Sample Thesis Statements

Here are a few example thesis statements for your final essays:

“Trans feminism is, for the most part, benefiting from the recent more nuanced representations of trans people and other gender non-conforming individuals in popular culture by raising awareness about the nature of being trans gender through personal narratives and by fostering para-social contact between the audience and the viewer, which in turn works to eliminate prejudice.”

“For the majority of society, the only exposure they have to people with autism is seen through the lens of popular culture; whether it is in the form of a supporting character in movies such as Rain Man or from news reports. While pop culture has made great strides, it still falls back on many stereotypes to portray characters with autism or uses them as a plot device. As a result, it gives an inaccurate look at what it means to be autistic which continues to hinder the awareness movement.”

“Since the beginning of the 21st century, American popular culture has influenced the international women’s rights movement in both the Middle East and Africa. Although much of this influence has positively affected the movement, there are ways, in which, it has also negatively influenced the movement.”

All of these thesis statements are specific in regards to popular culture…


Rhetorical Analysis and Final Presentations

We’ll be working on your Rhetorical Analysis Reflection in class this week. On Monday, bring in two copies of your introduction and outline of your body paragraphs. On Wednesday, bring in two copies of your completed draft.

The dates for Final Presentations are below. I tried really hard to give everyone their first or second choice, but it wasn’t always possible. If you didn’t fill out the form, you were placed on the dates that were empty.

Monday, April 11th

  1. Deanna
  2. Michael H.
  3. Giles
  4. Marquesia
  5. Oscar

Wednesday, April 13th

  1. Christopher S.
  2. Madisyn
  3. Melanie
  4. Necole
  5. Michael M
  6. Mackenzie

Monday, April 18th

  1. Michael T
  2. Kimberly
  3. Sunny
  4. Ariel
  5. Emily
  6. Telisha

Wednesday, April 20th

  1. Kristina
  2. Marcelo
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Danielle
  5. Carl
  6. Bilal

See you all on Monday 🙂

Final Presentations and Sign-up Forms

Hi Everyone,

I hope you enjoyed your spring break and you’re ready to end the rest of this semester strong. If you missed class yesterday, we went over the guidelines for your three remaining assignments. Make sure you read through each handout below:

Rhetorical Analysis Reflection due Sunday, April 3rd by 11:59 pm

Final Research Essay due Wednesday, April 27th by 11:59 pm

Final Presentation during class April 11th-20th.

If you cannot see your grade for your exploratory essay, it is not in your Dropbox folder or I sent you an email about needing to speak with you. Make sure all assignments are in your Dropbox before the end of the day on Wednesday or you will receive zeroes.

Finally, fill out the two forms below before class on Wednesday

Final Presentation Sign-Up 

Popular Culture Piece for Rhetorical Analysis


Sample Introduction

Hi Everyone,

Here’s a sample introduction for the annotated bibliography:

Trans feminism takes an intersectional approach to feminism and places high regard on the experiences of the individuals. As such there is no one face of trans feminism. Through the analysis of portrayals of diverse trans experiences in popular culture, I will attempt to show the positive strides made in the trans feminist movement due to this exposure. From being the punchline or shocking revelation (Ace Ventura’s reveal that Finkle is Einhorn) to a more nuanced characterization (Maura Pfeffermen’s transition in Trans Parent), the scope of trans representation in all forms of media has widened in recent years. It is with increased visibility of positive, more realistic representations of trans individuals in a variety of media, that will allow the majority, cis gender people, to gain familiarity with the trans experience and some level of comfort with the existence of such individuals. As we move into the Information Age, we become more and more connected to people and ideas around the world. There are no longer gate keepers for information. It is all available at your fingertips on the internet. Now those people who have felt alienated or alone in their gender dysphoria are able to connect and share with others going through similar situations. The internet is becoming the main source of information, entertainment and the most overreaching of all pop culture media. It is through all of this indirect interpersonal contact across popular media forms that understanding is facilitated through insight into the trans experience, leading to the acceptance of trans being one of many identifiers a person can have, thus furthering the trans feminist movement.

I hope this helps… Remember they’re due Friday, March 11th at 11:59 pm.

Annotated Bibliography Questions

Hi All,

I’ve received a few questions about the annotated bibliography that I’m pretty sure we went over in class, but I’m going to respond to them again here. This will save me from having to write the same email several times.

Question: Can I use sources from my first essay? 

Answer: Yes

Question: Do I have to use a book?

Answer: While I really want to see everyone stop relying so heavily on the internet, you are not required to use a book. Just know that if you are limiting your argument to only what you find online or in a journal, your argument is not going to be as successful as it could be if you use all the resources.

Question: Am I using the same topic for the entire semester?

