Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

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Darin!!!
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Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Darin!!! » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:18 am UTC

I'm to hand in a persuasion essay on a debatable topic for my AP English class soon, but I'm still trying to think of a good topic. I was going to write about the inefficiency of the current economic stimulus plan, but it just isn't fun enough.

So I've come here! Can anyone suggest a odd/silly/fun debate-able, research-able persuasion essay topic? (of course, there has to be two sides to the argument :P)

On a side note, does any know of any silly essay topics in general? I know of a lad who wrote a paper on his underwear, which he submitted to Harvard as a joke. He was accepted.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby sio » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:23 am UTC

Darin!!! wrote:I'm to hand in a persuasion essay on a debatable topic for my AP English class soon, but I'm still trying to think of a good topic. I was going to write about the inefficiency of the current economic stimulus plan, but it just isn't fun enough.

So I've come here! Can anyone suggest a odd/silly/fun debate-able, research-able persuasion essay topic? (of course, there has to be two sides to the argument :P)

On a side note, does any know of any silly essay topics in general? I know of a lad who wrote a paper on his underwear, which he submitted to Harvard as a joke. He was accepted.


Emacs vs. vi? :P

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby keeperofdakeys » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:04 pm UTC

how about an essay about different ways of writing essays
or maybe one on the use of 'anti copying' websites like turn it in, you might even make your school (if they do) stop using it, or convince them not to

as fun as it would be to do an essay on a nerdy subject like emacs vs vi, I think you should stick with something that (your english teacher?) would be able to identify with, so they keep interest, and then your mark can only go up

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby kernelpanic » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:14 pm UTC

I have done 2 "weird" essays, both for english. The first one was "George W. Bush, Political Satire, And The Inherently Nonexistent Problems Associated Thereof" The teacher made me choose between two A+'s, or three A's. I chose the 3As. The next one was "The 10 Worst Video Game Consoles Ever", and again, 2A+'s or 3A's and I chose the A+.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Pit » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Darin!!! wrote:I'm to hand in a persuasion essay on a debatable topic for my AP English class soon, but I'm still trying to think of a good topic. I was going to write about the inefficiency of the current economic stimulus plan, but it just isn't fun enough.

So I've come here! Can anyone suggest a odd/silly/fun debate-able, research-able persuasion essay topic? (of course, there has to be two sides to the argument :P)

On a side note, does any know of any silly essay topics in general? I know of a lad who wrote a paper on his underwear, which he submitted to Harvard as a joke. He was accepted.


@_@ *feels like a nerd for being super psyched about writing a paper on the current economic stimulus plan*

I wrote a persuasive paper to why men should be given the option to wear skirts once.

I also wrote an economics paper as to why it's better to not go to college and get a job as soon as you get out of high school.

Both are things you can research (even the last one).
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby mypsychoticself » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:50 pm UTC

Chocolate v. Vanilla (Yes, it's research-able, especially if you look up the nutritional aspects, cultural history, and applications in various recipes)

Pirates v. Ninjas (Culture, history, fighting styles, etc. It might be easier if you focus on Chinese pirates)

Republican v. Democratic government (For the record, the US is a REPUBLIC. Pet peeve.)

Compulsory education (How much should people learn? How much should the government require people to learn?)

Social v. Economic conservatives (Who is better equipped to lead the GOP; or, should they form two separate parties?)

Set v. Evolving language (or why changing the definition of marriage is inevitable. B0nu$ 901n7$ 4 wr1t7ng 1n 1337.)
Last edited by mypsychoticself on Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby blackrose » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:40 am UTC

Apathy

by Blackrose

(attach 3-5 blank pages of paper)
-----

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Sungura » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:27 am UTC

cats vs. dogs
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby steak112 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:17 am UTC

The weirdest essay that I wrote is about how atheism came to be.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby wanderer1213 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:03 am UTC

When asked to write and present my own Declaration of Independence From _______ in lit, I chose to declare my independence from cutlery. Outlining the evil inherent in the use of silverware was a hell of a lot of fun for me and, just as importantly, made for a half-enjoyable presentation for my classmates.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Pit » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I posted a list of topics that people have been suggesting in another thread, so I'll link to it here.

