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Big Read Competitions

Each year, the Coastal Carolina University Big Read Committee invites all first-semester freshmen to enter the Big Read Essay Contest and complete a Big Read Project. The winners will be announced in March.

Big Read Essay Guidelines

Students choose one topic and submit an essay with a minimum of 1,000 words; essays are one player only

  1. The OASIS becomes a part of daily life for users around the globe. What virtual realms (Google, Facebook, iCloud) do we depend on, and what parallels can be drawn between those sites and the OASIS in the novel? What is at stake in the war against IOI, the internet service provider that wants to overturn Halliday’s affordable, open-source approach? How is this allegorical to us and what do you propose we do to avoid similar situations?
  2. Explore the question of identity raised in the novel. What do the characters’ avatars tell us about their desires and their insecurities? In what ways can we relate these desires and insecurities to ourselves? How does Parzival, transformed into a celebrity gunter, become Wade’s true self?
  3. The OASIS is definitely shown as being an escape from the problems of Wade's world. Wade seems to think this is good. Morrow seems to think it is bad. Do we use games, the internet, and virtual worlds to escape from a problematic reality? Do we or can we use these virtual connections to make the world a better place? Use the novel to support your claims.
  4. Think about the novel in its entirety. Using the recent political climate, human behavior and recent trends to explore the claims in the novel, establish Cline’s work as a prophetic novel. Explore the parallels between Cline’s work and the present. Establish the novel as not just a figment of imagination, but something that could possibly occur in the year 2044. 

Excellent essays will:

  • Cite specific examples from the book and outside resources as supporting evidence;
  • Include content that illustrates the student’s quality and originality of thought;
  • Utilize proper citation of supporting material in MLA format;
  • Include correct spelling, grammar and punctuation; and
  • Exemplify effective strategies for organization.

Rules

  • All submissions must be received by Feb. 1, 2018. Winners wil be announced in March.
  • Entries should be at least 1,000 words.
  • Submissions must include student’s name, CCU email address, student ID number, and current contact number.
  • Essays should be original student work.
  • Entries must be typed and emailed as an attached WORD document (only) to fmweeks@coastal.edu. The subject line should read 2017 Big Read Essay Submission.

Big Read Project Guidelines

Students will complete a project of their choosing based on the Big Read. Suggestions are below; however, students should feel free to use their imagination and create as they are inspired to do so. Projects may be completed individually (one player) or in groups (two or more players).

Your Own Quest
Create your own present day quest that would lead players to a treasure. Use current pop culture fads or CCU references in your game. Use the same format that is used in the book for your quest (three keys and three gates) so that you will have a total of six activities that the players will need to complete. Include riddles for clues to help people figure out where to find the keys and gates. (A prezi would work really well for this project.)

Game Guide
Create an Oasis game guide written by Parzival. You can create a guide for one key or for all three. The guide can be on paper, or online via website or prezi.

Storyboard/Comic
For this project, students will create a storyboard or comic for “Ready Player One.” For this project they will re-read the ending of the novel and then write out an alternate ending, a continuation of the ending of that novel or an alternate scene from the novel.

Tomb of Horrors
Download the pdf of the original Tomb of Horrors D&D game guide. Then re-create your own version of the tomb. This can be done as a physical diorama, or online via website or prezi.

Excellent projects will:

  • Cite specific examples from the book and outside resources as supporting evidence;
  • Include content that illustrates the student’s quality and originality of thought;
  • Utilize proper citation of supporting material in MLA format;
  • Include correct spelling, grammar and punctuation; and
  • Exemplify effective strategies for organization.

Rules

  • All project submissions must be received by March 1, 2018. Winners will be announced in March.
  • Participants should send an email expressing their intent to submit a project by Feb. 1, 2018 to fmweeks@coastal.edu. The subject line should read 2017 Big Read Project Submission.
  • Submissions must include student’s name, CCU email address, student ID number, and current contact number.
  • Essays should be original student work.

2016 Big Read Essay Content winners

2016 Big Read Essay Contest winners (from left) Allyson Ridenour, Caitlin Hinnerschitz, Brenna KallodThe winners last year's annual freshman Big Read Essay Contest at Coastal Carolina University were announced at the New Student Convocation on Aug. 21 2016.

“Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss and Hope in an African Slum” by Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede was the 2016 Big Read book for incoming freshmen. The authors addressed the 2,300 students at the convocation. Afterward, small group discussions were held around campus, and Posner and Odede participated in two of the sessions.

Caitlin Hinnerschitz, (pictured, center) an elementary education major from Myrtle Beach, won first place with her essay titled “Jessica and Kennedy: The Unknown Changes the World.” She won a $150 bookstore gift card and CCU gear. Brenna Kallod, (pictured, right) a music major from West Fargo, N.D., won second place ($75 bookstore gift card plus Coastal gear), and Allyson Ridenour, (pictured, left) an applied physics major from Louisville, Ky., won third place ($25 bookstore gift card and CCU gear).  Learn more »