Overview: This assignment requires you to briefly examine the role
that a particular idea in science or a particular invention played in human
Topics: The idea or invention that you discuss may come from any time
period or society. However, since the instructions require you to discuss the
cultural impact of that idea, you should not select some obscure subject that
was important only to a few experts. Further, you should avoid really large
ideas that have had such a broad impact that they would be difficult to
summarize in a few pages, evolution being an obvious example.
Design of Essay: You essay should answer two questions:
- What problem, either practical or theoretical, did this invention or idea
address? What was the inventor/scientist trying to solve or accomplish?
- What changes in the culture came about as a result of this new invention
or new idea?
- This paper should be approximately 900-1100 words long, or about 4 to 5
- You will need to use a minimum of four sources. I prefer that these be
academic books or journal articles. However, well- researched journalistic
articles, for those doing contemporary subjects, are potentially acceptable.
Discuss this with me on an individual basis. Ordinary websites are not
acceptable, though articles reprinted or originally published on the web may
be. Again, discuss this with me on an individual basis.
- Your essay will have to use some form of standard citation: MLA, Chicago,
Turabian, and ASA are the most common. Your essay should also have a
bibliographic page that conforms to the same citation style. Both footnotes
and endnotes are acceptable.
- I prefer typed papers. I will accept e-mail submissions, though don't use
that as an excuse to skip class on the due date!
Due Date: This essay is due December 5. Students who turn this
in on time will have an opportunity to rewrite the essay if they are unhappy
with their original grade.