• Androgeny (also androgynous, bi-gendered, nogendered): A person who identifies as both or neither of
the two culturally defined genders, or a person who
expresses merged culturally/stereotypically feminine and
masculine characteristics or neutral characteristics.
• Anti-Semitism: Hostility toward, or prejudice or
discrimination against Jews or Judaism.
• Assigned (Biological) Sex: A social construct referring
to the state of being intersex, female, or male. A concept
that relies on the dichotomous division of various genitive,
biological, chromosomal, hormonal and physiological
differences in human.
• Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or
sexually attracted to both men and women. Some people avoid
this term because of its implications that there are only two
sexes/genders to be sexually attracted to and this reinforces the
binary gender system.
• Cross-Dresser: Someone who enjoys wearing clothing typically
assigned to a gender that the individual has not been socialized
as, or does not identify as. Cross-dressers are of all sexual
orientations and do not necessarily identify as transgender.
“Cross-dresser” is frequently used today in place of the term
“transvestite.” This activity seems more obvious when men as
opposed to women engage in it publicly, because of an inequity
in societal norms concerning attire and other components of
• Cultural Humility: A lifelong commitment to self-evaluation
and critique, to redressing the power imbalances in the
[interpersonal relationship] dynamic[s], and to developing
mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic partnerships with
communities on behalf of individuals and defined populations.
• FtM (F2M)/MtF (M2F): Generally, abbreviations used to refer
to specific members of the trans community. FtM stands for
female-to-male, as in moving from a female pole of the
spectrum to the male. MtF stands for male-to-female and refers
to moving from the male pole of the spectrum tot eh female.
FtM is sometimes, not always, synonymous with transman.
Conversely, someone who identifies as MtF, may identify as a
Introduction: Directed Summary
Transition to Thesis Statement
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Body Paragraph 3
Body Paragraph 4
Body Paragraph 5
Body Paragraph 6
• A directed summary provides readers of your
paper with the information they need to
understand your argument and explanation.
• State the title and author of the literary work
near the beginning of the first paragraph,
perhaps in the first sentence. This is essential
so that the reader knows which work you are
• Hook the reader. In the first sentences, write what
is particularly interesting about the work. This
thought-provoking information must also be
relevant to the topic you will discuss in your
• Assume that the reader is familiar with the work
about which you are writing. Do not include too
much plot summary in the introduction or in the
rest of the essay. Do include the part of the story
that will support your thesis.
• Use transitions throughout the introduction. Because
there are so many aspects of the work that have to be
included, the introduction can end up fragmented
and confusing. Make sure that it makes sense on its
own as a paragraph. Clearly transition from your
introduction into your thesis.
• State the thesis near the end of the introduction
(your introduction might be more than one
paragraph). The thesis should clearly state what the
essay will analyze and should be very specific.
Transition from Introduction to
the Thesis Statement:
• In Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg describes the
development of protagonist, Jess Goldberg, through a
series of moments of resistance to a society that cannot,
or will not accept hir. This book shows that social
pressure, oppression, and violence act not only as
forces of conformity, but also as powerful sources of
agency; they can inspire people to challenge injustice in
pursuit of liberty.
Try writing your introduction
1. Title and author
2. Hook the reader with a thought-provoking
aspect of the story, one that connects to
3. Assuming the reader is familiar with the
text, include a brief summary that provides
support for your paper.
4. Use transitions to keep the introduction clear
5. Transition to the thesis.
6. Include your thesis near the end of the
• When you write an academic essay, you make an argument: you
propose a thesis and offer some reasoning, using evidence, that
suggests why the thesis is true. When you counterargue, you
consider a possible argument against your thesis or some aspect of
your reasoning. This is a good way to test your ideas when drafting,
while you still have time to revise them. And in the finished essay, it
can be a persuasive and disarming tactic. It allows you to anticipate
doubts and pre-empt objections that a skeptical reader might have; it
presents you as the kind of person who weighs alternatives before
arguing for one, who confronts difficulties instead of sweeping them
under the rug, who is more interested in discovering the truth than
winning a point.
• Not every objection is worth entertaining, of course, and you
shouldn't include one just to include one. But some imagining of
other views, or of resistance to one's own, occurs in most good
The Turn Against
A counterargument in an essay has two stages: you turn against your argument to
challenge it and then you turn back to re-affirm it. You first imagine a skeptical
reader, or cite an actual source, who might resist your argument by pointing out a
problem with your demonstration:
that a different conclusion could be drawn from the same facts, a key
assumption is unwarranted, a key term is used unfairly, certain evidence is
ignored or played down
one or more disadvantages or practical drawbacks to what you propose
an alternative explanation or proposal that makes more sense.
