SOC 3000 Sociology Writing and Rhetoric; Spring, 2017 Online

Professor: Stephen M. Marson, Ph.D.
Office: No Office  Inclement weather: (910) 521-6888
Office Hours:   If you need to see me, I am available to you by phone or Skype; search for "stephenmmarson."
Course Prerequisite: None

Table of Contents.
Academic Honor Code Course Objectives Grading Procedures
Assignments Course Outline with Reading Assignments How I grade papers Religion Policy
Blackboard Disabilities Late Assignments Required text
Computers Dropping  Note Taking (videos) Technical Support
  Final Exam Plagiarism 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

Modules Content Due Dates
Read Me First Read: Read Me First Deadline January 9
Module 1: Picking an A+ Topic

Selecting the right topic for your research paper is a crucial first step toward earning a high grade.  Within this module, you’ll review the fundamentals of academic writing as you discover the secrets of choosing that elusive perfect topic.  You’ll learn to narrow your focus form a broad subject to a manageable topic then an intriguing research question to a strong working thesis.
1. Go to 
and watch the video entitled: Picking an A+ Topic  (you may have to copy and paste this URL to your browser)
2. Within the "Study Guide" tab, review the study guide for Module 1.
Email me your topic to
Study Guide for Module one.  Email to:

3. Submit by email, the topic for your research paper.  HINT: Select a topic that focuses on an area for which you will be seeking employment.

Begin: First Day of Class

Module 2: Starting Your Research Paper

We start our research paper at the library.  Libraries are incredible treasure troves of information but locating the right resources can be tricky. In this module we will address how to form a research plan, begin background reading, and develop a preliminary bibliography – so you can find better material in less time.

1. Go to and watch the video entitled: Starting Your Research Paper
2. To learn how to use the UNCP Library online 
(this URL might change during the course or copy and paste)
3. Using APA style, email me a list a "preliminary bibliography" (as outlined in your video) you are most likely to cite within your term paper.
  You must demonstrate your computer skills by using to generate your bibliography

Begin: Janaury 20

January 2
Module 3: Finding the Best Sources; Deadline January 16.

The module focuses on the mastering both Internet and library based research techniques.  We will see what experts reveal secrets that every student must know for using research engines, catalogs, and reference books. In addition, tips and tricks that will greatly improve your chances of finding information that is appropriate, reliable, in-depth and useful!

1. Go to   and watch the video entitled: Finding the Best Sources
2. If Module 2 offered you enough help to develop a working bibliography, you MAY skip Module 3.
3. Submit your second working bibliography to by the deadline: February 1.

Identify a topic, discuss a proposed outline and present a tentative bibliography  February 1
Review The Dictionary of Sociology for the in class assignment we will have during the following week

January 25

Deadline February
Module 3.5: 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.
Develop and improve a sociological vocabulary.  Must include:
1.       Ten vocabulary words from  Vocabulary Words (pdf) at (you might have to copy and paste this on your browser).  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.       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 ….
4.     The terms cognitive dissonance and addition (found in Vocabulary Words (pdf) -- you might have to copy and paste this on your browser).   cannot be counted toward the 10 vocabulary words.

February 1

February 1
Module 4: Plagiarism and other Pitfalls

With busy schedules and deadlines, sometimes even the best scholars can be tempted to cut corners.  This module focuses on academic integrity when writing a research paper. In addition, we will evaluate materials, reference sources appropriately AND avoid inadvertent plagiarism and other common scholarship mistakes.

1. Go to  and watch the video entitled: Plagiarism and other Pitfalls
2. Review the UNCP academic honor code at: 
3. Assess your references as addressed in the video:
 a. Comprehensibility
 b. Timeliness
 c. Reputation of the source
 d. Apparent bias
 e. Nature of the work

4. To avoid plagiarism, students must strictly adhere to the APA rules for short and long quotes found at: the syllabus requires at least one short and at least one long quote.
For a short course in APA citation, go to:
6. Use Safe Assignment to assess your term paper for plagiarism prior to submitting it to me.  DO NOT USE the "Final Draft" until you have tested your paper in the various drafts folders.   I do not look at draft folders.  Thus, you can make changes before you load your paper into the Final Draft folder.

Read UNCP policy at

February 13

February 2
Module 5: Taking Notes; Due Date:

Whether on index cards or in a computer file, clear, organized notes enable you to keep track of helpful resources, remember significant details, recognize important themes, and capture key bibliographic data. This module focuses on demonstrating and evaluating several proven note-taking methods that will make drafting, formatting, and polishing you paper much easier they faster!

1. Go to  and watch the video entitled: Taking Notes
2. Our video guides us how to take notes from our citations that complete, clear, understandable and legible.
3. Using the video as your guide, submit your notes for your research paper to steve.marson@uncp.eduDue Date: January 30
Submit your notes for your research paper to . Deadline January 30.

