Midterm Essay


These questions and instructions are also posted as a word doc: In the link above/ on Canvas under Assignments: Midterm Essay/ In the announcement made on 10/28.
Choose any ONE question to answer among the options provided. You will be writing ONE essay.
YOU NEED TO PICK. Do not answer all the questions and then have us pick the ones you scored best on.
For essay-writing tips, please see the link posted on the course syllabus as well as under Modules: Syllabus.
Please make sure your essays are not merely descriptive, but also analytical.

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3 double-spaced pages (note the modification from the original syllabus).
Please stick to the page limit.
Submission Deadline

Due on Canvas by Sunday, Nov 8, 11:59 p.m.
Grace Period: You may submit up until Monday, Nov 9, 5 p.m.
Please note: Professor Ramachandran will not be able to respond to emails on Monday, Nov. 9 + will not have office hours that day. If you have trouble submitting your paper on Canvas or any related issues that day, please email your TA, Shannon Bae: [email protected]
Policy on Submission Deadline

No late papers, please. We will be working around the clock to try and grade the papers within two weeks, as explained in the introductory lecture.
If you do not turn your essay in by the grace period, the late submission policy will start to apply, with the exception of truly extenuating circumstances cleared beforehand.
2 points will be taken off per day your paper is late.
Sources you are expected to use

At least one of the assigned course reading for the topic/s related to the question.
You may use more than one reading. For most of the questions, one reading is the minimum. For Q. 4, read carefully: you need to reference readings from BOTH Oct 26 and Oct 28.
Note: TED talks and other videos are not readings and should be used in addition to readings, not in place of them.
Discussion Board posts for that week.
You don’t need to reference all of the discussion board posts. Please do not summarize the discussion board! Pick one or two or pick out common themes or points you agree/disagree with or that made you think about some aspect of the topic, and explain how and why.
Please read the prompts provided for each question carefully.
Optional: You may additionally use current events, or a specific case to illustrate your paper, but make sure you weave them into the issues and debates examined in class for that topic.
References and Citation

Please make sure to name all authors and videos you reference within the text of your essay, with dates of publication.
You will lose points under “Use of Course Material” for not doing so.
Include a Works Cited/Bibliography section at the end of your essay.
You will lose points under “Use of Course Material” for not doing so.
On Canvas under Modules: Syllabus, there is a ppt on how to do APA citations.
Optional: Please take a look at it if you do not know how to do in-text citations and bibliographies.

How to cite class lectures:
In the text of your essay, indicate that you are citing the lecture. E.g. “In her lecture on October 19, Professor Ramachandran mentioned….”
In the Works Cited at the end, list: Ramachandran, Vibhuti. Global Trafficking Fall 2020, (Date) Lecture.
How to cite a discussion board post:
In the text of your essay, indicate whose post you are referencing. e.g. “In the discussion board for the sex trafficking topic, David mentioned….” Or “Professor Ramachandran clarified…”
In the Works Cited at the end, list: Global Trafficking Fall 2020, Week (X) Canvas Discussion Board.
Submission Instructions

The assignment has been set up on Canvas as Midterm Essay.
Please upload your essays under this assignment category.
Formats for uploads: doc, docx, or pdf.
If you encounter any technical difficulties with your submission:
Please let us know by or before the deadline.
If you are unable to submit via Canvas, please make sure to email your essays (save the document as your name-midterm essay) to your TA, Shannon. If you do so by or before the grace period, you won’t lose any points.
Grading Information

Your essay is worth 25 points and constitutes half of the 50% of your grade in the class that is assessed through essays, as indicated on the syllabus.
Grading CRITERIA: Each of these criteria is worth 5 points.

Answered the Question?
Quality of Analysis
Quality of Writing
Use of Course Material–Reading
Use of Course Material–Lecture
More details are provided after the Questions.
Any evidence of plagiarism places the entire essay into C or a lower grade, depending on the extent of plagiarism exhibited. For details, please see the statement on Academic Integrity on your course syllabus. We will be using Turnitin while grading your papers.
Is it possible to get feedback on drafts of essays?

Your TA Shannon has office hours by appointment the week before midterm and final essays are due. Any students who want feedback on drafts may contact her. But you need to have an actual draft emailed to her at least two days prior to the appointment.
Please read Shannon’s announcement on our Canvas page under “Announcements.”
Shannon’s email: [email protected]

Essay Questions (Pick any ONE)

Week 1: Why is it important to understand the distinctions as well as overlaps between human trafficking and smuggling along a spectrum of migration? Place your analysis in the context of anti-trafficking laws and restrictive immigration policies. Use examples from the lecture and/or reading to illustrate your essay.

Draw upon the lectures + the assigned reading for the week + the discussion board for that week in your essay.
Week 2: In what ways is the “slavery” framework used to draw attention to human trafficking? What are its limitations in understanding human trafficking and developing responses to it today? How does framing labor exploitation in terms of worker rights provide a different approach?

Draw upon the TED talks by both Bales and Thrupkaew + lectures + the assigned reading for the week + the discussion board for that week in your essay.
Week 3: What are the debates between the neo-abolitionist anti-trafficking perspective on the one hand, and the non-abolitionist sex worker rights position on the other hand? Which of these positions has dominating anti-trafficking law and policy in the U.S., and how? Use the example of EITHER the DMSC sex worker rights collective OR Backpage.com to illustrate the complexity of the issue beyond the debates.

