5 Page paper due by 10:00 PM

Length: 4-5 full pages, double-spaced

Essential Questions

Over the course of the semester, you’ve defined the factors that combine to create a dystopian/utopian society; you’ve described what happens to people and groups in various societies under certain pressures and conditions; you’ve compared/contrasted real matters of public and proposed policy as an exercise in civil engagement; and you’ve presented your thoughts on conformity and individuality in order to better understand your relationship to the world around you and the society in which you live. Now, you have one final opportunity to think critically and reflect deeply on these ideas in order to tie all the threads from our activities together and compose an argument that is comprehensive, compelling, and insightful.  


For your final paper, you must take a stance in answering the following question: Is the disappearance of the individual really a bad thing?


            Some questions to consider and reflect on as you decide what stance to take:

            -What problems are avoided when people conform?

            -What new problems does conformity create? 

            -When is it best to conform to the wishes or rules of others?

            -How important is it for people to have choices?


Realize that in both societies (1984 and Brave New World)—on either extreme end of the spectrum—the individual, to some extent, disappears. For some of you, this disappearance lends itself to a utopic vision; for others, a dystopic vision. Review your writing activities and the points you raised in your previous papers, and see what you would like to incorporate into your final paper. See if there are some ideas you’d like to return to or expand upon as you collect your thoughts.


You must include quotes from your novel to support your argument. Tell me how something in the novel illustrates or helps support your perspective.


You must also incorporate at least one additional source apart from your novel.  This source must be reliable/credible, but it can be either scholarly or popular. We will discuss in class what makes a source credible and how to determine whether it is scholarly or popular.



ü  Your paper makes an argument appropriate to the topic above

ü  You quote from your novel and use ideas from the text to support your argument

ü  You incorporate ideas from at least one additional reliable source

ü  Any quotes you use are properly situated and cited

ü  Your paper is in correct MLA format, TNR 12-point font, 1” margins, Works Cited

ü  Your Works Cited includes a minimum of two sources (novel and a secondary source)

ü  You expand upon at least one idea from a prior assignment

ü  Your writing is clear, concise, and cohesive

ü  Your paper is organized in a way that is easy to follow

ü  There are few distracting errors in grammar/mechanics



Your proposal needn’t be longer than a paragraph or two. Please Blackboard message it to me by 8PM on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Your proposal should answer the following questions:

1.     What is the argument you’re going to make? Is the disappearance of the individual a bad thing?

2.     What research will you do in order to collect evidence to support your position?

3.     What ideas do you think you might incorporate from prior assignments?

4.     What rhetorical techniques do you think you might use to make your argument compelling and convincing to your audience?




You can take many different approaches to this assignment. You can approach this argument from a political perspective, a social perspective, a psychological perspective, an artistic perspective, so on and so forth….


Here are some ideas:

        Set up a compare/contrast between societies—the book’s society vs. the society you know in America or another society (ex. North Korean, Chinese, Russian, French, Swedish, Icelandic, etc.) and discuss the relative merits of a system with less/more individualism

        Use example/illustration—ex. Take a historical approach to American society and look at how it might have progressed or changed to a more/less individualistic society and how that has or has not benefitted it for the better

        Look at the psychology of individualism and group dynamics and the positive/negative that can have; look at individual/group privilege…


There are tons of resources available on Blackboard to help you get started. You are welcome to use any of the articles I have shared for additional reading as your paper’s second source