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=35275&p=1402596#p1402596
EDITED: to include a list of possible topics from both threads:
*I suppose I will be continually editing it while people include ideas*
LAST UPDATE: 6/25/09

--


Persuasive Essays
  • George W Bush, Political Satire, and the Inherently Nonexsistant Problems Associated Thereof (kernelpanic)
  • Why men should be given the option to wear skirts (Pit)
  • Why it's better to get a job, and not go to college, after high school (Pit)
  • Why sugar is both a good and bad thing (writing the essay without spaces is optional, and possibly hinting that you did it in a very quick time span is also optional)
  • Why "so and so" is better than god (possibly satirical?) (My Shadow)
  • School uniforms and why they are a tool of oppression and/or a tool against discrimination. (the tree)
  • Why it's okay to say some words, and not others when they mean exactly the same thing (with examples). (the tree)
  • The numerous plot holes in [whatever - so long as it's finished], the fanfic community's response to them, the significance they have to the plot and any messages that it contains. (the tree)
  • Why your school should teach [anything that it currently doesn't offer - e.g. a classical language]. (the tree)
  • The importance of avatars on forums (NecklaceOfShadow)
  • Perpetual Motion / Free Energy is Impossible (Zeroignite)

Persuasive Essays - Versus
  • Chocolate v. Vanilla (mypsychoticself)
  • Pirates v. Ninjas (mypsychoticself)
  • Republican v. Democratic government (mypsychoticself)
  • Compulsory education or not (mypsychoticself)
  • Social v. Economic conservatives (mypsychoticself)
  • Set v. Evolving language (mypsychoticself)
  • cats v. dogs (Sungura)
  • Batman vs. Superman vs. Spiderman (raike)
  • George Bush vs intelligence? (Cadvin)
  • President phone vs Blackberry? (Cadvin)
  • Pros and Cons of Legalized Infanticide (Adacore)
  • Windows v. Linux (phider2)
  • A comparison between a book and its movie counterpart (NecklaceOfShadow)

Video Game-Related, Internet-Related and Computer Related Essays
  • Emac vs vi (persuasive)(sio)
  • 10 Worst Video Game Consoles Ever (persuasive)(kernelpanic)
  • World of Warcraft vs pong? (persuasive)(Cadvin)
  • Uses of "anti-copying" websites (keeperofdakeys)
  • An analysis on internet/gaming cultures (534n)
  • The Pirate Bay Trial (mypsychoticself)
  • The hero-quest archetype in The Legend of Zelda (VDOgamez)
  • The use of video game culture in mainstream America

Atypical Essay Writing or Essays about essays
  • An essay about different ways of writing essays (keeperofdakeys)
  • A persuasive essay on why it's a bad idea for you to write essays (Jahoclave) / Why I shouldn't have to write this essay (Darin!!!)
  • Why people should use Victor Borges "Phonetic Punctuation" (Miro)
  • An essay on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, in which everything you write is both true and untrue (myspychoticself)
  • An essay which compares parts of your life to superlative adjectives (Why Two Kay)
  • How to write an essay (again - cynicism is good, dickery is bad). (the tree)

Visual Essays or Essays that have some type of visual component
  • A research paper on a mental disorder (ex: multiple personalities) in which you write as if you had said disorder (rath358)
  • A paper on proper eye care written in very fine print (magnifying glass optional) (rath358)
  • Discuss the effects of different fonts on the reader's mind, while switching fonts as it progresses (darkspork)

