In this unit, we’ve been learning about the damaging effects of maintaining traditional gender roles. For this essay, I’d like you to choose a SPECIFIC problem with gender that we’ve read about, explore the problem, and then add to the argument by offering your solution/s. This is a problem-solution essay, meaning that part of your essay will be arguing that _____ is a problem, while the other part of your essay will argue that ______ is the best solution (or solutions, if you offer more than one). While you can certainly use your own research to help you explore the issue and support your argument, I’d like you to closely engage with at least ONE of our readings or film.
Tips for Success
- The best essays will choose a specific problem, rather than an umbrella issue. For example, the topic “hypermasculinity in video games” is a stronger topic than “hypermasculinity in society.” “Gender inequality in the family and workplace” is a stronger topic than “Gender inequality.” Feel free to run topics by me at any time.
- Introduce the conversation in your introduction. Who is saying what about the issue you are writing about? Who disagrees with them and why? Why does this issue matter today?
- Your thesis will do TWO things: 1) state where you stand on this issue, in relation to the debate you present in your introduction, and 2) briefly identify your solution/s.
- Your topic sentences will convey your OPINION, not what others say. What others say will simply support your argument as proof (or as naysayers).
- Strong essays will have 1-2 quotes per body paragraph (roughly 4-8 quotes per essay). Make sure you sandwich your quotes with a top bun/lead in and a bottom bun/explanation.
- Add lots of rich analysis following your quotes to further explore and prove your argument.
- Add a naysayer sentence or paragraph. You can then concede to a point, or refute.
- Try to be as specific as you can when offering solutions. Who, specifically, should do what, specifically? “People should learn about the issue” is too broad. “Elementary schools should teach kids about this issue through integrated curriculum” is much stronger.
- Choose strong and specific words, rather than vague and general words. Avoid “you” and “we” as 2nd person is too informal in an academic essay.
- Consider how you can make your argument stronger by using credible facts and statistics. You might also try to appeal to your reader by swaying their emotions with startling or heartwarming stories as proof.