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Entire History of Race and Gender in the United States Covered in 4-5 Page Final Paper

Lauren types her paper the night before it's due.

Lauren E. Parsons ’19 reportedly summed up the entire history of race and gender in the United States in a 4-5 page final paper for her USW class on Monday. Even though she banged out her essay in a night, Parsons apparently managed to contextualize slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, female suffrage, women’s roles in World War II, the Civil Rights era, all three waves of feminist thought, police brutality, and the 2016 election in just under 2,000 words.

“The prompt called for an essay tackling an issue of race or gender,” Parsons explained after turning in her essay. “So I was like, what if I tackle all the issues?”

She opened her paper with an anecdote about race in the Revolutionary War and ended it with an examination of the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton. In her thesis statement, Parsons wrote that race and gender have been “historically intertwined” since America’s founding over two centuries ago. “Hey, I’m not wrong,” she told Satire V. 

Parsons did considerable research to be able to analyze the complicated ebb and flow of race- and gender-related tensions in American history: She read a couple Wikipedia articles, and she used the control-F key to find sentences containing the word “problematic” in assigned readings she had not read.

Parsons’ TF, Elliot T. Smith ’07, was impressed by her submission. “Lauren wrote a solid three-and-a-half pages, plus a conclusion that just barely runs onto the fourth page, so she'll get an A,” Smith said. “We reserve A minuses for the two-pagers.” 

At press time, Parsons had started working on her final project for her WGS class, for which she is summarizing the complete trajectory of LGBTQ activism through an imaginative short story.

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