SO306 Writing for Social Sciences

for S2T 2012

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SO 306 Writing for Social Sciences


S2T 2012 DL


Kitchen, Michelle (MiKi) M.


Adjunct Faculty


PhD; Educational Psychology
M.S.; Educational Psychology
B.S.: Psychology

Office Location


Office Hours


Daytime Phone

(843) 991-7409


Semester Dates

Spring 2 2012

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



APA (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, American Psychological Association (paper). ISBN 1-4338-0561-8

APA (2009). Mastering APA Style: Student's Workbook and Training Guide, 6th edition, American Psychological Association (paper). ISBN: 1-4338-0557-X

Strunk & White (2000). The Elements of Style, 4th edition, Boston: Allyn & Bacon (paper). ISBN: 020530902X

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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Course Description:
SO 306 Writing for Social Sciences: Course emphasizes translating social sciences jargon and research findings into clear and appropriate language for a variety of common consumers of social science results, including professional, practitioner, and lay audiences. Topics also include APA style, conducting a literature review and evaluating sources, balances and complete presentation, and professional authorial voice. Common forms of social science writing, such as research proposal, data summaries, and research reports are introduced. This course will satisfy the EN 306 requirements for Sociology and Social Psychology.3:0:3 Prerequisites: SO 141 or PS101 or other introductory social science course ;(SO 220 recommended), EN 105, EN 106, passing the WCT and 60 accumulated hours.

Class Assessment:
You will know in advance the standards for each assignment. My goal is to give you prompt, clear, and useful feedback, to help you critically analyze the information and to communicate this knowledge in a professional manner. Each student might responsible for:

  • Completing weekly reading assignments
  • Completing weekly homework writing assignments 
  • Completing mastery quizzes 
  • Participating in weekly class discussions
  • Participating in class essays, discussions, and activities
  • Completing a PowerPoint Presentation on a chosen topic
  • Completing a final proctored exam

Core Learning Assessment

Professional Essay


Using your controversial topic, the Professional Essay requires you to write a critical summary of the associated research articles. The Core Assessment Professional Essay is the culmination and combination of the weekly development essays. The Core Assessment essay requires you to develop a complete, balanced, well-articulated summary and critical evaluation of the related positions, associated research, and their implications for individuals and relevant social groups.

You should write your essay following the guidelines for effective writing in the social sciences. In addition, you should adhere to the rules of writing outlined in Strunk and White’s Elements of Style as well as the professional writing standards put forth in the APA Publication Manual. All technical terms and procedures should be explained, justified, and translated into terms appropriate to the specified audience. Your essay will be graded on its clarity and readability, as well as on the soundness of your evidence and arguments.


  1. Length – 4000 words (+/-25 words)

Format – APA style including title page, abstract, body, reference page

References – minimum of 4 empirical journal articles



Sunday at midnight of Week 7.

Submit as an RTF or Word attachments to the dropbox


100 points

Essay Component

Points Available

Professional Essay


Includes relevant information; accurately summarizes and integrates sources; uses appropriate information; includes relevant empirical sources

Writing Style


Writing is professional; writing is easy to follow; writing adheres to the guidelines in Elements of Style; clear and grammatically correct; effective communication



Paper follows APA style guidelines; references and citations are in APA style; appropriate length and audience


Discussions 8 @ 10 80
Mastery Quizzes 5 @ 5 25
Developmental Essays 4 @ 30 120
Peer Review 20
Writing Preview (front matter) 10
Core Essay 100
Final Exam 100
PowerPoint Presentation 20
Total Available 475
90% -100% A 427.5 475
80% - 90% B 380 427.5
70% - 80% C 332.5 380
60% - 70% D 285 332.5
50% and below F 237.5 and below

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late Material will not be exceptions! Plan accordingly.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Students are responsible for checking email, participating in class discussions – where applicable, and reading all course materials on a regular basis. Instructors will use email, discussion, and/or announcements to communicate important course information.

