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ENG 450 Research Writing - Mendelman

Guide to Research Writing 

This guide brings together many of the sources that will help you complete your assignments and ultimately the major paper you will turn in at the end of the semester.  It's good to remember that the research process is iterative. The topic you start with might not be the focus of the paper you write. Along the way, the research you conduct, and the information you uncover, may lead to new questions, or take you in a direction you did not initially expect. 

Course Concepts -- American Mental Health

American Mental Health as a topic forms the focus for Prof. Mendelman's sections of ENG 450 - Research Writing. Her syllabus notes the following:

What does it mean to be psychologically healthy? How have notions of normal consciousness and aberrant mental states changed over the past century? How do these distinctions intersect with constructions of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity across the same time period? This seminar will consider evolving concepts of cognition, wellness, and pathology in twentieth- and twenty-first-century America. These years have seen tremendous change in the science as well as popular understandings of mental health. We will think about each of these conceptual fields, and about the frequent discord that exists both within and across different frameworks of normality and disorder.

**The entries below, from Credo Reference, explore concepts to spark your thinking as you consider ideas and begin to develop your research focus. 


The Body  in Difference and Belonging from Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Concepts

In some ways, attempting to define the body seems ludicrous. After all, we all have bodies; or at least, we all are bodies – they are more than just possessions (Nast and Pile 1998, 1). Surely, therefore, we all know what the body is. Yet philosophers from the Ancient Greeks to the postmodernists have been preoccupied with attempting to understand and define the body. Over the centuries, and in different places, there has been little agreement about the meaning of the body, or even what the body is.


Gender Identity  From Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology

Gender identity is commonly defined as an individual’s sense of being a male or a female. For many, gender identities are aligned with physical sex characteristics including hormones, chromosomes, genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics, as well as with sex assignment and gender roles. For others, gender identities do not match one or more sex or gender traits. Several variations on this concept of gender identity exist. For example, the social identity perspective defines gender identity as the degree of awareness and acceptance of one’s own gender category. Alternatively, symbolic interactionists consider gender identities as self-concepts based on fulfillment of gender roles.