Honors 202: Utopias & Dystopias

Dr. Morillo

First Paper Assignment


Due Friday, Sept. 20 by NOON, as an emailed file because we donít meet in person on Fridays

5 full pages. Double-spaced printed/typed. Standard margins. Saved as file.

Topic: Advertising Utopia

Here's the situation you respond to in the paper. Plato, Moore, and Cavendish have all returned from the dead and walk into your advertising agency. They've heard great things about the fine job your agency has done of promoting controversial products to a skeptical public, and each hires you to help promote their ideas. From each of their utopias choose whatever you consider to be the MOST controversial idea, and whether or not you actually agree with it as a good idea within any utopia, promote it as effectively and persuasively as you can. In 5 pages you will do your best to sell 2 key but controversial ideas to the reading and buying public. Now the real fantasy element: imagine that public is educated and sharp enough to not be easily persuaded without some strong arguments and evidence, and not just slick rhetoric.

To show your understanding of each text, you can make part of your argument from the way the authors themselves defend the idea you picked; but also try to add something uniquely yours to the argument, especially if you feel the author doesnít actually defend it very well. Whatever evidence you choose make it as persuasive as you can. Imagine your author is here now and wants the idea defended to convince people now in 2013.

However much you think you are the next great American novelist, don't waste time with the narrative/dramatic frame, however tempting it may be to make these figures into cool zombies. Instead, really focus on how to make good arguments for important ideas that require imagination and intellect in equal measure.