Here is my article:
Millennials: The Greatest Generation or the Most Narcissistic?
Here is the marked version: millennials-the-greatest-generation-or-the-most-narcissistic
Main argument: “Popular books have argued that today’s 20-somethings are more service-oriented than any generation since World War II. But new research suggests the opposite”
Claim 1: “The first books written about Millennials were not just positive but glowing. ”
Accuracy: partly true
Evidence 1: “The best known of these, Millennials Rising, is subtitled The Next Great Generation. Authors Neil Howe and William Strauss predicted that Millennials would resemble the generation who fought World War II: conformist, socially conservative, and highly involved in the community and interested in government. ”
Analysis: The author states that the first books written about Millennials are positive but only name one book. Though the author emphasis that the book is the “best known” one, the supported evidence is not strong enough.
Claim 2: Millennials Rising is not very convincing because the sample size is too small and only contains one generation.
Evidence: Millennials Rising was published in 2000, when the oldest Millennials were just 18. Also, they interviewed 660 teens in McLean, VA, but didn’t compare these responses to those of previous generations.
Analysis: The evidence support claim properly. It clearly point out the year in which the book is written and the sample size of the research.
Claim 3: In the years that followed, numerous books and news reports emphasized Millennials’ desire to help others, become involved in politics and government, and work toward improving the environment, but they didn’t compare those responses to data from previous generations.
Evidence 1: “People born between 1982 and 2000 are the most civic-minded since the generation of the 1930s and 19v40s,” claimed USA Today.
Evidence 2: “Generation We is noncynical and civic-minded. They believe in the value of political engagement and are convinced that government can be a powerful force for good,” wrote Eric Greenberg and Karl Weber in their 2008 book Generation We. “By comparison with past generations, Generation We is highly politically engaged.”
Analysis: Both evidence 1 and evidence 2 seem to support the claim that “they didn’t compare those responses to data from previous generations” , but it is questionable whether the truth is that all the books and articles did not compare the millenials to other generations or it is the fact that the author only choose those articles without proper comparision. So, i do not think the evidences support the claim properly.
Claim 4: “maybe Millennials’ greater self-importance found expression in helping others and caring about larger social causes”
Evidence 1: In my 2006 book Generation Me, I presented data showing generational increases in self-esteem, assertiveness, self-importance, narcissism, and high expectations, based on surveys of 1.2 million young people, some dating back to the 1920s. These analyses indicated a clear cultural shift toward individualism and focusing on the self.
Analysis: The evidence does not support the claim very well. Though the evidence comes from a published book with an Amazon rating of 4.1 out of five. However, the evidence become less reliable since the author is using the contents in his own book as an evidence to support his claim. This is questionable whether or not the author’s research results were affected by his own standpoint.
Claim 5: The results for civic engagement were clear: Millennials were less likely than Boomers and even GenXers to say they thought about social problems, they trusted the government and they were interested in government and current events.
Accuracy: partly true
Evidence 1: the Monitoring the Future survey of high school students and the American Freshman survey of entering college students– had many questions on community feeling, concern for others, and civic engagement that had been asked since the Boomers were young in the 1960s and 1970s. Both datasets are nationally representative and both are huge — half a million high school respondents and 9 million college respondents. With representative samples comparing three generations at the same age, this was the best data available to settle the Me vs. We question – and these items had never been analyzed in their entirety before.
Analysis:” this was the best data available” is an assertion and thus decrease the reliablity of the source. Though the large sizes of datasets make it more convincing.
Claim 6: Millennials were less likely to say they did things in their daily lives to conserve energy and agree that government should take action on environmental issues. Also, millennials were slightly less likely to say they wanted a job that was helpful to others or was worthwhile to society.
Evidence 1: in datasets mentioned before “Three times as many Millennials as Boomers said they made no personal effort to help the environment.”
Evidence 2: Volunteering rates did increase, the only item out of 30 measuring concern for others that did. However, this rise occurred at the same time that high schools increasingly required volunteer service to graduate.
Analysis : The evidence 2 is convincing, but the evidence 1 is questionable since the author might be affected by his own inclination when doing the research.
Claim 7: people who believe “Generation We” are wrong because they developed an idea of the generation first and then went looking for data to support it.
Evidence 1: They found some — increasing rates of volunteering, for example. But they didn’t consider the whole picture by examining the large amount of data available on generational shifts in civic orientation, life goals, and concern for others.
Evidence2: Those who have done in-depth studies of today’s young people, such as Christian Smith in Lost in Transition, have come to a similar conclusion. “The idea that today’s emerging adults are as a generation leading a new wave of renewed civic-mindedness and political involvement is sheer fiction,” Smith wrote. “The fact that anyone ever believed that idea simply tells us how flimsy the empirical evidence that so many journalistic media stories are based upon is and how unaccountable to empirical reality high-profile journalism can be.” (p. 224)
Analysis: The evidence does support claim properly. The claim is misleading because the author is making the claim based on generalization. Also, the evidence 2 is not convincing because instead of using data, he simply quote the words of an author who hold the same opinion as him.
Claim 8: I’m sometimes asked why I have such a “negative” view of young people. I don’t.
Accuracy: partly true
Evidence 1：The longest chapter in Generation Me was on the increase in equality and tolerance, clearly a positive development.
Evidence 2: these findings have nothing to do with my views. The survey data we analyzed captured what Millennials said about themselves, not what I or any other GenXer or Boomer says about them.
Analysis: the first eveidence is both reliable and convincing, and thus support the claim properly. But the second evidence is less reliable because it is hard to tell whether or not the author’s analysis of the data was affected by his own inclination.
In general, though the author seems to provide at least one evidence for his every claim, since he uses too much evidences that based on his own research, the article becomes less reliable since his personal inclination may affect the result of his reaserches.
However since the author gives out the link of his result paper, which looks detailed and based on large amount of data, i would like to say that the reliabilty of this article can gain 7 out of 10.