Choose one of the first five readings from the course (Lorber, Connell, Wilchins, the pair of articles by Fausto-Sterling, or Weeks) and compare/contrast it to the way gender (the first four readings) or sexuality (Weeks) is portrayed in a recent (within the past ~12 months) article from a legitimate news source.

Choose one of the first five readings from the course (Lorber, Connell, Wilchins, the pair of articles by Fausto-Sterling, or Weeks)

WRD 201: Writing, Gender, and Sexuality

Paper #1: Comparison/Contrast

Due: – News article/worksheet: Wednesday, 9/9, in your tutorial group

– Draft for peer review: Wednesday, 9/16, in your tutorial group

– Complete draft: Friday, 9/18, 10PM, via Moodle

– Revised draft: Friday, 10/2, 10PM, via Moodle

Length: 3-4 pages (approximately 900-1200 words)

Format: Please follow the formatting guidelines for written work listed on Moodle. No PDFs and no Pages documents, please. Make sure to put your last name and the assignment in the title of the document (NOT the title of the paper) – i.e. “LastName
Paper 1.docx.” For questions about MLA style or other issues of presentation and citation, consult the Turabian guide, the Purdue OWL, or the many documents on Moodle.

Assignment

● Choose one of the first five readings from the course (Lorber, Connell, Wilchins, the pair of articles by Fausto-Sterling, or Weeks) and compare/contrast it to the way gender (the first four readings) or sexuality (Weeks) is portrayed in a recent (within the past ~12 months) article from a legitimate news source. For example, you might choose the article by Connell and contrast it with the portrayal of gender in this article from the New York Times.

Your paper should begin (after the introduction) with a one-paragraph summary of your chosen article from our class. Then you should analyze both similarities and differences between the article from our class and the news article, and organize your paragraphs around major points of comparison or contrast. Do not simply go through the article and note every point of similarity or difference as a list. Your job is to focus on a handful of major points of comparison or contrast, support them with quotations, and explain how those quotations show similarities or differences between the portrayals of gender in the two pieces.

Guidelines

● See this article and this article to understand more about legitimate news sources, and let me know if you have questions. Almost all major national and regional magazines and newspapers are legitimate news sources. The article you choose should have undergone editing or revision by another person at some point – don’t choose a post by a solo blog writer, or one a personal website not affiliated with a larger news organization.

Ostendorf – WRD 201 Fall 2020
● Also remember that you should be choosing a news article. Not an academic work that explains or investigates gender or sexuality. You’re looking for underlying ideas and assumptions about these topics, not an article that tries to define them.

Goal
● This assignment is designed to help you understand and summarize theoretical/critical texts and apply their concepts outside narrow academic discourse. You will also build skills. This will continue to use in your next papers, in researching and working with secondary sources.

Resources
● As always, the plethora of handouts and slideshows on Moodle are at your disposal. Also, you should make use of them. In particular, revisit the selections under the “Writing Resources” section about finding and working with sources.

Thesis

The thesis for this paper should be a claim that unites a discussion of the two texts and explains the central point of similarity or difference between them. Do NOT say something like: “This paper will compare and contrast the treatment of gender through article A and article B.” This is not a thesis; it’s a statement of intent. In other words, your thesis should not be an observation or simply a declaration of what you are going to do in the paper; it should be a claim. Likewise, it should not be your opinion, but instead should be defensible based on evidence from the two texts.

For example:
“This paper will demonstrate how the portrayal of gender in a recent New York Times article. It will be about women in government undermines R. W. Connell’s arguments about the social construction of gender in her work “The Question of Gender.” Note his this sample thesis is specific, makes a claim, and articles for a relationship between the two texts – one undermines the other.

Organizational strategy:

1. Intro
a. Hook/introduce the topic or focus of your paper
b. Briefly introduce each text (platform statements)
c. Thesis
2. Summary of your text from our class
3. First comparative-contrasting point
a. Evidence/quotations from each article
4. Second comparative-contrasting point
5. Etc
6. Conclusion: should include both a restatement of your thesis and a direction for further thought
Ostendorf – WRD 201 Fall 2020

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