English 12 Elective: British Literature and Visions of the Future
Essay Assignment on The Time Machine and The Machine Stops
Your first major essay of the year will deal with the works The Machine Stops and The Time Machine. Our classes on these two works have taken two angles of analysis: 1) examining the historical context for and allusions in each story, and 2) examining the extent to which each story’s futuristic visions have come true. The ideas of Marx and Darwin, the Industrial Revolution, the Victorian era, and the role of children in society all serve as important background to these works. Remember that The Time Machine also contains a number of literary and Biblical allusions.
Your task starts with choices. Choose one of the two works we have read, and then reexamine it using one of the angles of analysis described above. Your goal is to offer some insights that go beyond what we covered in class, and you will conduct some research to assist you in achieving this goal. For the sake of clarity, the two options are summed up in A & B:
Tuesday Sept. 13 Topic Selection Due (thesis and outline)
Wednesday Drafting+ identify at least TWO solid sources you will use
Thursday Quiz on Literature studied this school year
Friday Draft of body paragraphs including quotes & sources
Monday Sept. 19 Peer Review in class
Tuesday Sept 20 Final Revision Activities in Class-Printed Final Draft Due at end of Class! No email copies!
We will work in the Library all week so that you can use laptops and speak with Library staff as needed. If you want your teacher to read over an essay draft, schedule a meeting time well in advance!!!
Research and Sources
In all cases you will be searching for relevant information from published books, mainstream journals, and especially the resources found through our school’s databases. No Wikipedia here! Our media center instructors can offer further suggestions on research strategies and practices. A few general suggestions follow.
If you are choosing the first approach, you might look for sources like a quality newspaper article on social practices and technology (try the NYT or The Wall Street Journal). You might also look for sources that resemble the writing by culture critic Malcolm Gladwell. Neil Postman and Bill McKibben are two media critics whose ideas might prove very useful for this topic.
If you are choosing the second approach, you will look for historical summaries and literary criticism. Your sources should be scholarly so that the material has been properly vetted. Here our media center databases will be most useful, as will a few web pages sponsored by reliable colleges and universities.
REQUIREMENTS for a FINAL DRAFT