Sociology Writing and Rhetoric 3000  HYBRID

Professor: Stephen M. Marson, Ph.D.
Office: D. F. Sampson 217; Phone: 521-6475 Inclement weather: (910) 521-6888
Office Hours:   11:00 Monday, 1:30 Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30 Wednesdays, Fridays 11:00 field supervision only
Course Prerequisite: None

Table of Contents.
Academic Honor Code Computers Final Exam Plagiarism
Assignments Course Objectives Grading Procedures
Attendance Policy Course Outline with Reading Assignments How I grade papers Religion Policy
Blackboard Disabilities Hybrid Required text
Cell Phone & Texting Policy Dropping Late Assignments Tutoring

Course Description
This course focuses on teaching students to write well in a scientific format.  Good scientific writing must concentrate on formulating convincing claims backed up by credible evidence.  Additionally, written claims and evidence should be clear, concise, and well-crafted.  In this hands-on course, students will practice developing these skills through daily rhetoric, writing, and editing exercises.

Course Objectives
1.  Improve grammar, spelling, and syntax skills.
2.  Learn to write good topic sentences
3.  Learn to write paragraphs that provide adequate evidence for topic sentences
4.  Learn to craft compelling claims through proper rhetorical techniques
5.  Learn to edit for clarity and conciseness
6.  Produce well-crafted, well-written sociological papers
7.  Develop a strong sociological vocabulary.

Course Outline and Activities




Week 1

Picking a topic
Review the course requirements and the philosophy behind "writing with the major courses."   Immediately after achieving this objective, we will adjourn to the library.   Here we will review the process of using library resources for meeting the requirements of the course.
Selecting the right topic for your research paper is a crucial first step toward earning a high grade.  We review the fundamentals of academic writing and discover the secrets of choosing the perfect topic.  We will address how to narrow a focus from a broad subject to a manageable topic, then from an intriguing research question to a strong working thesis

Note taking.   Remember that you will be tested on the information about using the library.


Week 2

Starting your research
Good papers start with knowing about the library.   Locating information is ticky.   We will address strategies for developing a plan to search the library and concert with a librarian.  The trick is to ask the right question that will enable the librarian to find resources that are the most helpful.

Oral reports: identify a topic, discuss a proposed outline and present a tentative bibliography

Week 3

Finding the best sources
We will address issues about using search engines, catalogs and reference books.  This knowledge significantly cuts down on the amount of time one uses to complete a term paper.

Continuation Oral reports: identify a topic, discuss a proposed outline and present a tentative bibliography  Review The Dictionary of Sociology for the in class assignment we will have during the following week

Paragraph Construction

Week 4

Vocabulary building
Students will not be able to complete the in class assignment without having  The Dictionary of Sociology (Oxford).   Student will write a fictional short story to demonstrate their knowledge and grasp of the sociological vocabulary.

In class assignment and homework
Vocabulary Words (pdf)

Week 5

Sometimes even the best scholars to cut corners.  This timely program teaches students to appreciate and demonstrate academic integrity when writing term papers.  Students will learn how to evaluate materials and reference sources appropriately and avoid inadvertent plagiarism and other common scholarship mishaps.

Lectures and Film

Week 6

Note taking and technology
Regardless if one is using index cards or computer files, clear and organized noted enable a student to keep track of helpful resources, remember significant details, recognize important themes, and capture key bibliographic data.  We will investigate and evaluate several proven note-taking methods that will make drafting, formatting, and polishing a term paper faster and easier.

Lectures and Film

Week 7

How to be persuasive
Term paper assignments required student to articulate a thesis and make a persuasive case in its defense.  We will address logical arguments, support them with evidence, deal with opposing points of view, and avoid logical fallacies.  In addition, we will address other proven methods to make writing more convincing and powerful.

Lectures and Film

Week 8

Writing your first draft
Students will learn how to assemble an effective outline for the term paper and to capture the best ideas for a first-rate first draft -- one that will make the revision process easier.  In addition, we will learn how to treat "blinking cursor syndrome" with strategies for conquering writer's block.

