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Help with a question. **THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL COUNT FOR YOUR GE AREA D2. � OVERVIEW: You will write an essay of at least 3 full pages and no more

Help with a question.

**THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL COUNT FOR YOUR GE AREA D2.

OVERVIEW: You will write an essay of at least 3 full pages and no more than 5 pages in which you will
make and prove a unique point about an LGBTQ2+ and/or gender and/or sexuality topic that is significant
to you. This essay needs to be focused, and it must make a unique argument or assertion.

In this essay, you will focus on one aspect of the human experience of gender or sexuality, one subject or
issue of the LGBTQ2+ community, or a topic that otherwise relates to the course material and what we have
discussed in class. Think of it this way: this essay is where you show you can apply and extend what you have
learned this semester. It is your chance to dive deep into one very specific subject.

Your topic, focus, and argument will be decided by you. You may already have a very specific point you will
make in your essay in mind, or you may want to select a larger issue and then narrow it down to something
more specific. For example, you may start with the broad issue of “LGBTQ2+ Representation in the Media”
and then narrow your focus to researching and discussing the representation of asexuality in television and
film. This is just an example.

Here are some issues to consider:

LGBTQ2+ Access to Medical Care
LGBTQ2+ Representation in the Media
Violence Against LGBTQ2+ Communities

The Erasure of LGBTQ2+ People in Education and History
LGBTQ2+ Community Dynamics (such as Exclusions)
Anti-LGBTQ2+ Law or Policy

Remember that one of these is not your topic overall! They are much too broad. Instead, they are to help
you get started in considering a topic by showing you some issues and themes we could explore.

The essay should make a unique thesis statement and contribute to our understanding of a specific
subject or issue; in other words, do not simply explain a very broad topic, do not simply summarize
another argument or a set of points made in any other readings, and do not just give a history or
report of a topic. Example: Rather than the point of your essay be: “The US fight for marriage equality
occurred throughout the 2000s” you should state a claim about the topic: “Evaluating the US fight for
marriage equality reveals that assimilation efforts do harm as well as liberate: when efforts continue the
circulation of wealth and maintain the privilege of those in society, policy change does not reach those
already underrepresented in LGBTQ2+ populations.” The latter is a claim about the marriage equality efforts
in the US that the rest of the essay would prove, whereas just focusing on marriage equality in general might
not lead to any particular claim. Please be sure you have a claim, or if it is helpful to think of it as an
assertion, claim, stance, or position you’ll prove, one that shows that you can apply what you learned in the
course.

For the essay, you must give your position or unique “take” on a topic related to gender and/or
sexuality, and you must support that position in your writing. The weakest essay would be one in
which the main point or argument is unclear, vague, unethical, or doesn’t display what you learned
from the course (or one in which a strong argument is not proven with evidence).

You will need to include at least 3 academic and reliable sources and use MLA or APA formatting. (Tip: You
are free to use as many of selections from our required readings, and/or textbook as you would like, but
since I want you to be doing individual research, everyone is required to find 2 sources that were not required
reading this semester. In other words, whether you use one of our required readings or 3, this means you are
required to find and incorporate at least 2 sources beyond any provided in class.)

Many times in academics we are told not to use “I” in writing—for this paper you can use “I” because you
will be writing about a topic is significant to you or interests you. This, however, does not mean that the

LGBTQ2+ ISSUE ESSAY: A RESEARCH ESSAY

**THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL COUNT FOR YOUR GE AREA D2.

paper will be written casually nor should the focus of the writing be on you, the author. Remember this is a
formal research essay, so the writing is focused on the research and proving the thesis, but you can use first
person (“I”) in this assignment because it might be helpful for you.

Your essay will be assessed on the strength and originality of your thesis and your support as well as your
proficiency and accuracy in utilizing the terms, concepts, and approaches central to our course. Your essay
will also be assessed based on the clarity of your writing, use of sources, proper documentation, and adhering
to page length requirements. Please see the rubric included on a page that follows more detail on the
assessment.

REQUIREMENTS:

 At least 3 full pages (not 2 ½!)—the 4th page will be the works cited or references page. You can
write a longer paper, but try to keep it to 5-6 pages. Anything too much more means your argument
was not fit for the short examination we want to complete here, or your argument is not clear and
therefore you have spent too much time circling with ideas.

 Please use MLA or APA format for page layout, meaning how the document looks, such as spacing,
font, heading or headers, margins, etc.

 Use MLA or APA format for citing sources both in the text and on your works cited/references
page. You must use one of these styles and document all sources. These writing styles and rules
will not be covered in a lot of depth in the class, but that does not mean you do not have to follow
them closely and accurately. I am happy to offer help if you contact me, and I also encourage you to
utilize resources provided to you, such as the Writing Center in ED 184.

 Incorporate at least 3 academic sources. These sources should be written by experts, peer-reviewed,
and/or are otherwise published by an academic platform. Please know that librarians are available to
assist you with research! You can even chat with them!

 Include an informative and interesting title, and please be sure to proofread your essay before you
turn it in!

 Due Date: Wednesday, May 8 by 11:59 pm. The essay should be submitted in a .doc or .docx
format to the appropriate submission area on Canvas.

THE WHY OF IT ALL, OR WHY STUDENTS COMPLETE AN ESSAY LIKE THIS IN THE
CLASS:

Having students complete the short essay aimed at having them:

– Show critical literacy in key terms and
concepts within LGBTQ2+ Studies.

