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SOC 350: Theories Guiding Sociology (Spring 2021)

Dr. Jackie Burnside

Essay 3

SOC 350:  Theories Guiding Sociology                                                                           Spring, 2021

Dr. J. Burnside                    

3rd Essay (20%)

Educating Oneself about ______:

Theories Guiding Application, Analysis & Synthesis

“The only person who is educated

is the one who has learned how to learn …and change.”

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't,

you're right."

"I have learned over the years

that when one's mind is made up,

 this diminishes fear."

Select a topic that is unfamiliar to you and about which you want to educate yourself.

These are our two key student learning objectives (SLO):

  • to become informed using multiple (5) theoretical perspectives
  • to develop an understanding about aspects that surpass one’s previous knowledge

In addition to your writing a description and explanation of key aspects about your topic (noting micro, meso & macro levels), your discussion will involve the application, analysis, and synthesis of a variety of sociological concepts.   Aspects of your analysis may identify shortcomings that do not fit the expectations, or assumptions, laid out in the theories.  If so, you have an opportunity to emphasize comparative points of strength and/or shortcomings evident in each theory you apply. 

            Being successful on this mid-length essay will depend on crafting a working thesis that allows you to convey your major points, using a library research strategy to locate relevant resources (including primary sources, e.g. interviews, speeches), structuring the paper by thinking and discussing ideas at each step, and using peer reviews for the writing process.  In addition to the instructor and your classmates, you have our Sociology’s Reference librarian Mrs. Amanda Peach and the Writing Resources Center for assistance and feedback.


Writing Process:

Length: 1100 - 1550 word count not counting works cited list, typed 12-inch font Times Roman,

1.5 line spacing with proper citations (in-text and works cited list), no cover page expected.

March 11th:   Read through and understand the assignment, then select a workable topic.

March 15th: meet at 8:00-8:45 AM in Frost Classroom; then meet at 9:00-9:50 AM, Hutchins Library

Workshop in Reference Area.  At our class’s end, submit a typed version of your topic w/rationale, working thesis with a preliminary outline, and a working bibliography (7-9 sources) including our A&E text.  This will count as an In-Class writing assignment.

March 16-20th:  Continue to gather resources and do critical reading to evaluate sources based on your thesis.

March 18th:  Discuss your Work-In-Progress by focusing on content ideas; Develop structure and draft paper

with in-text citations.  An In-Class writing prompt will enable use of your topic’s content.

March 21st:  Polish and put the paper in final form with proof-reading strategies; edit for style, grammar, and

punctuation.  Double-check the grading rubric to see if all requirements are met.

March 22nd:   Final paper due at class time

March 25thOral Presentation, about 15 minutes + five minutes Q & A) with PowerPoint slides.




Grading Rubric:

SOC 350:  Theories Guiding Sociology                                                   Name ____________________

Dr. Burnside                         Third Essay (@ 20%)                                              Due: March 22, 2021

Feedback:  Educating Oneself about ______:

Feedback Scale:  Very Good (A, A-); Good (B+, B, B-); Fair, mostly satisfactory (C+, C, C-);

Unsatisfactory (D+, D, D-), Failing (F)

_____________  Attention catching title and interesting introduction

_____________  Descriptive details about your key aspects.

____________  Provides evidence of  micro, meso and/or macro level approaches to information

____________   Relevant points provided in explanations of theories selected.

­­­­­­­­­­­­____________ Sufficient amount of theoretical concepts are applied drawn from five of six major

theoretical perspectives (e.g. Functionalist, Conflict, Symbolic Interactionist,

Feminist, Social Exchange/Rational Choice, and Postmodern).

____________   Clarity and organization of key elements is accomplished.

____________ Synthesis is supported by noticing patterns or trends, drawing inferences and

conclusions that follow logically and coherently from the information discussed.

__________              Good Grammar, adequate (1100-1550) word count, typed and 1.5 line-spaced,

with appropriate citations for seven (7) to nine (9) sources, including our A & E


___________           Evidence of Peer Review and Library Research Strategy (e.g.  use of video

 research module).

___________ Grade and Comment: _________________________________________

Learning Styles