Writing for Gender and the Body

Everything you wanted to know about writing for Gender and the Body, but were afraid to ask

1. Look at the prompt question. If you don’t like it, change it. The prompt question is NOT important. What is important is that you show me that you did the readings and understood them. There are no exams in this class so the papers are a way for you to show that you understand the material.  Let me repeat that: the point of the papers is to show you have read and understood the assignments. Do not ignore the readings when you write your paper.

2. Make sure to use the majority of the authors in that section in your paper. So if there are six authors, you should use at least four of them.

3. Use key concepts and quotes from the readings. Do not be so general that I cannot tell whether you are referring to the reading or what we discuss in class.

A good paper will

  1. Set out with a clear question or idea

  2. Lay out evidence from the readings to answer the question

  3. Cite the readings, but also use specific quotes and concepts from the readings so it is not just class notes that you are using. Page numbers are necessary as well.

Please note that I do NOT care what style of citation you use- MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.- but just pick a style of citation for that paper and use it throughout.

An A paper will do all of these things, be well written, have no major factual or grammatical errors and possibly teach me something new (e.g. come to a reasonable conclusion that we did not come to in class).

An A- paper does these things but might have a typo or two.

A Bplus paper understands the major concepts and cites the readings, but is perhaps not as well argued.

A B paper understands the major concepts, but is perhaps not as well written and doesn’t use the readings sufficiently.

A Bminus paper fails to show me that you did the readings or has a level of writing that seriously detracts from what you are saying.

Anything lower than a Bminus indicates that I am concerned that you either did not understand the readings or failed to do them. If you receive a grade lower than a Bminus, please make time to come see me during office hours so you can figure out how to improve your grade on the next paper.

Remember that you have resources for writing a good paper. Check out the Writing Center (in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research) at http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/writing//writingcenter

Oh, and seriously, have fun with the papers. They can be creative as well as informative. They can include pop culture or personal experience as well as the readings. They can include original art work or videos or whatever else you wish.

*Please note these are due on the course Canvas site. If you can’t figure it out, please ask me.