Writing, Analysis, and Disciplinary Discourse
This assignment was designed to incorporate information literacy concepts into an in depth writing assignment. By only focusing on a total of one outside source at a time, students are required to do deep research to find the one source that they can engage with on the level required for a good essay. Requiring a small number of sources also allows the students to practice incorporating outside material into their own writing and thinking and allows the instructor to see progress in this area.
Choose a phenomenon, situation, or event that relates to family life in the United States. Examples of this could be gay marriage, international adoption, divorce, immigration, or a phenomenon that has directly impacted your own family. Find one scholarly source written by a sociologist related to your topic and write a 1200 word essay (+/- 10%) that describes the phenomenon as you understand it, identifies how it is connected to family life in the United States, why you are interested in it, the ideas presented by the author of the source, and how those ideas add to your knowledge or understanding of the phenomenon. Cite your source properly in text using ASA style and include a full ASA citation for it at the end or your paper.
Find a second scholarly source written by a sociologist on the phenomena you selected. Write a 600 (+/- 10%) word addendum to your original essay that details the ideas presented by the second scholar and how these ideas further enhance or complicate your understanding of the phenomena. Cite your sources properly in text using ASA style and include a full ASA citation for your sources at the end or your paper.
Library Instruction:This exercise would benefit from a library instruction session focused on the first learning outcome – identifying scholarly sources and finding discipline specific information
- Discussion of identifying scholarly sources (ending with the three-point test for scholarly information: peer-reviewed or extensively edited, included citations, written by a scholar from within the discipline)
- Finding scholarly sources using discipline specific tools (for sociology: Sociological Abstracts, Social Science Citation Index)
- Students will be able to identify and find scholarly sources within a specific discipline.
- Students will be able to thoughtfully and ethically integrate discipline specific scholarly sources into their writing.