Dr. Patrick Ryan

Paper Instructions

Format and Style: All papers must be typed, double-spaced.  Please utilize footnotes using the Chicago/Turabian or MLA style.  You can access guidelines for Chicago/Turabian footnotes here.  In terms of page formatting, MLA style is preferred. 

I strongly encourage students to study writing and to read an essay writing guide; a free version of the classic Strunk & White, The Elements of Style is available online.  You should also review (below) the abbreviations I use to mark your papers.  They highlight common errors.

Paper 1 Due - Oct. 18 (40%) submit to OWL:  Drawing upon the readings and lectures to date write a 4 page paper doing the following:

Pick any disciplinary or confessional technique commonly experienced by children, and (1) explain how it helps produce a cycle of self-examination and self-presentation and (2) its significance for power-knowledge relations between the generations.



Paper 2 Due - Dec. 8 (60%) submit to OWL:  Write a 6-page paper drawing upon the assigned readings in the course, lectures, and add 2 scholarly articles of your own choosing to respond to one of the following prompts.

Option A: Identify a specific example of the biopolitical management of populations through the medicalization of childhood. Use the intellectual tools within governmentality studies to analyze its significance for power relations and the production of subjects.

Option B: Can (why or why not) one differentiate between participatory programs and counseling techniques with youth which are forms of pastoral power, discipline, or confession (etc), and those that pursue individual freedom, authenticity, and the the voice of the child? Does (why or why not) this distinction matter?

Alternative wording for Option B: 
In what ways do Foucauldian Analytics (or governmentality studies) challenge or complicate (encouarge you to rethink) the common pursuit of childhood studies to uncover or free the 'voice' of the child?


Suggestions for Articles that would be appropriate for Option B:

Michael Gallagher, "Foucault, Power, and Participation," International Journal of Children's Rights 16(2008) 395-406.

Eve Mayes, "Student Voice in an Age of 'Security'?" Critical Studies in Education vol. 61, no. 3, (2020): 380-397.

Sara Bragg, "'Student Voice' and Governmentality: The Production of Enterprising Subject?" Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education vol. 28 no. 3 (2007): 343-358.



Essay Comment Abbreviations:


SP = spelling error

WC = a questionable word choice; meaning obscure

WW = wrong word

GR = major grammatical problems with the sentences

RD = Redundancy needs to be removed

AWK = awkward sentence structure or phrase


LFW = Logic Flow Weak - links between sentences are unclear or weak - point obscured

TR = transitional sentences needed to link paragraphs or sentences

Image result for paragraph icon = new paragraph, or better paragraph organization, needed

No Block = shorten quotation or remove block quotation

Space = what are these extra spaces or margins doing here?

Arrows indicate the position or area of the text where the comment applies


Q or QU = the question you are supposed to be answering; usually refers to a departure from it

EV = evidence needed to support point

CITE = citation needed for evidence

NO = you have made a significant factual error

? or Huh = what do you mean?; don't get what you're saying

EXG = you have exaggerated the facts or you need to qualify this point

|| or check mark = good point

     ! = excellent point

Evaluation Chart



Handling the Question


Meaning & Analysis

Errors of fact or grammar


insightful and penetrating

nuanced and delicate

fulsome & convincing throughout

brilliant, creative, or ingenious

free of errors; gracefully written


clear and concise, well developed

complete command of the issue or assignment

relevant throughout

excellent logical flow, completely persuasive 

crisply written


clear and complete 

basic understanding of the issue or assignment

all major points supported

only minor weaknesses in logical flow or interpretation

clearly written with no major blunders

D & F

not entirely comprehensible, or failing to deal with issue

lacks basic understanding of the issue or assignment

lacks evidence for major parts of the thesis

major misinterpretations, shallow or illogical claims

Blunders or incoherence