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The Essay Three writing project requires you to a write an definition essay in which you provide the meaning of the the term stereotype threat by making use of the things that are listed directly below:

1. Ideas expressed by social psychologist Claude Steele. Such ideas can come from the

Hidden Brain

interview or any of the articles by Steele that are listed on the web page where the

Hidden Brain

interview can be accessed (go


to access that web page).

2. Ideas about crime, punishment, or justice — or ideas having to do with any combination of the themes of crimes, punishment, or justice. Ideas about these themes can be represented by personal experience (yours or someone else’s) or by anything else that is relevant.

3. Elements found in the young adult novel

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight.

Such elements can include actions, setting, characters, scenes, dialogue, symbolism, themes, phrases, or any combination of these elements and more.

Your completed essay will therefore be layered with content that relates to items 1, 2, and 3. How and where you include this content within the body of your essay is up to you; even so, your paper should be organized logically. Can your essay have other layers? The answer is yes. In fact, your definition essay can include historically, socially, or culturally relevant content that goes beyond what you are required to include in your essay, such as, perhaps, something that comes from the B-CU panel discussion featuring Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal.

What is the purpose of a definition essay? A definition essay is what it sounds like: it is a paper designed to give a definition in an elaborated form. That said, it is an extended definition of a term that uses the structure of an essay to provide meaning, so it has an introduction, body, and conclusion just like other essays do.

Now let’s consider what a thesis statement might look like for the Essay Three assignment. What follows are two examples for your consideration.

Thesis Statement for Paper A: The thought patterns of the black and white female protagonists in the novel

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

represent at times the definition of the concept known as stereotype threat.

Thesis Statement for Paper B: In this paper, I will show that while one way to provide the meaning of stereotype threat is to use Claude Steele’s definition, there are scenes from the novel

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

and situations from my own life that also provide other ways to convey the meaning of this term.

The student writing Paper A could develop a paper that is akin to a psychoanalysis of Lena and Campbell. Paper A could therefore examine how the novel depicts what’s going on in the two characters’ heads in order to show how the internal workings of the two characters’ minds illustrate the concept of stereotype threat as articulated by Claude Steele. Paper A would also touch on crime, punishment, or justice, depending on whichever one of these three themes is relevant.

The student writing Paper B could compare what Claude Steele says stereotype threat is to the student’s own unique definition of the term. In so doing, the student writing Paper B could match Steele’s definition to a version of the definition created by the student that makes use of specific scenes from the novel and specific situations from the student writer’s own life. Paper B would also touch on crime, punishment, or justice, depending on whichever one of these three themes is relevant.

You should try to come up with your own original thesis statement. (Go


for a video tutorial on how to write a definition essay)

Regardless of what your paper’s thesis is, your definition essay must also include:

*At least 1800 words of double-spaced content that is written in a 12-point, Times New Roman font.

*In-text citations from the novel

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight


*At least one in-text citation that is specifically about or specifically from Claude Steele’s work focusing on stereotype threat. This in-text citation can either come from the

Hidden Brain

interview or one of the articles by Steele listed on the web page containing the audio interview.

*A thesis or position statement in the first paragraph of your essay. Your paper’s first paragraph should be an overview or map for the entire paper itself.

*Proper paragraphing. Every paragraph should therefore have a topic sentence and other sentences that provide supporting details.

^A conclusion paragraph or area that leaves the reader with a point to ponder.

*A separate Works Cited page that is in addition to the 1,800 essay that you are required to submit.

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