February 22

Module 6: How to be Persuasive

Most research paper assignments require students to articulate a thesis and make a persuasive case in its defense.  The module focuses on the development of a logical argument, support them with evidence, deal with opposing points of view, and avoid logical fallacies and other errors.  In addition, the module introduces other proven ways to make your writing more convincing and powerful.

1. Go to  and watch the video entitled: How to be Persuasive
2. Develop a working thesis.  If you need individual help with this Skype me or schedule a meeting with me.
3. Key points that will help develop a thesis statement:

  • Be supported by your research. It must state an idea, opinion, interpretation, or theory that is backed up by the evidence your reading has uncovered
  • Be a positive, non-obvious statement. It must not be a truism (common knowledge of obviously true).  Example: Child abuse is bad
  • Not be a tautology, which is something that must be true of cannot be dispoven
  • Be worth arguing, and, preferable, original and interesting.

4. Kinds of Evidence needed for your thesis:

  • Definitions of terms (use your citations for this)
  • Accounts of events that suggest a cause-and-effect relationship
  • Statistics or other numerical data (Internet has the most update statistics - using tables or figures is accepted in this paper)
  • Individual examples (i.e. case studies) that suggest a boarder pattern (avoid hasty generalization)
  • Facts or ideas from primary sources
  • Facts of ideas from secondary sourses
  • Evidence related to alternative theses

5. Be careful of making logical fallacies: errors in logic that often occure when people are trying to persuade one another

  • Unclear use of terms (make sure that use use your Sociology Dictionary)
  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for "after this, therefore because of this" or correlation doesn't prove cause)
  • Hasty generalization (i.e., welfare recipient are lazy because you know one who is)
  • "Straw man" showing that alternative explanation is wrong, therefore mine idea is better (to the point of being ridiculous
  • Appeal to authority -- explain why you believe this authority is correct DON'T JUST CITE OR QUOTE
  • Ad hominen argument (Lating for "against the person")

6. Review the following hot links:

 March 1

Deadline March  11
Module 7: Writing Your First Draft

This module focuses on how to assemble an effective outline for your research paper and capture your vest ideas in a first rate first draft – one that will make the revision process much easier and put you well on your way to a higher grade! In addition, we will address the “blinking cursor syndrome” and learn how to treat it which will conquer writer’s block.

1. Go to and watch the video entitled: Writing Your First Draft

2. Submit a simple outline of your paper. It should include:

  • A sentence stating your thesis (as illustrated in the earlier video)
  • 5-10 phrases or sentences, listing the main ideas that youwant to inlcude in your paper in some kind of logical order (sometimes reorganized into a chart or table)

3. Ideas for submiting a good outline:

  • Spill the beans: "Say it, don't hide it."   You're not writing a novel.  Clearly state your thesis -- early in the paper.
  • Eliminate the irrelevant: Look at all the facts and ideas that you included in your outline and ask yourself "What does this have to do with my thesis?"
  • Start and finish strong: Look for the two ideas that are the most compelling, interesting, and convincing. 

4. Addressing Writers Block (hints from professional writers)

  • Say it in a single sentence -- summarize your paper in a single sentence
  • Write down what you would tell a friend about your paper.  If you're really stuck, use a recorder and transcribe your spoken words to written words.
  • Just start writing.  Professional writers call this "free-writing" or "stream-of-consciousness writing."
  • Play with blocks.  Your paper must be divided into topical headings.  Focus on writing one topical heading at a time.
  • Start with blocks or topical headings that you can write most easily.
  • Experiment with writing at different time and in different places.
  • Give yourself time -- write a page or two each day.

Submit an outline as illustrated within the video

March 11

March 16
Module 8: Quoting, Citing, and Paraphrasing

This module focuses on how to synthesize your research sources with your own ideas to form a cohesive paper that has one consistent voice: yours, You’ll learn the right ways to “plug in” the words of other writers within your own writing, so that your paper reads smoothly – and you sound mature, thoughtful, professional, and scholarly.

1. Go to and watch the video entitled: Quoting, Citing, and Paraphrasing

2. Your research paper for this course is NOT a collection of other people's ideas!  Your research paper is an essay written by you that reflects your ideas about the topic.  Ideas, information, and sometimes quotations from source material that you've read will be used in the paper.

Review rules at


March 16

March 19
Module 9: Formating your paper

Formatting your research paper can make or break it presentation – and that can have a significant impact on your grade!  This module covers mechanical details like fonts, margins, and spacing and provides an extensive overview of the style guides like Chicago, Turabian, APA, and MLA and their varying approaches to references, footnotes, and bibliographies.

1. Go to and watch the video entitled: Formatting Your Paper.  In this video, you may skip all material that doesn't address APA.
2. As stated earlier, students must use APA style.  Failure to use it properly will hurt 10% the final paper grade.
3. You are required to demonstrate your computer skills by using:
4. REMEMBER: only use Times New Roman 12pt -- including titles and topical headings
Within Module 2, students submitted a "preliminary bibliography." You should have recieved corrections to comply with APA requirements.  Resubmit your final bibliography.   Hereafter, we will call them references.  Correct citation will be worth 5% of your final draft.