Other Essays
  • An Informative essay on the velociraptor threat (mypsychoticself)
  • A History of San Fransisco (mypsychoticself)
  • How Athiesm came to be (steak112)
  • An essay on the Large Hadron Collider (mypsychoticself)
  • A Declaration of Independence from *insert something here* (wanderer1213)
  • Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard. (CPesnya)
  • A serious essay on zombies and the very realistic possibility of a zombie revolution (OmegaLordX) / How to survive a zombie attack (rath358)
  • Principality of Sealand (VDOgamez)
  • "The Inside of a Ping Pong Ball" (Adacore)
  • How to slay a dragon (rath358)
  • Essays on the government written in a heartless Machivallean style (rath358)
  • Descartes's contribution to the scientific method (UnderRock)
  • The construction of castles (UnderRock)
  • The 340th page a 400 page autobiography about yourself (based of the 2007 University of Pennsylvania Essay Prompt)(Pit)
  • The adventures of *insert something on your desk* and how it came to appear in my room (Pit)
  • From Prom Queen to Nerd: How accurate are stereotypes in school? (Pit)
  • Sex(the act, not the attribute) and it's applications for individuals and in society. (the tree)
  • The Flat Earth Society, if they still exist (Poe's law makes this debatable) and if so, why? (the tree)
  • Your favourite episode of [whatever]. (the tree)
  • A thorough and detailed literary analysis of some random piece of writing found on a social-networking/art-sharing website, that hasn't received any kind of recognition/analysis to this date. (the tree)
  • The experience of falling asleep (see Surely You're Joking). (the tree)
  • Who owns the colour red?: Why certain colours became associated with various subcultures and/or political movements. (the tree)
  • If for some reason all human knowledge, learning, culture and tradition were to be lost in an instant, but you could pass on just a few pages of information/advice: what would you include - and why? (the tree)
  • When I close my eyes, does the world still exist? (the tree)
  • How the frick did people manage before mobile phones and the Internet? (not just socialising but doing business, applying for jobs, writing academic articles which aren't completely redundant and whatever else) (the tree)
  • As more ideas are thought up - creating something original gets steadily harder - will it eventually become impossible? (with specific applications to music - are there a finite amount of distinguishable songs? or science - will it eventually take so long to understand current knowledge that everyone will be nearing retirement by the time they're old enough to contribute anything? or visual arts - how many things can you really do with a paintbrush?) (the tree)
  • Is the one solution, revolution?: are some problems too deep-seated to be solved using the mechanisms of the establishment that created them? (the tree)
  • What's the difference between weird and mentally ill? (the tree)
  • Is it okay for schools to teach children how to live their lives? (sex-ed etc) (the tree)
  • Good and evil in relation to the influence of one's peers, childhood experiences and moral choices in Harry Potter (GraphiteGirl)
  • "Identify and evaluate two functions of comedy in society" (GraphiteGirl)
  • The technological possibilities of what happened in the Back to the Future series(NecklaceOfShadow)
  • The stress that society puts on people's sexuality(NecklaceOfShadow)
  • The history of modern theater(NecklaceOfShadow)
  • What you think the future will be like in 15 years(NecklaceOfShadow)
  • The various classifications for languages [ Romance languages, Germanic languages, Slavic languages, etc... ](NecklaceOfShadow)

Essays never to write
  • An self-criticizing essay that points its own flaws out (darkspork)
Last edited by Pit on Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:17 pm UTC, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby CPesyna » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:30 am UTC

This was the prompt for my admissions essay to the University of Chicago:

Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall? We’ve bought it, but it didn’t stop us from wondering about other things, like absurd eating contests, impulse buys, excess, unimagined uses for mustard, storage, preservatives, notions of bigness . . . and dozens of other ideas both silly and serious. Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard.

I ended up drawing a parallel between Patrick Henry and a large jar of mustard I once spilled. My friend also wrote on this topic, but he had the gall to use it as his admissions essay to schools with more conventional prompts. Many of them still, for reasons beyond me, accepted him.

You can find a more extensive list of UChicago admission essay topics here: http://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/admissions/previous_essays.shtml. They are a lot less dull than most others.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Miro » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

I wrote a persuasive speech as to why people should use Victor Borges "Phonetic Punctuation" while talking in everyday life.

While using phonetic punctuation throughout the entire speech of course.

Since my teacher was a huge Borge fan I even threw in some In Inflationary Language inthree the speech.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Why Two Kay » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:53 pm UTC

I once wrote an essay comparing my life to the abstract concept of superlative adjectives.

"It goes back to the idea of a superlative; it is only true if there indeed is only one that fits the representation. My life, therefore, should exist as a comparative, where there exist only relative descriptions."

Essentially it was a very roundabout (and tongue-in-cheek) way of saying "I may not be the best, but I am better than a lot of other people."

It was for a "write about a person who significantly changed your life" essay prompt. I barely talked about that part. I got accepted too.
tl;dr - I said nothing important.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby raike » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:03 pm UTC

Batman vs. Spiderman vs. Superman? :D :D
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Cadvin » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:19 pm UTC

George Bush vs intelligence? President phone vs Blackberry? World of Warcraft vs pong?

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby OmegaLordX » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

Zombies.



Truth. and it actually went over pretty well with the teacher. We were supposed to write about something serious and important to us. And so I did, as a serious global threat if Haitian voodou [sic] went out of control and stuff.


