Introduction to Sociology

Project Overview: This essay requires that you select one of the depictions of data included at the end of
this document. You will use you sociological eye and sociological imagination to explain and interpret
what you see. You will also utilize your knowledge of methods to propose a follow up study.
1. Please read these guidelines in their entirety.
2. Review the seven charts/data tables included at the end of these guidelines. Select one data
representation that you want to interpret and write about for this essay.
3. Write your essay based on the guidelines provided in this document.
Due Date: Essays are due via Canvas > Assignments > Essay # 2 by 11:00 p.m. on Friday, November
15. Emailed essays will not be accepted under any circumstance.
Format: The essay must be typed, written in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and
have one-inch margins. Include your first and last name at the top of the first page.
Length: Your essay should be 4 pages, double-spaced, not including the bibliography. It will be difficult
to do well on this assignment if your essay is shorter than 4 pages. Essays longer than 4 pages will have
points deducted, so please write clearly and concisely.
File Type: Essays must be submitted as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Adobe PDF (.pdf) file.
Please note that .pages files will not be accepted as they are not accessible on non-Apple devices. It is
your responsibility to upload the correct file in the appropriate file type via the “Submit
Assignment” button on Canvas for Essay #2. If .pages or other unreadable or incomplete files are
submitted, they will be considered late until the appropriate file is submitted.
Essay Content and Organization: You should address the following general topics and specific issues in
your essay. Throughout the paper, you must draw on relevant examples from the textbook, lectures,
and other outside materials to explain your perspective and to support your arguments.
Your essay should be organized to generally follow this model. You must include a creative and
descriptive title on the first page. You should also use the following section headings, as shown in bold
below, to help organize your content:
A. Introduction. Introductions should be brief and interesting and draw the reader into the material
that you will cover. In addition, this is where you should offer a strong thesis statement, explain
the purpose of the essay, and provide an overview or “map” of what the essay will entail.
(suggested length: ~1 paragraph or about ½ page)
B. The Data. In this section, you should a) identify which data representation you chose to interpret
(remember, you should choose only one); and b) explain “what is going on” with the data that
you see. This is where you want to use your sociological eye to look for the relationships or
trends that are evident in the data (remember the difference between “good generalizations” vs.
“stereotypes”). (suggested length: ~1 paragraph or about ½ page)
C. Sociology Matters.
1. Integrate Outside Sources. In this section, you should identify and read at least two
out-of-class social scientific studies that are closely associated with the data that you
chose to interpret. These can be scholarly reports, journal articles, or books (you
are welcome to cite newspaper articles or other media accounts, but they will not
count toward your required two scholarly sources). Once you have read those outside
studies you should integrate those into your essay to help further explain “what is
going on” with the data that you selected. What have social scientists who conduct
research on this topic learned? You should demonstrate a strong grasp of what you
have read and you should cite the two outside sources in this section of your paper.
(suggested length: ~2-3 paragraphs or about 1 page)
2. Research Design and Methods. In this section, you should explain how you would
design a sociological study to explore the topic represented in the data representation
in greater detail. After looking at the data and reading your textbook and additional
outside sources, you should have a general sense of “what’s going on” with the topic
at hand. If you were to go a step further and conduct a sociological investigation,
what question(s) would you ask, what hypothesis might you suggest, what method(s)
would you use, who would you sample, where would you do the study, etc. to delve
deeper? You should provide at least four methodological concepts, definitions, or
approaches along with supporting citations (especially from Chapter 1 and 3 of your
textbook and your class notes). (suggested length: ~2-3 paragraphs or about 1 page)
D. Conclusion. In this brief concluding section, you should summarize what you learned and
emphasize how your sociological imagination helped inform your understanding in this project.
(suggested length: 1 paragraph or about ½ page)
In-Text Citations and Bibliography: In the essay, you should include a minimum of 8 in-text
citations. These may, for instance, be to 3 distinct chapters in the book, the 2 required outside scholarly
sources, and 3 distinct citations to lecture notes from large lecture or recitation. If you have a question
about the in-text citations or the bibliography, check with me or the TA’s. Here is a clear, brief
description of what counts as a scholarly or academic source:
The citations that you include in-text and in your bibliography should, at minimum, be drawn from
lecture notes, the two required outside scholarly sources, and the textbook. Each in-text citation
should be included as a separate reference in the bibliography at the end of the paper. If you cite 4
chapters from the book in the text those chapters should each be cited in the bibliography (see examples
Your bibliography should alphabetically list the references that were cited throughout the body of your
paper. You may use any reference format, such as APA or MLA, as long as you are consistent in
following the guidelines for that style. For additional assistance with citations, please visit the Purdue
Online Writing Lab (OWL):
Some example references follow.
