This research paper will be a topic of your choice and reflect your additional research on any of the themes or concepts we have discussed in class. You may also write on topics that we have not covered in class, but are related to the sociology of sex and gender. You will write a (minimum) 7 page research paper. I will provide you with a grading rubric on Blackboard. I expect you to turn in an electronic copy on Blackboard.

Research Paper Expectations

Materials: You must cite at least 10 sources. I encourage, but do not require you, to use one source from class materials if applicable. Outside articles may be from popular press and/or peer reviewed journals, OR the name or pseudonym of an interviewee. The *majority* of your sources (e.g., 6 out of 10) MUST be from peer-reviewed journal articles or texts. Regardless of source, they must be properly cited. (Please consult ASA guidelines for citation). Using these sources you will build a paper using one of the following options (see below).

Option 1. Classic Research Paper (Vanilla Frozen Yogurt). Ask a research question. For instance, “What are some of the negative mental health outcomes of strict gender norms for men?” The more specific your research question, the clearer your paper is likely to be. In the following paragraphs use the data you have found to answer your questions.

Option 2. Opposing Perspectives Paper (Vanilla Bean Cheesecake). Ask a research question. For instance, “Is gender segregation in the workplace a good or bad thing for the economy?” Choose articles with differing perspectives. Summarize the differing arguments and conclude by telling me which argument you find more compelling and why.

Option 3. Personal Narrative + Data (Crème Brulee). Approximately half this paper must be a summary of the data available on your given topic (e.g. challenges for mothers in the workplace) and half must be your own personal narrative (e.g. the time I became a single mother and had to balance finding a job with childcare).

Option 4. Interview an Expert (Bananas Foster).Introduce your topic of interest using data sources (e.g. literature on transgender healthcare in the U.S.). Find an expert in your field of interest (e.g. physician specializing in transgender care) and ask them a series of questions about your topic (e.g. “What kinds of institutional challenges do transgender people face?”). Discuss your findings and how they do/do not relate to the literature. Ideally you will tape record and


transcribe your interview. (I believe you may check out digital voice recorders through the library: You should be able to produce interview materials upon request. You must list interview questions in an appendix.

Option 5. Create a new option! Just run it by me.

Research Paper Prospectus

In this short paper (no longer than 3 pages) you should explain what direction you plan to take in your final paper. In other words, think of this as a proposal. You should address the following in your prospectus:

• The type of paper you will write (e.g. classical research paper; opposing perspectives paper; interview an expert; etc.).

  • The specific topic or research question you want to explore.

  • The main argument or thesis you want to make.

  • How you plan to explore your topic or answer your research question.

  • How your topic matters for studying sex and gender.

  • Provide a tentative bibliography of at least 10 sources you want to use. Remember that

    AT LEAST six must come from peer reviewed journals.

Formatting and Style

  • Compose your paper in Word (.doc or .docx) – other formats will not be accepted.

  • Paper can go up to 10 pages (no longer) if you want to go beyond the 7-8 page

    requirement. Papers must also be double spaced, have 1-inch margins, 12-pt Times New Roman font, with page numbers, and no extra spacing between sections. Be sure to include a title, your name, and the date.

  • Make sure your paper has a short introduction and a short conclusion.

  • Use headings (and subheadings, if you want) to separate sections. The sections of your

    paper should flow to make one coherent paper.

  • Use topic sentences. What that means is you deliver your punchline as the first sentence

    in a paragraph. Don’t meander up to your main point and deliver it in the final sentence. Start with it. Every paragraph should include a topic sentence that identifies the main idea of the paragraph. The supporting details in the paragraph will develop, explain, or support the topic sentence.

  • If you interview someone, don’t refer to them with pet names (e.g., Grandma). They are people in their own right and don’t exist just in relation to you!

  • Use ASA-style formatting when you make references to someone else’s work (see

  • Write in first person and in narrative form (i.e. use full sentences and paragraphs). Do not use bullet points.

  • Proofread and edit to ensure your message is clearly conveyed throughout the paper. Run a spell check.

  • Do not include contractions in formal class papers (e.g., use “do not” NOT “don’t”).

  • Keep the reader in mind when you write. Your paper should be easily accessible.



The main thing I look for while grading is how well you link your research topic to course content. I will grade your final paper with the following general criteria in mind:

‘A’ paper: Thesis is well developed and clearly focused. Supporting evidence or arguments are thorough and relevant. Conflicting evidence or arguments are consistently acknowledged. Appropriate sources are cited to support statements. The paper/essay is well organized, with correct grammar and spelling. The paper/essay closely adheres to the assignment. Papers in this A range will have 20 or more links between course concepts and data/paper topic.

‘B’ paper: Thesis is well developed, but may not be as clearly focused as in the top category. Supporting evidence or arguments are less thorough and/or relevant than in the top category, but are still substantial. Conflicting evidence or arguments are usually acknowledged. Appropriate sources are cited to support statements. The paper/essay is well organized and clearly, if not elegantly, written. The paper/essay fairly closely adheres to the assignment. Papers in this B range will have 12-19 links between course concepts and data/paper topic.

‘C’ paper: Thesis is adequate, but may need further explication or definition. Supporting evidence or arguments are adequate but somewhat sketchy, or their relevance is not always made clear. Conflicting evidence or arguments are given little acknowledgment or are not dealt with successfully. Appropriate sources are not always cited. The paper/essay is adequately organized, but may contain enough structural flaws or mechanical errors to significantly distract from the content. The paper/essay does not adhere to all aspects of the assignment. Papers in this C range will have 7-11 links between course concepts and data/paper topic.

‘D’ paper: Thesis is unclear or missing. Supporting evidence or arguments are irrelevant or missing. Conflicting evidence or arguments are missing or not clearly developed. Appropriate sources are not cited. The paper/essay is not adequately organized and has many mechanical errors. The paper/essay does not adhere to the assignment. Papers in this D range will have 5 or 6 links between course concepts and data/paper topic.

‘F’ paper: No content appears or is largely incorrect in addressing the subject matter. Papers in this F range will have fewer than 5 links between course concepts and data/paper topic.

Submission Requirement

You must submit an electronic copy of the paper on Blackboard through Turnitin before the last day of class. No late papers will be accepted.

-Not too many quotes. Prefer paraphrasing.

-Need Into, Lit Review, Conclusion and Reference page

-Lit Review subheadings: Intro, “At Home”, and “workplace”

-my topic should talk about how intersectionality happens or affects at home and at the workplace

-must include terms like (homosexuality, gender, sex, homophobia, gender box, heteronormativity, doing gender, the gender feedback loop, doing gender theory, etc)

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