What arguments can be made in an essay on cyberbullying?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In any essay, there will have to be a focused and clear statement of purpose. This is the thesis statement and it will form the basis of your essay on cyberbullying.  Developing it is something that you are going to have to do on your own, but some guidance can be offered here.

I think that developing an essay in a 12 point format on cyberbullying would follow a fairly logical sequence.  There should be some basic introduction on the topic. This can take a variety of forms.  One would be to discuss the problem as a whole with evidence suggesting that cyberbullying is a real threat to many adolescents.  Children like Amanda Todd, who felt the need to take their own lives as a result of constant cyberbullying, might be one approach to introduce the topic.  Another approach would be to identify statistics that illuminate the real threat of cyberbullying:  

The Youth Internet Safety Survey-2, conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in 2005, found that 9% of the young people in the survey had experienced some form of harassment.

Either approach would introduce the topic in a manner that enables a thesis statement to emerge.  I think that a strong thesis statement would be to suggest that cyberbullying is a new form of intimidation and harassment that is more challenging to identify than traditional bullying, but possesses an equally, if not more, detrimental effect on the victim. The thesis statement has to delve into cyberbullying, as it is the topic of the paper.  Yet, I also think that it becomes more compelling to be able to do this by setting it as a contrast and sad complement to the more traditional aspect of bullying.

From this point, I think that you need to develop your three supporting points. The first might be to establish a definition of cyberbullying, exploring its dimensions.  The second could involve detailing the detrimental effects of cyberbullying on the intended target.  Finally, there should be a call to action in the essay, given its intense nature, that details what can be done to address cyberbullying.  When defining cyberbullying, there should be a broad enough understanding which would allow a functional understanding of the topic to emerge:

Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.

The definition from the U.S. Legal Definitions provides a framework in order to understand the topic.  Moving further into the topic could be a discussion of how "information technology" is a critical part of this construction.  Cyberbullying is so challenging to address because it takes so many forms, such as traditional computing, cellular devices, online chatting, and any form of communication that utilizes information technology.  When examining the definition of cyberbullying, I think that it might be important to emphasize the emotional quotient involved, as reflected in "defaming and humiliating" the intended target.  The essence of cyberbullying is to render the target as devoid of emotional strength.  

From this analysis, I think that progression into the second point is effective. Contrasting cyberbullying with a more traditional notion of bullying would involve discussing how traditional bullying "looks" easier to identify.  The physical aspect of targeting and harassment can be seen, to a great extent, much easier than cyberbullying, which happens instantly given the technological frame of reference.  The speed at which kids text and post images makes cyberbullying fundamentally different than a more traditional construction of bullying.  Another aspect which illuminates the difference between both forms of bullying is the audience. In traditional bullying, the audience is localized, whereas in cyberbullying, there is an unlimited audience, formed by "simultaneous sensations of exposure (the whole world is watching) and alienation (no one understands)."  This differentiates cyberbullying in how it renders the victim emotionally forlorn.  Finally, it makes sense to delve into the elusive nature of cyberbullying.  Forums and chats can be deleted so quickly to the untrained eye, along with new websites and the screen of anonymity that contribute to the elusive nature of punishing offenders.  This might be an effective tract to take in order to discuss cyberbullying's severe and intense nature.

In the last point of the essay, emphasizing that there is a way to stop cyberbullying in a preventive and not reactionary mode.  This involves teaching digital citizenship at the earliest of ages.  Part of the "core element" in modern instruction has to involve what defines digital citizenship and what is and is not acceptable.  High school is too late to start these lessons.  As younger children become more digitally savvy at an early age, education efforts have to strike at this point and continue throughout formal education.  At the same time, discussing how parents and adults can be more aware of this issue is also elemental.  For example, teachers who assign in class time to work on a project using computers and technology, cannot sit idly and simply presume that their students are working on the intended task.  Teachers need to be actively monitoring what their students are doing and on what websites they are visiting.  Parents must also increase vigilance on this level, as well.  Being able to discuss these elements, as well as illuminating how the targets of cyberbullying can find some semblance of hope in being able to make public what might be a private struggle is yet another way of addressing the issue. Concluding the essay from this would involve an active restatement of the thesis statement, and might even include a note of empathy for the tragic condition in which cyberbullying places intended targets. 

These approaches can make for a rather compelling essay on cyberbullying. They feature an understanding of the topic, an introspective analysis of it in the modern setting, as well as steps that can be taken to mitigate its destructive effects.  

