SO306 Writing for Social Sciences

for F2R 2012

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

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


F2R 2012 SC


Dailey, Keith M.


Campus Center Director / Adjunct Instructor


PhD Candidate - Adult Education and Leadership
MBA – Human Resources Management
BS - Management

Office Location

Bldg 1650, Rm 79

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

October 22, 2012 - December 16, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

8:00 - 1:00 PM


SO141 or PS101, or other introductory social science course (SO202 recommended), EN105, EN106, successful completion of WCT, and 60 accumulated hours

Credit Hours



Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th edition. ISBN: 781433805615 (Make sure it is the 4th printing or newest printing)

Strunk, William B. Elements of Style. 4th edition, ISBN: 978-0-205-30902-3

In addition: TBA--Weekly readings will be posted in eCompanion, plus website informational readings.  You are responsible for reading the content of these readings. 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

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 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.

Educational Philosophy:

Learning is centered on the student therefore all activities focus on course outcomes with the student is responsible for learning those outcomes.

The instructor is responsible for presenting the course learning objectives in an environment conducive to learning along with clarifying and /or elaborating on those outcomes.  Further, the instructor must guide the student to an understanding of concepts and the application of theories presented in the course.

Students will have the opportunity to articulate their knowledge of course outcomes by building a student portfolio, posting responses, participating in group discussions, and other forms of evaluation.

Class Assessment:

Quizzes (2)
Assignments (6)
Class Participation
Research Proposal

Quiz #1
: Short answer questions on basic social science research components. APA Manual
Quiz #2: Identify the following in the article assigned: (1) the problem studied, (2) the hypothesis and or theory that was evaluated or tested, (3) the independent variable(s) under study and analysis, (4) the dependent variable(s) under study and analysis, and (5) the type of study conducted-was it qualitative or quantitative, (6) the population studied and the sample size, and (7) the conclusion of the study. (The article will be provided)

Assignment #1: Select a topic related to the social sciences that interests you, and justify why more research should be focused on this one social topic, explain its importance, identify the independent and dependent variables you would focus on, their predicted relationship and effect, and your hypothesis. (Thesis statement/ claim/ main argument you are advocating). You must source and cite a minimum of three references, all three of which must be a published book, or social science journal. You may source other references if necessary (Assume the perspective of a research proposal). 

Assignment #2: Locate an article from a social science journal, electronic copy or print copy, and read, evaluate, and analyze the article. Type a summary of the study conducted and identify clearly the following: (1) the problem studied, (2) the hypothesis and or theory that was evaluated or tested, (3) the independent variable(s) under study and analysis, (4) the dependent variable(s) under study and analysis, and (5) the type of study conducted-was it qualitative or quantitative, (6) the population studied and the sample size, and (7) the conclusion of the study. A electronic copy of the article must be submitted with your written assignment in e-companion or no credit will be given. 

Assignment #3: You will identify the social problem that you selected for your research in more detail: Why this is an issue for a particular population, and write in a detail discussion of what type of research should be conducted, what data needs to be collected, and what hypothesis should be the focus of future research. (Minimum 300 words)

Assignment #4:  To fully understand what is written in the social sciences, and in particular topics that we are interested in we need to understand what others have researched and published.  For this project you must find three more peer-reviewed academic articles or books to support the three references cited on the topic you selected for assignment number one. Read the articles including the ones cited before and summarize each one in a few paragraphs including the previous references cited, include in-text citation (direct quotes, block quotes, summarize and paraphrased material that you like to use in your final report). There will be a total of six academic sources reviewed. (Use an annotated bibliography set up. Place in ABC order using APA style. Will discuss this in more detail in class guidelines.) Think about what other researchers have done? What knowledge contribution did they make to the topic studied? The variables studied…etc. Summarize your thoughts at the end.