March 19

March 25
Module 10: Perfecting Your Final Draft

The module focuses on reworking your research paper until it is a shining example of effective writing, clear organizational, and sound research – and is completely free of errors in grammar, usage mechanics, spelling, and scholarly citations. Best of all, you’ll hand in a final draft that makes you sound smarter and better informed and is sure to earn you  a higher grade!

1. Go to and watch the video entitled: Perfecting Your Final Draft

2. Make sure to comply with the standards outlined in the syllabus:

3. The video within this module does an excellent job in addressing the topic of paragraph construction.  View this with great care.  Many student have their grades hurt by poor paragraph construction.

Here are rules for writing the introduction:
Cover page rules:

March 25

April 13
Module 11 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.   See:

Your final paper is due April 16 at noon. Between April 16 and the last day of class, I will be contacting each student individuall for feedback.
Paper must be sent to and must be uploaded to the Safe Assignment Tab in the folder labeled "final draft."
April 13

April 15

Paper due:
April 15
Module 12 Posttest

Go to the tab labeled Pre and Post Tests and complete the two posttests.   If the test is not available, email and ask for the posttest to be opened.

May 1 Noon






















































































































Due dates are included in the course outline



Grade  Basis


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 ...

1) All students are required to post AS AN ATTACHMENT their 3-paragraph vocabulary assignment on the discussion board.
2) All students are required to read at least one other student's vocabulary assignment and comment on this discussion board.


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.       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 ….

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

Blackboard Rubric


Take notes as addressed in the video (BUT NOT on index cards) from your citations and email your notes to in a word processing file (i.e. MS Word). Enhance and improve organizational skills. Guidelines for video 20%

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.

Directions for using short and long quotes can be found at:

SOC 3000 Rubric
5% of this will be based on working bibliography within Module 3. 5% of this will be based on the notes submitted within Module 5. 5% of this will be your final references.



Required Texts:
The Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (free)  

Grading/Assessment: 1) Sociological vocabulary assignment 10% 2) The big paper 70% [5% bibliography in Module 3; 5% notes submitted from Module 5]; 3) Notes for videos

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 82-86

C 72-76

D 62-66

A- 90-91

B- 80-81

C- 70-71

D- 60-61

B+ 87-89

C+ 77-79

D+ 67-69

F 0-59

Key Issues: On YouTube -- which can be found on Blackboard -- is a series of instructional films.   Students are required to watch each film and submit the assignment (mostly by email). There are NO required public posting of student work.  The instructor will NOT retain of students' work.  This includ discussion board material.

Technical Support
This is the first time I have taught this course on Blackboard.  If you need to talk to me on the phone or Skype, please do so.  However, I cannot change the deadline.

Problems with online material, connection with the Internet contact the DoIT Help Desk at 910 521-6260 or or you may go to their webpage at

If you have problems with the videos, read the following:

Visit the login page at  Be sure to click the Log In link and login using the same username and password you use for Bb, email, etc.  After logging in, a popup window will appear which will automatically open iTunes on your computer and take you to the UNCP iTunes U site. If needed, click the appropriate semester icon and you will see the classes that you are enrolled in.  Click the desired course and you will see a list of class videos which you can download or stream directly from iTunes.  To download individually, click the "Get" button to the right of each video. To download all the tracks, click the "Get Tracks" button next to the UNCP Logo on the top left.  After downloading, you can play the video on any computer or sync the video to your mobile devices.  To stream the video without downloading, simply double click on the name of the desired video and after a few seconds the video should begin. If you have any problems please call the UNCP HelpDesk at 910-521-6260.

Note Taking
The reason students must submit notes are twofold: 1) Students must have notes for the quizzes.  Yes, quizzes are open book and open notes!  The better your notes, the better your grades.  2) Students should keep these notes after graduation.   After graduation, it is NOT uncommon to be faced with a statistical problem.  Good notes will help you.

Some students ask the question, “How do I take notes?”   Note-taking was addressed in the Freshmen Seminar class.   Some students were able to waive this course.  If you need a refresher for note-taking, this video can help you: .  Another question asked is: “What is expected from my notes?”  Your professor expects you to take comprehensive notes that address topics on the exam and issues that you are likely to face after graduation. 

Notes must include two characteristics: 1) Students must submit typed notes that capture the essence of the topic being presented.   2) Students must use “Snipping Tool” to capture key points from the video.   If you are a Windows user and have no experience with “Snipping Tool,” watch the video at . If you are a Mac user and have no experience with “Snipping Tool,” watch the video at .

If your computer skills are weak, the fastest way to take notes is to create a table with two columns.  In the left column, write your notes.    In the right column, paste the material you captured from the video.


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: More details can be found at
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.

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.  If a student is kicked off Blackboard, 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. The most important tutoring resource for this class in the online writing which can be found at
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.