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Gender Roles: SOC 443/543 / WGST 405/505 / PSYC 405/505 / CRJ 443/543

Research Guide for Gender Roles course

Writing Your Critical Analyses

Your Critical Analysis paper requires academic, upper-level writing and should be formatted as a research paper. Everything in your critical analysis should point back to the Critical Topic Analysis Topic and Questions


1. Introduction: summarizes what you will write and puts it into context

  • Start the introduction with background that contextualizes the paper's main topic
  • End the introduction with a thesis statement, which outlines the main points of the paper and how you will address them

2. Body: presents the main points of the paper, with each paragraph representing one aspect of the paper's main focus. Prioritize and organize your main points and paragraphs to logically build your arguments to a compelling conclusion. Each paragraph should include a topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and a transition sentence:

  • The topic sentence summarizes the paragraph's main idea
  • Use evidence from your course materials to support or make the argument for your analysis of your experiences and anecdotal evidence
  • Analyze your evidence to show how it makes you think about the paper's main topic
  • Include a transition sentence at the end of each paragraph to connect what you discussed in that paragraph with the main idea of the next paragraph

3. Conclusion: summarizes what you wrote and what you learned

  • Restate your paper's main topic in different words
  • Briefly summarize your main points or arguments and pull them together into conclusions about the paper's main topic and questions
  • End with a strong, final statement that ties the whole critical analysis together and makes it clear the paper has come to an end
  • No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion, it should only review and analyze the main points from the body of the paper (with the exception of suggestions for further research)
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