Rhetorical Analysis Berkelman

Google for Schmucks?

Every writer has a goal in mind when they start the writing process. The writer has to decide how they present their information and who they present it to. Each writer makes these important decisions differently which creates varieties throughout writing. In Nicholas Carr's article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", he wants to show that the internet is effecting people and the way we learn, remember, and read. Carr attempts to reach his goal by addressing a certain audience and certain information that strengthen his thesis.

Carr's purpose for writing his article is to convince people that the internet is having negative effects on them. He is hoping once people are convinced the internet can cause them to learn, read, and remember things at an inferior level, people will utilize the internet less and return to reading books and magazines more often. One way Carr tries to get his message across is by addressing a certain audience.

Carr is addressing multiple audiences with his article. Although there are multiple intended audiences, they all have some things in common. He is trying to reach people who use the internet. He is trying to convince them to use it less so everyone in his audience uses, or at least has knowledge, of the internet. He addressed multiple ages during his article. He wants to guide younger generations back to reading books and magazines, showing them that it is more beneficial. However, he also address older generations. He provides information that even adults' brains can be altered and changed, so adults have the same threat that younger generations have. To sum it up, it seems that he is addressing people, of any age, who use the internet more than they read old fashioned text.

Carr's article was published for the online magazine, The Atlantic, in July of 2008. The date the article is published has relevance because technology and the internet have not always played such a large role in our lives'. People had started using the internet more frequently and almost everyone had some form of access to the internet at that point. Carr was trying to prove his point before people got dependent on the internet. He wanted to beat the internet before it became the go to source for information. The online version of Carr's article is on a .com site. The domain suggests that the site is mostly used by the general public for whatever purpose it may serve them. Sites with the .com domain are not always credible, but this site is for a magazine, which make it more credible. The genre of the article is argumentative, persuasive, and educational. Carr tries to prove his thesis by using persuasive arguments and providing information. These elements make his article an argumentative, persuasive, and educational one because he is arguing opposing sides, attempting to persuade people to agree with his views, and is using educational information in the process.

As stated earlier, Carr's main focus is how the internet is changing the way we think in a negative way. The catalyst he discusses is the difference he noticed in his ability to read and comprehend what he was reading. This problem mattered to him because it was happening to him and he wanted to prove that it happened after he increased his internet usage. Family and friends in his life were also experiencing this problem which make it a more personal and relevant problem to investigate. Carr's thesis is clear; he believes the internet causes distractions and promotes people to "skim" rather than read, which causes people to learn, read, and remember at a inferior rate. Carr makes a brave claim by saying people who rely on the internet learn, retain information, and read at a lower level than those who read books and magazines. The title is, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", but Carr believes any type of internet site can contribute to the lack of learning.

To support his thesis Carr provides personal experiences, studies that prove his point, insight from a developmental psychologist, and information from credible sources. Carr has linkages to connect his claims to his supports. One example, is how Carr discusses how people only skim when they read online, which is his claim, and he provides information on a study done at the University College London that confirm and back up his claim (264). Another example of linkage used by Carr, is how he utilized a psychologist, Maryanne Wolf, to support his claim that reading online damages peoples' ability to read deeply (265). Carr does a nice job of using a source from Newsweek as a linkage when supporting his claim that people do not contemplate and think for themselves when they are online (267). Carr states certain implications that could occur if the problem is not addressed. He believes people will completely depend on the internet, which will slowly disable their ability to think deeply, learn efficiently, and remember what they have just learned. He believes people will become 'pancake people' because we will be stretched thin as we continue to access information easily through the internet because he believes we never learn anything through the internet (269).

In conclusion, Carr believes the internet is a distraction that is decreasing our ability to read and comprehend what we read. The problem first became relevant to him when he noticed himself experiencing it. To prove that his thesis is true, Carr uses his personal experiences, studies, and noteworthy articles. Carr makes his debatable question and stands by it with strong supports and linkages. After thoroughly looking through Carr's article and information, I believe that his view makes sense. I think that people in younger generations are able to comprehend their readings, but the internet, and online sources, cause many unwarranted distractions.

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