Paper 1 (Neuromancer)

Due Tuesday, 25 September
4 Pages

For this assignment, you will write a four-page paper about Gibson’s Neuromancer. Following the patterns we’ve been reading about in They Say, I Say and that we have been practicing in class, you will position your paper in conversation with one of the following interlocutors:

1)    Sherryl Vint, “Cyberpunk: Return of the Repressed Body
2)    Thomas Foster, “Meat Puppets or Robopaths?
3)    A post by a fellow classmate:

In writing this paper, you do not need external sources—apart from those that you are responding to. Of course, you must still cite the page numbers of the novel or the Vint’s or Foster’s essays within the body of the paper using parenthetical citations.

What’s more, for this assignment (and this assignment only) you need not write a conclusion to your paper. (Conclusions are vexed objects, and we will discuss them in a few weeks.) Think of this as a normal assignment that has just been truncated.


  • Tuesday, 18 September          Bring your thesis to class, printed out
  • Thursday, 20 September        Bring a rough draft to class, printed out
  • Tuesday, 25 September          Final draft due, emailed as a PDF before class

Assignment Policies (from the syllabus)

  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class.
  • Papers will be turned in electronically. You should send each paper to me as a PDF attached to an email. You should name your file in the following format: Last name-Assignment name. For example, “croxall-paper1.pdf”. Papers are counted as turned in based on when my inbox says they arrived.
  • Late work will not be accepted, except at my discretion (with a significant grading penalty). Assignment deadlines are not flexible.
  • Papers must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins and must be in standard MLA style format. Furthermore, the pages should be numbered in the upper right corner and must be stapled together.


I will be focusing on three discreet things in grading:

  1. Moves from They Say, I Say – Your essay should start by entering into conversation with either the essay by Vint or Foster or a post by a fellow classmate. You should summarize their view (see chapter 1) and then respond to their view using one of the three strategies (agree, disagree, or “okay, but…” [see chapter 4]).
  2. Use of evidence / quotations – It’s not a persuasive argument if you don’t have evidence to prove it. This essay should consist of a series of close readings of specific passages, the analysis of which builds to prove your argument. Remember the key secret of writing in English; I want you to tell me what the text means and to show me how you know it. You can’t do this without quoting the text.
  3. Prose and organizational effectiveness – It’s a writing class and a writing assignment, so the quality of your writing will be at issue. This means on the level on individual sentences and on the level of essay organization. As I have stated in class, I am concerned with the organization of your argument more than the placement of every comma. Nevertheless, many comma errors or particular comma errors can make it difficult to understand your argument.

Writing Center

Finally, I strongly encourage you to get a draft ready to take to the Writing Center. The best strategy for improving your writing is to get another set of eyes on the piece and to then, however painful it might seem, take some of that advice and make substantive changes to what you have produced.