Example of In-Text Citation of an Idea: (Korgen and Atkinson, 2019, Ch. 1) or (Peek, 2019, September 9)
Example of In-Text Citation of a Direct Quote [page #’s must be included for direct quotes]: (Korgen and Atkinson,
2019: 27)
Examples of Alphabetical Bibliography Entries for Lecture Notes and the Class Textbook:
Edwards-Capen, Theresa. 2019. SOCY 1001 Recitation Lecture Notes: Research Methods. September 16.
(*This is how recitation notes should be cited.)
Erikson, Kai T. 2004. Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: Prentice Hall.
Kessler, Rachel C. 2014. “Trends in Mental Illness and Suicidality among Crime Victims.” Sociological
Perspectives 13(4): 374-384.
Korgen, Kathleen Odell and Maxine P. Atkinson. 2019. Sociology in Action. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Chapter
Korgen, Kathleen Odell and Maxine P. Atkinson. 2019. Sociology in Action. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Chapter
(*This is how chapters from your textbook should be cited. All chapters should be cited individually. Each
concept or theory that you cite in the text will count as a separate reference.)
Peek, Lori. 2019a. SOCY 1001 Class Lecture Notes: Sociological Theory. September 11.
Peek, Lori. 2019b. SOCY 1001 Class Lecture Notes: Research Methods. September 18.
(*This is how large lecture notes should be cited.)
Further Assistance: The University of Colorado Boulder Writing Center is available to provide helpful
writing advice and feedback as you develop your essay. You will need to schedule an appointment, so
please plan in advance. You can learn more about this resource here:
Submitting the Essay: Once you have completed your essay, you will submit it via Canvas. Please
upload your paper by clicking on the Assignments tab, then clicking on the Essay #2 assignment. You
will see a blue box on the upper right side of your screen that says “Submit Assignment.”
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have uploaded the correct version of your paper, on time, and
in a readable format. Please see the Policy on Late Essays on Canvas for additional information on late or
improper file uploads.
Evaluation: Your final grade for this essay will be based upon your ability to follow the guidelines, the
clarity of your written presentation (i.e., organization, readability, spelling, grammar) and the quality
of your analysis (i.e., depth, insightfulness, critical thinking, use and integration of course theory,
methods, and concepts). Please leave time to proofread your paper. The grading rubric that will be used
for this essay will be shared via the Essay #2 folder on Canvas.
Policy on Late Essays: Ten percent (15 pts.) will be deducted per day for late papers beginning at 11:01
p.m. on November 15. No papers will be accepted after 11:00 p.m. on Monday, November 18. Please see
your syllabus for a statement on late essays, and also see the Essay #2 folder on Canvas for the Policy on
Late Essays.
Data Options – Please Choose One
Option #1: Incarceration and Violent Crime Rates, by State
Note: See Chapter 6 of your textbook for further information on Identifying Deviant Behavior.
Option #2: Median Annual Earnings, by Race/Ethnicity and Gender, 2015
Note: See Chapter 7 of your textbook for further information on Confronting Economic Inequality.
Option #3: Approval of Same-Sex Marriage by Political Party Identification, 2002-2018
Note: See Chapter 8 of your textbook for further information on Constructing Gender, Sex, and
Option #4: Racial Composition of the 114th Congress
Note: See Chapter 9 of your textbook for further information on Recognizing the Importance of Race.
Option #5: Six-Year Outcomes for College Students, by Race and Ethnicity
Note: See Chapter 11 of your textbook for further information on Understanding Institutions: Education.
Option #6: Changes in Government Restrictions Involving Religion, by Region 2007-2016
Note: See Chapter 12 of your textbook for further information on Understanding institutions: Religion.
Option #7: New Investment in Clean Energy, by Region, in $Billions, 2004-2016
Note: See Chapter 13 of your textbook for further information on Saving the Environment.
EMEA = Europe, Middle East, Africa
AMER = Americas
APAC = Asia-Pacific Region

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