A Close Reading of Nicholas Carr

Topics: Mind, Writing, Internet Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: September 18, 2010
English 121 Assignments 2, Close ReadingNick Aitken

Nicholas Carr’s essay, ‘Is Google making us stupid?’ proposes the idea that the human mind is undergoing another big change. He ponders how the intake and response to information we collect and how we process that information is changing, which he leads to question how will it eventually lead to an impact on us as individuals. Irony however is not lost on the author as this work was published on the Internet and does not conform to what he knows people will look at or how they will read it.

The essay, although informed is an opinion piece. It has been written expressly for the reason to take the knowledge available and apply it to Carr’s ideas, to reinforce his points as he tries to persuade the reader to re-think their understanding of the internet and its uses. There are many sources available to use for this topic and Carr takes advantage of this, however there is not much in the way of hard evidence, most of the evidence he uses is anecdotal that he can align with his own. Carr actually uses predominantly online resources; he often quotes online bloggers and friends that he describes as “literary types”. He uses this form of evidence to prove points on how the way peoples attitudes are changing, such as this quote by Scott Karp, a blogger, “I was a lit major in college, and used to be a voracious book reader” after Karp confessed to have stopped reading books, Carr has tactfully used this quote to justify the point and can follow it up and build on it.

It is remarkable that Carr’s key study he uses is also an online source, continuing his reliance on the Internet even as he scrutinizes it. After conceding that anecdotes are not a sufficient form of evidence, in a seeming effort to legitimize his essay he refers to an online study conducted by the University College London. The conclusion of the study that had confirmed that research habits were changing fits well with Carr’s overall point....
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