A woman's hands typing on a laptop with books, a phone and a cup of coffee on the table beside her Juliette Leufke

Paper I

Your first formal paper will be an extension of the short analysis assignment you completed earlier in the term. Now that you've practiced writing about language, structure and form in detail, you'll expand the scope of your analysis. Whereas in the short analysis you made an argument about a small section of an essay, in Paper I you will make an argument about the way an essay works in its entirety.

Writing your paper in 6 easy steps

Pick an essay

Choose an essay from The Geek Feminist Revolution to analyze. Pick an essay that you find interesting or engaging and that challenges you in some way. Your goal in this paper is to show your reader something new or interesting about the way the essay works, so you want to be sure to select an essay that you see as in need of further examination.

You can certainly choose the essay you wrote about for your short analysis, but you should not feel compelled to write about the same essay. The most important thing is that the essay you choose be one that interests you and that has features you think need further examination.

Analyze the essay

Use the questions in the analysis exercise to guide your initial analysis. Make sure to take lots of notes as you go through the steps, and to return to any steps that seem particularly important.

Draft a thesis

Look back at your notes. How do all the elements of this essay work together, and to what effect? What does this essay accomplish, and how does it accomplish that effect? Why is it important that we better understand the way this essay works?

Draft a thesis statement that combines the answers to these questions into one or two sentences.

Plan your paper

At this point, you’ll want to think carefully about how best to structure your paper. Questions you should consider include:

Aim to let the needs of your particular argument guide the organization of your paper.

Write your paper

Use your notes and your conclusions about the best structure for your argument to guide you as you get your ideas all out onto the page.

Look back at the beginning and the end

You probably had a thesis in mind when you started writing, but once you’ve drafted your paper, take some time and re-visit that thesis. Is your initial thesis actually what you ended up writing about? Often, your argument changes—sometimes substantially—as you work through your analysis. If that’s the case, re-write your thesis to reflect your new argument. Use your conclusion to remind your reader why your argument is important: that is, how does your thesis help your reader better understand the scene.

Evaluation and submission instructions

Who your paper should address

Your audience for this paper should be a hypothetical classmate who has attended class and done the reading, but has not been overly studious or attentive. This classmate will definitely notice if you make an obvious claim, but there is also room to teach her something new about the readings and concepts from class. Your classmate does not need full, detailed summaries of the readings, because she has already read them, but she does need concise reminders to help locate herself in the text and to remind her of what the important points were.

What your paper should do

Peer review and submission instructions

Your paper should be submitted for peer review by class time on Monday, 1/22. You should upload your paper to the "Paper I Peer Review" folder in the class Box folder. After class on Monday, you will follow the peer review instructions to review your classmates' papers. We will discuss peer revew feedback in class on Wednesday, 1/24.

After our peer-review session, you should revise your paper according to your classmates' feedback and upload it to the "Paper I" folder on Sakai by class time on Friday, 1/26.


Paper I is worth 15 points. Two of those points are allocated to peer review, one for submitting a completed draft by the appointed time, and another for providing feedback on your classmates' papers. The final paper will be graded on the 13-point scale; for more details on that scale, consult the grading scale.


While you may continue to revise your paper throughout the term, your initial revision must be submitted to me by Friday, 2/9 in order to be eligible for further revision. This policy is both to help you keep up with the many writing dates, and to help me comment on and return papers to you in a timely fashion.