Multitasking: A Trap That Distracts Our Focus

Description Topic: Now that we have read and discussed Alina Tugend’s essay “Multitasking Can Make You Lose . . . Um . . . Focus,” I want you to explore some of her ideas. For this essay, please select one of the below topics: • Offer a discussion explaining why you agree with Tugend’s analysis. Just don’t summarize her points and examples. Provide your own examples to illustrate your points. Also, you may consider the following questions: What causes (or encourages) people to multitask? Are there specific times people should not multitask? What are some of the problems that could occur as people multitask during an activity? How does the individual (or the people) around suffer when a person is multitasking? How could society prevent people from multitasking during specific activities? You don’t have to answer each question. However, consider them as you engage the topic. • Offer a discussion explaining why you disagree with most of Tugend’s analysis. Just don’t summarize her points and examples. Provide your own examples to illustrate your points. Also, you may consider the following questions: What causes (or encourages) people to multitask? Why should people develop the necessary skills to multitask? What are some of the benefits gained as a result of multitasking? What factors have encouraged people to multitask? In certain situations, should society encourage people to multitask? You don’t have to answer each question. However, consider them as you engage the topic. Remember the three E’s of writing: Explore, Engage, and Express Important features to include in this essay • Do not write in second person (e.g., you, your, or imperative sentences). • Include at least one short direct quote from the primary text, but do not integrate more than three quotes from the primary text. • Include at least one source from the web to support your discussion. • Prepare a Works Cited section on the last page of the essay. MAKE SURE YOUR PAPER HAS A TITLE. YOUR TITLE IS NOT THE REWORDING OF THE PROMPT. YOUR TITLE SHOULD REFLECT YOUR THESIS, OR THE PREMISE OF YOUR ESSAY!!!!!!! Length: At least 3 pages Submission: • Please submit your essay to Canvas; do not email your final papers! • Please remember to save an electronic version of the paper to your TCC drive. Other reminders: Font Times Roman / Size 12; Double Spaced; Include Page Numbers (top right corner of page); and NO COVER PAGE. Questions to consider throughout your paper: □ What is the assignment? □ What do I hope to accomplish in this paper? □ What’s my purpose in this essay? □ Do I accomplish my goal? □ How effective is my thesis? □ How effective is my wording and sentence structure? □ How effective is my structure and organization? □ How effective are my transitions throughout the paper? □ How effective is my overall paper? □ Am I summarizing too much and not offering enough analysis of the topic □ Do I fulfill the requirements of the assignment? Doe 1 (Top left, some teachers might ask you to place it on top right and double space) Jane Doe (Your name) ENC 1101 # (the class and the reference #) K. Thompkins (my name) November 4, 2013 (Date the paper is due) “If You Want to Feel Funky, Feel Free. But Please Don’t Spread that Funk on Me: Social Commentary in Today’s Comedy Routines” (Title of paper) The Basic Structure of a Summary / Response Essay Introduction (Length for this class: 1-2 paragraphs) 1. Introduces your reader to a primary text by summarizing the main points 2. Establishes a context for the paper 3. Defines any key terms 4. Includes a thesis statement Body of essay (Length for this class: 3-5 paragraphs) 1. Develops the thesis 2. Provides supporting details and examples 3. Engages / Explores the topic 4. Offers a discussion of the topic Possible organization pattern of paragraphs in this section: Identify a point from the primary text you want to discuss Briefly explain the point to your reader Offer your analysis / examination / evaluation (opinion) of the point Transition to next point to be discussed Conclusion (Length for this class: 1-2 paragraphs 1. Summarizes the discussion 2. Asks the reader to consider other ways of approaching the topic for future exploration 3. Brings closure to the topic

Title: Multitasking: A Trap That Distracts Our Focus

Multitasking, the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, has become a norm in our daily lives. Alina Tugend, in her essay “Multitasking Can Make You Lose . . . Um . . . Focus,” argues that multitasking is not only inefficient but also counterproductive. The author contends that multitasking leads to a decrease in the quality of work and negatively impacts mental health. This essay agrees with Tugend’s argument, demonstrating why multitasking is not a valuable skill. In doing so, this essay explores the reasons people multitask, its negative effects on productivity, and its consequences on individuals and society.

Reasons People Multitask
People multitask for several reasons, including pressure to complete multiple tasks, distractions, and an overestimation of their ability to handle different tasks. For instance, one may multitask while completing a task under a tight deadline to avoid getting overwhelmed. Similarly, distractions, such as social media notifications, can cause people to switch tasks frequently. Finally, overestimating one’s ability to handle different tasks simultaneously may cause people to multitask. Unfortunately, multitasking does not always result in efficiency or productivity.

Negative Effects of Multitasking on Productivity
Multitasking often results in reduced productivity and quality of work. Tugend’s argument supports this notion, stating that “doing two things at once reduces the attention paid to each; people, in fact, routinely overestimate their ability to multitask” (Tugend 112). When people try to complete multiple tasks at the same time, their attention becomes divided, and as a result, they are not giving their full attention to any task. This ultimately leads to a decrease in productivity and the quality of work produced.

Consequences of Multitasking on Individuals and Society
Multitasking can also negatively impact the mental health of individuals. In addition to causing stress, it can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Furthermore, multitasking can be hazardous to our safety, particularly when it involves activities such as driving or operating machinery. Society can also suffer when people multitask. For example, multitasking during a lecture or meeting may cause one to miss essential information, leading to misunderstandings and miscommunication.

Solutions to Prevent Multitasking
To prevent multitasking, individuals can adopt strategies such as setting specific times for certain tasks, turning off distractions, and avoiding multitasking during activities that require focus, such as driving. Society can also encourage people to focus on one task at a time by implementing policies that discourage multitasking during meetings or lectures. For instance, meeting organizers can prohibit the use of mobile phones or other gadgets during meetings, ensuring that everyone is paying attention to the task at hand.

In conclusion, multitasking may seem like an efficient way of handling multiple tasks simultaneously, but it can be counterproductive. Multitasking leads to a decrease in productivity and quality of work, negatively impacting individuals’ mental health and safety, and society as a whole. Therefore, individuals and society should strive to prevent multitasking by adopting strategies that focus on completing one task at a time. By doing so, we can increase productivity, improve the quality of work produced, and ensure a safer and more efficient society.

Works Cited
Tugend, Alina. “Multitasking Can Make You Lose . . . Um . . . Focus.” They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, with Readings, edited by Gerald Graff et al., W.W. Norton, 2019, pp. 111-13.

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