If you have ever received a chain e-mail with a picture of a cute Kitty or an off-color video, then you have been exposed to a “MEME,” which stands to signify as a kind of internet rumor that sweeps the globe.  These memes often become urban legends such as the one in which Bill Gates supposedly gave away $100 to the first 100 people who responded.  Memes can also change people lives such as in the case of Susan Boyal.  The question is why some become so powerful.


You class assignment is to investigate internet rumors.  I have broken your assignment into two parts to make it easier for you.  The assignment must be 2-4 pages.

Part 1:

Find a story:  Pick one MEME, Internet rumor, or urban legend and search the Web for information on your story.

Research several sources.  Two sources are the minimum! One to tell the story and on to debunk it, or identify the source.  You must include the Web sites in your paper!

Part 2:

  1. List the Web sites and describe them in detail.
  2. Summarize your MEME, Internet rumor, or urban legend.
  3. Why is it an MEME, Internet rumor, or urban legend?
    1. What are the traits that make it so?
    2. What is the story’s appeal? (i.e. does is play on our fears, hope, dreams, etc.)
    3. Is it creative?
    4. Why would people pass it along?

These are just guidelines and feel free to be as creative as possible.  Make sure you investigate it as completely as possible.  Your paper must be in essay form.

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