12 Social Media Articles to Support Your Argumentative Essay

Here’s a quick (and simple) survey:

How many social media sites do you use regularly?
How many times per week do you log in to a social media site?
How many hours per week do you spend on social media?

I’m guessing that, for some of you,

Here’s a quick (and simple) survey:

How many social media sites do you use regularly?
How many times per week do you log in to a social media site?
How many hours per week do you spend on social media?

I’m guessing that, for some of you, the numbers are pretty high.

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If you’re writing an argument paper about social media, you might be inclined to argue the positive aspects of social media.

If you’re one of those people who shuns social media and can’t stand the thought of another political Tweet, you might be more inclined to argue its negative aspects.

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No matter how you feel about social media, if you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need evidence (from sources) to support your claims.

Writing an argumentative essay? You’ll need evidence (from sources) to support your claims.

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Here are 12 social media articles to get you started with your research.

For each of the 12 articles, I’ve included a brief summary as well as citations for both MLA 8 and APA documentation. I’ve even included a few sample essays to inspire your own writing.

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3 Social Media Articles About Teens and Social Media
1. Teens: This Is How Social Media Affects Your Brain

Published by CNN, this article explains that reward centers in teens’ brains were activated when they saw “likes” associated with their photos. Because teens are social and more likely to be influenced by peers, they are more susceptible to influences of social media.

Research also indicates that both teens and adults who use social media learn new skills—thus, their brains change. The article reports that the change is neither good nor bad. It’s simply an adaptation.

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MLA 8 Citation

East, Susie. “Teens: This is How Social Media Affects Your Brain.” CNN, 1 Aug. 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/health/social-media-brain/index.html.

APA Citation

East, S. (2016). Teens: This is how social media affects your brain. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/health/social-media-brain/index.html

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2. February 2016: Teens’ Social Media Use: How They Connect & What It Means for Health

This article is filled with statistics that illustrate how teens participate in social media. For instance, 94% of teens who go online use a mobile device to access the Internet, and 71% of teens use social media sites.

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The article also mentions risks of social media use and includes links to help teens use social media more responsibly.

This article is published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and easily passes the CRAAP Test.

Interested in seeing how one writer examined the positive and negative effects of social media? Check out The Direct Positive and Negative Influence of Online Social Networks on Their Users.

MLA 8 Citation

“February 2016: Teens’ Social Media Use: How They Connect & What It Means for Health.” HHS.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Feb. 2016, www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/news/e-updates/february-2016-teens-social-media-use/index.html.

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APA Citation

February 2016: Teens’ social media use: How they connect & what it means for health. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/news/e-updates/february-2016-teens-social-media-use/index.html

3. Study Examines Suicides Publicized on Social Media and Teens’ ER Visits

The results of this study suggest “…that despite provincial funding initiatives and anti-bullying campaigns, ER visits for suicidal behavior in Ontario, Canada have been increasing among adolescents for the last five years. However, this increase should not necessarily be attributed to social media and future research should focus on elucidating other reasons for this worrisome trend.”

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In other words, this study couldn’t establish a direct link between publicized deaths on social media and teens’ suicidal thoughts or visits to the ER.

MLA 8 Citation

American Academy of Pediatrics. “Study Examines Suicides Publicized on Social Media and Teens’ ER Visits.” MedicalXPress, 21 Oct. 2016, medicalxpress.com/news/2016-10-suicides-social-media-teens-er.html.

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APA Citation

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). Study examines suicides publicized on social media and teens’ ER visits. Retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-10-suicides-social-media-teens-er.html

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3 Social Media Articles About Politics and Social Media
4. The Political Environment on Social Media

According to a 2016 PEW Research Center study, most people were “worn out” by political news on social media and often felt frustrated with social media discussions about politics with friends and family.

The article contains numerous statistics. It also includes information about political content, tone, and political engagement on social media.

MLA 8 Citation

References For Essays Example

Duggan, Maeve and Aaron Smith. “The Political Environment on Social Media.” Pew Research Center, 25 Oct. 2016, www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/25/the-political-environment-on-social-media/.

APA Citation

Duggan, M., & Smith, A. (2016). The political environment on social media. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/25/the-political-environment-on-social-media/

5. Is Social Media to Blame for Political Polarization in America?

Published by the well-respected U.S. News & World Report, this article summarizes several research studies.

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The study indicates that, although people are likely to seek out those with similar political ideologies, social media is not the sole reason for political polarization and extreme beliefs.

MLA 8 Citation

Soergel, Andrew. “Is Social Media to Blame for Political Polarization in America?” U.S. News & World Report, 20 March 2017, www.usnews.com/news/articles/2017-03-20/is-social-media-to-blame-for-political-polarization-in-america.

APA Citation

Soergel, A. (2017). Is social media to blame for political polarization in America? Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2017-03-20/is-social-media-to-blame-for-political-polarization-in-america

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6. Did Social Media Ruin Election 2016?

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This NPR article examines social media’s influence on the 2016 presidential election.

The author notes that the inherent way in which people (the general public, politicians, and those creating automated responses) use social media can create concern as it can be difficult to sort out real messages from fake ones.

Social media platforms can also focus on scandals rather than policy.

Check out An Argument Against the Notion That Social Media Can Cause Political Change to read one writer’s argument surrounding social media’s political influence.

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MLA 8 Citation

Sanders, Sam. “Did Social Media Ruin Election 2016?” NPR, 8 Nov. 2016, www.npr.org/2016/11/08/500686320/did-social-media-ruin-election-2016.

