Tips: Writing an Essay on Social Media and Youth Development

By | September 16, 2016

Writing an excellent essay on social media can be tricky. Taking on a complex topic like social media and its impact on youth development doesn’t make it any easier. I’ll give you some general writing tips and because this is such a challenging topic a rough outline of items you’ll want to touch upon as you dive into your essay. Let’s start with the general writing tips that apply to most essays.

  1. Engage your reader within the first few sentences. If you don’t pull them in right away, they’ll either gloss the rest or ignore it entirely. If you’re writing the essay for academic purposes, you don’t want to make it painful for your instructor to read.
  2. Organize your discussion throughout the essay into logical points and connect them with transitional language to help the piece flow.
  3. Write a conclusion which covers the most important key points without introducing any new information.

Once you’ve organized your thoughts and gotten a high-quality introduction down it’s time to move on to the topic itself. How do social media impact youth development? There are a few key questions you need to touch upon for your essay to sound credible. If you’re limited in word count, then start with number one and work your way down.

  1. How do social media impact bullying behavior?
  2. What are the biggest impacts of having access to your friends (and others) at any time of day or night?
  3. Does our youth run into significantly more inappropriate things on social media than we did when we were growing up?
  4. How does unlimited access to news and other factual but potentially terrifying information impact youth development?
  5. What could be done to find out more about how social media is affecting youth development?

Once you’ve gotten everything organized, you can begin to take a stance and build your argument. It’s important to consider and address whatever position you decide not to take, but you want to focus primarily on driving towards your point. Social media having a negative impact on youth development is the popular opinion. You can still make a case for social media having no impact or inconsequential impact if you’d prefer.

To build a case for inconsequential or zero impact on youth development, you’ll need to address the idea that most, if not all, of the things young people see through social media, would have been available to them before its existence in different forms. Watching the evening news, listening to inappropriate family members and many other situations would have exposed youth to information impacting their development long before social media came into existence.

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The main argument for the significant impact on child development is 24/7 access to people and information with little or no ability for parents to adequately monitor the interactions. Most of the things on social media were also available before its invention, but they were available in forms that were easier to watch, discover, and to which access was easier to control. Now, not only is there 24/7 availability but there’s little to no evidence your average parent can discover proving that something inappropriate was accessed. A child’s development being impacted by social media can occur with no one knowing it ever happened.

None of these arguments are nearly thorough enough to be used in an essay without further research and thought so you’ll still have plenty of work to do. Regardless of the position taken, remember to back it up with facts and address arguments against it (especially any glaringly obvious ones). One of the main reasons social media’s impact on youth development is considered so severe is because if something does happen no one may ever know it occurred. Unless you have a compelling argument to counter that issue, you’ll want to stick with social media having a significant impact because otherwise, the response will be that you haven’t detected any damage to youth development because it’s not detectable or tough to identify.

Take your time as you go through and poke as many holes in your argument as you can. I’ve drawn your attention to several of the glaring ones. As long as you write a thoughtful and informative document and follow the guidelines above your essay writing will be a success.

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