English 1101 paper 4, spring 2021

Read every word below carefully, more than once, before starting your essay.

Address the topic below in an essay of 1000-1400 words (in the body of the essay, excluding headers, name, date, title, works cited entries, etc.). Structure the paper in the persuasive format, presenting opposing views before giving your own side of the argument.

For details of the physical formatting of your paper on paper—margins, headers, titles, etc.—see the simple stuff page. For guidelines on quotation and documentation, see the quotations page. All options require quotations from the readings, so a works cited page is necessary.

Before you begin writing the essay, construct a topic sentence outline just as we did for previous essays: begin the outline with the literal question your paper addresses, then give full topic sentences that answer the question directly for each primary point in your paper (i.e. for each body paragraph), just as they will appear in the essay itself, and conclude the outline with the paper's overall thesis, answering the central question directly and combining your essential points from the various topic sentences. See sample topic sentence outlines on my writing tips page and on this page.

As we've seen in the recent readings and discussions, our society applies a myriad of stereotypes and cultural expectations to each of the sexes which influence how we act as individual men and women. Consciously or unconsciously, we adhere to these stereotypes and expectations or react against them.

For women, these stereotypes and expectations include the notions that women are intellectually inferior to men; that women should be attractive; that women should work and take care of family and home; that strong, independent women are "bitchy"; that women who acknowledge and act upon their natural sexual desires are morally "loose"; that women are supposed to be "ladylike"—passive, submissive, demure, cooperative, nurturing, polite, etc. For men, stereotypes and expectations include the ideas that men are tough and unemotional; that men should have lots of sexual conquests; that "real men" must be independent and aggressive; that men are not "real men" if they don't have latent cravings for violence and if they don't love football, power tools, and cars with big engines. Men are also expected to be financially successful breadwinners for their families. In short, the stereotypes generally say that women should be "feminine" and men should be "macho."

These cultural myths and stereotypes are but a few of the many expectations by which our culture imposes its ideals of masculinity and femininity upon us as individuals. You should also consider other significant expectations for men and women as established in our readings and class discussions or from your own observation.

Your task is to elaborate what you see as the greatest obstacles stereotypes and cultural expectations pose for each of the sexes (meaning you must deal with both sexes.). The central question you must argue is who suffers more, men or women, from the cultural expectations these stereotypes impose upon them: in other words, who has it worse? Men or women?

blue bulletYou should deal with only one major stereotype or cultural expectation per body paragraph—this means you will need to be selective and discuss only the two or three most damaging or difficult stereotypes or expectations for each sex. With each major point you should 1) explain what the stereotype or cultural expectation is, and 2) show how the stereotype or cultural expectation poses problems or cause suffering for the individual.

blue bulletYou must quote at least four articles we've read on gender issues (March 31st through April 19th), two on men and two on women, either illustrating the stereotypes or expectations you discuss or the obstacles or difficulties these cultural expectations bring about. This means that you must incorporate not just four quotations from our readings, but quotations from four separate articles.  

Works cited info: For bibliographic information on the handouts, see the referring pages from our schedule of readings and assignments (the pages from which you loaded the Adobe .pdf files). For the poems on websites linked from our online schedule, See QD5w.


blue bulletEvery topic sentence should answer the central (proposal) question directly.
blue bulletIntroduce all quotes: see nugget 3.
blue bulletSweat the details: use the Golden Rules, Nuggets, Simple Stuff, and Quotations pages and proofread carefully.
blue bulletOffer concrete evidence (quotes) in support of each of your major assertions.
blue bulletCall or email if you have questions or problems. 

Extra credit of half a letter grade will be added to the paper grade of any students who get tutoring help with the paper at the Writing Center.