Rhetorical Analysis Rp

Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, Carr is addressing to how the internet is affecting heavy web users’ brains in a negative way. However, his argument is weak and does not provide solid evidence. Reading his article only one time through, it appears that Carr knows exactly what he is talking about and has solid proof. He makes a lot of claims, but does not provide a solid support to most of them; weakening his argument.

Nicolas Carr has a background in writing and has written about technology in various articles. One of his better known works is “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” He has written for various journals including: The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

Carr's thesis is very clear, use of the web is detrimental to people's brains. "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" was intended for heavy web users that live in America. The article was published in The Atlantic, but it was only published on the journal's website. The article included hyperlinks and was therefor not intended to be read in print. It may have only been published online because it was targeted at web users and not Americans that read physical text. Carr has a moment of being hypocritical when he is describing how the internet takes something and "injects the medium's content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and surrounds the content with content of all the other media it has absorbed […] to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration (Carr)" when he, himself puts hyperlinks into his own article. Carr may also be biased towards books since that is what he grew up on and learned how to study and find information from, and was not introduced to the web until later in his life. Whereas this generation has learned how to study and find information one desires using the web at a young age. He collects sources that do not exactly build up his argument. He uses his literary friends, for example. Carr appears to want people to start curving away from the web and go back to using books. He tries to further his point by building on people's fears of being taken over by technology by implying that a search engine, such as Google, can become powerful enough to replace human brains. He does not seem to count informal reading (text messages, social media, etc) to count as a form of reading.

Carr wrote this article because he (and his friends) had been noticing a lack of concentration when reading. He became unable to focus and read deeply into a passage. He blames this phenomena on Google and the web in general. He claims that people are just skimming nowadays, and not actually putting deep thoughts into what is being read. His idea is supported by a study the University College London preformed on online research habits. The study showed the use of skimming passages have become more common, as well as the clicking of multiple links: possibly looking for the jackpot of easy information.

He also brings up a paper published in 1936 about a theoretical processing machine to back up his claim when the computer, let alone the internet, was not even invented yet. He also claims the internet aims to distract us by inserting images, ads, and links to passages so businesses can make money. What Carr does not seem to consider is the fact that Americans are becoming busier than ever, and do not necessarily have the time to read slowly and have deep thoughts about everything they read.

Carr is implying that reading and researching online is making web users "pancake people." That is, web users are knowing about a lot of topics, but not at a deep level. Throughout the article, Carr is consistently trying to make a point about how much less web users are learning by researching online, yet ignores the fact that it is easier to gain more background knowledge and extra information via using the web.

Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review RP

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License