APA Citation

Sanders, S. (2016). Did social media ruin election 2016? Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2016/11/08/500686320/did-social-media-ruin-election-2016

3 Social Media Articles About Health and Social Media
7. Social Media: How Does It Affect Our Mental Health and Well-Being?

This article examines why people use social media and why they might become addicted.

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It also discusses the results of a survey. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed felt that social media has negatively changed their behavior, and 55% felt worried or anxious if they were unable to log into their accounts.

Additionally, the article suggests that there may also be positive effects of social media, such as sharing positive and happy emotions with others.

Looking for another view on this topic? The sample essay A Discussion on Social Media as a Tool for Connecting People but Also Causing the Spread of Social Anxiety highlights negative health effects of social media.

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MLA 8 Citation

Whiteman, Honor. “Social Media: How Does it Affect Our Mental Health and Well-being?” Medical News Today, Healthline Media, 10 June 2015, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275361.php.

APA Citation

Whiteman, H. (2015). Social media: How does it affect our mental health and well-being? Retrieved from  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275361.php

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8. Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health

Published by Time, this article reports the results of a survey of 1,500 teens and adults.

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The survey revealed that Instagram is “the worst social media for mental health” because it is “…associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, or the ‘fear of missing out.’”

MLA 8 Citation

MacMillan, Amanda. “Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health.” Time, 25 May 2017, time.com/4793331/instagram-social-media-mental-health/.

APA Citation

MacMillan, A. (2017, May 25). Why Instagram is the worst social media for mental health. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/4793331/instagram-social-media-mental-health/

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9. Social Media and Mental Health: “We Are More Than Our Profile Pictures”

When posting photos on social media, people usually include only photos that show them in the most positive light. Thus, as highlighted in this article, social media is often simply an illusion.

This illusion results from people who pretend to be one person online but may be very different in person. The illusion can also result from people who highlight only one aspect of their lives or personality on social media.

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MLA 8 Citation

O’Brien, Sara Ashley. “Social Media and Mental Health: ‘We Are More Than Our Profile Pictures,’” CNN, 14 April 2016, money.cnn.com/2016/04/13/technology/amber-smith-pete-laws-social-media-anxiety/index.html.

APA Citation

O’Brien, S. A. (2016). Social media and mental health: “We are more than our profile pictures.” Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/13/technology/amber-smith-pete-laws-social-media-anxiety/index.html

3 Social Media Articles About Social Skills and Social Media

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10. Social Media Is Actually Making You Socially Awkward

This brief article highlights our changing communications via social media.

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The author argues that “speaking” primarily online not only can make it difficult to interpret people’s meanings through text but also can make people socially awkward. They no longer know how to communicate face-to-face.

MLA 8 Citation

Hall, Alena. “Social Media Is Actually Making You Socially Awkward.” HuffPost, 19 June 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/social-media-makes-you-socially-awkward_n_5512749.html.

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APA Citation

Hall, A. (2014). Social media is actually making you socially awkward. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/social-media-makes-you-socially-awkward_n_5512749.html

11. The Impact of Social Media Use on Social Skills

This article highlights positive impacts of social media, such as staying in contact with family, enhancing learning skills, and collaborating online.

The article also discusses negative impacts of social media, such as cyberbullying, sexting, depression, and an increased risk of hindering social skills.

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If you’re evaluating the credibility of this article, notice that it cites a number of credible sources. This makes it easy to verify the article’s content.

Bonus Tip: If you need more evidence to support your arguments, check the references listed in your sources. You may be able to use one of their references as a source for your own paper.

Read the sample essay The Anti-Social Effects of Social Media to see one writer’s argument about how social media is negatively impacting social skills.

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MLA 8 Citation

“The Impact of Social Media Use on Social Skills.” New York Behavioral Health, newyorkbehavioralhealth.com/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-social-skills.

APA Citation

The impact of social media use on social skills. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://newyorkbehavioralhealth.com/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-social-skills

12. Feeling Lonely? Too Much Time On Social Media May Be Why

Published by NPR, this article references a study that indicates, “while face-to-face social connectedness is strongly associated with well-being, it’s not clear what happens when those interactions happen virtually.”

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Essentially, the more time you spend on social media sites (being virtually connected), the less likely you are to feel socially connected in real life.

MLA 8 Citation

Hobson, Katherine. “Feeling Lonely? Too Much Time On Social Media May Be Why.” NPR, 6 March 2017, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/06/518362255/feeling-lonely-too-much-time-on-social-media-may-be-why.

APA Citation

Hobson, K. (2017). Feeling lonely? Too much time on social media may be why. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/06/518362255/feeling-lonely-too-much-time-on-social-media-may-be-why

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Writing and Revision Are Social Processes

If you’ve posted pictures of yourself on Instagram working on your paper or Tweeted that you could use a little help from your friends but still haven’t gotten the support you need, here are a few additional resources to help you put it all together.

If you need a few more social media articles or other sources for your argumentative essay, read 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper.

If you need a little help getting your paper started after narrowing down what articles will work for your paper, check out these outline templates.

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Once you’ve drafted your paper, spend some time on revision. You can certainly revise your own paper, and I recommend you do, but it’s always a good idea to let someone else read your paper too.

While your friend or roommate might be a fine choice, another great suggestion is to let a trained professional (like a Kibin editor) provide feedback.

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