Lectures and Film

Week 9

Quoting, citing and paraphrasing 
We will address the

Lectures and Film

Week 10

Formating your paper
The formatting of your resesarch paper can make or break its presentation -- and that can have a significant impact on your grade.   We will conver mechancial detailed like fonts, margins, and spacing and provide an extensive over view of styles. Helpful online tools: Writing APA citation style (ppt); The OWL at Purdue; APA Style at Chapel Hill; Reference Builder (APA)

Second Oral Report: Make sure the have the Oral Report Form completed

Week 11

Perfecting the final draft
Students will learn who to rework the term paper until it is a shining example of effective writing, clear organization, and sound research -- and is completely free of errors in grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling, and scholarly citations.  The word "Internet" and APA.

Second Oral Report: Make sure the have the Oral Report Form completed

Week 12

The last thing: The Abstract
An abstract is a short summary of your completed research. If done well, it makes the reader want to learn more about your research.  Although it is read first, it is the LAST thing that students should write.   We will learn the rules for abstract writing and face a home work assignment.

Second Oral Report: Make sure the have the Oral Report Form completed
Homework: Read the article entitled Churners and compose an abstract using the rules established in class

Week 13

Spelling (rules), Passive/Active Voice, and racial grouping nomenclature
Passive Voice: Part 1; Part 2
Second Person Pronouns: Get the You Outta Here

Assignment: read the article at and bring a hard copy to class.  We will use this as a tool to construct sociological concepts into a measureable form.

Week 14

Constructing a graphic for a professional presentation   Importance of Graphics
In class, we will review the creative works of social scientists and they presented concepts and data within a graphic illustration:
      Jacoby, W. G. (1997). Statistical graphics for univariate and bivariate data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
      Jacoby, W.G. (1998). Statistical graphics for visualizing multivate data.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Tufte E. R. (1998). Envisioning information. Cheshire, Connecticut: Graphics Press.
Tufte, E. R. (1997). Visual explanations. Cheshire, Connecticut: Graphics Press.
      Tufte, E. R. (2001). The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire, Connecticut: Graphics Press

We will use Excel in class.   If you have a handbook for Excel, bring it to class.

Week 15

The rules for the construction of measurement tools for applied sociology.


Weel 16

Term papers returned

Post test

Due dates are included in the course outline



Grade  Basis



To acquire a baseline for critical thinking skills and vocabulary and to assess improvement

Shipley Scale (pass/fail)


Blackboard discussion of Writing a Great Research Paper Enhance writing mechanical aspect of writing Discussion Board 10%

Write short story employing the sentences below as the beginning of your tale.   Your story must include 10 additional words from your sociological dictionary (textbook for this class).  All your terms from the dictionary must be printed in a bold font.  You will be graded on your grammar and your ability to demonstrate the appropriate use of sociological terms.   Mark did not know if this was going to be his last cigarette.  He did know that the cognitive dissonance was killing him and he had to decide between Wanda or his addiction.  He takes the cigarette out of his mouth and ….

To develop and improve a sociological vocabulary.  Must include:

1.       Ten vocabulary words from the class discussion Vocabulary Words (pdf) .  The vocabulary words must be in a bold font.

2.       The paper must be at least three paragraphs long.  The paragraphs must conform to the traditional form established in ENG 1050-1060.

3.       The paper must be written in class.   Students may NOT being a prewritten paper to class, but are expected to have an outline of their thoughts.

4.       All papers must begin: Mark did not know if this was going to be his last cigarette.  He did know that the cognitive dissonance was killing him and he had to decide between Wanda or his addiction.  He takes the cigarette out of his mouth and ….

5.       The terms cognitive dissonance and addition (found in Vocabulary Words (pdf) cannot be counted toward the 10 vocabulary words.

Blackboard Rubric


As part of the Hybrid course work, 10 films entitled Writing a Great Research Paper are available on the iTunes section fpund within the tab labeled "Videos."    Each student is required to watch each film and respond to questions found within the Blackboard tab labeled "Discussion Board."   The material presented within the videos represent standards for writing that traverse all disciplines and a critical component to learning to become a competent writer. Addressing each question completely.  10%

Students will write a review of literature. The topic must be approved by the professor during the third week of class. The paper must comply with APA standards. See page 306 of the APA manual and click on this hot link to see the how the title page is written. As stated in the APA manual, all papers must have a title page followed by an abstract page. The review of literature must be a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 15 pages (This excludes the title and abstract page). Students are required to have a maximum of one long quote and one short quote. This requirement exists to demonstrate compliance the APA quoting rules. Students are not permitted to include any additional quotation. With their term papers must be submitted to the DRAFT protocol within SafeAssignment at Blackboard.  All students are required to complete at least one draft, but are permitted to submit up to THREE drafts.  After students are satisfied with their drafts, students are required to submit their paper to the FINAL  protocol within SafeAssignment at Blackboard. 