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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You can mention how most people suffer in silence, also, you can mention the various governmental campaigns to stop bullying from happening. You could talk about previous highly-publicized cases regarding bullying. You can also mention for the government has done wrong, or why the government's measures aren't as effective or do not reach their intended outcome.

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rachellopez | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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I would start this essay with a hook in the introduction paragraph. A hook that would get the reader's attention could be a story based around bullying or even just a shocking statistic. You also need to offer a bit of background info to inform the reader about what cyberbullying is and how it can affect people.

A good argument you could make is about how emotional scars could harm people more than physical scars (which I think is definitely true). You could argue the affects of face to face bullying compared to cyberbullying and maybe how cyberbullying can be stopped/prevented. I find making a chart, a T chart or a bubble chart, and listing your points with details is a good way to help you organize your writing. Just brainstorm a list if that helps you. Good luck :)

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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Since you are creating an essay try to have a main point and base it off that. You can also do a bubble chart where you expand your ideas. Maybe have your overall idea on why cyber bullying is bad and then shift into 3 smaller points and each of those points should have 3 smaller points connected to it. You can make points of how cyber bullying causes issues and how its worse or equal to bullying in school. You can also use one main 3 point to talk about how its related to school bullying, another for what has happened like terrible stories that were the result of bullying, and another on how and why to stop bullying. You can also go into a historical view and see how it has changed most recently 

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chrisyhsun | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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The answer to your question depends on what aspect of cyberbullying you are discussing. I would suggest first narrowing down your topic before thinking of arguments.

For example, are you discussing the boundaries of what is considered cyberbullying? If so you might want to make arguments about how tone can/cannot be conveyed through the internet or about how different "cyberbullying" and "cyber-teasing" really are.

Another possible discussion about cyberbullying might be the "historical" frame, such as how increased technology in the modern world has increased proliferation of cyberbullying. You could also expand this into a future argument by highlighting possible ways to limit this in the future.

A third, narrower topic may be the psychological causes/effects of cyberbullying. You could note how cyberbullying may be more prevalent than bullying in real life because of the impersonal nature of the internet. You could also compare the effects of victims of cyberbullying compared to those of real life bullying.

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udonbutterfly | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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'

Hey :D

The way I like to plan out my essays would be by writing the plat from

Intro:

P1: -point

      -(2)support

      -tie in the paragraph

P2:

P3:

Conclusion:

(I always use the rule of 5)

Now instead of during the thesis, intro, first I choose to do that once my paragraphs are organized. :D

Now first key for the paragraph could be Cyber bullying may lead to violence. Your support could be for example you can emphasis that online bullying has very few safe havens. Thus cases such as one with young teen Rebecca Sedwick  commit suicide from the intense pressure of bulling.

And so on paragraph two would look like

P2: -point: Cyber bullying allows many to become anonymous

      -(2)support:

Anonymity enables people to act out of their normal behavior without substantial consequences.

20% of teens say that people or mostly unkind on social media.

      -tie in the paragraph

P3: This can be many things from

The easy access of technology amongst children.

Support: Children's frontal lobe (controls the perception and judgement) has yet to fully develop.

(use some type of statistic)

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mchandrea | Student, College Junior | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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An essay about cyberbullying could go in different directions. I suggest that you  start with bullying in general and slowly pace your essay towards the more specific cyberbullying.

Your introduction could start off with bullying, some facts, statistics and the simple effects. What is bullying? How does it affect the person being bullied? Why do you think there are bullies? Then mention the different forms of bullying like those in school or even work and focus on cyberbullying for the body.

Some points you could state are the following: 

* Cyberbullying could be done in any electronic device not just the computer and not just the internet. 

*It could be done without any intentions of bullying. For example, posting an embarrassing picture  of your friend because you think it's funny but it's hurtful for your friend. Or maybe starting up a rumor through social networking sites so you would become popular.

*Cyberbullying can be done anonymously. You can be bullied by someone who lives halfway across the globe and has no idea who you are.

*Deleting posts or statuses will not change anything. Even if you delete that hate post, chances are a lot of your intended audience has read it already and has talked about it with their friends.

For the conclusion, i think you can state how technology has changed even  small things like these. And that it can easily progress and people contribute to it subconsciously. But then, there are still ways we could help avoid it from happening. 

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crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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People can commit suicide over cyber bullying and cyber bullying can happen almost anywhere, online, over text, just anywhere. People suffer a lot because of cyber bullying and their health gets worse

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