English 1101 paper 4, fall 2016

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

Address the topic below in an essay of 1000-1500 words (in the body of the essay, excluding headers, name, date, title, works cited entries, etc.). Even though you are not to end the introduction with a question (see below), do still structure the paper according to the pattern of 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.

Note that you must submit the final draft (only) in both hard copy (printed on paper) and in digital form uploaded to the Assignments dropbox for this paper in Brightspace D2L.

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.

bulletHowever, this essay should not raise a literal question in the introduction of the essay itself, but instead the introduction should culminate in a full and complete answer to the unstated question your paper addresses—i.e. a thesis statement.  Since your topic is argumentative, even though the introduction presents a thesis statement, you should still explain the opposing viewpoint in one or more body paragraphs before presenting your own views (as in the persuasive format).

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 belong in the home, not in the workplace; 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, the stereotypes and expectations include the ideas that men are tough and unemotional; that "given the chance, all men would be whores"; 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 selfless, pretty, and dainty, and that 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 obstacles or problems for the individual.

blue bulletYou must quote at least four articles we've read on gender issues (October 26th through November 14th), 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.  

blue bulletYou must also quote at least two additional sources on gender issues that you obtain through the MGA library or through the research databases available through GIL or GALILEO.

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 web sites 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. 

Use the Writing Center! I encourage you to see tutors for help with your papers at the Student Success Center (SSC) and/or the Writing Center. We have well-trained, qualified tutors who can give you plenty of one-on-one attention with any aspect of the writing process. Be sure to take a copy of this assignment with you to any tutoring session, or show your tutor this assignment page on the web.

Extra credit of half a letter grade will be added to the paper grade of any students who a) get tutoring help with the paper at the Writing Center or SSC, and b) have the tutor who works with you email me to let me know what he or she helped you with.