Students will learn how to synthesize sociological research and communicate their findings in a new but important format: an op-ed piece. In doing so, they will learn how to communicate research findings to non-academic audiences in an effective manner.
Students pursued their projects sequentially with opportunities for evaluation and feedback at the end of each stage. The stages included submission of a: topic proposal, annotated bibliography, draft assignment, and final assignment.
Through this process, they will learn how to assess existing op-ed articles and media reporting for substance, writing style, and accuracy. They will also learn to write succinctly, adhering to the space limitations of mainstream newspapers.
Students generated the class grading rubric for the assignment (attached) after collectively reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of multiple op-ed pieces published in local, national, and internationally circulated newspapers.
Finally, students will develop and hone their own sociological perspective on a self-selected topic of personal and political significance.
Students designed a grading rubric which measured (1) topic significance, (2) writing creativity, and (3) the use of sociological research to advance an argument, critique popular knowledge, and suggest social, political, or economic reforms.