Hypertext Papers

Students choosing the Hypertext Paper format for their research projects will write a standard academic research paper that will be supplemented with hyperlinks and ethically used media. Students should consider this a formal essay — it must be well-planned and well-written. The paper can be created using any word processing program, but it must contain relevant and ethically used visuals (images, videos, audio) that support what is being described in the text.


Submitted hypertext papers must meet all of the following in order to be considered complete:

  • Be completed on time.
  • Demonstrate significant research into the topic dystopia.
  • Demonstrate insightful analysis.
  • Be clearly written, well-organized, and properly documented.
  • Incorporate hyperlinks and visual elements that enhance and support the essay itself.
  • Include the necessary attributions for any Creative Commons media.
  • Include a references page listing all source material referenced in the essay in APA format.

Student Work: Spring 2023

Despite being over 30 years old, the themes and messages of Akira remain relevant today, especially in the context of a dystopian reality. The aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that ended World War II have many elements that are eerily similar to Akira’s dystopian setup, and it is more than just a coincidence.

 The short story “Speech Sounds” by Octavia butler is set in a disease-ridden world which has crumbled civilization. This pandemic has taken away people’s ability to use language and communicate which ultimately leads to violence. The reader follows Valerye Rye, the protagonist, on her journey through Los Angeles to Pasadena to find refuge with her brother and his family. 

In the Black Mirror episode Nosedive, the main character, Lacie, lives in a world where everyone is rated on a scale from 1 to 5 stars by their online as well as on social media. They can see others’ ratings and their social media in real time because of a retinal implant connected to each person’s electronics. Because of this, most of the interactions we see are superficial and fake. 

The movie “Minority Report” is a science fiction film that explores the concept of pre-crime, where police are able to arrest criminals before they commit a crime based on predictions from a group of precogs. The world in which “Minority Report” is set is a highly advanced society where law enforcement has access to a vast array of sophisticated technologies that allow them to predict crime before it happens.

 In the Black Mirror episode “Striking Vipers,” two old friends, Danny and Karl, reunite and begin playing a virtual reality fighting game called Striking Vipers. The game allows the players to feel physical sensations in their bodies as they fight, and they become increasingly immersed in the game, eventually engaging in sexual acts within the game as their chosen characters. 

Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is considered to be a cult classic film, garnering a large following of fans since its initial release in 1971. It follows the tale of a young delinquent named Alex DeLarge, who fancies going out with his fellow gang members to commit acts of sexual assault and ultra-violence. Through a government endorsed experiment termed the “Ludovico Technique,” Alex becomes highly aversive to the same acts that he previously enjoyed.

People during the 1980’s had a premonition of what the future AI technology would be like. Their guess came in the form of an early CGI film filled with big Hollywood character names, action packed scenes, and a plot that questioned the idea of what makes us truly human. However, they did not get it completely right as to what it might entail.

In a rapidly changing world, how do we determine what is fair and just? As humans, individuals often ponder about a world that could be and what is possible as available knowledge of the world increases and human limitations decrease. Will the world of the future be more equitable, or is doom and disparity an inevitable truth of human action? The desire for a “better place” can be traced all the way back to 1516, with Thomas Moore’s “Utopia” which described the political system of a “perfect” imaginary world system through political satire.

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