  •   Courtesy – the guidelines of Netiquette apply. Please take time to review these as a beginning point:
      • Use the same respect you would like afforded to you; remember, we do not have the benefit of body language cues to assist with humor or hurt. Use professional, academic tone in all discussions – take your lead from your professor.
    • Email/Feedback - Students should use email or for private messages to the instructor.
      • When sending email please identify yourself fully by class (PS 360); otherwise, it will not be opened or read.
      • Instructors will check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 24-48 hours.
        • No emails responded to on Sundays
      • Email is the preferred form of communication for private, course-related communications.
      • Office hours are indicated and will be used to respond to all course-related correspondence.
    • Discussions/Input – your experiences provide a great deal of insight into learning; however, please do not share more than you are comfortable with.
      • To build a dynamic learning environment, discussions must be participated in! You are expected to actively participate in this course. Please remember to reserve questions/comments to the topic.
    • Dr. MiKi’s Office – online question/answer forum to obtain clarification on any subject connected to the technicalities of the course.
      • This discussion forum will be available weekly and should be utilized to ask any question regarding assignments, lectures, grades.
    • Muddy Waters – online questions/answer forum designed to extend the learning for weekly topics.
      • In this voluntary and often extra credit, forum you will provide answers to two questions - what was the easiest to learn and what was the muddiest concept to learn. 
    • Participation - An attendance report of “P” (Present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online Classroom at least once during each week of the term.
      • Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation;
        • Participation or the completion of classroom assessments will be assigned grades in accordance with the points outlined in the Assessments Section.
  • Time Commitment - It is expected that a minimum of 4-6 hours of out-of-class efforts will be accomplished.
    • Further, typically “A” students read at a pace that follows the schedule. The readings are dense, full of information, and are not conducive to readings hundreds of pages at a time.
    • Personally, I find 10-15 pages are about all I can handle before glazing over and passing out. Plan accordingly!

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Due Thursday

Due Sunday

Week 1

o Strunk & White, Chapter 1

o Mastering APA Style

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Personal introduction
  2. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  3. Topic, Title, & Reference Page (10 points)

Week 2

o Strunk & White, Chapter 2

o APA Manual

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  2. Developmental essay #1 (30 points)
  3. Mastery Quiz (5 points)

Week 3

o Strunk & White, Chapter 3

o APA Manual

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  2. Developmental essay #2 (30 points)
  3. Mastery Quiz (5 points)

Week 4

o Strunk & White, Chapter 4

o APA Manual

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  2. Developmental essay #3 (30 points)
  3. Mastery Quiz (5 points)

Week 5

o Strunk & White, Chapter 5

o APA Manual

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  2. Peer Review (20 points)
  3. Mastery Quiz (5 points)

Week 6

oAPA Manual

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  2. Developmental essay #4 (30 points)
  3. Mastery Quiz (5 points)

Week 7

  1. Initial response to discussion topic


  1. Peer responses to discussion (10 points)
  2. Core Assessment (100


? Mastery Quiz (5 points)

Week 8

  1. Power point presentation (20 points)


  1. Peer responses to presentations (10 points)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:


It is recommended you do not take another intensive writing course during the same semester.  This is a very intensive course requiring a great deal of time investment more than many other courses.

Submission of Assignments

Create a back up file of every piece of work you submit for grading. This will ensure that a computer glitch will not erase your efforts. If submitted electronically (i.e., via email) all assignments should be submitted with the following file extensions - .doc, docx, rtf, pdf – all others will not be opened/read.

Writing Policy

Clear, correct, and concise use of language is a characteristic of academic endeavors; as such, grades on papers and/or examinations which are poorly written may receive a reduction in grade – at the discretion of the instructor. The Writing Center is available if you need assistance with your writing skills.

·        Formatting: Writing submissions must be typed, double-spaced, and have 1” margins on all sides. They should adhere to the APA manual for all academic written assignments

Uncertainty Principle

I reserve the right to make changes to both the syllabus and/or the schedule; however, changes will be discussed or circulated in class.




Dr. Michelle Kitchen will be the professor and author of this course.  All material and intellectual rights associated with this course are protected by copyright and cannot be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:2/17/2012 2:19:59 PM