Option 2: Wal-Mart stores are now being sued for gender-based discrimination in hiring practices, promotions, and pay. Students are shown a chart from a recent newspaper article comparing the salaries of men and women at Wal-Mart in different occupational categories along with the percentage of each job category that is male or female. Students discuss whether they believe this chart is evidence of gender-based discrimination. (If they do not, they are asked what type of evidence they would need to see to be convinced that a company was practicing illegal discrimination against women.) This discussion often leads to many students suggesting that the women at Wal-Mart just weren't working as hard or were not as smart as the male employees. This is used to launch into an exploration of research-based findings about gender differences and careers along with myths about working women.
Take care in selecting your thesis. This is really a type of persuasive essay, but you don't want to be stuck either just repeating someone else's opinion, or citing all the same sources. Try to come up with an original thesis or take an aspect of someone's thesis and develop it. You can also take a thesis and "transplant" it into different circumstances. For example, use tools of modern economics to argue about the role of medieval guilds in the development of early European settlements. Or take a study done on children in France and try to show it is/isn't applicable to elderly Florida residents. An original thesis is the best start you can make to get a high grade in a research essay.