Well, yes and no.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby VDOgamez » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:15 pm UTC

Somebody in my class did a paper on the "Hero-quest archetype" in The Legend of Zelda. XD

I once did a paper on the Principality of Sealand.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby codyhotel » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:06 pm UTC

OmegaLordX wrote:Zombies.



Truth. and it actually went over pretty well with the teacher. We were supposed to write about something serious and important to us. And so I did, as a serious global threat if Haitian voodou [sic] went out of control and stuff.


Well, yes and no.


I was actually going to suggest arguing either staying put or going in the move in the event of a Zombie outbreak.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Darin!!! » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:26 am UTC

"Why I Shouldn't Have To Write This Essay"

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Adacore » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:34 am UTC

A guy in my school wrote an essay debating the pros and cons of legalised infanticide.

On the non-debatable front, one of the favourite detentions for one of my teachers was to set an essay of 2000 words on 'The Inside Of A Ping Pong Ball'.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:32 pm UTC

The misuse of the term Room 101.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Zeroignite » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:12 am UTC

Darin!!! wrote:"Why I Shouldn't Have To Write This Essay"
This is a bad idea. I have seen the results, and they are bad.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby rath358 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:41 am UTC

ideas done by my friend (demonstration speech):
-How to slay a dragon
-How to survive a zombie attack

my ideas:
-whysugaarisbothagoodandbadthingaofcoursetypedlikethisandmentioningthefactthatyoudidthisinahalfhour
-a research paper on a mental disorder (ex. multiple personalities) written as if you had a very bad case of said disorder
-A paper on proper eye care printed in extra small fine print (include magnifying glass) (only if requirement is words, not pages)

done:
-various essays on government written in a heartless Machiavellian style (one teacher didn't catch on that I was joking =])

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Pit » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:04 am UTC

Zeroignite wrote:
Darin!!! wrote:"Why I Shouldn't Have To Write This Essay"
This is a bad idea. I have seen the results, and they are bad.


That's debatable. It depends on how you write the essay. Perhaps more, "Why essays are pointless in their attempt to teach students to do *so and so*"

You need a new spin on what everyone wishes they could write.

*continually adds to the list* I've also split it up into more categories. Repetitions have been slashed (or set-up next to) their counterparts.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby rutebega » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:22 am UTC

I once defined definition in an essay. Good times.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:41 pm UTC

rath358 wrote:-whysugaarisbothagoodandbadthingaofcoursetypedlikethisandmentioningthefactthatyoudidthisinahalfhour


If I were an English teacher, and this were turned in to me, I would have the student shot.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Darin!!! » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:48 am UTC

@Pit - that list a treasure - thank you!

also!!

Zeroignite wrote:
Darin!!! wrote:"Why I Shouldn't Have To Write This Essay"
This is a bad idea. I have seen the results, and they are bad.

Really, what happened?

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Pit » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:54 am UTC

Darin!!! wrote:@Pit - that list a treasure - thank you!

also!!

Zeroignite wrote:
Darin!!! wrote:"Why I Shouldn't Have To Write This Essay"
This is a bad idea. I have seen the results, and they are bad.

Really, what happened?


You're very welcome! I aim for convenience. :D (or well, help)

I've seen a couple attempts this essay. The first one was done during a first draft of a college essay, and the teacher read it and promptly handed it back with comments that essentially said, "if you hand this kind of essay to any of your colleges, I hope you're ready to go job hunting."

An essay with a topic such as the above is very risky, and you need a really non-traditional teacher to let something like that slide. The teacher is taking this essay seriously, so saying that the essay shouldn't be written is already an insult to the teacher. On top of that, you're writing your essay ON that subject. Forget adding fuel to the fire, you're throwing vodka into the fire, then blowing the school up with more and more gasoline (burn, burn the school down, down to the ground).

If you want to write an essay on something similar to that subject, do it tastefully, or with a spin, implying that you want to make your essay more unique. For example, you can write about how the standards of essay writing should be altered, and do like a funky newspaper or blog format, instead of MLA format. I once wrote a paper using html/css tags about how technology was invading all parts of any lifestyle. It was a very well received essay.

Also, with all the freedom that you're given, I would say you find something more interesting than something everyone wishes they could write.