Answer: Yes. You are stuck with the social movement that you chose and must be able to argue about the role popular culture plays in its success or destruction.

If you are still worried about the format or looking for an example rhetorical precis and summary, read this blog post

Any other questions? Leave a comment and we can discuss them here.


Annotated Bibliography Sample

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a productive library day on Wednesday. There were a few requests about the formatting of your annotations. Here is a sample from a student’s annotated bibliography about transfeminism. I’ll share the introduction for this one on Monday.

Mock, Janet. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More.

New York, NY: Atria Paperbacks, 2014. Print.


Janet Mock’s auto-biography Redefining Realness (2014) shares the authors personal story of being a trans woman, how her transition affected her, and the insight she gained from her experiences. Mock traces her self awareness from her childhood until the present, showing the evolution of self acceptance of her intersectional existence.   She details her own journey in order to inspire other trans individuals and to prove that trans people are multi faceted and more than the gender with which they identify. Her increased visibility asserts her to the status of role model and activist.

Trans feminism is rooted in the idea of intersectionality. The experiences of the individual when woven together with others creates the rich tapestry that makes up the trans experience. I will use Mock’s book as a touchstone of experiences while weaving it with the stories of those individuals in True Trans with Laura Jane Grace. Her appearance on Piers Morgan’s show and her new talk show So Popular on MSNBC continue to increase her profile. For that reason I will be further exploring Mock’s contributions to pop culture. As an activist, Mock uses every opportunity as a teachable moment by remaining true to herself and sharing that truth with the audience. It seems necessary to further explore the stories of trans women of color and the struggles for them within the feminist, LGBT, and black lives matter movements. As an answer to trans women perpetuating feminine stereotypes: “To embody ‘realness,’ rather than performing and competing ‘realness,’ enables trans women to enter spaces with a lower risk of being rebutted or questioned, policed or attacked. ‘Realness’ is a pathway to survival, and the heaviness of theses truths were a lot for a thirteen-year-old to carry, especially one still ruing to figure out who she was.” p. 116.

As you can see, the student has their MLA citation right away. It’s followed by the rhetorical precis for their first paragraph and a summary of how they want to use it in their second. You then follow it up with your next source in the same exact format. By the way, this student’s second paragraph is pretty long, but full of great content. Your precis will follow the 4 sentence structure from the handout and your summary length is up to you.

I hope that helps….


Argument Styles and Library Day

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for not emailing me this weekend! I managed to get quite a bit of writing done and will start grading your essays this week.

As a reminder, if you’re having an issue with an assignment please let me know before the deadline passes. Per the syllabus, I do not accept late work, so if we haven’t already discussed an extension prior to the deadline you will likely receive a zero for an assignment turned in after the deadline. I do understand assignments being a few minutes late, but not days late.

On Monday, we will continue to discuss the different types of argument. If you missed class last week, make sure you pick up notes from a classmate.

On Wednesday, we will have a library day instead of regular class. It is my hope that everyone will use this time to work on your annotated bibliography. This means finding actual books on your subject, so that you’re not using the internet as a crutch.

Next week’s classes will serve as catch-up days, so we’ll get back to the speeches we haven’t discussed AND start having fun with pop culture in the classroom.

In Popular Culture This Week…

Hi Everyone,

As promised, I’m going to start updating the blog with things in popular culture, as well as reference materials that might help people with their social movements. I apologize in advance if your movement isn’t covered, but if you’re struggling we can always chat during office hours and find some things together.

For the LGBTQI folks

I’m Queer No Matter Who I’m With

The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out By Religious Families 

For the Feminism/Women’s Rights Movement Folks

Ask a Feminist: A Conversation with Cathy Cohen on Black Lives Matter, Feminism, and Contemporary Activism

Beyonce’s Formation Reclaims Black America’s Narrative From The Margins

A Reading List for Beyonce’s Formation


For the Prison Industrial Complex folks

New Jim Crow 

For the Civil Rights/Black Panther/Black Lives Matter folks

Women in the Black Panthers

The Black Panthers: The Vanguard of the Revolution 

P.S. Don’t forget that Essay One is due Sunday, February 21st by 11:59 pm. Make sure you put it in your shared Dropbox folder. Do not share the file with me just put the file in your folder. When you share the file, it floods my email and then I miss the wonderful questions you ask me when I’m weeding through them.

Next Week’s Class: Peer Review and Extra Credit

Hi Everyone,

Remember we have peer review on Monday and Wednesday of next week.

For Monday, bring in at least your introductory paragraph and an outline for the rest of your paper. Be sure to bring in 3 copies.

Oh and remember if you send me pictures of your local Barnes and Noble’s Black History Month displays (adult and children’s section) you’ll receive 5 extra credit points.