 Assignment #5: Compare and Contrast the two new articles you collected. Provide a short summary of both, then go on to compare both studies, their strengths, their weaknesses, the variables studied in both, their conclusions, their methodology used in gathering their data, the samples or articles studied, etc. What are the similarities in both? What are the differences in both? Make direct comparisons and decide which studied employed was most effective and accurate based on their conclusions. Finally, decide if one or both made a true knowledge contribution to the topic/subject studied. (minimum 500 words)

Assignment #6: Persuasive essay. You must pick a side -for or against your topic and argue it. Social science research often has political and policy related applications. Develop the best case you can from the perspective you chose to pursue on the topic you have selected. Support your position with the best possible evidence and arguments you can find. Use sources outside of social science journals or published books that such as newspapers, magazines, think tanks, and organizations to help support your argument. (minimum 500 words)

Research Proposal: The Core Assessment for this class requires you to write a detailed Analytical Report (a more detailed guideline handout will be provided for set up of report in class) for research you believe needs to be conducted on the topic you have selected.  You will not actually do this research on a large scale, but your proposal should be a convincing enough to influence funding organizations and social scientists to submit formal research proposals and fund or conduct further research on the topic you selected.  The research proposal will consist of four sections:

1. Problem Statement: An overview of the topic.  It introduces and justifies your research question, key variables, their hypothesized relations, and your guiding theoretical perspective.  It explains in detail why this is a significant issue requiring further research that will add to the store of human knowledge. It must be theoretically justifiable and testable, practical and feasible to research, ethical and respectful of human rights, and builds on existing knowledge in the field. Your justification, your hypothesis, the variables studied, and their predicted influence on one another must be clearly stated. 

2. Literature Review: You will use the four research questions you developed earlier in the course to do the following: A critical summary of the previous research done on the topic you selected.  Your review will evaluate at least six other relevant research projects from original sources in reputable, peer-reviewed journals or books.  The literature review discusses previous research, as it influences the proposed project.  It evaluates the methodological, theoretical, or substantive strengths or weaknesses of those studies and explains why you feel more discussion needs to be generated on this topic (minimum 8 academic sources).

3. Persuasive Argument: Justify why this needs to be studied. What is the social importance? What are the negative aspects to society that may result if ignored and what are the positives? (Remember to develop assignment #6 into a polished discussion)

4. Applied Research: If your hypothesis is proven true, how could the results been applied to the real world? Explain in detail the way in which the data can be applied to the real world. 

The final product will be a professional analytical report, in which it will include front matter and back matter,  body material, your findings, charts, graphs, images presented in a professional document. A brief five minute presentation on the research report will be given by each student on the last day of class. Be prepared to answer questions from classmates. (Use a Power Point presentation) Expect to spend about 10 minutes of class discussion on your presentation. 


Quizzes (2): 50 points each - 100 pts
Assignments (6): 25 points each - 150 pts
Class Participation: 100 pts
Research Proposal: 300 pts
Annotated Bibliiography: 200 pts
Presentation: 150 pts
Total points: 1000 points

900 - 1000: A
800 - 899: B
700 - 799: C
600 - 699: D
599 or less: F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assignments turned in late will will lose 5 points for every day past the due date; exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.  All written assignments to include Power Point presentations will be uploaded into the Dropbox in eCompanion.  

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One: Review Class syllabus and assignment schedule.  Lecture 1: Components of social science research, navigating through the databases;  Lecture 2: Principles of Social Science; Topic selection-Assignment #1.

Week Two: Lecture 3: Qualitative Research; Quiz #1; Begin on Assignment #2; Assignment #1 due.

Week Three: Assignment #2 Due; Quiz #2-Due Tuesday; Begin on Assignment #3 ; Begin literature review for your core assessment-first bibliography/reference sheet draft due for presentation TBA; APA Feedback/workshop; Lecture 4-Quantitative Research.

Week Four:  Begin on Assignment #4; Assignment #3 due;  Lecture 5-Unobstrusive research; Lecture on Persuasive arguments

Week Five: Assignment #4 Due;  Begin on Assignment #5

Week Six: Assignment #5 Due;  Lecture 6-Ethics & Politics in Research; Begin on Assignment #6

Week Seven: Core Assessment and bibliography presentation/review; Assignment #6 due

Week Eight:  Final Presentations. Core Assessment 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 95-96

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 95

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 98

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: .


This material is protected by copyright
                               and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:9/11/2012 4:15:36 PM