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Using Peer Reviewed Research Essays in Large Introductory Courses
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hands-on data collection

How to Cite

Trivette, Shawn. 2013. “Using Peer Reviewed Research Essays in Large Introductory Courses”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, October. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This activity is designed to give students in large sections of Introduction to Sociology classes the opportunity to write analytic papers without overwhelming the instructor's ability to grade them. Students write a 3-4 page paper (drawing on observational data they collect on the social world) as a way to integrate and reflect on course material....

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Subject Area(s):
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Assignment, Essay
Class Level(s):
College 100
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

The method employed here is highly adaptable to a variety of paper topics. I include the ones I routinely use, but instructors should easily be able to incorporate or develop others.

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Facilitate writing using a sociological perspective
  2. Craft logical arguments using race, class, gender, and sexuality as variables of analysis
  3. Supported said arguments with relevant course material

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. A detailed grading rubric allows students to consistently and methodically evaluate a peer's paper. The rubric breaks down various components of the paper into specific point allotments.
  2. Additionally, a small sample of papers are selected at random for review by the instructor (as a method of ensuring academic integrity).
  3. Students are also provided a mechanism for appealing grades to the instructor if they believe their paper was evaluated inaccurately or unfairly by a fellow student.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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