*Note: underlined words and phrases are embedded with links for easy access*
For this assignment, you select and analyze one (1) social issue, make a minimum of three (3) connections between your social issue and our course (i.e. concepts, processes, theories), cite & outline one (1) original research article about your chosen social issue, then segue into a self-reflection about your chosen social issue. This will be double-spaced, in MLA or APA format including proper in-text citations and works’ cited.
This paper is due Monday, February 13th 2023 by 11:59pm. It is worth 55 points.
Extensions will only be granted if I’m notified by Wednesday, February 8th by 11:59pm of the emergency that prevents timely submission. All other assignments submitted beyond the original deadline are subject to our course grading policy (which is outlined in our Syllabus, linked here for your convenience).
This will be a 100-word-minimum summary of your chosen social issue. You must include why you chose to focus on your chosen social issue and why this social issue is a significant problem in contemporary society.
Questions to consider when writing your introduction: “What information does a reader need to understand this social issue? and Why does knowing more about this social issue matter?”
YOUR SOCIAL ISSUE
In general, think about what interests you most, what excites you about sociology, where you think we have the most urgent need for reform. Start with your interests and narrow down topics from there, which makes writing a paper much less horrible (I promise!) because you’ll write about your interests.
Below, I outline an example of a social issue and where to find corresponding information from our textbook. And please review our assignments for preparation we’ve already done!
TOPIC AND LINK
Environmental crises – chapter 20
Once you’ve selected your social issue, then please address the following:
Briefly outline important definitions, statistics, consequences, even specific locations or languages associated with your chosen social issue. Support your statements with references to resources, from our textbook to external statistical data. Any references must be properly cited, from direct quotes to indirect references.
CONNECTING THE SOCIAL ISSUE TO OUR COURSE
Once you’ve selected a social issue, consider how this can be connected to a minimum of three (3) specific course concepts, theories, and/or processes. Below, I outline examples so you can see how to make constructive connections between your social issue and sociological coursework.
SOCIOLOGICAL COURSE CONNECTION
Theory: conflict theory
Process: feminization of poverty
Once you’ve selected your course connections, then please address the following:
Briefly define each concept, theory, and/or process. Please use our textbook, with proper citations, as evidence to support your choices.
Connect each course concept, theory, and/or process to your chosen social issue, outlining how each element of our course helps us comprehend and analyze your social issue
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES
The purpose of annotating, or summarizing, original existing research is to inform readers of current social investigations (in this case, research on your selected social issue!) These summaries include research relevance, quality & results. Please review the following tips and suggestions for how to navigate original, academic research:
Question: What are original research articles? Answer: these are academic papers, or detailed studies, written by academics or professionals who study, teach, train, and research in their fields. These are easy to identify from non-academic sources, like personal blogs, because research papers are typically sponsored by a respectable institution (i.e. the United Nations) rather than self- or promoter-sponsored (i.e. political group propaganda).
Question: Where to find original research articles? Answer: our library! Our GCC library (linked here) grants us access to catalogues of free research articles. Once you type your topic into the ‘OneSearch’ bar right at the top of the library front page, filter by topic, publication year, even language (hint: filter by ‘peer reviewed’ to ensure you find academic research articles).
Question: How to read original research articles? Answer: Start with the abstract, which is right at the top of the paper. Then, focus on the research topic, the research methods, and the research findings (typically, each one has their own section).
Once you’ve selected your research article, then please address the following:
Briefly describe the content of this resource (hint: the abstract is a great place to start for what the author(s) thinks are the highlights of their work)
Evaluate the relevancy of this work to your chosen social issue (i.e. do they discuss and focus on the broad topic of poverty, even better your specific social issue such as the feminization of poverty?)
Explain the methodology that was used (i.e. did they interview patients in a hospital, asking questions about their care to learn more about healthcare practices in low-income neighborhoods?)
Draw attention to any themes or key findings (i.e. “in a summary of their interviews, they found that X% of all participants said Y”)
The final section of your writing will focus on yourself!
Once you’ve completed the other sections of this assignment, please address the following:
What is the most interesting part of your overall research and writing process? For example, talk about any statistics that surprise to you and why they surprise you. You can also talk about what part of this paper-writing process took the longest and why this part is so difficult.
If your social issue reflects personal, lived experience: how does your chosen social issue connect to your own life? Share as much as you’re comfortable about your personal lived experience(s) or a phenomena you have witnessed. This might be personal identity such as queer identity & expression, or part of your community such as the prevalence of dating violence. What did you learn that is new to you, such as hearing stories from a different perspective? What challenges your existing knowledge, and why does this challenge your beliefs or experiences? Please know, I do not wish to force anyone to reveal personal information; rather, I request you reflect on how your research about your chosen social issue mirrors any parts of your life you feel comfortable sharing with me.
If your social issue does not reflect a personal, lived experience: share what your research on your social issue teaches you about our world. What part(s) of researching and summarizing academic papers challenges or surprises you? How did watching, listening, and/or reading about your social issue make you feel? Will you continue to watch, listen, and/or read about this topic (i.e. dating violence) beyond our class, why or why not?
A works’ cited is the final bookend of your paper. In proper MLA or APA formatting, you will cite whichever external materials or sources you used in your paper. And remember, each item in your works’ cited should be accompanied by in-text citations (i.e. after direct or indirect references, in-text citations include author(s) last name, page number, publication year). For example, our textbook would be included in the works’ cited if you reference and cite it to inform your theoretical writing in your “Course connection” review.
Check out the Purdue OWL site for their helpful Citation Style Guide, which outlines how to correctly write citations according to MLA and APA rules (the two most common style guides).
You can also reach out to me to discuss questions or concerns, as well as make an appointment with a GCC tutor (the link to schedule an appointment is found here).
If you need a visual example of MLA formatting, please review this sample MLA paper (linked here as a PDF).
Requirements: However long
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