Feeling overwhelmed with an academic routine and have no idea how to complete your complex Women’s & Gender Studies research paper? You are not alone. These 2 words – “research paper” – typically evoke instant fear and anxiety in almost any student.
In this article, we will guide you through the most important aspects of writing a research paper from the very beginning to the end. Besides, we’ll offer you a short list of impressive Women’s & Gender Studies research paper topics to help you get started.
Women’s & Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that views traditional academic disciplines through the lenses of gender, women, and sexual minorities. When studying this course, you have to conduct the in-depth analysis of the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and other concepts of identity. The background for this subject is varied. It relies on anthropology, sociology, religious studies, philosophy, history, and other fields of knowledge that have discussed or are discussing women and their roles in the society. That’s why assignments and their formats can vary greatly.
A research paper in Women’s and Gender Studies is actually an extended essay where you have to present your own interpretation or evaluation of an argument. It is a piece of academic writing that should be based on your original research on a specific topic and your analysis and interpretation of your research findings. It sounds rather complicated, doesn’t it? Of course, this is a rather time-consuming task that will require a lot of your efforts and hard work. But you can successfully cope with it if you follow our easy gender studies research paper tips.
Formally, a research paper consists of an introduction, the main body that may include different sections such as literature review, methods, results, discussion, and the conclusion. Sometimes, you may be required to write an abstract to give a brief overview of the content of your research paper.
When working on your research project, you will need to complete a number of steps:
Women’s & Gender Studies programs cover a large variety of topics so you might be at a loss what topic to select for writing your research paper. The best approach to it is to pick a topic that you really care about. You will have to devote many hours of your precious time for doing research, outlining, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading to ensure that your writing project meets the high standard. You will have a more satisfying experience if you work on a topic that you are interested in. Your genuine interest and passion will help you stay motivated and you are more likely to impress your audience.
A good idea is to find a topic that is comparatively new so your research can have a real value or suggest some new approaches to investigating familiar topics. Before you start working on your research project, make sure you’ll find enough material on the topic you have chosen. And if your topic is too broad, narrow it down to fit the word count of your academic paper.
For example, you are interested in the psychology of sex and gender and want to write about how a person’s feelings, thoughts, and actions are affected by sex and gender. This topic covers a lot of issues, so you can devote your research to one of the following aspects: physical and mental health, gender identity development during a lifespan, interpersonal relationships, implicit and explicit bias etc.
Still not sure which topic is worth your attention? Have a look at this short list of interesting Women’s & Gender Studies research paper topics.
Research is an important first step in working on any written project. It can help you in a number of ways:
You have to gather resource materials and start reviewing them. You should find various primary and secondary sources related to Women’s & Gender Studies. Look for them in your university library, online databases, and archives. Find articles in scientific and scholarly journals, critical books that cover women’s and gender issues and general/interdisciplinary ones, news in printed and digital media, personal letters and diaries, statistics facts, photographs, different texts written by women etc.
When reading and evaluating your sources, you have to take notes. Besides, you need to keep track of all your materials so you can cite them in your paper and build a bibliography page later. There are lots of useful websites, for example, Purdue Online Writing Lab that can help you get a good idea what information you need to gather to properly cite your references.
A good idea is to store your notes in a spreadsheet and create different columns for information necessary for your bibliography page and in-text citations. The common citation styles for Women’s & Gender Studies research papers are APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian so before you start organizing your notes, check your instructor about the preferred citation style for your references.
You have done an extensive research and have lots of great ideas. But before you start writing your first draft, you need to organize your presentation. Don’t try to skip this important step because it is critical to the success of your Women’s & Gender Studies research paper.
The first thing you should do is to create a strong thesis statement that will guide your writing. It’s a sentence that presents your main point that you’ll argue in your research paper. You have to present the subject of your paper and demonstrate your position in relation to the topic. The thesis statement will tell your readers what your project is about and will help you keep your argument focused.
Wondering how to write a successful thesis statement? Here are some tips:
For example, if the topic of your research paper is Gender and Crime, your thesis statement can be like this one:
‘Sociological evidence proves that recorded crimes have gender differences with typical male and female crimes and that most crimes are typically committed by males’.
When you have developed your thesis statement, you need to make a detailed outline for your research paper to see the overall picture. Outlining can help you create a structure for your paper and write faster while staying focused on the subject of your paper.
In this part of your research paper, you have to present the context and background for the rest of your written project. Start with a strong opening sentence to engage your readers and explain the purpose of your paper and your approaches to covering the topic. This part can also include an overview of the current state of research on your topic. End the introduction with your thesis statement. You can also provide a brief outline of your Women’s & Gender Studies research paper and clarify the key terms/definitions that you use.
The main body can be divided into sections and subsections that present main points or relevant supporting information. The number of sections can vary depending on the topic and the goals of your paper.
The main body of your research paper has to show that you use relevant secondary literature and feature comprehensible argumentation and logical structure. You should also demonstrate your contribution – compare different theories, present different approaches to the issues that you are discussing, provide a critique of secondary sources, explain the main subject with individually chosen examples. Keep in mind that you should provide information that is relevant to the comprehension of your research question.
The content of the main body will depend on your objectives – you can focus on methodological problems or the current state of research, give interpretation of the primary sources or present your own standpoint. As you provide your discussion of the issue, you should integrate your sources into it. It’s important to use references for all the literature that you use – ideas, data, and quotations.
If your research paper in Women’s & Gender Studies has a complex argument, you may need to summarize the key points, observations, and interpretations to your readers. Explain the conclusions that you have reached in the process of doing a research and writing a paper. In this part, you can also explain the significance of your findings and move to a more general level of consideration. A good idea is to speak about the strengths and limitations of your work.
Be creative and don’t repeat word for word what you have already stated in the discussion or introduction. You can also suggest some issues for further research to stimulate further thinking and to leave your readers with a feeling that reading your research paper was worth doing.
No one can create a perfect first draft, so make sure you leave enough time for revising, rewriting, and editing. This process requires much time and work because it’s more than just fixing grammar or typos and adding punctuation marks. You will need to check the overall organization of the text, paragraphs, sentences, and documentation: the logical flow and coherence of your paper sections, the sequence of ideas in every paragraph and transitions between them, word choices, spelling, and the consistent use of a specific citation style.
That’s it. It may only look that the research process is complicated. Our academic writers believe that once you get into the topic and start dive into it, the process immediately becomes intriguing and fascinating. Enjoy the journey.