The following are specific forum questions tailored for the texts read in a course. These can be helpful to showing you possible concepts that work well as forum questions.
Description: First forum question (first of two choices this week; due Wednesday before 11am): Does this novella end on a note of despair or hope? Describe this despair or hope and the meaning you extracted from the end. Use specifics from the book to back up your response.
Description: (last chance this week to answer a forum question, due Friday before 11am): How would you describe the narration/point of view of Mrs. Dalloway? What is the effect it has on you as you are reading? Give specific examples from the book.
Description: (first chance this week, due Wednesday 2/4 before 11am): In this section, how is the mental health profession portrayed? How do the two doctors treat Septimus? What effect does their treatment have on Septimus, how does he react to them?
Description: (Forum question due Friday, last chance this week, due before 11am): A major theme in Mrs. Dalloway involves the private self/ soul and communication/ connection with other people, and how these two things are necessarily separate and yet how we as humans constantly strive to bridge this gap. Where do you see this theme playing out in these pages (102-139)? Give specific examples from text.
Description: Forum question for Wednesday (due before 11am Wednesday): Why does Clarissa react the way she does to the news of Septimus' suicide?
Description: Last chance this week; due Friday before 11am. Why do you think Virginia Woolf changed the title of this novel from The Hours to Mrs. Dalloway?
Description: (first chance this week, due Wednesday 2/18, before 11am): How do you see the idea or theme of privacy of the soul/communication, as revealed in Mrs. Dalloway and talked about in class, playing out in the movie The Hours?
Description: last chance this week, due Friday 2/20 before 11am: How would you describe these stories to someone who hadn't read them before? Would you classify them as part of a particular genre (are they science fiction? Folktales? Mythology? Fantasy?) Why or why not? Give specific examples from the text.
Description: due Wednesday 2/25 before 11am: Are these stories meant to explain scientific or evolutionary phenomena? Do you get a better sense of what is presented in the epigraphic citations after reading the story? Are there stories in which you get more of this explanation? Use specific examples from the book in your answer.
Description: (due Friday 2/27 before 11am) Write a story for the Cosmicomics series, with Q as your narrator (same length as other posts, or longer if you'd like), with the following "scientific citation" as your starting point: "According to general relativity, there must be a singularity of infinite density and space-time curvature within a black hole. This is rather like the big bang at the beginning of time, only it would be an end of time for the collapsing body and the astronaut. At this singularity the laws of science and our ability to predict the future would break down." ***This excerpt is from Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, and is hypothesizing about what would happen if an astronaut somehow fell in to a black hole.
Description: Forum question, first chance this week, to be posted by 11am Wednesday: Two different kinds of spirituality/religion are presented and explored in "all god's children can dance." How would you describe them, and do you think one is portrayed as better or more normal or more satisfying than the other? Why or why not? As always, use specifics from the text in your response.
Description: (last chance this week, due Friday before 11am): Why do you think Murakami insisted that the title of the book and all of the story titles remain uncapitalized? Why do you think all of the stories are written in third person, when Murakami usually writes in first? Do you think these answers are related to the way fiction writers/fiction texts approach "real" events? How so/how not?
Description: Mandatory post, to be posted by 11am Friday: 1. the title of the post should be the title of the book you'd like to write about for the major essay assignment. 2. the body of the post should consist of the three reasons you think this book would be an important one to include in the list for this class.
Description: Forum question due Monday 11am (first chance this week): What kinds of details does the narrator focus on in "The Man I Killed"? What does this reveal about how this event affected the narrator? What did it make you feel as a reader?
Description: Forum post due Wednesday 11am (final chance this week): In the story "Ambush," the narrator tells the story again of the man he killed. How is this story told differently? Why do we get both of these versions?
Description: Extra forum question, due Friday 11am (those who haven't answered one yet this week can answer this one; those who have can earn extra credit): We get three stories in the middle of the book telling and re-telling the story of Kiowa's death. What is it about Kiowa in particular that makes his death so tragic? Why might this be a central event, a climactic point, in the book? What might it illustrate about the experience that O'Brien is trying to portray throughout the entire book?
Description: Forum question (due Wednesday before 11am, first chance this week): Describe the setting of section 2. Where are we? What are the rules of this place? How does this setting make you feel?
Description: Pre-Gilead, Serena Joy had been a spokeswoman for a return to “traditional values” and an advocate for the idea that a woman’s place is in the home. Do you get the impression that she played a role in creating the state of Gilead? Do you think she’s happy? How do you know this? In what ways has she gotten what she asked for? In what ways has she not?
Description: The first forum question for this week (due Wednesday before 11am) is: Offred has several flashbacks in this section of Moira and her mother. Who are these women, how do they live their lives, what do they believe? Beyond their obvious importance to Offred, what ideas/ideals do these women represent?
Description: Forum question, last chance "this week" due Monday before 11am: What aspect of Gilead society does Jezebel’s bring to our attention? What kinds of women are at Jezebel’s, what do they do, and what do they represent? What is the Commander’s justification for this place? And do you buy it?
Description: First forum question for the week (due Wednesday before 11am): What does the Historical Notes section at the end of the novel contribute to the overall effect of the book? Do you think it belongs? Why do you think Atwood decided to end her novel with this?
Description: Last chance to answer a forum question this week, due Friday before 11am: How is the image in the very first panel, the smiley face with the blood, a symbol? What different things could it symbolize about these characters or their story, from what you've read so far?
Description: Forum question (first chance this week; due Wednesday before 11am): How do we see Rorschach's character developing in these chapters? How is his mask symbolic, both for Rorschach himself and for the book as a whole?
Description: Forum question, last chance this week, due Friday before 11am: We've talked about Rorschach's character a bit. What about Dan Dreiberg and Laurie? How do they fit into this masked hero world? If one question this graphic novel asks is What would happen if superheroes or comic book heroes or masked crimefighters existed in the real world?, how do these two characters answer that question?
Description: Only forum question this week, due Friday before 11am: Create your own masked hero. Come up with a name and a description and a brief psychological profile: why did this person or being get involved with crimefighting? Where would this hero show up in Watchmen?