SO306 Writing for Social Sciences

for U1F 2012

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SO 306 Writing for Social Sciences


U1F 2012 QUH


Mason, Teresa L.


Assistant Professor of Psychology


PhD in Developmental Psychology

Office Location


Office Hours

Before class and by appointment

Daytime Phone

703-978-1789 home office

Other Phone

703-598-1291 cell phone


Semester Dates

4 June - 29 July 2012

Class Days

This is a blended course meeting both face-to-face and online; meeting day is Wednesday except for the first week. Please see the schedule below for details.

Class Time

5:30 - 10:00 PM


Introduction to social science course; EN106, WCT

Credit Hours



American Psychology Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.  ISBN: 978-1-4338-0561-5
American Psychology Association (2010). Mastering APA style: Student's workbook and training guide (6th Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN: 978-1-4338-0557-8
Strunk, W. & White, E.B. (2000). The elements of style (4th Ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 0-205-30902-X

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
Additional readings and relevant websites will be assigned as necessary.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

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 writhing, 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 WTC and 60 accumulated hours.

Educational Philosophy:

I believe the ideal classroom is one where students add their own ideas to discussions, debate and challenge their fellow students, and actively think through the concepts being discussed. I learn so much from my students and I know they learn a lot from each other as well.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate competency with APA style.
  2. Describe the roles of evidence and theory in social science writing, and differentiate this from mere opinion.
  3. Conduct a literature review of original social science research reports or articles.
  4. Translate social scientific findings for designated audiences.
  5. Assess and edit social scientific writing.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to write for designated venues and lengths.
  7. Formulate balanced and well-supported arguments using social science findings.
Class Assessment:
Exams - there will be two exams; combination of multiple choice and short answer.

Developmental Essays: 
  1. "One side" essay: Social science research often has political and policy related implications. Develop the best case you can for the side you agree with on the topic of your choosing. Support your position with the best possible evidence and arguments you can find.
  2. "The other side" essay: Develop the best case you can for the side you did NOT agree with. Again, support your position with the best possible evidence and arguments you can find.
Research focused writing:
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Analysis of several articles
Summary writing:
  • Write a poster or brochure presentation on a topic or an executive summary
Other assignments - Various other assignments that will assist you in learning about writing and APA style.
Participation - In-class participation as well as participation in the online class discussions.
Peer review - You will have the opportunity to review and critique some of your peer's work throughout the term.
NOTE: you will be doing revisions on some of your writings. You will be asked to turn in rough drafts as well.


Exams = 20%
Developmental Essay = 24% (12% each)
Research Writing = 14% (7% each)
Summary Writing = 7%
Other Assignments = 5%
Participation = 10%
Peer Review = 20%
Final course grading scale: 90-100 = A,  80-89 = B,  70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 60 and below = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

If an assignment is due on a night that the student is not present, it is the student's responsibility to get the assignment to the instructor on the due date. Five points will be deducted each day an assignment is late. Assignments will not be accepted after three days past the due date without prior approval from the instructor.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. This is a blended course, students are expected to use ecompanion throughout the semester (; students are responsible for checking the site regularly for announcements and assignments; participation in online discussions is required.
2. Students are expected to attend all classes and be on time. Students are required to read all material assigned prior to class and apply the material during class discussions, activities, and exercises.

3. The student is responsible for providing the instructor with justification for an excused absence, either prior to or immediately after the absence.

4. Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines. Students will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

5. Students are expected to respect other students' opinions and values, even if they disagree with those opinions and values.

6. There should only be one person talking at a time. Side bar conversations will not be tolerated.

7. Cell phones are not allowed to be used during class time. No texting or talking on your cell phone (except on breaks). Should you need to have access to your cell phone, please put it in vibrate and leave the room to take the necessary call.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week Date Mode   Assignment
Week 1 June 6 F2F ES - chapter 1; PM - chapter 1; MAS - chapter 1 Free writing in class
Week 2 June 13 F2F ES - chapter 2; PM - chapter 2 & 6; MAS - chapter 2 Analyze Articles
Week 3 June 20 Online ES- chapter 3& 4; PM - chapter 3; MAS - chapter 3 Annotated Bibliography
Week 4 June 27 F2F ES - chapter 5; PM - chapter 4; MAS chapter 3 One-side Essay; Exam 1; Peer Review 1
Week 5 July 4 Online PM - chapter 4; MAS - chapter 3 Revisions and outline of other-side essay due
Week 6 July 11 F2F PM - chapter 4; MAS - chapter 3 Other-side Essay; Peer Review 2
Week 7 July 18 Online PM - chapter 5; MAS - chapter 4 Poster/Summary; Peer Review 3
Week 8 July 25 F2F PM - chapter 5; MAS - chapter 4 Final Exam; Peer Review 4; Final revisions due

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.

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: .


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Last Updated:5/25/2012 1:42:29 PM