1)First, if you...
Whether you are referring to Elizabeth Mann Borghese's My Own Utopia, or your own idea of what an utopia should constitute, there are some basic ways to approach your essay. Please remember that the structure of your essay will depend upon your own thesis statement.
1)First, if you are referring to Borghese's feminist utopia, state whether you agree with the idea of a society based on a gender-fluid construct. If, on the other hand, you have your own idea of an utopia, state what this is in your thesis statement. Will it be an utopia based on certain economic or social values? For instance, will capitalism, socialism, or anarchism rule your utopia? Are you more interested in Thomas More's idea of an utopian society or Machiavelli's idea of utopia that is encapsulated in his work The Prince?
So, the first step is to decide on a thesis statement. This will guide the rest of your essay. Remember that, for a feminist utopia (or any other utopia), you will still need to decide how it is to be run and what it will look like. You may like some things in a feminist utopia while disliking others. It's worth exploring your thoughts in this area in your essay.
2)After deciding on a thesis statement, summarize the story of Borghese's utopia (if that is the background you are using) or summarize the story of some other kind of utopia you have in mind. This section is important, as you will later wish to argue for why this particular utopia will contribute to a better world or why such an utopia is an ideal societal construct. Since this is a 5000 word essay, you have plenty of room to introduce your readers to your ideal world.
On the other hand, if you haven't decided what sort of utopia you like, here's a link which provides the names of works which discuss socialist utopias, eco-utopias, feminist utopias, etc. If you wish to discuss a capitalistic utopia, you might want to try Machiavelli's The Prince.
Lists of Utopian and Dystopian Fiction
3)After your summary on the background of the kind of utopia you deem most attractive, you may wish to delve into the reasons why.
a)What is government like in your utopia? Who will rule, and who will be subject to the laws in your idealized world? Will there be a monarch or will it be government by democracy? Will your rulers be chosen based on talent/ ability, racial and gender quotas, or both?
b)Will anyone own private property? Or will your idealized society practice communal responsibility as illustrated in Thomas More's Utopia? Again, if you have chosen to discuss Elizabeth Mann Borghese's feminist utopia, state whether she (and you) support the ownership of private property or not. Also, in Thomas More's society, everyone labored for the good of all; even the leaders. Most utopians in Thomas More's society also labored no less than six hours a day. Men and women were allowed to work in any and all areas which contributed to the good of the society they lived in. In other words, are there benefits to capitalism and to socialism?
c)Religion: will your utopia be based on religious tolerance? If so, why is this important? In your readings, can you state examples of why and when intolerance has led to problems? For example, Sir Thomas More was actually executed for treason because he refused to bow to King Henry VIII's demands to be recognized as the head of the new church of England.
d)How will your utopia be protected? Will there be conscription of young men and women for military duties? In Machiavelli's The Prince, conquest is the key to strength and peace. For this purpose, Machiavelli advises the use of domestic troops rather than mercenary troops, which he regarded as temperamental and untrustworthy due to their shifting allegiances. On the other hand, Thomas More's society is predicated on the desire to do away with war and conquests. The leaders in More's utopia favor bribery of the citizens of an enemy country to murder their own warring leaders. In Thomas More's society, the use of mercenaries is the last resort when all intellectual maneuvers fail.
e)Marriage: how will your ideal society recognize relationships? Will there be heterosexual and homosexual unions? Will there be laws defining when citizens are allowed to marry, as in Thomas More's Utopia? For example, women are allowed to marry at eighteen, and men at twenty-two in Thomas More's idealized world. Furthermore, divorce is not allowed unless there is physical abuse or adultery in play. Think about how you will structure your own utopia if you could, whether it is based on Borghese's feminist utopia or any other utopia you admire.
f)How will your society handle criminals? Will they be put to death (as in Machiavelli's The Prince) or will they be enslaved ( as in Thomas More's Utopia)? Which method is better in dealing with criminals?
g)How will your utopian society enjoy leisure activities? Or will leisure activities be allowed? Will leisure activities be simple and domestic in focus as in Thomas More's world? Or will you leave it up to your citizens to decide how they will spend their free time?
h)About death and sickness: how will the citizens in an idealized utopia be cared for? Will there be universal or private health care? Who will pay for either? Will those who suffer debilitating and chronic illness with no hope of a cure be permitted or advised to submit to euthanasia as in Thomas More's Utopia?
i)You can explore how your utopia compares favorably against any one of a number of dystopias described in literature (or even history). Examples of dystopian literature and movies include The Hunger Games, V for Vendetta, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, The Matrix, to name a few.
j)Remember to conclude with a reiteration and support of your earlier thesis statement, perhaps even expanding on your ideas. For example, state how your idea of an utopian society would fit into today's world, with its many challenges (climate change and terrorism, to name two examples).