--

On that note, I put all the essay topics that were suggested on that list, but there were many times I paused before putting a suggestion down. I would take many of those topics with a grain of salt, especially the ones that require you to change some sort of formatting (ex: not using spaces). Remember, this is an essay, not a creative writing assignment. It's great to be unique and stand out, but you have to do it in a way that makes it an essay and not a couple pages of bullshit.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby SimpleScholar » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:35 am UTC

On a slightly unrelated note, one of the legends floating around about my alma mater's admissions interviews has a philosophy tutor putting a chair on top of a table and asking the interviewee to prove that the chair does not exist. (The guy promptly replied "What chair?". He was accepted.)
I guess you could write an essay on how that essay does not exist?..

Also, I'm getting a very strange picture of the American academia here. A pretty cool one, though.

Adacore wrote:A guy in my school wrote an essay debating the pros and cons of legalised infanticide.

This reminds me of Swift. A lot.

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby UnderRock » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:10 pm UTC

For one of my classes (Intro to building trades), we were told to write an essay on construction. I chose to write it on the construction of castles (I can't remember which style of castle, specifically).

Oh, and this year we had to pick some obscure historical topic for my rhet class. I ended up writing about Descartes's contribution to the scientific method. (I ended up arguing against what the encyclopedia said.)

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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby darkspork » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

Here's a fun one: Argue against some normal convention in English grammar. Argue against the parameters of the essay itself: Argue against Times New Roman size 12. Cite articles of eye strain, etc... If your teacher has a sense of humor, pull a few (obvious) tricks. I've noticed that an extra page or two over the requirement is enough to make the teacher look away from your blatant disregard of accepted MLA convention.
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby explodingviolin » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:04 am UTC

darkspork wrote:Here's a fun one: Argue against some normal convention in English grammar. Argue against the parameters of the essay itself: Argue against Times New Roman size 12. Cite articles of eye strain, etc... If your teacher has a sense of humor, pull a few (obvious) tricks. I've noticed that an extra page or two over the requirement is enough to make the teacher look away from your blatant disregard of accepted MLA convention.


HAH. You must be blessed indeed.
My current English teacher TAKES OFF POINTS if you go significantly over the 4 page minimum. (i.e. she will think unkindly of you if you can't resist adding worthwhile information and push the paper over 4 and a half or 5 pages)
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Why Two Kay
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Why Two Kay » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:40 am UTC

explodingviolin wrote:
darkspork wrote:Here's a fun one: Argue against some normal convention in English grammar. Argue against the parameters of the essay itself: Argue against Times New Roman size 12. Cite articles of eye strain, etc... If your teacher has a sense of humor, pull a few (obvious) tricks. I've noticed that an extra page or two over the requirement is enough to make the teacher look away from your blatant disregard of accepted MLA convention.


HAH. You must be blessed indeed.
My current English teacher TAKES OFF POINTS if you go significantly over the 4 page minimum. (i.e. she will think unkindly of you if you can't resist adding worthwhile information and push the paper over 4 and a half or 5 pages)


Sometimes the point of the paper is not just dumping (or shotgunning) knowledge, but instead presenting it in a clear and concise manner. So, a maximum is more important than a minimum.
tl;dr - I said nothing important.

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tentacleTherapist
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby tentacleTherapist » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

I wrote an essay about why David Bowie is better than God. I used various philosophical and logical arguments and Bowie references, but ultimately it was a satire with a message that we should appeal to our common humanity for solace rather than incompetent deities. It is one of my best pieces *gleams*
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darkspork
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby darkspork » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:11 am UTC

I once wrote an essay that did nothing but point out its own flaws. The last page was simply a logical loop repeatedly stating that although the essay did not yet meet the minimum length requirement, I should not simply fill it with whatever garbage appears in my head.
Never, NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER write that essay.
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Pit
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Pit » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:12 pm UTC

- The 340th page a 400 page autobiography about yourself (based of the 2007 University of Pennsylvania Essay Prompt)
- The use of video game culture in mainstream America
- From Prom Queen to Nerd: How accurate are stereotypes in school?
- The adventures of *insert something on your desk* and how it came to appear in my room
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the tree
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby the tree » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:58 pm UTC

Okay, I am totally procrastinating on everything to write this, but here's what comes to my mind.