You introduce this turn against with a phrase like one of these
Some might object here that
It might seem that
It is true that
The Turn Back
Your return to your own argument—which you announce with a
but, yet, however, nevertheless or still—must likewise involve
careful reasoning, not a flippant (or nervous) dismissal. In
reasoning about the proposed counterargument, you may do one
of the following:
1. Refute it, showing why it is mistaken—an apparent but not real
2. Acknowledge its validity or plausibility, but suggest why on balance
it's relatively less important or less likely than what you propose,
and thus doesn't overturn it;
3. Concede its force and complicate your idea accordingly—restate
your thesis in a more exact, qualified, or nuanced way that takes
account of the objection, or start a new section in which you
consider your topic in light of it.
Where to Put a Counterargument
A counterargument can appear anywhere in the essay. Try it in several places
and see where it fits best:
1. as part of your introduction—before you propose your thesis—where the existence
of a different view is the motive for your essay, the reason it needs writing.
2. as a section or paragraph just after your introduction, in which you lay out the
expected reaction or standard position before turning away to develop your own.
3. as a quick move within a paragraph, where you imagine a counterargument not to
your main idea but to the sub-idea that the paragraph is arguing or is about to
4. as a section or paragraph just before the conclusion of your essay, in which you
imagine what someone might object to what you have argued.
But watch that you do not overdo it. A turn into counterargument here and
there will sharpen and energize your essay, but too many such turns will have
the reverse effect by obscuring your main idea or suggesting that you are
Thesis: This book shows that social pressure, oppression, and
violence do not act only as forces of conformity, but also as
powerful sources of agency; they can inspire people to challenge
injustice in pursuit of liberty.
Of course, there are times when social pressure, oppression, and
violence push people to conform, but these examples generally fall into
one of three main categories: One, people bow to social pressure,
oppression, and violence when they do not have a significant reason to
resist; two, people bow to social pressure, oppression, and violence when
the consequences are life threatening; and three, people bow to social
pressure, oppression, and violence until they can strategize their
resistance. This final response is the one that Feinberg illustrates through
Do you need a counterargument?
1. Is there an obvious argument against your thesis?
2. Is there a different conclusion could be drawn from the
3. Do you make a key assumption with which others might
4. Do you use a term that someone else might define a
5. Do you ignore certain evidence that others might believe
you need to address?
6. Is there an alternative explanation or proposal that some
might more readily believe?
Strategies for Writing a Conclusion
Conclusions are often the most difficult part of an essay
to write, and many writers feel that they have nothing
left to say after having written the paper. A writer needs
to keep in mind that the conclusion is often what a
reader remembers best. Your conclusion should be the
best part of your paper.
A conclusion should
• stress the importance of the thesis statement,
• give the essay a sense of completeness, and
• leave a final impression on the reader.
Create a new meaning
Demonstrating how your ideas work together can
create a new picture. Often the sum of the paper
is worth more than its parts.
Stone Butch Blues shows that social
pressures, oppression, and violence are
appropriate ways neither to create harmony
nor to manage cultural diversity
Answer the question "So What?”
Show your readers why this paper was
Stone Butch Blues provides knowledge
that can liberate those people who suffer
social oppression by both providing
models of, and encouraging, successful
Propose a course of action
Redirect your reader's thought process and help him or
her to apply your info and ideas to her own life or to
see the broader implications.
Finally, Stone Butch Blues inspires people to
challenge injustice in pursuit of liberty for all
Let’s try writing a couple of conclusions
1. Answer the question "So What?”: Show your readers why this
paper was important.
2. Synthesize information: Show how the points you made and
the support and examples you used fit together.
3. Challenge the reader: Help readers redirect the information in
the paper, so they may apply it to their own lives.
4. Create a new meaning: demonstrating how your ideas work
together can create a new picture. Often the sum of the paper
is worth more than its parts.
5. Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or
questions for further study: Redirect your reader's thought
process and help him or her to apply your info and ideas to her
own life or to see the broader implications.
6. Echo the introduction: If you begin by describing a scenario,
you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay
was helpful in creating a new understanding.
Henry David Hwang
• David Henry Hwang was born on August 11, 1957
in Los Angeles, California.
• His parents immigrated from China
• He went to Stanford University
• As an undergraduate, he wrote his first play FOB,
which explores the contrast in attitudes between
recently arrived Chinese immigrants and two
Chinese-American students who have long since
• He went to graduate school at Yale, where he
continued to write successful plays.
Hwang returned to the stage with M. Butterfly, one of the
most celebrated of recent American plays, and the first by
an Asian-American to win universal acclaim.
It was first produced in 1988 and won numerous awards,
including the Tony Award for Best Play of the Year, the
New York Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle
Award for Best Broadway play, and the John Gassner
Award for the season's outstanding new playwright.
M. Butterfly enjoyed a popular run on Broadway and
when it moved to London's Shaftsbury Theatre in 1989 it
broke all box office records in the first week.
Reading: M Butterfly
Finish in-class writing:
Post #20: Post your
Bring three complete
copies of your draft to our