CSE 175: Social and Ethical Issues in
Makeup Assignment for Midterm
The midterm has been given 30% of the total grade. If you wish, you may
chose to reduce this to 20%, substituting your grade on the optional essay
assignment described below for the remaining 10%. Note that only those who
did poorly on the midterm should have much incentive to do this additional
work. Since the average grade was 71, which is a solid B, it is likely to be
worth your effort to do the makeup only if your grade is well below that;
note that you could conceivably end up losing points if you did well on the
exam and do poorly on the makeup.
The essay is due in class on Monday, 17 November. There will be no
Your essay should consist of approximately 2 typed double spaces pages
(i.e., about 600 words) on each of the following three topics. Your answers
should go beyond the level expected in an in-class exam, and demonstrating a
thorough understanding of the concepts and material. A good way to achieve
this is to draw from current events, e.g., the business section of a newspaper
from this week. You may of course draw on the course notes and readings, but
simply quoting from them will not be considered a sufficient demonstration of
- Discuss the concept of residual category, its meaning, its
significance, where it comes from, and its relation to actor-network theories.
You should draw on course readings and at least three examples from current
events in developing your argument.
- Discuss the concept of grand narrative (also called master
narrative or heroic narrative), explaining its relation to
actor-network theories, and perhaps technological determinism, and offering
three examples in the general fields of technology and science.
- Give three significant cirticisms of classical actor-network theory, and
develop arguments, drawing on concrete examples, for why these criticisms are,
or are not, justified.
Guidelines for Essay Writing
Your essays should conform to the usual standards of good academic writing,
for which the following are some rough guidelines:
- Your bibliography should use proper format for citations, with full names
of authors, full title, date, page numbers, and publisher, as applicable; do
not just give a list of URLs.
- Each reference should have a unique identifier, and you should use those
identifiers in the text whenever you use ideas from that reference; my own
favorite style for citations is , , ...
- Avoid unsupported opinions and appeals to authority.
- Use as much concrete data as possible, such as quotes from original source
documents; be specific.
- Clearly state what you are trying to achieve.
- Weak English is acceptable as long as it can be clearly understood.
- Pages should be numbered.
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