Assignment 3: Research Paper—Evaluating Strategies of Change drop box

Hint: Think about this assignment before you begin working through Unit 3.


This assignment requires you to write a 2000-word research paper that explores a particular topic or issue that is of concern to women, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people, and/or gender-nonconforming/transgender people and evaluates potential strategies for improving their working lives.

Follow these steps to prepare your paper:

Begin by choosing a topic that you would like to explore in greater depth, such as sexual harassment; employment rights; LGB, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people in the workplace; pay equity and the wage gap; sensitivity training, women at the top, and solidarity; self-employment; child-care policy; women and unions; or greater recognition for women’s unpaid work. You should consult with your tutor about other suitable topics for this assignment.

Next, identify potential sources of information on your topic. You will need to obtain suitable books, articles, and other resource materials. Be sure to look for resources that will help you document concrete, up-to-date strategies that women, LGB people, and/or gender-nonconforming/transgender people may be working on. Useful resources might be obtained from local organizations that are working on the issue, such as various women’s, human rights and workers’ rights groups, or unions. They may be able to provide you with written materials, policy papers, or even someone you could speak with. Regional, national, and international organizations offer relevant resources on their websites, which may also include links to other online resources and organizations. Local, provincial, and federal government offices can also provide information on specific policies and programs and, in some cases, position papers on specific issues.

Use the following questions as guidelines in researching and writing your paper:

What is the general issue you are addressing, and why is it important? What is the current state of the problem? What strategies, if any, have been pursued to date in dealing with it?

Through your reading of the course material, what major insights, theories, and concepts emerge with respect to this issue?

Through your research on this topic or issue, what relevant resources and/or organizations did you identify? What type of work have these organizations done on this issue? How much interest and attention is it receiving? What strategy or strategies are individuals, organizations, or governments pursuing to improve the situation? Describe what is involved in each of these strategies.

Based on your reading and research, how would you evaluate the strategy or strategies that you have described? What are their respective strengths and weaknesses? In your view, do they promise to improve the working lives of women? If not, what other options should be pursued?

Once you have considered these questions, develop your thesis statement. What is the main argument that your paper will be making regarding your topic?

Your paper needs to reference and discuss five of the key concepts from the course in relation to your chosen topic.

Acknowledge all sources through proper APA-style referencing techniques, and include a reference list or bibliography.

Be sure to contact your tutor if you have any difficulty with this assignment.

See the “Resources: General, Research, and Writing” page at the bottom of the course home page for writing assistance and resources.

When you have completed your research paper, ensure that you make or keep a copy for your records. Upload your assignment to the assignment drop box and submit it to your tutor for marking. If for some reason you are unable to do this, contact your tutor about using regular mail.

Your graded assignment will be returned to you via the drop box. When you receive it, review the comments made and, if necessary, contact your tutor to discuss the results.

Grading Rubric for Research Paper


Note: The grade scale for the “Depth of critical analysis” and “Integration of five key course concepts” criteria are different than for the previous assignments.



Grade Scale


Tutor Comments


Thesis statement and main arguments




Strong and critical thesis statement; the thesis statement governs the development and organization of the paper and all supporting arguments.




Thesis statement is clearly identified and well supported by main arguments.




Establishes sense of purpose, either explicitly or implicitly; thesis supported by most of the main arguments.




Thesis statement is implicitly discernable but not clearly stated; main arguments are not clearly identified and/or do not support thesis statement.




Lacking a thesis statement; no clear point or purpose; no central argument to the paper.


Quality of writing: clarity, organization, grammar, and spelling




Paper clear and well organized; no grammatical/spelling issues.




Paper clear and organized; few grammatical/spelling issues.




Paper generally clear and organized; several grammatical/spelling issues.




Paper unclear and disorganized in many points; several grammatical/spelling issues.




Paper unclear, disorganized, and many grammatical/spelling issues.


Depth of critical analysis




Information and arguments provided with critical analysis—questioned and challenged using theories and ideas from course and own experience/knowledge.




Writing clearly demonstrates that the student read and understood the text fully and used own experience/knowledge; however, the critique is underdeveloped, one-sided, or biased.




Shows a basic understanding and ability to engage the substance of the text; goes beyond repetition or summary of the text.




Repeats or summarizes source text without analyzing or critiquing; shows only spotty understanding of issues; very limited analysis.




Does not connect well to the source text; lacks basic understanding of the issue or assignment; little or no analysis.


Integration of five key course concepts




Five key concepts well defined and well used in support of essay arguments; concepts thoughtfully applied and critically analyzed.




Five key concepts well defined and well used in support of essay arguments.




Five key concepts identified; definitions provided; several connections to essay arguments.




Two to four key concepts mentioned; no definitions provided; no connections to essay arguments made.




One or no key concepts mentioned.


Depth of research

Sources to include:

—Course Study Guide

—Course readings

—Course interviews

—Student research




Thoughtful use of course sources and well-chosen resources from source text, demonstrating a profound understanding of the text and its arguments.




Course sources and sources based on own research appropriately used to support arguments; very good use of source text, showing an in-depth understanding of its argument and relevance.




Course sources and sources based on own research used; mostly good use of source text, showing a general understanding of its argument and relevance.




Only course sources used; little support for argument, or misuse of source text (misunderstanding source text, using text in ways that are not relevant to argument).




Few or no sources used; no support for argument, misuse of source text (misunderstanding source text, using text in ways that are not relevant to argument).


APA style: in-text and bibliography




All sources (information) are accurately documented in the desired format in-text and in bibliography.




Most sources (information) are accurately documented in the desired format in-text and in bibliography.




Most sources (information) are accurately documented, but many are not in the desired format in-text and in bibliography.




Many sources (information) are not accurately documented in-text or in bibliography.




Most/all sources (information) are not accurately documented in-text or in bibliography.

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