentence acts as a mini-thesis that states the goal of the paragraph.
  • The topic sentence acts as a connection between the main thesis and the claims of the paragraph.
  • Evidence is blended elegantly with a sentence that makes its purpose clear.
  • The claims of the paragraph are clearly based on the evidence, using a valid line of reasoning that your reader can follow.
  • After you read your partner’s introduction and body paragraph, give your partner positive feedback about the specific ways his or her writing is meeting these goals. Share your notes with your partner.

Open Notebook

Essay Writing and Revision


  • Revise your introduction and at least one body paragraph based on the feedback you received today, and continue work on more body paragraphs.