This assignment worth 35% of your final grade is a chance to demonstrate your grasp of a course topic in a longer and more deliberate format. It is helpful to think about your project as posing a compelling question related to urban sociology, and then providing well-informed answers and associated discussion related to that question. It is important to elaborate on the alternate answers to your question, even if you do not agree with them. The instructor will identify some possible research questions as they arise in lecture, but you can choose a topic that reflects your own interests. The topic must be relevant to our course material and class discussion.
You should read and cite scholarly sources beyond course materials in your paper. However, your project does not need to be an extensive library research paper. Five scholarly sources beyond course materials should be sufficient, but you are welcome to use more than five additional sources.
How should you decide on a project topic? There are several ways — One approach to consider is to take a specific and current urban sociology issue and apply course and outside readings to analyzing and interpret that topic. (Examples of urban topics can include challenges of creating urban community, a zoning dispute, a crisis in the public transit system, evaluation of an urban renewal program, efforts to establish a homeless shelter, immigrants’ access to public health clinics, a controversy about suburban growth, changes in policing practices, an ethnic or class struggle over city government, rapid urbanization in the developing world, cross-cultural approaches to housing and community, and so on.) One possible strategy is to take a story in the newspaper about such a subject and follow that story for a few weeks. Then, write an essay analyzing what is going on by using materials — theories, historical parallels, concepts, facts, etc. — from the course, and also from other sources if needed. If you wish, you can focus on a topic that is historical in nature, or that examines urban issues outside Canada.
Completed papers should be about 10 pages in length, but there is no set page limit
Double space and use 1-inch margins around the perimeter of each page.
Keep print style and size reasonable (e.g., 12-point Times or similar size)
Staple paper together (please do not submit a folder).
Proofread your paper and correct all mistakes before turning it in.
Visit office hours for feedback. I will be happy to read drafts and make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
Give your project a title that describes your topic (don’t be too general!)
When citing, use parenthetical citation format (Authors Year) in the text. At the end of your paper, include a list of references sorted by authors last name.
Student Name/Number: ________________________________________Grade: ___________
Strong Good Fair Weak
Topic Question and Statement
(clarity; quality of insights; relevance to course material) _______ _______ _______ _______
– provides an overview of the research question that motivates why it is worthy of study
– introduces key concepts
– outlines evidence, arguments of answers to research question, and organization to follow
Main Content: provides clear line of evidence to support the arguments/explanations, juxtaposing competing explanations to the question
_______ _______ _______ _______
Evidence of sociological insight _______ _______ _______ _______
Adequate explanation to support research question/hypotheses _______ _______ _______ _______
Appropriate use and citation of sources _______ _______ _______ _______
Written Style and tone; language, sentences, wording _______ _______ _______ _______
Organization, Visual Style, and use of Multimedia (if applicable) _______ _______ _______ _______
(grammar, punctuation, spelling, citation format) _______ _______ _______ _______
Total _______ _______ _______ _______
Points (refers to the above table)—
Strong Good Fair Weak
Top Panel 20 pts 16-20 12-15 9-11 1-8
Second Panel 30 25-30 20-24 15-19 0-14
Third Panel 30 25-30 20-24 15-19 0-14
Fourth Panel 20 16-20 12-15 9-11 1-8