Final Essay


This essay is intended to challenge you to look back over the past semester to apply the concepts and skills you have learned as a result of this class. As a formal impromptu essay, this will also allow you to practice clear and effective writing for an academic audience.

Connected Course Outcomes

  1. Identify the defining characteristics of dystopia & analyze real & imagery contexts against that definition.
  2. Communicate effectively through writing & speaking.
  3. Use quantitative, empirical, and critical reasoning skills to solve problems.
  4. Apply socially responsible & ethical principles to promote equity & sustainability in ways that align with our mission as a historically Black and Catholic Institution.
  5. Demonstrate personal accountability & effective work habits.


Write a short (600-900 word) essay that responds to the following prompt. Write the essay in any manner that you see fit and are comfortable working with: it could follow the traditional thesis-driven structure or a more narrative structure or some other organizational model. What matters is that you offer a thoughtful application of the concepts we have explored this semester in your attempt to answer the question.

Prompt: Is the United States in 2023 a dystopia?

As you consider your response, I have two requests as you write:

  • Please write something substantial and well-considered.
  • Please refer to specific concepts we have discussed in this class.
  • Please use specific and document evidence to support your ideas.

Getting Started

Think of this as you would an in-class essay you might write for an in-class final exam. You might even want to set a 90-minute timer for yourself.

Think of this as you would an in-class essay you might write for an in-class final exam. You might even want to set a 60-minute timer for yourself.

  1. Consider the prompt;
  2. Start the timer;
  3. Write the essay before the timer ends.
  4. Proofread what you’ve written.
  5. Proofread it again.
  6. Then submit it on Brightspace.


You will not receive a grade for your annotated readings. On the Grades page, you will receive one of the following designations:

  • Completed (Activity was successfully submitted and met all expectations)
  • Partially completed (Activity was submitted but did not meet all expectations)
  • Not completed (Activity was not submitted)

Instead of a grade or score, I will give you feedback either in writing or through a short video. My feedback will focus on how well I think your work demonstrates your efforts with the learning outcomes listed above.


Your annotated readings must meet all of the following in order to be considered complete:

  • Be completed on time.
  • Offer an honest and well-considered response to the prompt.
  • Use specific examples to support your ideas.
  • Be clearly written and well-organized.

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