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Hello, Class,

WRTG 291 is designed to allow students an opportunity to focus on a particular technological transformation theme throughout the semester.  Therefore, you are required to select one theme to serve as the basis of the writing and research projects that you will complete over the next eight weeks. The themes are in the course textbook, Research Writing, and they deal with the way that technology has transformed society, humanity, and education. The themes are as follows:

a) How are online technologies changing the way we live?

b) How is technology changing our definition of what it means to be human?

c) What role should technology play in education?


Take some time to think about which technological theme you will want to focus on and write about throughout the semester. Remember, the chosen theme will need to hold your interest for the next eight weeks!



1. After you have chosen a theme of interest to you, please read the article listed below under that theme. 

2. Then, respond to the questions listed for the article that you have chosen. When you respond, please place either way we live,” “humanity,” or “education,” in the subject line of your response so that your peers will know what technological transformation theme you’ve chosen.

3. Finally, provide generous feedback to the responses posted by at least two of your classmates.  To help you understand how you are expected to respond to your classmates, please read the handout (under Course Content) that is titled “On Giving Feedback.”



1) How Are Online Technologies Changing the Way We Live?

Article:  Nicholas Carr: “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (pp. 92-94)

Prompt:  What is the main point of the article? Is the author successful in his argument? Why or why not? What evidence does the author present to make his point?



(2) How Is Technology Changing Our Definition of What it Means to be Human?

Article:  Ray Kurzwiel: “Our Bodies, Our Technologies” (pp. 103-06) 

Prompt: What is the main point of the article? Is the author successful in his argument? Why or why not? What evidence does the author present to make his point?


Hello, Class,


The purpose of this exercise is to help you become familiar with academic research and the UMUC library databases. Specifically, this exercise will give you practice in locating, organizing, and evaluating diverse sources in order to construct an academic essay.

Please note: You will be required to retrieve articles from the UMUC library databases for writing assignments #2 and #3 (the annotated bibliography and synthesis research paper, respectively). Since WRTG 291 is an academic research and writing course, you will not be allowed to use sources that are retrieved from websites on the Internet (e.g. .com, .gov, .org, etc.).



1. Watch the three video tutorials listed below about the UMUC Library databases.

2. Then, find one article about your chosen technological transformation theme.  You can search for articles that respond directly to the textbook articles if you would like, or you can search for articles that are generally related to the technological transformation theme that you have selected.  After you have found an article, please write a short summary of it (7 – 12 sentences) and post it as a response to this conference topic. 

3. Please provide two of your classmates with generous responses to their summaries.


Video tutorial #1



Video tutorial #2



Video tutorial #3




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