To assess writing, critical thinking skills and the employment of the sociological perspective. These skills included the following (which are required for the paper):

      1. At least one long quote
     2. At least one short quote
     3. At least one graphic illustration  
     4. No web pages may be used ONLY for citing current data.

SOC 3000 Rubric



The first oral report will be short lasting no more that 3-minutes.   Students will address their efforts to identify a topic, discuss a proposed outline and present a tentative bibliography.

To assess acquire a comfort level in speaking about sociological concepts

Identify topic Pass - 1/Fail - 0
Have outline Pass - 1/Fail - 0
Bibliography Pass - 1/Fail - 0


The second oral report will address be presented in conjunction with the first draft.   Each student will make a presentation on the progress of the paper.  A first draft must be submitted with the final reference page.  Students must complete the top section of the Oral Report Form to receive a grade. Students who fail to complete this form will be dropped 5 points.


Oral Report Rubric



To demonstrate self discipline

see Attendance Policy


Required Texts:
The Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (free)  

Final: The Schedule for our Posttest is found at:

Grading/Assessment: 1) Pretest and Posttest 2%; 2)Short Story 10%; 3) Review of Literature 55% 4) 1st Oral Report 3 %; 5) 2nd Oral Report 15%; 6) Class Attendance 5%  6) Discussion on Blackboard regarding the film 10%
Grades are not negotiated. A grade will not be changed after the grade is given to the student. On the other hand, if the professor makes a calculation error, students are expected to immediately report the error to the professor.
A 92-100
B 83-86
C 73-76
D 63-66
A- 90-91
B- 80-82
C- 70-73
D- 60-62
B+ 87-89
C+ 77-79
D+ 67-69
F 0-59

Hybrid: On iTunes -- which can be found on Blackboard -- is a series of instructional films.   Students are required to watch each film and post notes for each film on the discussion board.   As a result, the class will NOT meet everyday.  Days that the class will meet will be negotiated on the first day of class.  Public posting of student work is absoluting prohibited. Students may NOT publically post their work or the work of other students.  The professor will NOT retain and/or publically post the work of any student.

Attendance Policy: There are no excused absences. Students are therefore encouraged to be mindful of absences and make every effort to be in attendance. Students are expected to have read assigned material prior to the class. Students are also expected to participate in class discussion, exercises and any Blackboard discussions that may be announced. Students are considered in attendance only if present for the entire class. Arriving late or leaving early is disruptive will be dealt with by the instructor. Attendance will be used as a criterion in determining the final grade. (Present 1 point; Tardy 1/2 point; Not present 0 points) For more details see “Class Attendance” in The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Student Handbook.

Plagiarism and the Academic Honor Code
The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice does not permit plagiarism and complies with all standards articulated in the Academic Honor Code. Plagiarism constitutes projecting the an image that someone else's idea is your idea OR someone else's words are your words. You may also get help from University Writing Center hours during the spring semester are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday. For an appointment, stop by the Writing Center, Dial 131, call 910.521.6168, or email

Disability Federal laws require UNCP to accommodate students with documented learning, physical, chronic health, psychological, visual or hearing disabilities.   In post-secondary school settings, academic accommodations are not automatic; to receive accommodations, students must make a formal request and must supply documentation from a qualified professional to support that request.Students who believe they qualify must contact the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) in DF Lowry Building, Room 107 or call 910-521-6695 to begin the accommodation process. All discussions remain confidential.  Accommodations cannot be provided retroactively. More information for students about the services provided by ARC and the accommodation process may be found at the following link:

Religion Statement:
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has a legal and moral obligation to accommodate all students who must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams in order to observe religious holidays; we must be careful not to inhibit or penalize these students for exercising their rights to religious observance. To accommodate students’ religious holidays, each student will be allowed two excused absences each semester with the following conditions:
. Students, who submit written notification to their instructors within two weeks of the beginning of the semester, shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith. Excused absences are limited to two class sessions (days) per semester.
2. Students shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.
3. Students should not be penalized due to absence from class or other scheduled academic activity because of religious observances.

