Response Papers to Books
After reading each of the two assigned books, you will write a response paper (Response Paper 1—on The Vanishing American Corporation, Response Paper 2—on All Edge). Each paper must be typed in 12pt font, double-spaced, four to five paragraphs, and three pages long. Each response paper should be shaped around one or more of the questions below:
- What did you find most interesting in the reading you have done? Why is this?
- Identify a social pattern, concept, and/or theory from the reading that you can relate to your own observations or experiences in your life. What broad sociological conclusion can you draw from it?
- Is there a point made in the reading that you agree or disagree with? Why is this?
- How do argument(s) in the book help you think critically about your intended professional career?
Here are a few additional ideas to keep in mind while writing:
- Your response should offer thoughtful analysis of my question in a way that proves to me you’ve explored and reflected on the reading.
- For instance, they should NOT be as simple as: “I liked that the author included personal experiences in her writing.” It is okay to say something like this. However, I am also looking for details that support this comment; for example, details that answer the questions: why and how? I want to know the reasoning for your response.
- Check out the Sociology Discipline Writing Guide (in D2L under Course Content) for more information on writing response papers.
- Structure each response paper with an introduction, body, and conclusion: Include an introduction describing what the book generally discusses (i.e., the issue being addressed) and end the introduction with a thesis statement that identifies the two to three things you have drawn from the book and will structure the discussion in the body of your response paper. The next three paragraphs should expand discussion on the three topics. Include a conclusion paragraph that either summarizes what you have said or describes the implications of the themes you have discussed.
- Though the CONTENT of your response is most important to me, I expect adherence to standard grammatical mechanics (i.e. use punctuation and proper capitalization). This is important, in my perspective, because good grammar and punctuation give the reader the impression that you care about and value both what you are saying and to whom you are saying it.
The due dates for response paper assignments are noted in the course schedule. Each response paper is worth 25 points, for a total of 50 points, or 14% of your final grade.
Final Reflection Paper
The overall learning objective of this course is for you to strengthen your cultural and social capital. Reflect on the learning objectives in this course on page 2 of the syllabus. In a five-paragraph final reflection paper, address several topics in this class that have expanded your cultural and social capital. Structure your paper with an Introduction paragraph (including a thesis), follow with three paragraphs discussing three topics that were especially meaningful for you to learn, and end with a conclusion.