Paper 2

Our second major paper (1750-2500 words) asks you to take up some aspect of your identity by studying how academics and scholars have taken up this topic. Your paper should incorporate at least three sources from your research and should thus include APA in-text citations and a References page. In terms of the main goals of the paper, we want to reach a better understanding of how scholars have studied this aspect of identity, and we want to put their thinking into conversation with our broader social thinking about this aspect of identity. The main substance of your paper will come from analyzing each of your three main sources following the prompts from the Academic Analysis, and you are welcome to draw on that work here. In addition to those analysis prompts from the Public Analysis, you should also address the following:

  • How would you compare these sources in terms of their understanding of and approach to this aspect of identity? How are they similar or different in terms of their methods and types of evidence? In terms of how they use sources and citations? How do they help us understand this aspect of identity in different ways?
  • Along these lines, how would you compare these sources in terms of disciplinarity? How do they take different approaches to the topic based on the authors’ academic fields and the disciplinary conventions and expectations that go along with them? Do we get a sense for how different disciplines approach this topic in different ways?
  • How does this scholarly conversation compare to broader social conversations about the topic? How do academics look at this topic in different ways than the general public or mainstream media? How does the academic conversation help us look at things in a new or different way? Does it challenge any assumptions or stereotypes in our society? For this question, you can draw on work you did for Paper 1, or you can use your own understanding of the broader social thinking about this topic.

Through your work, you should arrive at a larger argument, conclusion, or insight about this aspect of identity and the conversation around it. Your argument should be supported by and emerge out of your analysis and comparison of the sources, and it should add to our thinking about the conversation, helping us see things in a new way. In terms of organization and formatting, your work should follow the expectations for an APA paper (see The Little Seagull Handbook for more information):

  • Your paper should start with a title page (p. 204).
  • The second page of your paper should be an abstract page (p. 205).
  • The body of your paper should be organized into different sections: an introduction, a section analyzing the first source, a section analyzing the second source, a section analyzing the third source, a section comparing your academic sources and putting them into conversation with one another (see the first two prompts above), and a conclusion that considers this academic conversation in the context of our broader social thinking about this topic (see the third prompt above).
  • At the end of your paper, you should include a References page with full APA citations for all sources cited in your paper (p. 207).