The Buffy Paper

IS 101 04                     Fall 2009                      Lindgren


For this paper you will explore some aspect of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and contextualize it with outside research that ties into your topic.  This will give you a chance to use the skills you learned during our Information Literacy sessions.  While the main thrust of the paper is to show that you can master a deeper discussion of one area of the series, the outside material will ground and make connections between your interpretation and wider society or scholarly inquiry.  Please note that you can use material from Slayage or other articles that are discussed in our “State of Buffy Studies” class.


You might have to watch some additional episodes to gather more material to discuss.


By the way- while you cannot do the same topic for your final project- this paper might lead you to possible connected topics that you might want to consider.


Here are some ideas that could be developed into a thesis- though feel free to create your own:


• The use of music in the show

• Sets or costuming of the show

• Significance of a particular plot line [i.e. The Master in season 1, Xander and Cordelia’s relationship, Dawn’s identity in season 5, the Initiative, Giles’ mid-life crisis in season 4]

• Significance of certain reoccurring elements [i.e. dreams, what happens on Buffy’s birthday’s, Xander’s scary love life]

• Books and knowledge

• Spike’s moral ambiguity

• Role of science [not magic] on the show

• High school violence

• Sexual activity among high school students

• Computer hacking among high school or college students

• Cinematography of Buffy [in context of the art]

• Language or foreign languages used in Buffy

• Single parent households

• How history is used on the show

• Relationships with authority figures

• Certain literary themes

• Popular culture connections



The paper should be 5-6 pages long, double spaced, with one inch margins, name and number on each page, and stapled.  Double sided submissions are acceptable.  Use Turabian/Chicago style for your citation and include a bibliography on a separate page [not included in the 5-6 page count].


Due at the beginning of class on Monday, November 23