Destruction of the World by Humans

Research Essay Assignment—It’s the End of the World as We Know it, and I Feel (Research,
Criticism, Argumentation)

Overall Assignment: This project will require you to create a thesis that you will support with primary and secondary sources in a Research Essay of at least 2000 words (which is roughly between 7-8 full pages of prose) in MLA Format. You will need to compose multiple drafts of a Formal Outline for this essay as well as the Research Essay itself before completing the Final Draft of your Outline and Research Essay.


On January 20, 2022, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an international organization formed of scientists, policy makers, and intellectuals formed to help discourage world destruction through reckless use of human technologies, published their annual Doomsday Clock Statement.

As you are aware from reading Watchmen, which uses the icon of the Doomsday Clock as a motif to indicate a rapidly-approaching disaster within the story’s world, “Midnight” on the Doomsday Clock is meant to convey the destructive end of the world. When the world’s first hydrogen bomb was detonated in 1953, the Doomsday Clock was set at 2 minutes to Midnight.

The most recent “set” of the Doomsday Clock is a time of 100 seconds to Midnight, which is the same as its setting for 2020 and 2021.
The Doomsday Clock Statement for 2022 Links to an external site.
in its introductory remarks reads as follows:

“[. ]the Clock remains the closest it has ever been to civilization-ending apocalypse because the
world remains stuck in an extremely dangerous moment. In 2019 we called it the new abnormal, and it has unfortunately persisted.

Last year, despite laudable efforts by some leaders and the public, negative trends in nuclear and biological weapons, climate change, and a variety of disruptive technologies—all exacerbated by a corrupted information ecosphere that undermines rational decision making—kept the world within a stone’s throw of apocalypse. Global leaders and the public are not moving with anywhere near the speed or unity needed to prevent disaster.

Leaders around the world must immediately commit themselves to renewed cooperation in the many ways and venues available for reducing existential risk. Citizens of the world can and should organize to demand that their leaders do so—and quickly. The doorstep of doom is no place to loiter.”

While the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists does have a number of practical suggestions written out for international government action and for edification of civilians, a dearth of useful information does not necessarily still the kind of panic that the imminent end of the world tends to produce.

So, using your critical thinking skills and your research, develop a thesis-centered argument that answers the following three questions in detail:

You will choose a fictional work apart from Watchmen (though you may of course also make use of the novel for this purpose) that will serve as your “primary source,” something closely related to your argument that will inform what you argue, and you will choose a number of “secondary sources” that will provide additional support within the body paragraphs of your essay for your overall argument.

Research Essay: Key Steps and Timeline

Remember, the Research Essay must be no less than 6 full pages of prose, double-spaced, according to MLA Standards, and requiring the attachment of your revised full-sentence outline as well as a Works Cited page (all sources that are cited must be used for support in your paper) of no less than 9 trustworthy sources (1 primary source and 8 secondary sources).

Doomsday Clock Link:

Watchmen Comic Link:
If possible please upload Outline. Possible Topic Ideas:

  • Climate Change, Nuclear Power, Destructive Technology (Misinformation, disinformation), Political Strife, anything you think fits the Doomsday Clock theme

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