Assignment: Write an argumentative essay using the story “Flowers for Algernon”
Present both sides of the argument
Use facts from the story
Use concrete detail (quote the story)
Essay Topics: Option 1: Scientists have discovered an easy to way to increase intelligence and create superhuman geniuses in the world. Should the procedure be used worldwide? Think about Charlie’s experience with the surgery and how it impacted him and his life. If scientists could use a similar experiment on the rest of the world, should we? Also consider moral, ethical, physical, financial, political, and/or practical implications. Use specific examples from the story, as well as from real life, to explain and support your ideas.
**Option 2: Motivation and Intelligence play huge roles our society. Things to think about: Which matters most? Use specific examples from the story, as well as from real life, to explain and support your ideas.
**Option 3: Knowledge always good OR Ignorance is sometimes bliss. In other words, is it better to always have knowledge, or is it sometimes better to be unaware of what’s really going on or to not know the truth? Use specific examples from the story, as well as from real life, to explain and support your ideas.
Option 4: Charlie Gordon is better off before OR after the surgery. Think about and compare Charlie’s life, relationships, jobs, intelligence, and experiences before and after the intelligence surgery. Charlie has many thoughts about his life and his former “stupidity” as the story unfolds and Charlie gets “smarter.” Write an essay in which you discuss whether or not you think the doctors help Charlie. Is he better off before or after the surgery? Is he happier? Is he less lonely? Is he more satisfied in his daily life? If not, are there important things he accomplished which make the experiment worthwhile? Do you think Charlie would say it was worth it? Why or why not? Use specific examples from the story, as well as from real life, to explain and support your ideas.
Honors must choose **
Tip: Avoid “quote plunking.” (Quoting for no reason) You need to support each piece of concrete detail by providing commentary or interpretation after your evidence to make a connection back to your argument or thesis.
Essay Format: Proper MLA Format
- Use mature, vivid language and word choice- no slang.
- Check spelling and grammar.
- Proofread your essay before you turn it in! If you catch a grammatical or spelling mistake, just correct it- demonstrate that you edited your essay. Also check to be sure you are turning in all parts of the essay (notes, outline, rough draft, final draft).