Argumentative Essay Creation

Instructions: Instead of an exam, your for this class mid-term requires you to write a short term paper. The minimum word count for this project is 1200 words. Choose one of the following topics and write a coherent, cogent argument using evidence from the text(s). All page number references must refer to the texts I assigned. You do not have to use outside sources, but if you do, use proper MLA documentation. Your essay must be properly formatted, double-spaced, well- edited, and offer a clear argument.

1. “Tower of Babylon” takes its inspiration from the Genesis story about Babel. Making reference to essential differences between the two stories, explain how Chiang’s story could be seen as offering a non-Christian theology.

2. Explore the role of free will in Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report” as well as the film adaptation. Make a case one way or the other (refuting or justifying) the concept of “pre-crime.” You might want to consider racial profiling, actual incarceration rates, plea-bargaining and other actual world practices in your argument.

3. Explain how Chiang’s story “Understand” is a kind of allegory of consciousness. Make a case for understanding consciousness itself as a function of intelligence (be sure to define “intelligence.”) n.b.: I have not assigned this story yet; you would have to read it on your own.

4. Discuss Dick’s story “Service Call” in the context of political polarization in the US (and the larger world if you want). Is a “machine” like the swibble possible? Would it be a positive or negative development?