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EssayThree: Researched Argument
The purpose of this assignment is to get you thinking critically about a current social issueinvolving gender and the body and to enter the larger conversation about that issue with an original and thoughtful argument. You will choose a current issue or problem, take a side on that issue, and present your argument, backed up by scholarly sources, in a logical, coherent, and formal paper. Your issue may be one that you see in your workplace or your community, one on which our course readings has dealt and that you want to learn more about, or one that you see in the media. As you are writing, you’ll need to pay very close attention to your own use of rhetoric—you’ll need to establish a reasonable tone, thoughtfully consider the pros and cons of possible counterarguments, and carefully choose sources and examples to back up your claims.
Before you start gathering secondary sources, you need to have a fairly solid idea of what you’ll be investigating, why you’re investigating it, and the type of argument you’ll present about it in your paper. CQ Researcher or even Wikipedia, as well as online and print media, might be good places to brainstorm and to gather initial background information before you decide on your topic. Once you have chosen your topic and your own position on it, you will begin to gather sources that both back up and oppose your position. You may have to modify your initial hypothesis about your topic as you uncover more information, but you need to start with some idea in mind so you can narrow down your sources. That’s why you’ll write a research proposal, due July 29, that will show you’ve chosen a topic and thought about the kind of questions your research—and thus your paper—will answer. You will also write an annotated bibliography, to be submitted with your proposal onJuly 29 that will give both you and me an idea of the sources that you will find useful to support your argument.
Remember that your paper should be an argument, not a report. Your goal is to convince your audience that your thesis is worth considering because it’s interesting, well planned, and well researched. You should thus design your entire essay to support your thesis through strategic use of your research and thorough effective rhetorical choices. In addition, remember that this is your argument; don’t use your sources to make your argument for you, but rather to back up your own points and claims.
- To enter a conversation about a topic centered on women, feminism, and/or gender that has interest and relevance to you and to society more generally
- To research what others are saying about your topic and find your niche in that conversation
- To integrate sources smoothly into your own argument by using proper transitions and citations
- Build a cohesive and thought-provoking argument about a relevant issue or problem
- Use your own rhetorical appeals in order to persuade an audience
- An engaging introduction that introduces the issue you’ve chosen and its context. You should work to frame your overall argument about the piece in your introduction, which includes writing a concise and specific thesis statement.
- Detaileddescription of the issue and its contextin order to familiarize your audience with the issue and the conversations surrounding that issue. This means summarizing both/all sides of the argument/debate around your issue and discussing what others have said about the issue.
- A clear argument about why one side of the current debate surrounding your issue is correct. This will probably involve acknowledging and then discrediting opposing arguments, as well.
- A proposed solutionto the problem or issue you discuss.
- Incorporation of at least six credible, properly documented sources into your argument to help back up your points and lay out the larger conversation.One of these sources may be a credible web site; the other five must be books or scholarly journals found through the library’s resources. You may also use magazine or newspaper articles, but only if they come from widely circulated, well-known publications (i.e., the New York Times)
- A conclusion that succinctly and efficiently closes your argument and answers the “so what?” question.
- A cohesive organizational structure that adds to the persuasiveness of your argument
- Appropriate MLAor APA citation of any texts you use. Consult me or the Purdue OWL website at [https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/] for specific citation information.
- Length Requirement:1800-2000 words
Saturday, July 29: Proposal and annotated bibliography due
Saturday, August 12: Essay 3 due
You are certainly not limited to these options, but if you’re stuck and need a few ideas for your topic, use those listed below for brainstorming. These topics are intentionally left broad; if you choose one of them, you will need to narrow it down significantly.
Sexual harassment (street harassment, workplace harassment)
Paid parental leave policies
Beauty standards (Photoshopping in media, body image, etc.)
Rape culture (in media, on college campuses)
Racial and/or gender diversity in the media (on or off screen)
Media representations of gender roles (masculinity, femininity)
Gender-based professional stereotypes
(Dis)ability in the workplace
Illness and gender