Here is the essay topic for your final papers:
- Starting off from Sears’ and Cairns’ idea that social theory can deepen and enhance our
own “everyday theorizing”, develop an argument that analyses an aspect of your own
personal experience today or in the past. Referring directly and substantially to at least 3
theories / theorists in this course, and drawing upon secondary research where necessary,
use some of the conceptual tools we’ve developed to “defamiliarize” and reframe your
understanding of this particular aspect of your life.
Papers should be 9-10 pages in length (double-spaced, 12-point type, standard margins). The
majority of the paper should be devoted to developing a clear and focused argument about your
chosen topic, although a certain amount of background research will be necessary for you to
take up that topic in an informed manner.
You should make an effort to use the theories / theorists covered in this course, and to find
some scholarly sources to support your argument where appropriate. While journalistic and
internet sources are fine to a certain extent, the majority of your references must come from
books and articles in scholarly journals. Those who rely heavily on lower-quality internet
sources (eg. personal blogs, Reddit, Wikipedia), will be assigned a 15% penalty or more. (not
including journal articles, books and other quality sources accessed online, which are fine)
While a certain amount of background research (on the theorists you’re using; on the issue
you’re trying to illuminate) will be required, do not rely excessively upon secondary sources
and simply repeat someone else’s arguments. The main goal of this assignment is to get you to
develop a clear and sustained argument that links some aspect of your life to a select range of
broader sociological themes and issues.
APA style should be used in your paper. Numerous online guides on APA style are available
for you to consult, and I will provide some to you closer to the deadline.
Final papers will be submitted online. Click on the “Assignments” tab, then on the “Essay” link
in order to upload your paper. If you have a Turnitin account from another course, please be
sure not to submit it there. Submit it on the Sakai site for THIS course.
NB: When submitting attachments, students should only use these file types: Word 97-2003
(.doc), Word 2007+ (.docx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx), PowerPoint (.pps, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptx), PDF
(.pdf), PostScript (.eps, .ps), plain text (.txt), HTML (.htm, .html), WordPerfect (.wpd),
OpenOffice (.odt), rich text (.rtf), Hangul (.hwp).
For those of you seeking greater clarity about this assignment, you may pose questions about
the essay in group forum between November 1 – 7, and we will reserve time in forums from
Nov. 29 – Dec. 3 for last-minute brainstorming and problem-solving related to the essay. You
may also talk directly to the instructor about the essay during one of his online of
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