Writing: Gender/sexuality narrative

Using at least two and as many as you like of the readings, critically explore a personal experience of gender and/or sexuality. You can write about your family, school, work, or any other aspect of your life; you might also choose to write about a piece of media (film, TV, music, video game, celebrity interview) whose representation of gender and/or sexuality was meaningful to you. The focus of the assignment is open; so long as you are thoughtfully and reflectively drawing on the material we have read in class, you may write about anything you can think of.

The goal of this assignment is for you to move toward understanding the social field of gender and sexuality as it relates to the particular intersections with which you are personally familiar.

When I grade your narrative, here is what I will be hoping to see:

  •  A clear central focus, expressed in a title and carried throughout the essay. This doesn’t have to be a formal thesis statement, but it can be.
  • Examples that are developed and connected. Don’t just tell me about something that happened: consider why it happened the way it did, what it might mean, how it might be interpreted differently.
  • Connections to the readings that are fully explained and explored. When you quote, make sure to explain the context and meaning of the quotation in your own words. Show me why this particular reading is relevant and not just tacked-on to fulfil a requirement. If you want to include a text that we haven’t read for class, email me the citation and I’ll let you know what I think of it.
  • Writing that is clear, with full citations (in MLA or any other citation style so long as sources are clear). You need not write in a drily formal tone; aim for a style that is close to some of the first-person essays we have read in class.

I hope to enjoy reading these narratives, and so I hope that you will find a focus that lets you enjoy writing them!

Nuts and bolts:

  • Length: 1500 words (approximately 5 pages). Narratives of less than 1200 words (approximately 4 pages) will incur penalties.
  • Submit your finished assignment to the dropbox in ELMS before 5pm on Friday October 3. Email and paper submissions will not be accepted except by special agreement.
  • Essays must be in Word (.doc or .docx), RTF, or PDF format. Use Times New Roman or a similar font in 12-point, with 1-inch margins.
  • Graded assignments will be returned no more than two weeks after submission. In addition to the expectations laid out above, please see the Assessment and Expectations page for my general grading rubric.

Points/grades breakdown
49-50: A+ | 47-48: A | 45-46: A-
43-44: B+ | 42-43: B | 40-41: B-
38-39: C+ | 36-37: C | 35-36: C-
33-34: D+ | 31-32: D | 29-30: D-
28 or below: F

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