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Objectives: The objective of this assignment is to demonstrate a critical understanding of ONE of the topics or thematic area covered in the course and to further develop your research skills. The paper provides an opportunity for showcasing your critical writing and analytical skills in engaging any issues or themes related to race and development. The paper may be on any topic related to the course. [THE THEMATIC AREA I WANT FOCUSED ON THIS ESSAY IS GENDER AND THE RACIAL POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT]

Basic requirements: 10 – 12 (no more than 12) double-spaced pages (approx. 2500 – 3000 words) excluding the title page; should be typed, doubled-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point fonts, 1-inch margin; title page and works cited page.

Guidelines: Write an academic research essay using a minimum of 5 academic sources. You may use both course material and outside sources. PLEASE USE FOUR COURSE READINGS ATTACHED AND 1 OUTSIDE RESEARCH SOURCE


Themes: You may choose themes related to any of the areas we have discussed in the class, or any topic broadly related to race and development. But be sure to narrow the focus of your essay to a specific domain.

Thesis help:


For citation and referencing please use only APA or Chicago Manual of Style for all written work (see the links below for a quick guide):

Also, you may want to consider consulting reference books on research and writing.

An example is:

Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese, Making Sense: A Student’s

Guide to Research and Writing: Social Sciences, 4th ed. (Toronto: Oxford University

Press, 2009)

Important notes:

Before you start the essay, please refer to both its description in the course outline and the guide on written assignment outlined in the course outline. Follow those rules in formatting your essay. In addition, your essay should be a well-written, well-organised, focused, coherent, and well-defined reflection.

*Do not over-quote – a quotation is not a substitute for your own analysis. I would recommend a maximum of four quotes, no longer than three lines each (if your quote is longer than four lines, you must treat it as an extended quote that is indented, etc.).


The success of this assignment will be highly dependent upon your research practices.

Do not simply “google” articles as they are most often not academic sources, but popular internet articles, or articles from “think-tanks” that are not peer reviewed.

Use at least three readings in the syllabus.

I would encourage you to, as far as possible, avoid popular websites except is used and cited to illustrate a point.

I would recommend that you first organize your ideas into an outline before writing your essay, be very attentive to stating very clearly what your essay is about in the introduction. Be sure to proofread your essay for errors of spelling and grammar before submitting. You are also encouraged to use subtitles to organize your different arguments. Please review and follow the “Elements of Effective Social Science Writing” included below.

Elements of Effective Social Science Writing

  1. Good writing is clear and precise. When you write sentences that can be interpreted in many different ways you demonstrate that you are thinking in a vague way. Write so that you make clear and precise what you mean.
  2. Social Science focused thinking is grounded in the use of supporting arguments/evidence. When you do not use specific examples to make your points clear, you demonstrate that you do not know how to clarify your thought as a social scientist. Give relevant examples and illustrations that are focused on the argument you are making.
  3. Good social science focused thinking is logical. When you do not make clear with appropriate transitional words and critical vocabulary the logical relations between the sentences and paragraphs you write you reveal that you do not fully understand the structure of your own reasoning. Make clear the logical relations between the sentences and paragraphs that you write.
  4.  Social science thinking is analytic. When you fail to employ key concepts and to demonstrate their logic you show that you are weak at conceptual analysis. Use key disciplinary concepts in your written work wherever appropriate.
  5. Good social science thinking does not jump to conclusions. Your position is weakened when you make sweeping judgments about a position you have not sufficiently analysed. Show in your writing that you have considered a variety of reasonable ways of looking at the issue.

The Evaluation of your essay will be based on the following criteria:

  • Critical grasp/understanding of the topic
  • Organizational and analytical clarity
  • Familiarity with the material and relevant literature
  • Style of presentation, coherence of arguments, and conciseness of expression.
  • Citation and grammatical rules