  • Sex(the act, not the attribute) and it's applications for individuals and in society.
  • School uniforms and why they are a tool of oppression and/or a tool against discrimination.
  • Why it's okay to say some words, and not others when they mean exactly the same thing (with examples).
  • How to write an essay (again - cynicism is good, dickery is bad).
  • The Flat Earth Society, if they still exist (Poe's law makes this debatable) and if so, why?
  • Your favourite episode of [whatever].
  • The numerous plot holes in [whatever - so long as it's finished], the fanfic community's response to them, the significance they have to the plot and any messages that it contains.
  • A thorough and detailed literary analysis of some random piece of writing found on a social-networking/art-sharing website, that hasn't received any kind of recognition/analysis to this date.
  • The experience of falling asleep (see Surely You're Joking).
  • Who owns the colour red?: Why certain colours became associated with various subcultures and/or political movements.
  • If for some reason all human knowledge, learning, culture and tradition were to be lost in an instant, but you could pass on just a few pages of information/advice: what would you include - and why?
  • Why your school should teach [anything that it currently doesn't offer - e.g. a classical language].
  • When I close my eyes, does the world still exist?
  • How the frick did people manage before mobile phones and the Internet? (not just socialising but doing business, applying for jobs, writing academic articles which aren't completely redundant and whatever else)
  • As more ideas are thought up - creating something original gets steadily harder - will it eventually become impossible? (with specific applications to music - are there a finite amount of distinguishable songs? or science - will it eventually take so long to understand current knowledge that everyone will be nearing retirement by the time they're old enough to contribute anything? or visual arts - how many things can you really do with a paintbrush?)
  • Is the one solution, revolution?: are some problems too deep-seated to be solved using the mechanisms of the establishment that created them?
  • What's the difference between weird and mentally ill?
  • Is it okay for schools to teach children how to live their lives? (sex-ed etc)

SimpleScholar wrote:Also, I'm getting a very strange picture of the American academia here. A pretty cool one, though.
Me to. What the fuck, guys? Is your education actually this awesome?
Adacore wrote:On the non-debatable front, one of the favourite detentions for one of my teachers was to set an essay of 2000 words on 'The Inside Of A Ping Pong Ball'.
That sounds fantastic, purely because it'd be such a challenge. I guess I would attack it on the front of how you would determine it's contents by observing how it appears to spin on the outside - with accompanying physics and maths.

Shivari
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby Shivari » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

the tree wrote:
SimpleScholar wrote:Also, I'm getting a very strange picture of the American academia here. A pretty cool one, though.
Me to. What the fuck, guys? Is your education actually this awesome?


From my experience, most of the essays that I've had to write have been pretty structured and standard with a whole lot more seriousness involved than doing something fun/comical. I'm currently a sophomore in high school (10th grade), and my current English teacher has actually had a pretty fair balance with between regular "Write about this and be super serious" essays and ones where he let us right about whatever we really wanted, provided we stayed within what his expectations were for that particular paper. For example, we had to write a soliloquy, but we could write that soliloquy about anything we wanted, in whatever format we wanted (regular sentences, a poem, a really long sentence, whatever); it was more about the writing and what we came up with than following a structured path. I chose to write mine about my epic campaign to eat a slice of cherry pie, and I got an A.

So no I don't write papers about slaying dragons, most of them are pretty standard, but I've had a few in which I could have done just about anything I so chose. It's dependent on what the teacher is like more than anything.

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mypsychoticself
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Re: Odd (Yet Meaningful) Essay Topics

Postby mypsychoticself » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:02 am UTC

the tree wrote:
SimpleScholar wrote:Also, I'm getting a very strange picture of the American academia here. A pretty cool one, though.
Me to. What the fuck, guys? Is your education actually this awesome?

No. Well, some schools are, but most aren't. Take me for example. My freshman English teacher was arrested a month into the school year for having sex with a student. She was replaced by a sub who had us do busy work all the time. Then there was my sophomore English teacher, who left after having a baby. She was replaced by a sub who could not control the class, and also made us do busy work. Junior year I actually had a good teacher (luckily; it was an AP class), but the pattern continued Senior year, when my teacher got a better job and was replaced by a woman of whom the less said the better.

It wasn't just English classes, either. I'm sure you've heard of the Verizon Math Fail.
I knew that we had suffered each as other,
And could have grasped your hand and cried, "My brother!"


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