Beauty assignment #4: Research Paper

For your final essay you may choose your own topic and your own work of visual art, literature, film, etc. in order to directly address one of our “beauty problems” (i.e. some unstated belief and/or assumptions about beauty), and devise a thesis on how this problem affects how people live and think. Aside from your chosen work and any of the previous class readings, you will be required to incorporate and discuss at least three additional sources into your argument.

Audience: Members of the class

Format: 2000 words (5-6 pages); MLA style

Advice: This is your major research assignment for the semester, so please be sure to put aside plenty of time to work on each step in the process. You should begin by identifying that “beauty problem” we have discussed this semester that most interests you. Next, you should identify those sources we have read this semester that explicitly deal with this problem. Outline the ways in which each source treats the issue. You will then want to find three additional sources to draw on and outline their treatment of the issue as well.


Type: Develop an analytical argument using original research that includes both primary and secondary sources.

Pre-Draft Activities:

  1. Group work identifying the major “beauty problems”
  2. Class and peer workshops on the problem the student has chosen—places they make take their paper, etc.
  3. Paper proposals with feedback from instructor.
  4. Five-minute presentations for one of the outside sources the student will draw on.
  5. Paragraphs about each of their texts and sources and feedback from instructor (informal annotated bibliography).
  6. Outline with feedback from instructor
  7. Peer Review
  8. Rough draft with feedback from instructor.
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