Assignment 2 Essay Topics
You may not submit your essay until you have submitted your outline and it's been approved.
Your essay must be at 1500-2500 words. You must support your argument by citing several passages from the assigned readings. These are the readings listed on the web site, not the shorter stories I pass out in class. Papers must be word-processed, appropriately formatted using MLA standards (double-spaced, pages numbered, etc) and contain appropriate citations and a bibliography (list of works cited). Please follow the guidelines posted here. There are also some great tips on writing essays on fiction posted in other sections of this website.
You must also cite at least one critical source (not another story) from a scholarly journal (see the "Text and Materials" section of this website for a list of scholarly journals).
You may also cite factual information from Wikipedia (though not someone's opinion stuck in Wikipedia!). I'm also happy to talk to you about your sources, or anything else, if you want to see if you're on the right track....
No more than three people may sign up for one question. Sign up is on a first-come first-served basis. Please put you name next to the topic you wish to do.
|Write an SF short story. Note that you must still submit an outline.||Zachary Kain|
|What do “Flowers for Algernon” and “Nightfall” say about the
role of science in society? ||Cameron Tweedle|
|Several of the assigned readings we looked at were considered
to be “ground-breaking”. Pick two stories and explain how they brokenew ground in SF.
|How has SF grown and matured as a literary genre? Use two of
the assigned readings to illustrate the growth – you may also refer to works that preceded the ones you are talking about to illustrate thegrowth.
|Is science a necessary element of a science fiction story?
Defend your argument using at least two of the assigned readings. ||Justin Chan|
|What is the author saying about men's expectation of women in
“Helen O'Loy” and “The Perfect Woman”? ||Raymond Birch|
|Why did the author choose the narrator he did in “Helen O'Loy” and “Flowers for Algernon”?||Luis Silva|
|Ideas often take precedence over characterization in SF stories. Illustrate this using two of the assigned readings.||Geoffrey Palin|
|SF stories often turn things around so that we see them in a
new way. Describe how this technique is used in two of the assignedreadings.
|Since SF stories can be set in any place or time, most begin
by establishing the setting. Illustrate how this is done in four of theassigned readings.
Vasilios Billy Halis
|By setting stories on other planets or using other races, the
author is often holding a mirror up to our society or to humanpsychology. What is Asimov saying about us in “Nightfall”?
|Science fiction stories often have to deliver a lot of
information to the reader, but don't want to deliver it in a tedious way (i.e. as a dry lecture). Describe and illustrate the techniquesused to do this in four of the assigned readings.
|Is "Helen O'Loy" a sexist story? Be sure to explain any terms
you might use, especially the term "sexist". ||Jamie Stratton|
|Wiki madness! In lieu of a formal essay, I will allow some
people to put together wiki pages on some of the assigned readings. See me for more details. Stories eligible for this include "Helen O'Loy", "It's a Good Life", "The Cold Equations" "I Have No Mouth, and I MustScream" or "Aye, and Gomorrah".