Essay writing has been one of the key skills used by critical social commentators. It is the medium that offers you the opportunity to fully engage with and communicate your critical thinking on important social issues. Throughout history, skilled essayists have been among the most important agents of social change. They are able to combine literary skills with research skills to produce written texts that can create sufficient social and political ruptures to enable progressive social change. For example, the writings of Gore Vidal have influenced the peace movement, James Baldwin’s writing influenced the black civil right movement, Simone de Beauvoir influenced the women’s movement and so on. So, be inspired by the prospect of writing an essay, don’t be daunted by it.
Once you become skilled at essay writing it can become a means for you to find your ‘academic voice’ – a style of argument that both conforms to the conventions of academic practice but also has a unique quality that reflects your disposition, your life experiences and your particular way of seeing the world. The convention that you will follow will be to: cite evidence to support your arguments; provide citations and references to the literature from where that evidence comes; structure your essay with an introduction, main text body and conclusion (no abstract required); and, to identify and defend against the counter arguments and counter claims that are made in relation to your own arguments and claims.
Your voice comes through with the way you express your ideas. The more you stay away from citing too many long quotes and the less you paraphrase the work of others, the more space you will have to hone your skills and develop your own writing style.
For this assignment you will be given an essay title and a choice of four essay topics: Disability, Indigeneity, Mental Illness or Sexuality. The length of the assessment must not exceed 1200 words.
Text should be word-processed and follow APA style for layout.
Use Arial font and double spacing.
You must include a reference section at the end of the assessment. Referencing and citations should be in APA format.