Overview: For this project, you’re asked to write a short essay about two of the texts that are assigned for
the first half of class. This assignment asks you to examine 2 writings, and you should explain how the 2
writings show (or speak to) 1 of the 3 topics below. Your paper shouldn’t try to address all topics, nor all
the pieces. An important thing to remember is – a good writer will strive for specificity. Essays that try to
cover too many issues will wander aimlessly. It’s best to select examples that relate to one another.
A strong essay will showcase several examples, such as 45
quotations, and then show how those
examples relate to your thesis (or main point). Yes, you should aim to make a point (or take a stance on
the material). Likewise, your essay should respond to these questions – What are the class concepts that
relate to your discussion, and how can these concepts be applied in your essay? In other words, please
make connections between the topics from class and your own understandings of the material. This paper
is meant to help you to practice your critical thinking skills, and this activity should help you to prepare
for the upcoming assignments. We’ll discuss how you can use this paper’s ideas in the future too.
Here are the three options for the short essay assignment –
1. Relations of Gender and Sexuality – In several ways, the writings from the first 2 weeks suggest that
gender is connected to sexuality (such as queer experience). Now you’re asked to focus on this relation,
and you should explain how this relation is shown in 2 of our class’s writings. In your study, you should
respond to these questions – In what ways do the writings connect gender to sexuality? What is thoughtprovoking
or noteworthy about these connections? How do examples from our class relate to your focus?
2. Histories of Queer Life and Thought – A few of our writings from the first 2 weeks offer some history
about the ways that queer people have lived and thought. Now you’re asked to explain how these queer
histories are told (or shown) within the writing. In your writeup,
you should respond to these questions How
do the writings show a history (or histories) of queer life and thought? How are these queer histories
different from the usual history you learn? Why do these unique qualities deserve further consideration?
3. Connecting Identity and Performance – Some of the writings from the first 2 weeks show how identity
can be related to performance in various ways. Now you’re asked to think critically about how the writers
connect identity and performance. In your short essay, you should answer these questions – How do the
writings create connections between identity and performance? How is identity seen (or understood) by
these writers? Why might these writers see identity as being important in discussions of performance?
Guidelines and rubric: Essays should be 3 to 4 pages in length, doublespaced,
typed, and use 1inch
margins. Remember to include your name, the course number, the date and a specific title. Please number
your pages in the header or footer. Please also note: the professor will be assessing the following elements
in your writing – the clarity of ideas and expression, citations, critical thinking, organization, thesis
development, use of class concepts and evidence such as the quotations from the class’s materials.