The topic of your essay will remain largely open to you. However, you must engage particular sources in support of your exploration and development. Namely, you are to quote and paraphrase from Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices, by Bates, et al. In addition, quote and paraphrase from Half the Sky, by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. Other sources should be located by way of the Montgomery College Library Website. The particular engines that I recommend are as follows: Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, Project Muse, and Sage Premier; you may also explore Opposing Viewpoints, and any other search engines that look promising to you. Alphabetically, these include CQ Researcher, Credo Reference, Encyclopedia Britannica, Ethnic Newswatch, Expanded Academic ASAP, Films on Demand, Genderwatch, Global Issues in Context, the Oxford English Dictionary, SIRS Researcher, and Women and Social Movements Scholars Edition. However, I urge you to refrain from Wikipedia and Google in general. If you want to use Wikipedia, you may; however, as they say on that site, don’t cite the source; it’s not a legitimate research source in that respect. Likewise, Google may seem sexy and slick, but it is a kind of popularity contest, too. Use the Montgomery College Library Website as a filter, so that the source you locate are reliable and informative; avoid, if you can, any dot.com resources, since they are commercial, and set up to sell things.
Take the above recommendations as well as you can, but realize that some of the agencies set up to fight oppression of women and to provide opportunities for them are perhaps dot.coms after all. Once you have explored the above resources for your topic, you may find yourself including internet sources after all. Just be savvy about determining whether or not they are reliable, legitimate, and suited to the purposes your research.
So, the hard part is this: on what will you write? One criterion is that the topic or issue should be of tremendous interest to you. What do you want to learn about issues pertaining to women and gender? Let that be a guiding criterion. Perhaps the Evaluative Criteria on the next page will be of help.
The Prospectus that you send me will help us to agree on an appropriate and effective researched essay topic.
Evaluative Criteria for the Researched Essay;
1} Introduce the topic or issue, and provide ample context and background; the operative question here is, “why should your reader know or care about the topic?”
2} Focus the topic or issue, so that your research reveals some significant point about that topic or issue. You cannot write about everything: what is your lens?
3} Use WRWC to some effect: quote, paraphrase, document.
4} Use HTS to some effect: quote, paraphrase, document.
5} Use at least three other sources, located by way of the Montgomery College Library Website: quote, paraphrase, document.
6} Introduce all sources in full, before you quote or paraphrase from them; integrate your quotations effectively, so that the flow of your researched discussion is smooth and coherent. Did I mention document? Avoid plagiarism.
7} Write in clear, correctly punctuated sentences (and ultimately, paragraphs). Let the body of your essay develop your exploration of the topic.
8} Incorporate your own personal experience and perspectives, revealing what you have learned about yourself and women’s studies; own the essay, as it were.
9} Provide a reflective conclusion, one that does not repeat any thesis that you shaped but does reinforce your controlling idea in a fresh way; let the issue resonate for you and your reader: remind us of the significance of your study.
10} Provide a Works Cited page listing your sources according to MLA documentation style and formatting.