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Write a paper that makes an argument about gender or sexuality in Girl Woman Other.

WRD 201: Writing, Gender, and Sexuality Paper #2: Textual Analysis

Due:                – Working thesis: Wednesday, 10/21, in tutorial (have it written down and ready to

workshop with your peers)

– Peer review (assignment TBD): Wednesday, 10/28, in tutorial

– Full paper: Sunday, 11/1, 10PM

Length:           4-6 pages (no fewer than 1100 words; up to approximately 1800 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

  • Write a paper that makes an argument about gender or sexuality in Girl, Woman, Other. Focus on a specific chapter, character, or theme within the text and make a claim about how the text reflects, adds to, or changes the concepts of gender and sexuality as we’ve discussed them – for example, you might focus on the social construction of gender and sexuality as evidenced in the book, the different ways of doing feminism, intersectionality, and the inclusion or exclusion of trans people from different feminist practices.
  • The evidence for your argument should come from the text itself – i.e. detailed textual analysis and close readings – and from 1-2 of our other readings so far. You do not need to find or use other sources, though you may.
    • You should have at least one detailed, close reading of a passage of GWO
  • This should not be solely a description of how one can see the concept of gender or sexuality or feminism in the text–that’s clear to any casual reader. Rather, you need to make an argument about how the text constructs gender, sexuality, or feminism; this argument will determine the structure of your paper.
  • As you search for a topic, ask yourself what interested you about the book. What questions came up as you read the text, and what topics were brought to mind? What other texts from our syllabus came to mind as you read this novel?
  • OFF LIMITS TOPIC/THESIS: GWO presents many different ways of doing feminism. We’ve covered this idea at length in class already. Come up with something more complex!

Goals

  • This paper is meant to give you practice analyzing texts, using textual evidence, and applying critical/theoretical concepts to texts. It is a stepping stone from the first paper you wrote to your final paper, which will incorporate textual analysis in more complex ways, with your own argument and outside sources. You’ll write textual analysis papers (sometimes called literary analysis papers) in several different kinds of courses, and will often need to analyze texts as part of longer papers.
  • In addition to working on textual analysis and use of evidence, in this section of the course we’ll also work on thesis statements and structuring an argument.

The writing process

  • Once you’ve determined your thesis, figure out what you need to show to prove it. What passages support your argument? What details about the text uphold your thesis? The textual evidence you use should come in multiple forms–not just close readings of select passages, but also reference to narrative events, if relevant, or very brief summary of certain texts or passages. Once you’ve selected your evidence and thesis and begun writing, be aware that your thesis might change. As you engage with the text even more closely during the writing process, you might become aware of nuances that change your argument, and you may well revise your thesis after your first draft.

Resources

  • As always, remember our class discussions and our in-class analysis of various texts
  • Paragraphing and Thesis statement slideshows, on Moodle
  • Chapter 15 of TSIS, “Entering Conversations about Literature” (on Moodle)

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