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The Power of Habit

For this assignment, you will explain how a habit you have (or have had) follows the habit loop as explained by Charles Duhigg in Chapters 1-3 of his book The Power of Habit and come up with a plan to change this habit (or explain how you already changed it) based on Duhigg’s theories of habit change. 

In order to explain your habit and connect it to Duhigg’s discussion of habits, you will have to explain a few concepts to your readers.  These concepts include 

  • The habit loop and how your habit follows this loop
  • The role of craving in habit creation in general and in your habit specifically
  • The Golden Rule of habit change and how you might change your habit according to this rule
  • The role of belief in habit change and how you might incorporate this concept into your plan to change your habit.

You should write your essay for people who are NOT in this class and are NOT familiar with Duhigg’s book. This means you’ll need to spend some time summarizing key ideas, defining any terms that might be unfamiliar, and choosing short quotations from the text to help your reader get a sense of what the author is talking about.

But this essay is not just about explaining concepts; it requires you to apply Duhigg’s theories to your own personal habit.  This means you must analyze your habit and make a plan for change (or analyze a past habit and discuss the changes you already made) by applying the information you learned about habits from Duhigg. 

A few things to remember:

  • Be sure to think about the various aspects of habit formation described by Duhigg, including the habit loop, craving, the Golden Rule of habit change, and the role of belief in habit change. 
  • I’d like you to include details, examples, and quotations from the readings to help you develop your analysis 
  • Talk about complexities—for example, feel free to disagree with Duhigg’s claims about habits, but be sure to fully explain your argument. 
  • To provide a complete discussion of this topic, aim for at least 3-4 pages. 

Turn-in Procedures

  • Your final draft is due to TurnItIn on Blackboard by __________________________________________________.      
  • You must complete a Writing Center conference by ______________________________________ to get credit for a formal conference. (You must complete at least 2 formal conferences by the end of Essay 3. 
  • Bring the following documents in your assignment folder to class to turn in on ________________________________:
    • Writing Center signature form and the draft you reviewed in the Writing Center 
    • All peer review materials and rough drafts

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