Midterm Essay


This essay is intended to challenge you to look back over the past seven weeks to consider what you have learned as a result of this class and to consider what you still need to learn during the second half of the semester. 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. Demonstrate personal accountability & effective work habits.


Write a short (600-900 word) essay that reflects upon your learning in this class. 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 an honest description of your learning and support your discussion with specific examples.

Before you begin, you might want to review the learning outcomes for this class: https://room101.jtodd.info/the-syllabus/learning-outcomes/. Regardless the organization you use, your essay must address the following questions.

  • In this class, what have you learned?
  • What do you believe you still need to work on more?
  • How/can you use what you have learned in other contexts?

Furthermore, I have two requests as you write:

  • Please write something substantial and well-considered.
  • Please refer to and point directly to work you have done for this class.

Getting Started

Think of this as you would an in-class essay you might write for an in-class midterm 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 from the class to support your ideas.
  • Be clearly written and well-organized.

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