600 Word English Essay

These papers must be at least 600 words and no more than 1000 (although no penalties for going over). Papers under 600 words receive no comments, are not graded using the rubric, and earn 33 points. Remember that one, single-spaced page of text equals about 350 words, so 600 words is approximately a two page paper. Quality is more important than quantity; a well-done 610-word paper may be stronger than a 999-word paper. So there?s no need to write to the upper limit of the requirements in order to earn a better grade. The word count must appear at the top of the paper or the paper will be penalized 2 points. Please do not claim that the paper has 601 words or more when it doesn?t: I?ll run a word count and discover this. The Works Cited page, the heading which includes your name/class # and title/assignment name/and word count, or bibliography (if included) is not included in the word count. Submit your paper via TurnitIn.

This paper discusses one or more of the theories or concepts in Race, Class & Gender. You may write about the theories or ideas in any of the essays we read.  Your paper should do one of three things: 

1. Analyze issues of race, class, and gender that you identify, using the theories and concepts from an essay or essays

2. Refute or otherwise elaborate on the theories or concepts presented in an essay or essays

3. Tie together two essays to demonstrate how the theories either work together or contradict one another.

The key to a successful paper is to analyze and use formal academic writing. For example, Andersen and Hill Collins use the phrase ?matrix of domination? as an analytic tool that ?sees social structure as having multiple, interlocking levels of domination that stem from social configuration of race, class, and gender relationships? (4). A paper that followed #1 (identifying and analyzing an issue) might take this ?matrix of domination? and argue that the U.S. penal system is an excellent example of how systems of domination work together to situate people of color as more vulnerable to incarceration (meaning that power relations mean more non-white people go to jail than white people). An example of approach #2 might be to take Peggy McIntosh?s highly influential essay ?White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack? (49) and argue that the essay ? while intending to show the invisible nature of white privilege ? actually (albeit unintentionally) relies on black suffering as its primary theoretical tool, therefore, simply (and somewhat voyeuristically) reproducing black suffering as a tool for white people. An example of approach #3 might be to show how data and concepts in the essays ?Policing the National Body? (343) and ?Seeing in 3D? (286) reinforce the argument that larger economic and social structures uniquely position poor people as most likely to go to prison. 

A superior paper will not rely on examples from personal experience, but on the theories in our textbook, essays or analyses you find elsewhere, and your own analysis. Papers must include at least three quotations or direct references to reading from Race, Class & Gender and/or another academic source; these in-text quotations or references must be appropriately cited in either MLA or APA style. Papers must include a ?Works Cited? page or bibliography.Position Papers Grading Rubric 

5 points: Meets the content requirements of the assignment (paper is on topic) 

10 points: grammar, punctuation, sentence construction (mechanics of writing), citations

10 points: specificity ? the argument incorporates one or more of the following: concepts in 

Reconstructing Gender, specific events or social issues, personal examples 

10 points: original thinking ? the paper reflects your own attempt to grapple with the topic, is not a recitation of someone else?s argument or ideas, but is your own argument or idea. 

15 points: complexity of analysis 

In each category, superior work is an A (5 or 9/10 points), strong work is a B (4 or 8 points), competent work is a C (3 or 7 points) and below standard work is a D (2 or 6 points). For papers two and three, adequate use of quotations and evidence will be assessed in the categories of specificity & complexity.

These are the two possible topics:  

In “The Color of Justice” there is a quote on page 444 that says, “Human Rights Watch reported in 2000 that, in seven states, African Americans constitute 80 to 90 percent of drug offenders sent to prison.  In at least fifteen states, blacks are admitted to prison on drug charges at a rate from twenty to fifty-seven times greater than that of white men.”  I think this quote illustrates how state enforcement can be based off of race.   The fact that a much higher percentage of African American men are sent to prison for drugs versus white men shows this unfair imbalance.  The essay “Rape, Racism, and the Law” by Jennifer Wriggins also discusses how African American men are more likely to be sent to prison for rape as well.  The readings this week really showed how race plays a role in shaping laws and state enforcement.


Another topical that was covered this week was sexual preference in the essay “Interpreting and Experiencing Anti-Queer Violence.”  Although this essay didn’t really talk about laws, it can definitely be related to laws in our country that hold back homosexual couples.  Gay marriage is a topic that is heavily discussed and I believe it is now legal in 35 of the states.  However, there is still 15 to go.  Sexual preference here clearly shapes the laws in quite a few states in the nation.

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