Response Paper Instructions
Included in this document:
· Summary of instructions
· Specific instructions (PLEASE READ)
· Reference guide
Summary of Instructions:
You will be required to submit three response papers. You will choose a theorist, theory, and/or perspective of particular interest to you from each of the general class themes: Classics, Expanding the Foundation, and Broadening Social Theory (bolded in the course schedule). You will write a three page, approx. 900-950 word response (double space, Times New Roman 12pt font) per theme.
It would greatly help to focus your reflection if you choose a specific concept within a theorist’s body of work. At times, you may need to discuss multiple concepts to fully explicate your chosen concept. For instance, it is fine (and potentially necessary) to discuss exploitation and objectification if you choose “alienation” as your primary concept. Therefore, you should not try to cover every topic under the theme, and at times you may not even need to cover an entire reading. Instead, you should focus your paper enough to go in-depth into your topic of choice.
Specific instructions (please read thoroughly):
First, choose one topic to focus on in your response paper. This topic must have been introduced within the respective theme. DO NOT try and cover too many subjects, or too many readings. Instead, you may choose one or two concepts to focus on, so you can go into greater detail. You MUST show your understanding of the concepts by discussing them in your own words, synthesizing class concepts to make your own argument/point.
1) In the first half of your assignment (approximately 1 ½ pages), discuss the concept(s) you are focusing on in the paper, including the definitions and a comprehensive explanation, or a “critical summary.” This explanation can include the importance, usefulness, or strengths of the concept(s). This should be in your own words. You will not receive full credit if you simply change a few words from the textbook. You will receive no credit if you copy the text, especially if you do not cite it (page numbers in parentheses at the end of sentences that include information from the text). Even when in your own words, include the source. This helps me to grade your work and to help you get in the practice of citing your work.
You should only use the textbook as your source for information on the class concepts, and include page numbers whenever you are including information you learned from the text. Here, you should introduce all (and only) concepts that you will then apply in the second half of the paper.
2) In the second half (approximately 1 ½ pages), you will need to apply your topic of choice (what you covered in the first half) to a current event. In this application, you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses (a critique) of the topic of choice.
The purpose of this section is to show that you not only understand the definitions, but can apply the concepts and use them in different contexts (i.e. how alienation can apply to a current organizational setting). Because of this, you cannot only rely on personal opinions and/or experiences here – you will not receive full credit.
You must cite at least one outside source – generally, this should be news article (online is accepted, of course). In this, always keep in mind if there may be a bias to the source (an article from “World Class Travelers” may have a different perspective than “Parents in Support of Staying at Home”). Feel free to discuss this perspective in your paper and/or draw from multiple sources.
All sociological material should only be from class. If you do not understand a concept, contact me.
These papers should be written independently (not in collaboration with other students).
You must include: (1) parenthetical citations and (2) a list of references. I use ASA style (American Sociological Association), so the citation style guides I include reflect that. However, you may use the style you are most comfortable with. I will only deduct points if I cannot find your source because the references are not thorough enough.
Parenthetical citations (in the paper itself):
Parenthetical citations go at the end of a sentence, with the period after the parenthesis.
Textbook: (Last name of author, pg. 5) *Remember – you need to include the name of the author who wrote the reading, not the editors.
Class notes: (Norman Notes, Chapter 3)
Other sources: (Last name of author YEAR of publication) For example: (Norman 2012). If you cannot find the author of a website (for example), then use the organization name as the last name (DSU 2012).
Reference List examples (American Sociological Association styles – feel free to use MLA or any other citation style you are comfortable with):
Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory: Text and Readings (2016). Authored by Scott Appelrouth and Laura Desfor Edles. 3rd edition. Pine Forge Press.
American Sociological Association 2006. “Status Committees.” Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved December 12, 2006 (http://www.asanet.org/cs/root/leftnav/committees/committees).
Leonard, Andrew. 2005. “Embracing the Dark Side of the Brand.” Salon, May 18. Retrieved May 22, 2005 (http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2005/05/18/star_wars_lego/index_np.html).
Swartz, Mimi. 2002. “An Enron Yard Sale.” New Yorker, May 2002, pp. 50-52.
Mapes, Lynda V. 2005. “Unearthing Tse-whit-zen.” Seattle Times, May 25. Retrieved August 1, 2005 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/local/klallam/index.html).
Lewin, Tamar. 2005. “SAT Essay Scores are in, but will they be used?” The New York Times, May 15, p. A22.
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