Select any two articles from either the New York Times, Washington Post, or The Atlantic that you have determined to be relevant and appropriate for your Behavioral Analysis. There are no“right” or “wrong” articles for this assignment, but students are required to select articles published after August 1st, 2016. Unlimited access to The Atlantic is free, but the New York Times has a paywall
(after 10 articles per month) and the Washington Post requires registration, although evidently allows full access after that. For the New York Times, as an alternative, students should consider obtaining a student “digital subscription” for the duration of the semester (cost is about 1$ a month for students). In any case, once the two articles have been identified, on the specified due date
(see Course Outline), and on a separate piece of paper (type-written), clearly identify the following: A). The exact title and author for each of the two readings. B). The specific pattern of behavior each article addresses and/or describes. C). Indicate at least one concept or theory you intend to use in your analysis。
The paper itself consists of three sections—Summary, Definition of Concept, and Connection. The instructions for each section are detailed below:
In order to provide the necessary background and context, write a summary, or abstract of the issue, making sure to identify the author of the article, the title, and the specific issue you intend to analyze. The summary must be in the student’s own words (i.e., no quotations from the reading).
Choose and Define One Relevant Sociological Concept or Theory
Drawing from the assigned reading, clearly identify one concept or theory relevant to the issue you have identified in the reading. Accordingly, for the first essay, you can draw on concepts or theories from any of the assigned chapters from either Part One or Part Two of the Course Outline. For the second essay, you can draw on concepts or theories from any of the assigned chapters from either Part Three or Part Four. Remember, as with your choice of readings, there is no “right” or “wrong” concept or theory. Use your “sociological imagination.” However, in selecting a specific concept or theory, first be sure the subject and content of the article will adequately demonstrate the relevance of the specific concept or theory you’ve chosen. Then, once you’ve chosen the concept or theory that you think in some specific way helps explain or deepen our understanding of the behavior under examination, formulate a “collegelevel” definition of the chosen concept or theory. Here, it is required that you incorporate relevant quoted information taken from the course textbook (i.e., direct quotations) into your definition. As a general rule, a sufficient definition is one that a person with no familiarity of the concept or theory would, after reading your definition, have a basic working understanding of what the concept or theory means. It is important to keep in mind that your primary task here is to demonstrate that you, the student, have a firm grasp of what the concept or theory actually means.
Explain the Connection
Explain the connection between the concept or theory and the issue you’ve identified in the article. Your objective here is to show exactly how relevant information—including at least one quoted example or passage—taken from the reading is logically related to your chosen sociological concept or theory. Bear in mind that the material quoted from the article constitutes your “evidence” that there is a plausible, logical connection between the concept or theory and the specific pattern of behavior you’ve identified. Here, your primary task is to demonstrate how the concept or theory either deepens our understanding, or helps explain, the specific behavior described in the article. Bear in mind that the connection should never be thought to be obvious or self-evident. To establish a logical connection will always require detailed explanation.
Essays must be type-written, single-sided, double-spaced, using standard font, and one-inch margins. Following standard MLA guidelines, text and article quotations must be cited by source and/or author. Page numbers (where available) should also be indicated. A separate “Works Cited” page is required. One helpful formatting resource is EasyBib: http://www.easybib.com/. For more specific questions about MLA formatting, Purdue University has published a very useful online MLA reference guide:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Essays must also be written so that the THREE parts are separated by headings (i.e., Summary Definition of Concept/Theory Connection).
This assignment is worth a total of 150 points. For the paper, the following grading policy will apply: Failure to write adequate summary: 10-point deduction. Failure to identify author, title, and specific pattern of behavior in the summary: 5-point deduction. Failure to identify any specific sociological concept or theory: 10-point deduction. Failure to incorporate relevant quoted textbook material into the definition of the concept or theory: 10-point deduction. Failure to adequately define relevant sociological concept or theory: 10-point deduction. Failure to incorporate relevant quoted article example/passage: 10- point deduction. Failure to adequately demonstrate (explain) the logical relationship between chosen concept or theory and the specific example/passage from the article: 10-point deduction. Failure to draw concept or theory from assigned reading: 10-point deduction. Failure to submit, as instructed, the two selected articles on the specified due date: 10-point deduction. Failure to follow proper formatting instructions: 5-point deduction (for each infraction).
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