Reflection Paper Instructions
For this assignment you may choose one short story (either assigned or not) from The Wesleyan
Anthology of Science Fiction that you feel best illustrates a main issue or technological development in
the course, such as whether or not we are in the Matrix, gaming ethics, the social impacts of genetic
modification or cybernetic enhancement, etc. After choosing your story, give an overview of the plot,
before moving on to identify and expand on the story’s key themes. Specifically, you should answer all
the following questions in your essay: 1) Why is the issue or technological development in the story
important? 2) How does this issue or technology impact the structure of the self? 3) What are the
societal impacts of this issue/technology? 4) Are these impacts good or bad? Why?
After answering these general questions, you should also explore how this technology could impact
your personal life by answering the following questions: 5) How does this theme impact your life? If it
doesn’t currently impact your life, would it impact your life if it came to be? 6) Is this impact good or
bad? For example, if my paper was on a story exploring augmented reality, then I could discuss how
augmented reality impacts my life on a daily basis, as the technology provides information transposed
on my environment. This may be beneficial, as I now have access to a large amount of information but
it may also come with negative consequences, such as the fact that I may no longer see the beauty in an
While I am only requiring two citations, you should draw heavily on other course materials (such as
your non-fiction readings and videos) to discuss the issues that your story highlights.
One reflection paper (1000 – 1500 words) will be submitted by the final exam period of the course. I
will provide a dropbox on D2L so that you can submit your paper.
The papers should be 1000-1500 words and properly cited in any accepted style that you are familiar
with (such as Chicago Style, MLA, or APA). They should be typed in 12 point font, double spaced, and
have 1” margins. Please put your name on the first page—a cover page is not necessary. A grading
rubric will be supplied. Students will be evaluated on the quality of writing, ability to develop a
coherent argument, and use of sources. Late papers will be accepted only in very unusual
circumstances and only if cleared with the instructor in advance.
Being able to write clearly is an important skill to develop. One of the goals of the course is to develop
your critical thinking and writing skills. To help you with this I am available to meet via Skype to
discuss your writing, talk about arguments and objections, go over rough drafts, etc. Please email me to
let me know if you want to meet early so I can plan enough time for every