Draw upon either of the examples as covered in lecture (including related videos) + lectures + the assigned reading for the week + the discussion board for that week in your essay.
Week 4: Explain the biases, assumptions and stereotypes prevalent in investigative humanitarian journalism about sex trafficking in the Global South. Provide examples that reflect the problems with this form of representation. Why are rescues an appealing solution to sex trafficking? What are the problems with rescue as a solution, and in what ways do representations like Kristof’s not recognize or acknowledge them?

Draw upon Kristof’s reports + lectures (including related videos) + the assigned reading for the week (not Kristof – one of the academic authors) + the discussion board for that week in your essay.
Don’t forget about the “rescue” part of the question. Draw upon Oct 28’s lecture + the assigned reading + discussion board entries discussing rescues.
For this question, you will be required to use at least one reading each from BOTH Monday and Wednesday lectures.

Grading Rubric for Midterm and Final Essays


A+ 98 –100

B+ 88 – 89

C+ 78 – 79

D+ 68 – 69

F 0 – 59

A 92 – 97

B 82 – 87

C 72 – 77

D 62 – 67


A- 90 – 91

B- 80 – 81

C- 70 – 71

D- 60 – 61



Converted to points out of 25:

A+ 24.5-25

A 23-24.25

A- 22.5-22.75

B+ 22-22.25

B 20.5-21.75

B- 20-20.25

C+ 19.5-19.75

C 18-19.25

C- 17.5-17.75

D+ 17-17.25

D 15.5-16.75

D- 15-15.25

F 0-14.75


Grading Rubric

The rubric below is merely a guide. All possible scenarios that come up during grading cannot be covered or anticipated, some essays may be strong in some areas and weak in others, and grading is always in comparison to the rest of the class.

Each essay will be worth 25 points.
Each criteria in the rubric is worth 5 points.
Any evidence of plagiarism places the entire essay into C or a lower grade, depending on the extent of plagiarism exhibited.


















Meets all of the criteria for an “A” post exceptionally well.

Meets all of these criteria

Overall a good post, with some combination of the following flaws:


Demonstrate a greater extent of the flaws listed under A-posts and/ or other flaws listed specifically under this category.


Demonstrate a greater extent of the flaws listed under B+ posts and/or other flaws listed specifically under this category.




Demonstrate a greater extent of the flaws listed under B posts and/or other flaws listed specifically under this category.






Answered the Question?




Effectively answered the question.

Mostly answered the question, with 1-2 missing elements, inadequacies, inconsistences, errors, etc.



Partially answered the question, with more than 2 missing elements, inadequacies, inconsistences, errors, etc.





Missed out on three important components of the instructions.

Some components were inadequately addressed.



Missed out on more than three important components of the instructions. Some components were inadequately addressed.




Quality of Analysis


Original – no evident plagiarism, no reliance upon generic internet sources.


Makes strong and effective contrasts and connections.


Uses illustrative examples.






Strong analysis

Analysis is headed in the right direction, but is somewhat lacking.


Inadequate and/or partially incorrect analysis.

Weak and/or significantly incorrect analysis

Analysis is minimal at best.


Quality of Writing


Clearly written and explained.






Clearly written and explained.


Some lack of clarity in writing/ explanation.

Substantial lack of clarity in writing/ explanation.

Considerable lack of clarity in writing/ explanation.

Complete lack of clarity in writing/ explanation, “all over the place.”


Use of Course Material – Reading


Demonstrates that the student actually did the reading(at least the main author/s from the assigned topic as indicated on the syllabus).




Actually draws upon/ asks questions about the reading, rather than merely the explanation provided during lecture. Use of arguments and/or examples, quotes etc. from the reading is correct, effective, and integrated with the analysis.

Draws upon the reading, but could have made better use of it – lacks sufficient


or elaboration. Uses the reading somewhat incorrectly.

Draws minimally from the reading. Draws upon parts of it that are not relevant to what was covered in lecture. Uses the reading very incorrectly.

It is evident that the student cites authors only from the lecture slides, not from the reading.

Student does not refer to the main author/s for the assigned topic as indicated on the syllabus.


Use of Course Material – Lecture



Demonstrates that the student has paid attention during lecture and understood the main points that were highlighted



Explains issues and debates + uses authors, videos etc. correctly as explained in lecture.

Explains issues and debates + uses authors and videos as explained in lecture, with some inconsistencies and/ or inaccuracies.

Uses ideas and concepts from lecture but uses them incorrectly or to make the opposite argument to what was explained in lecture.

Uses ideas and concepts from course material, but the entire framework is substantially different from the explanations in lecture.

Essay indicates that the student has barely paid attention during lecture or failed to review the lecture slides.


“C+” category essays:

In addition to the flaws of the “B” category essays:

Did not address most of the required components of the essay.
General treatment of the topic without any connection to class.
Demonstrate substantially incorrect or flawed understanding of topic.

“C” category essays:

Demonstrate any combination of the flaws of “C+” essays, +
Demonstrate completely incorrect or flawed understanding of topic.
Addressed at the most 1 component of the essay, which is somewhat clearly written.

“C-“category essays:

In addition to the problems with “C” essays:

Poorly Written.
About 1/4th of the essay is copy-pasted from wikipedia or other forms of plagiarism.

“D” category essays:

Any combination of the following problems:

Made some sort of vague point about the topic but completely lacking in any connection to the class.
Did not address any of the components of the assignment.
Half or more of the essay is copy-pasted from wikipedia or exhibits other forms of plagiarism.
“F” category essays:

No submission.
Only copy/pasted or only used wikipedia or exhibits other forms of plagiarism.

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