Which model of disability BEST accounts for how disability functions in modern society?

Term Paper Assignment
The term paper is a 6-10 page summary and analysis of everything we’ve covered in class this semester. As this is a true “term paper,” the assigned readings, lecture notes, etc., are sufficient; do not use outside sources. (No extra credit will be given for use of outside sources).


Respond to the following question:

Which model of disability BEST accounts for how disability functions in modern society?

To answer this question, you must first describe the four models we cover in class:

— holistic (the ancient/medieval world)

— mechanical (Renaissance / Early Modern)

— medical (Industrial Revolution)

— bureaucratic (post-WWII)

[note: these are rough dates, to indicate the era most associated with each. As you recall from class, there are elements of all of them in all eras].

You must also show their development, e.g. how each one arose to address issues not covered by the others, and any issues still outstanding. This should comprise 50-75% of your essay.

Next, craft your argument. You are free to choose any of the four models, OR develop one of your own — e.g. “a combination of holistic and mechanical models best describes how disability works today.” To do this, you must

— describe the issues your “model” addresses

— AND explain why none of the other models adequately addresses them

— AND describe potential downsides to your model.

As this is a persuasive essay, be sure to define your terms — it is NOT sufficient to state e.g. “my model is more inclusive;” you must define what you mean by “inclusive” AND why it is a goal to be preferred despite the downsides described in the previous section. This is the remaining 25-50% of your essay.

A well-crafted essay will build towards this conclusion throughout.


Page length: 6-10. N.b. 6 pages is the minimum required to adequately cover a topic of this size.

Format: Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, standard 1″ margins throughout. Cover page etc. are not necessary and will not count towards overall page length.

Citations/bibliography: Quotations from class readings should be cited, in the format of your choice. It is NOT necessary to cite lectures, class notes, powerpoint presentations, etc. Include a works cited page, in the format of your choice, at the end of the paper (the works cited page does not count towards the page length).

File format: Files should be uploaded to the dropbox in MS Word or compatible format.

GRADING: See the paper rubric below for details. As this is a college course, spelling, grammar, etc. count, so please proofread your papers. Papers with more than FIVE such mistakes will lose 20 points, i.e. one full letter grade.