Group Project Essay

Purpose: The Group Project Essay will give students practice working together to learn three important sociological perspectives and apply these perspectives to real world situations. In this assignment we will practice teamwork, critical thinking and inter-cultural appreciation by thinking current events and analyzing them from different points of views.

Assignment:

This group assignments will be done in steps and broken down into parts so that each group member contributes to the whole.
Step 1: Each student will bring at least one newspaper article, which is able to be analyzed from a sociological perspective.
Step 2: Students will be put into groups. Each group will choose a single article to use for the project.
The groups will assign each student in the group a part of the final essay to write and write as a team a first draft.
Step 3: The student will present their analysis to class and submit their written paper.

 

Part 1: Introduction and Conclusion:

For the introduction, the student assigned to write the introduction and conclusion paragraphs will need to

1) summarize the article that the group chose and/or explain the issue that the article is discussing.

2) include a thesis statement at the end of the introduction that tells the reader what the main topic of the essay is (i.e. the issue in the article) and what statement the essay will make about the topic (i.e. how the issue relates to the three sociological perspectives). All three sociological perspectives (i.e. functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism) must be stated in the thesis statement.

For the conclusion, the student assigned to write the introduction and conclusion paragraphs will need to summarize the overall argument of the essay and include a closing sentence or two that helps the reader to feel that the essay has ended.

Part 2: Body Paragraph 1:

The student assigned to write the first body paragraph will need to define “functionalism” and analyze the issue from the newspaper article using the functionalist perspective. The body paragraph will need to have a topic sentence that tells the reader what the topic is for the body paragraph (i.e. the issue from the newspaper article) and the statement the paragraph is making about that topic (i.e. how the functionalist perspective applies to the issue from the newspaper article). It will also need evidence from the newspaper article, from the textbook, or from both to show the reader what functionalism is and how exactly it applies to the issue from the newspaper. Finally, it will need analysis to explain to the reader how the evidence is relevant and why it was chosen.

Part 3: Body Paragraph 2:

The student assigned to write the second body paragraph will need to define “conflict theory” and analyze the issue from the newspaper article using the conflict theory perspective. The body paragraph will need to have a topic sentence that tells the reader what the topic is for the body paragraph (i.e. the issue from the newspaper article) and the statement the paragraph is making about that topic (i.e. how the conflict theory perspective applies to the issue from the newspaper article). It will also need evidence from the newspaper article, from the textbook, or from both to show the reader what conflict theory is and how exactly it applies to the issue from the newspaper. Finally, it will need analysis to explain to the reader how the evidence is relevant and why it was chosen.

Part 4: Body Paragraph 3:

The student assigned to write the third body paragraph will need to define “symbolic interactionism” and analyze the issue from the newspaper article using the symbolic interactionist perspective. The body paragraph will need to have a topic sentence that tells the reader what the topic is for the body paragraph (i.e. the issue from the newspaper article) and the statement the paragraph is making about that topic (i.e. how the symbolic interactionist perspective applies to the issue from the newspaper article). It will also need evidence from the newspaper article, from the textbook, or from both to show the reader what symbolic interactionism is and how exactly it applies to the issue from the newspaper. Finally, it will need analysis to explain to the reader how the evidence is relevant and why it was chosen.

Audience: Your target audience is someone who is not familiar with sociology, sociological perspectives, or the issue you are addressing. Therefore, you will need to define all of the key sociological terms and explain the issue from your newspaper article to your reader. Your target audience is also an academic audience, so the writing should be formal. Avoid using personal pronouns such as “I,” slang, and contractions.

 

Expectations:

* Introduction and conclusion:
o A clear, complete, detailed summary of the article and/or explanation of the issue in the introduction.
o A clear, straightforward, specific thesis statement that includes the main topic and each of the three perspectives.
o A brief summary of the essay’s main arguments in the conclusion and a few sentences to bring the ideas from the essay to a close.
o Clear, readable, precise, formal prose. Please edit your paragraphs to get rid of mechanical errors, awkward sentences, and informal language.
* Body Paragraphs:
o A clear, straightforward, specific topic sentence that includes the topic of the paragraph and the sociological perspective the paragraph is focusing on.
o Specific evidence from the article or the textbook to support the topic sentence.
o Analysis, not just description. Once you have provided an example, you will need to explain to your reader how that example proves your point, why it is important, how it relates to the main topic, or why you chose that example in particular.
* Overall essay:
Transitions between ideas within each paragraph and between paragraphs. You will need to work together to put in transitions between paragraphs once all of the parts are completed.