– Write to interrogate sexuality and gender as
social categories.

– Analyze issues of systemic power, privilege,
and oppression.

– Explain the intersections between sexuality
and gender in relationship to other social
locations.

– Analyze contemporary LGBTQ2+ movements
and politics or LGBTQ2+ art and media.

– Demonstrate the ability to apply material to
contexts outside the classroom.

This is the “why,” but it might also help students begin to brainstorm a possible topic and argument.

ASSESSMENT:

The rubric on the following page will be used in assessing your essay:

Criteria Advanced Proficient Acceptable Not Acceptable

Introduction &
Main Point

Begins with a catchy title and an engaging
introduction. Main point is clear. Paper is
appropriate length.

Interesting title and introduction. Main
point is stated. Paper is appropriate
length.

Adequate title and an introduction.
Main point is unclear. Paper is a
page short.

Ineffective introduction. May not include
title. Paper lacks main point. Paper is
much too short!

Thesis & Focus
Clear, specific and interesting thesis is
provided and also connected throughout the
paper.

Thesis is stated and is somewhat
specific and connected throughout the
larger paper.

Adequate thesis but it is unclear or
too vague and not connected to the
paper.

Inadequate or no thesis. Paper is missing
this essential element that connects
thoughts together.

Theme

Paper takes on an LGBTQ2+ issue in unique
and thorough way. Paper demonstrates an
expert and advanced understanding of
human behavior and/or institutions.

Paper takes on an LGBTQ2+ issue in a
strong way. Paper demonstrates a
clear understanding of human behavior
and/or institutions.

Paper takes on an LGBTQ2+ issue
but in an inconsistent way. Paper
demonstrates a developing
understanding of human behavior
and/or institutions.

Paper does not take on an LGBTQ2+
issue. Paper does not demonstrate an
understanding of human behavior and/or
institutions.

Effectiveness of
Content

Clearly and critically analyses specific
concept. The paper does not take on too
broad a focus.

Analysis is centered in a somewhat
specific manner but a deeper
connection or further exploration is
vague. Does not use examples critically
enough.

Analysis seems rambling or poorly
organized. Or analysis remains on
the surface and doesn’t engage in a
more critical exploration.

The focus is too broad and unorganized.
There aren’t textual examples used as
support of specific ideas. The paper
contains too much summary of other’s
arguments and not an analysis or
application of them.

Considers
Ethical, Political,
and Material
Stakes

Clearly demonstrates a connection between
the subject matter and people’s, integrating a
sense of ethics into the focus of the paper in
ways that are unique and engaging. Expertly
demonstrates knowledge gained from the
queer and/or trans studies approaches (or
other approaches) of the class.

Mentions specific connections of the
topic to LGBTQ2+ lives. Demonstrates
knowledge gained from the queer
and/or trans studies approaches (or
other approaches) of the class.

Mentions ethical, political, or material
stakes but does not weave them in
with main ideas and adequate
analysis. Essay shows a developing
grasp of the queer and/or trans
studies approaches (or other
approaches) of the class.

Connections between the topic and
oppression or ethical, political, or material
stakes involved with the topic are not
apparent. Essay does not demonstrate
understanding of the queer and trans
studies (or other approaches) covered in
the class.

Critical Thought:
Synthesis,
Critique, and
Overall Use of
Sources

Uses 3 academic sources to set up a clear
but unique analysis. Essay demonstrates
facility in recognizing and synthesizing main
ideas of scholarship and ability to critique or
build on past scholarship.

Sufficiently uses sources to a positive
effect. The paper shows synthesis,
criticism or expanding of main ideas of
other scholarship in many places.

Uses sources with moderate effect.
Some sources are weak or not
effective. Essay’s synthesis and
building upon sources could have
been stronger.

Does not use sources or the use of
sources detracts from the content. Essay
did not synthesize main ideas well. Essay
showed lack of critique and did not
present a clear sense of how the essay
builds on past scholarship.

Organization
Excellent organization and smooth transitions
between ideas. The organization creates a
unique but clear paper.

Clear organization with appropriate
transitions that are easy to follow.

Organization is unclear. Transitions
may be difficult to follow.

Little to no organization. Ideas are hard to
follow.

Documenting

All sources are included in the Works
Cited/References page and are in correct
format. Correct in-text documentation is
used.

Apparent effort to cite sources on
Works Cited/References page and in-
text with only a few minor mistakes.

Includes a Works Cited/References
page that lacks academic effort. In-
text citations may be missing or
inadequate.

Does not include a Works
Cited/References page. In-text citations
are sloppy or lacking.

Grammar,
Punctuation, and
Spelling

Advanced grammar and mechanics, except
when irregularities are used for special
effects.

Surface errors are minimal and do not
detract from meaning and readability.

Surface errors do not alter the
intended meaning. Some sentences
may be awkward.

Frequent surface errors detract from the
meaning and readability. Essay may not
have been proofread.

Conclusion
Conclusion is engaging and provides a
satisfying sense of closure.

Conclusion is effective and provides a
partial sense of closure.

Conclusion provides a minimal sense
of closure.

Conclusion is underdeveloped and does
not provide a sense of closure.

Extra note: This assignment aligns with your GE AREA D2 requirement. It aligns with the following outcome: Discuss the influence of major social, cultural,
economic, and political forces on human behavior and institutions. This assignment will be submitted into your GE eportfolio.

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