Directions: Choose one (1) from the following three options below and write a 3-4 full page essay.


  • Responding to Mike Rose’s article “Blue Collar Brilliance,” write an essay that argues for a “cognitive biography” of a blue collar job you are familiar with. You may write about a job you currently or previously have been involved with or one which your friends or family have been engaged in.
  • In order to argue for a “cognitive biography,” you will need to apply direct sentences (three quotations) from Rose’s article which describe the “on the job intelligence” needed in the job you are writing about.
  • In your conclusion, put into your own words what you think the meaning is of Rose’s idea that a separation between mind and body “cripple[s] our ability to talk across cultural divides.”

NOTE: If you write about food service or factory work, be sure to include new elements of “cognitive labor” to avoid repetition.


  • Responding to Kenneth Goldsmith’s “Go Ahead: Waste Time on the Internet,”  write an essay in which you examine the critiques of the “Internet” brought up in his article.
  • In your body paragraphs, discuss how you, your friends / family, coworkers, spend time on the internet. How do they feel about it? Incorporating their views as evidence, respond by agreeing, disagreeing, or both, to Goldsmith’s views in the article.
  • Be sure to directly quote at least three times from Goldsmith to compare to your (or others’) view of the issues raised in the article.


  • Responding to Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” write an essay in which you examine your relationship with the search engine(s) you use.
  • Compare either Carr’s anxieties or his praise concerning internet search engines and online reading with your experience using this technology.
  • Directly quote at least three times from Carr’s article in your analysis of internet usage and reading. How has your concentration been affected (if at all) from the usage of this type of reading and searching?

Here is a PowerPoint which demonstrates the requirements of the Introduction paragraph:

Here is a PowerPoint which discusses In-Text quotation procedures:

These two PowerPoints are explained here: Argument Essay Walk Through Videos

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