A student who is to be excused from class for a religious observance is not required to provide a second-party certification of the reason for the absence. Furthermore, a student who believes that he or she has been unreasonably denied an education benefit due to religious beliefs or practices may seek redress through the student grievance procedure.

Dropping SOC 3000
Some students find it necessary to drop a course. This is NOT a problem and students will NOT hurt the feelings of the professor. If a student attends some classes at the beginning of the semester but fails to complete the drop form, the student will receive an F for the course. The computer will NOT permit the professor to give a W. To avoid this problem, talk to the professor even if the "last day to drop" has past. If students feel uncomfortable speaking to the professor, get a drop slip and have the department chair or the Registrar sign the form.

Cell Phone Policy: Students are not permitted to conduct phone conversations during class time.  Students are not permitted to have cell ring during class time.   Students who use conduct a phone conversation or allow their phones to ring during class time will be drop 10 points on the next quiz or 5 points for their final exam.   During an exam, phones and hand held computers are not permitted in the room.   No texting is permitted during class time.

Blackboard Usage:
Explorer version 8 does not function well with Blackboard. As a result, the computer staff recommend that student useFirefox . If you do not have these browsers on your desktop, download them now. Both browsers are free and the hotlinks are provided on this syllabus. Although SOC 1020 is not designated as a “Blackboard” course, Blackboard is used under two circumstances. First, if the course is canceled or the professor is unable to attend class and cannot find a replacement, lectures and assignments will be posted on Blackboard. Second, depending on the nature of the course, some quizzes will be posted on Blackboard. Under most circumstances, students will be given a three day window of opportunity to compete the quiz. If a student is kicked off Blackboard during a quiz, he/she is required to immediately email ( or or call the instructor (521-6475). All students are required to completed the Blackboard Orientation.

About Computer Usage: Students are required to have a free email account to submit and receive assignments. Merely complete the "New User Account" form found at To use and check email, go to You must use your university account during this class. Make sure that if you have changed your email to another server ( e.g. AOL, Yahoo) you must change it back to the university account.  In addition, students have server space where they may store their work.  This is the safest location to save important documents!   Student can access this special server on and off campus.   On campus, students can see the I drive.   Off campus, students can use FileZilla.  The simple directions for using it, can be found at

Procedures: Lectures and class discussion, role-playing games and related active learning class activities, occasional audio-visuals and guest speakers.

Office of Academic Excellence
is available by subject with peer tutors who show proficiency in courses and have been trained in effective tutoring strategies. The tutoring sessions can host up to five students per session. To get the most effective results students should sign up for tutoring as soon as possible. Students should also come to tutoring sessions with specific questions prepared regarding course material. The more consistent the attendance to tutoring sessions, the better students will understand the material and perform at a higher level in class. Sign up for tutoring in the Center for Academic Excellence office.
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is available to assigned classes that present historically difficult material. An SI Leader is an upperclassman, model student who has taken the course and shown proficiency, and has been trained in effective Supplemental Instruction leadership strategies. An SI Leader is assigned to the course to attend all lecture sessions and host at least three study sessions per week for students to attend voluntarily. SI sessions will provide supplemental material for students to use to improve their understanding of the course material. SI sessions also provide an opportunity for students to ask questions, and gain insight from their classmates. Students are encouraged to attend as frequently as possible to review the class material consistently. The more frequent the attendance at SI Sessions, the better students will understand the material and perform in class.
The Resource Learning Lab offers computer based, self-paced tutoring in basic writing skills from composing sentences, paragraphs, and essays, to addressing common writing problems, basic reading comprehension, and word problem dissection. These programs are 4 – 8 weeks long and offer non-credit, collectable test performance data on each student during their progression through our programs. The Resource Learning Lab also offers tutoring that improves academic study skills through self-help DVD’s, such as Values and Goals, Time Management, Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving, Active Listening and Note-Taking, Researching, Reading and Writing, and Studying and Test-Taking. These programs are designed to enhance college-level reading comprehension and writing skills, and to improve the areas where students find they have deficiencies. The Resource Learning Lab is available to all students, whether right out of high school or non-traditional students needing a refresher.