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English Essay Topics


Submitted By cmunardi
Words 496
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M. Kuroki
English 1A

Essay #4 (The Research Paper)
Determining the Sources of Two “Isms”: Racism and Sexism
(225 points)

Due Dates: See Syllabus

Submission Requirements:
Please remember to submit a hard copy of your essay in class, attaching to it your peer reviews. Also submit an electronic copy through TurnItIn (see link on Canvas).

Length: 7-10 pages (not including the Annotated Bibliography)

Annotated Bibliography Component: Instead of a Works Cited, you will include an Annotated Bibliography with your research paper (worth 25 pts. of your total score).

Readings: • “Sex and Temperament,” Margaret Mead • “Masculinity,” Germaine Greer • Selection from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave • Any previously assigned reading relevant to your topic • Sample causal analysis essay (title TBA)

Research Requirement: Please use at least seven (7) but no more than ten (10) secondary sources. You must use at least one of each of the following source types: a book, an article from a scholarly journal, a newspaper article, and a magazine article. You must use at least two relevant assigned World of Idea reading, which will count toward the 7-source minimum. Furthermore, while you may use more than one website, only one website will count toward the 7-source minimum. In other words, you must incorporate research from the following source types into your paper:

1. A book 2. A scholarly journal article 3. A newspaper article 4. A magazine article 5. A relevant essay from WOI. 6. A relevant essay from WOI. 7. Any source, including credible websites (try, SIRS, or Opposing Viewpoints for credible websites) 10. Additional sources are optional

Finally, while you may use Wikipedia to familiarize yourself with your topic, please do not use or cite Wikipedia as a source for your research paper. On the other hand, the references at the end of Wikipedia articles sometimes suggest more credible sources that may be of use to you.

Topics (Choose one): • In “Masculinity,” Germaine Greer argues that “[m]asculinity is a system…the complex of learned behaviors and subtly coded interactions that forms the connective tissue of corporate society” (898). In other words, she asserts that gender codes and gender bias, social rules that govern the behavior of both men and women, are learned rather than inherent behaviors. What is the source of such gender codes and bias?

• In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass explains how “[s]lavery soon proved its ability to divest [his mistress] of [her] heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tneder heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger like fierceness” (162). Like Greer’s argument about gender bias being a learned behavior, Douglass likewise asserts that racism, too, is a learned rather than inherent behavior. What is the source of racism?

For this assignment, write an analysis in which you identify the causes of sexism, or alterniately, the causes of racism (choose one topic).

Good luck! (

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